Saturday, October 3, 2015

Serger Success!

Most of us with sergers know a fair amount of grief: threading, tension, switching back and forth between stitches, etc. For that reason, there are some of us who have dedicated sergers and I think I have just joined their ranks.

Looking for a serger that would make a coverstitch hem, I came upon a Pfaff 4872 that fit the bill:

Pfaff Coverlock 4872
It came without a manual and an assortment of parts that appeared not to belong to this machine. The free manuals were only in black and white but so much was color coded that I didn't make much progress. There is a very nice online video to demonstrate threading but things really didn't work too well until I managed to buy an original manual from someone parting out a kaput Pfaff 4874. Now I could see all of the color coding and was getting close but still...then I found out there were tiny thread guides at the back of the machine where thread needed to be engaged and then under the handle but remember to put the handle down when serging. Whew! It finally gave a decent stitch but what about the coveted coverstitch hem? Nope. I walked away. For several days. It might have been weeks.

Feeling like I needed to check in one more time (or maybe I was just feeling hopeful) I sat down to the Pfaff 4872 and tried one more time. It did it. It DID IT! IT DID IT! I threaded it up with the pink thread I needed to hem a shirt with, put in a sample of the knit, and it still worked. Jubulation! I sat down today and actually hemmed the shirt that I stenciled at my daughters, planning to wear it in only a month at a craft show:

It made a beautiful hem with 2 even rows of stitches on the top and the zig zag locking stitch on the underside. I even tackled the sleeve hems and without a freearm it was only a bit tricky. I am one happy girl.

On to the little Simplicity Easylock SL800:

I've replaced both knives and learned quite a bit about sergers by working on this one. After breaking the third retractable stitch finger I have vowed not to even try the other stitches because this little baby can make a rolled hem like no other:

I hope you can see the perfect edge on this tablecloth. It was circular and I can see there were problems while sewing the bias edge so I'll have to watch that but it's quite good. So here's my conclusion about all these sergers: I'll keep the Pfaff 4872 set up for coverhem, the Simplicity SL800 set up for rolled hems, and the Huskylock 1000L for everything else because it has proven to be the most convertible and reliable so far. All of these sergers have not even totaled the cost of one new serger and they do not take up a huge amount of space so I'm content to have my little herd of dedicated sergers. For now. There's always something lurking in the shadows calling my name "Karen, here's a machine that can..."


Thin Man Sewing said...

I am happy to see the stitching of your Pfaff. This makes me want a coverstitch Machine.

KC said...

Karen, do you know if the person parting out the Pfaff may still have the "power table"? I found my Pfaff at a Salvation Army and that was the only missing piece. How feasible would it be to try the coverlock stitch without? Thanks!

Karen said...

I don't think I have the Power Table either and wondered if it would work but it does! Not sure why you would need it? Give it a try and let me know!