We just got a serger. I have never used a serger before, but I have used a sewing machine for more years than I want to admit. We got a Brother 1034d serger. It has gotten a lot of recommendations and it was not very expensive. I am not planning on using the serger very often.
We got the serger to fix tricot nightgowns. Now, I am sure that there are many who would say, why not just buy new ones. Well, they’re not for me. I am a caregiver for a disabled person and she literally lives in her tricot nightgowns. The tricot fabric allows her to move more easily in and on her bed and is stretchy and comfortable. I tried using my sewing machine on the tricot, but it just chewed it up, even when using stabilizer. I don’t think that my sewing machine likes knits or denim. But it is fabulous for quilting, so who am I to quibble.
Before we got the serger, I watched all kinds of videos and read many blogs. There are a lot of wonderful tips out there. I did some practice serging on some of my cotton scraps, just to get the feel of the machine. One of the nice features of the Brother 1034d serger is that it uses regular sewing machine needles. I thought that the best needle to use for the tricot fabric would be a ball-point needle. I also had some tissue paper on hand as stabilizer. It turns out that I didn’t need to use stabilizer. The tricot in the nightgowns is heavy enough, and all I had to do is do some experimentation on the differential feed and the presser foot pressure knob. The main thing I need to work with is redoing the hem. I don’t know what kind of stitch the factory uses, but it looks like a shell stitch, and it is constantly breaking on my poor dear. She’s not fussy, so I ended up using a 3-thread overlock stitch on the hem. I tried the rolled hem, but the tricot rolls too much to get a decent edge. I’m sure I will get better the more I use this machine.
I used the quick method of tying on the thread cones, and it did fine until I got to the end of the first nightgown (with the rolled hem). Then the lower looper thread broke and I had to rethread the machine. Which was actually pretty easy. Those videos sure came in handy!