Tell the truth and Shame the Devil!

I have a confession to make. It’s bad. I’ve hidden it from my family and friends, but I think they know. My husband has long suspected and kept my secret- he’s never mentioned it or tried to get me to see a professional, but I think as a tech person it secretly shames him.

Gentle reader, please don’t despise me- I want to be better, but I am weak and lazy. I hate my serger. I think it even hates me too a little. I know when I brought it home I said I would try, but I look at it and it jams. I breathe near it and the thread breaks. Please don’t think I don’t edge finish! I do! Like it’s a religion! But I do a pinked edge and 2 passes with a tight zigzag stitch.

Is there someone out there that knows of a Double needle Phobia? Am I the only one that finds their serger to be like handing nice fabric to a hungry stegasaurus? All I do is wrestle with it until it decides to jam and free the helpless textile victim from its angry clutches?! I even picture it behind me waiting,waiting for it’s Speilbergian moment to come and it will gnaw my leg off and eat all of my fabric.

I know most sewists adore their sergers. I even visualize some of them in Corona commercial poses sharing a cold one with their sarong-wrapped Bernina as I cast hostile glances at mine from across the room! I’ll bet some of you even have it on your Christmas card…’Joyeux Noel from Flash and I…..’

I need to take a step back from the issue and focus on the positive.

1. It makes a fine cat perch! 

2. It holds extra pattern pieces up away from the dachsies!

3. It makes anyone who passes by the Sewer’s Bordello impressed by it’s professional look!

…ok, thats all I can think of. So I’m looking for advise from all of you that know better than I. Serging is another step toward professional looking garments and having it and not using it just bothers my thrifty/cheap soul. Can this relationship be saved?

22 thoughts on “Tell the truth and Shame the Devil!

  1. I also hate my serger. It wasn’t cheap either. I got it years ago when sergers first came to the home market. The thread always breaks, it never seams to thread properly, I can’t get even tension. It makes me say bad swear words whenever I use it. I sew with a group of women who all used to work at our upscale fabric shop and they told me to use better thread. I have yet to try this, but I thought I would pass it along. (I assume you already watched a video about how to thread it properly, etc.) I know others swear by their sergers, so I have considered buying a newer one that presumably has the kinks worked out. Sigh.


  2. I don’t have a serger and I don’t feel the draw. Reading Sandy’s comment sounds a lot like my mom’s love-mostly hate relationship with her serger. It was suppose to make her life easier and it just ended up collecting dust. Last I heard she gave it away to a friend. If she still had it, I might be tempted to ask for it as a gift to see what the fuss is about, but I don’t feel limited by my sewing machine. If I want a serger line finish, I use my overlock stitch.


  3. What kind of serger is it? Was it new or used when you bought it? (It might need a repair/tune up.) Are you using a decent quality of thread? (Maxi-Lock is the cheapest brand you should buy, though I personally have had the best luck with Mettler and crap luck with Maxi-Lock.) Do you have your manual? Maybe it’s threaded incorrectly–trust me, incorrect threading can cause some rather interesting issues. Also make sure that your needles are inserted all the way in–it’s easier to mess this up than you might think. Hopefully that will give you some ideas of where to start.


  4. I’ve actually always liked my serger, even when it’s not cooperating. But just recently I pulled out the manual and rethreaded the whole thing from scratch and it works amazingly. All the pictures and diagrams my manual had were great because I could put the tension back to standard from the pictures even though it didn’t mention specifically what they should be on.


  5. Let us know what fixes your problem (if you find what does), because you never know who else it might help. 🙂 Sergers can seem intimidating at first, but they’re oh-so-useful.


  6. I bought a Brother 1034D this year (Brother sergio) and so far he has treated me well.. but much like your phobia I have been too scared to try anything new with him other than just simple finished on seams. Its ok, you are not alone!!


  7. Lena says:

    I have two sergers – domestic and industrial one. I LOVE the industrial and never hesitate to use it, it has never failed me. The domestic one is a different story. It is picky and often unpredictable, but it is much faster to thread than the indistrial beast, so I have to put up with it if I have to do a quick seam or two.


  8. 1. Put on your big girl panties.
    2. Find a sewing shop.
    3. Pay for threading lessons. A good independent place should help.
    4. Spend an hour threading your machine, cutting the threads and re-threading.

    Then nothing your machine does will hurt you, and you too can enjoy a close and loving relationship with your machine, pouring corona over in on a tropical beach.


  9. My serger gave me kittens too, and I finally took it into a repair shop because the tension disks wouldn’t hold. $70 later (keep in mind, it was fresh out of the box), I got it working and it hasn’t given me too much trouble since. I would take yours in to the local shop and have them walk you through using it, and if it misbehaves for them also then it needs a tuneup.

    My biggest serger problem right now is the cat likes to try to eat the thread, pulls it out and messes it up. Little twit.


  10. Sergers scared the living s%^t out of me but I bought one anyway. When I got it home I left it in its box for a week or so until my hubby asked me if I had used it yet. Had to then didn’t I.

    The first thing I did was sigh heavily with happiness when I realised the shop had threaded it up for me. Then, as I unwrapped its plastic cocoon I pulled three of the four threads right out. I cried. Sobbed. Really I did. Then I put on my big girl panties (nice on Steph!) and practiced threading and rethreading the damned thing until it stopped scaring me.

    I use it all. The. Time. Its a Janome something-or-other. Corona moment.

    Anyway, put away the shark fin and do as those above have recommended. Its all good. Really. Truly.


  11. Yes they are scary. They all seem to come with a built in personality defect. When mine (a JUKI) misbehaves I get out the manual, re-thread it IN THE ORDER STATED IN THE MANUAL and try again.
    It also sometimes helps just to use it as a 3 thread o/lock.

    Feel the fear and do it anyway!


  12. You have a serger? Give it to your husband for Christmas. I have always found that men cannot resist any opportunity to show how inept we women are with those machiney-type things.


  13. LOL! I spent years being scared of my serger! Years. Threading it practically gave me hives. Then one day I learned about the magic of jet air threading and Babylock and there was a super sale. I LOVE my serger now. But, yeah. I’m no help to you at all, I’m afraid. 😛


  14. I have a cheap serger, and we have a love/hate relationship. My mom’s serger just seemed a dream machine, and it was way more expensive than mine. But you know what? She has a love/hate with hers, too. I’ll second getting a tune up, and also practicing threading until you can do it drunk & blindfolded. Mess with tension. On every fabric. Mine still hates flimsier weights, and the tension is so finicky, but I can coax her into getting the job done.


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