Find out the answer to “What Is A Serger Sewing Machine” and more in this in-depth guide to serger sewing machines.
A serger is a unique type of sewing machine with specialized uses. The primary distinction between a serger and a sewing machine is that a serger is specifically designed to sew a seam while also trimming the seam allowance and enclosing the raw edge.
You’ll discover how serger functions and how it differs from a standard sewing machine in this article. As you determine whether or not you require one, you’ll also find a few important questions to think about.
What Is A Serger Sewing Machine?
A Serger or Overlock is a sewing machine that trims and encloses the seam allowance or edge of the fabric in a thread casing all in one step. Three to five different bobbin threads and a top thread are used by a serger to sew the seam.
A Serger has many different settings, including stitch density, thread count, and width. The seams serve as decorative edging and give the inside of clothing a polished appearance.
Although there are some quilting techniques that can be done with a serger, a serger is not required. A learning curve is involved in using a serger, just like with other sewing machines. A home sewing machine must still be used in place of a serger.
Benefits of a Serger Sewing Machine
- If you sew clothing, a Serger sewing machine is fantastic.
- Given that the stitching allows for stretch, a serger sewing machine is especially useful when sewing knit fabrics.
- You can gather fabric and create a rolled hem using a serger sewing machine.
- Quilters generally dislike the bulk of extra thread in a quilt’s seams, so there are special techniques for quilting with a serger sewing machine, such as rag quilts or quilt-as-you-go projects.
- Similar to serger sewing machines, some domestic machines can sew a seam with stretch for knits and finish the edges of seams.
When Should You Use a Serger?
Working with garments and projects where you can do away with a lot of the tedious work is a great use for sellers or overlockers. You no longer need to perform a lot of cutting prior to sitting down at the machine, which makes them not only faster but also significantly different from previous models.
Many dressmakers use sergers to create a professional-looking, stronger stitch. It makes sense to use the serger when hemming clothing or working on a project that will see a lot of wear.
What Does A Serger Do?
As I already stated, sergers perform three tasks simultaneously. They:
- Sew a seam (but they do it differently from a sewing machine)
- Use built-in knives to cut off seam allowances as you stitch
- Make overcasting to finish raw fabric edges
Because of this, serger stitches differ significantly from those made by a regular sewing machine. In fact, using this machine allows a home sewer to produce a very professional-looking result. Furthermore, you can finish a variety of quick sewing tasks because of its effective operation!
Since sewists frequently own both a sewing machine and a serger, that may be their primary use. Sergers, however, are capable of much more. A serger can be used for the following things in addition to producing seams of expert quality:
- Sewing different types of hems including rolled hems
- Gathering fabric with differential feed
- Sewing knits and other stretchy fabrics (so that the material keeps its stretchiness)
- Attaching elastic to clothing
- Making decorative stitches
- Attaching zippers
- Stitching covers and chains (NOTE: not all sergers can do this – only combination machines can)
- Piecing fabric for a quilt or sewing quilt binding
What Cannot A Serger Do?
It might seem that a serger can do everything after reading this. Even if you’re considering getting a serger instead of a sewing machine, it’s possible.
Unfortunately, sergers are mostly employed to sew seams together and stop fabric edges from fraying. While they can sew some decorative stitches, they cannot perform some essential daily tasks like buttonholes, topstitching, quilting, etc. that are performed by sewers.
This is the reason that many sewers opt to buy and use both a sewing machine and a serger.
How is a Serger Sewing Machine Different from a Sewing Machine?
All serger sewing machines use the three-thread overlock stitch as their foundational stitch. Creating an overlock stitch uses just three threads that are rolled into one and fed through the looper, a system for creating loops inside the machine.
Similar to a binding fabric strip, which can result in bulky seams, the cover edge stitch also operates on the same principle but uses double stitching all the way around the seam to strengthen it.
The lack of sufficient gaps between the warp and weft or the thinness of the fabric’s density prevents many fabrics from being sewn with a regular sewing machine. However, using a serger sewing machine can perfectly handle any type of material, making it more well-liked among crafters.
Crafters prefer serger sewing machines because of their efficiency over conventional sewing machines, which require more time and effort to sew seams because of their smaller stitching space.
Because it has fewer moving parts than a standard sewing machine, professional sewers also view serger sewing machines as more expensive alternatives to chain stitch machines, but their advantages outweigh this disadvantage by a wide margin.
Why is a Serger Better Than a Sewing Machine?
To give your fabric a finished edge, sergers combine specialized sewing and overcasting stitches. Because the machine sews, trims, and overcasts all at once, the process is quicker than traditional straight stitching.
If you use a serger to sew the right sides together and press the seam allowance to one side, depending on the type of serger you have, the stitch will either be an overcast stitch or a blind hem stitch.
Can You Sew Normally With A Serger?
Some sewing tasks can be completed with just a serger, but some require features that overlocking machines can’t offer. What kind of sewing you want to do will ultimately determine this.
You can likely get away with using only a serger if your sewing project calls for a lot of straight seams and possibly some hemming. You’ll even have more time with this! Even though a serger, unlike a sewing machine, can perform multiple tasks at once, it cannot completely replace all the common sewing machine functions. As a result, many projects may benefit from using a serger.
Sergers are excellent for sewing on knit fabric due to the characteristics of overlock stitches. There is some stretch to these stitches. Although a zigzag stitch can be used on knits in a pinch, regular sewing machine stitches do not stretch.
On the other hand, if you want to make a wedding dress, you’ll need to topstitch, add facings, set sleeves, add a zipper, likely sew on a ton of tiny buttonholes or button loops, and generally do a ton of fiddly, challenging sewing tasks that are best done on a regular sewing machine.
What is a Serger Sewing Machine’s Speed?
If you were to compare the stitching rates of various sewing machines, you would discover that they all differ slightly from one another and fall between 1,000 and 1,500 stitches per minute.
Averaging between 1,300 and 2,200 stitches per minute, sergers are significantly faster than other machines. What a time-saving method!
Are Serger Machines Good for Beginners?
Even beginners can quickly learn how to operate a serger because of how user-friendly it is. Anyone can use it as a result, without any hassles or complications.
It is also regarded as being safer than other types of sewing machines because a knife fixed under the presser foot eliminates the possibility of accidentally cutting the tongue while working on complicated tasks.
Therefore, a serger should be your tool of choice if you want to create brisk, tidy, and precise seams in any garment you’re making.
Conclusion: Serger Sewing Machine
By providing you with more in-depth details about what this specialized sewing machine can (and can’t) do, I hope that this post has helped you to understand “what is a serger.” Can you use a serger instead of a sewing machine? No, but it will make a great complement that will help you develop and expand your sewing skills.
Should I Have A Serger?
To sew, you don’t need a serger. It does make many modern fabrics much easier to work with and gives many seams a lot more strength, especially in children’s clothing. Your sewed items’ interiors will appear to have been manufactured thanks to this machine.
DCan You Sew Anything With a Serger?
On knit fabrics, sergers can also be used to sew seams; frequently, you don’t even need to plug in your sewing machine to finish sewing a knit garment! The serger is the only machine that can be used to sew knit fabrics, including spandex and sweater knits, quickly.
Does a Serger Use Regular Needles?
Many new sergers use a home sewing needle system 130/705 H (flat shank with a scarf). The most widely used needles are SCHMETZ Stretch, Jersey, Topstitch, and Universal. BLX1 and DCX1 needle systems are used by some vintage sergers.