Serger sewing: buying your first serger machine

If you love serger sewing and are interested in taking it to the next level, you may want to buy a serger to give your garments a professional and polished look.

We understand that buying a serger is difficult if you don’t know where to look. There are a lot of different sergers available on the market, and the more expensive the serger the more options you are likely to have, so read on for our informative guide on what a serger is, why you may want one and where you can get the best deals.

What is a serger?

  • So what does a serger sewing do? A serger (also called an overlock outside of the U.S) refers to a specific type of stitch that sews over the edge of one or more pieces of material. You don’t need a serger machine to make clothes, but it can be very helpful.
  • Sergers are great for hemming and seaming, the machines tend to run very fast (from 10000 to over 90000 rpm), and because they are so versatile they can be used for decoration and/or construction.
  • These machines are used by professionals in the serger sewing industry to create polished-looking garments. They are great for non-stretchy fabrics, because they stop the garment fraying and give the edges a finished, professional look.
  • They can also be used to create ruffles, create rolled hems and sew elastic, all of which are helpful when you’re making dresses and lingerie.
  • They are also used for fabric crafting and quilting.

Do I need a serger?

  • Some tasks can be done on a serger from start to finish, but in general they can’t be used in place of a regular sewing machine. You also cannot use a serger to create top stitching, zippers, or button holes.
  • Sergers are fast machines that are almost essential if you are thinking of making a living out of your sewing machine, but they can be a pricey investment. You can use a sewing machine without a serger, but if you want your creations to be of a professional standard it may be worth investing in one.
  • Sergers aren’t just for clothes. They can also be used for upholstery like curtains, cushions and covers, and can even be used to create decorative patterns.
  • Over lock stitches are more durable than straight stitches, and if you have a serger machine you can cut the fabric as you go along.
  • Sergers support a large variety of fabric, which means you can use them to create a lot of different garments. They support light materials like silk, as well as thick materials, and it lets you use more than one material at the same time.

Are they hard to use?

  • If you are new to sewing, the idea of using a serger may be quite daunting. They do look quite complicated, but sergers have improved a lot recently and they are much more user-friendly now than they were even a few years ago.
  • In spite of this, the more expensive and expansive the machine is, the more complicated it is likely to be. They can also be a bit fiddly and could take a while to master.
  • Refer to the sergerpro home page for more information on how to use a serger machine, or go here for a great introductory video.

How much do they cost?

  • Sergers tend to range from a couple of hundred dollars on the cheaper side to thousands for more expensive and detailed machines.
  • Your level of experience and your reasons for buying a serger will determine how much you need to spend. If you’re using a serger for personal use, and/or you are just starting out, you won’t need anything too expensive. Sergers in the lower/middle range can still achieve great results, and will be easier to use.
  • The amount of threads the serger has will be linked to how expensive it is. A cheap serger may have 2-4 threads, a 3-4 serger will be more expensive and high-end sergers are likely to offer 5 threads.

Which serger should I buy?

If you do want to buy a serger online, here are a few examples of what’s available. We have selected a few machines from different ends of the spectrum to give you a clear view of what’s on offer.

Brother Designio Series DZ1234 Serger

Brother Designio Series DZ1234 Serger

  • This serger machine is not expensive, therefore is on the cheaper end of the serger spectrum and is the best beginner serger machine
  • This serger comes with a blind hem stitch food, gathering foot and piping foot
  • You can use this machine to sew 1,300 stitches per minute!
  • The machine comes with two sets of free thread to get you started
  • It has very positive reviews, with 75% of customers giving it a 5* rating

Janome MOD-Serger with Lay-In ThreadingJanome MOD-Serger with Lay-In Threading

  • This is an affordable serger machine
  • It comes with 3 and 4 thread options
  • Other features include easy lay-in threading, quick change rolled hem, and adjustable foot pressure
  • This machine has very positive reviews, with no customers giving this product less than 4*s on Amazon

SINGER 14T968DC Professional 5 5-4-3-2

  • SINGER 14T968DC Professional 5 5-4-3-2This is a more expensive machine
  • This singer lets you go up to 5 stitches
  • You can use this machine to create 1300 stitches a minute
  • This machine comes with an easy threading diagram and a fully adjustable tension system
  • This serger has mostly positive reviews, but some customers have found it flimsy and easily breakable, which is not ideal for a more expensive machine.

Juki Mo 735Juki mo 735

  • This serger has a rather hefty price tag
  • Color coded threading
  • You can control this serger with the touch of one button
  • All accessories are included
  • This serger has had 100% 5* ratings on Amazon.


We hope this guide has given you some insight into what a serger is, what options are available and the kind of prices you will be looking at.