sewing 101: intro to the serger

I thought I’d tell you a little about my serger for today’s sewing 101 lesson. Serger is a funny name. Some people call it an overlock machine.

I think it is great to learn to sew without a serger, because you’ll be forced to learn more that way. But, I’ll also never go back to not having one. It makes clothing looks so professional! Not to mention making sewing so much faster and easier. My serger was a gift from over a year ago. Before that I had an ancient Husky that always broke needles (it was a hand-me-down freebie, so I really couldn’t complain). It drove me crazy. But I love my new serger! 

So for today’s sewing 101 post, I’m just going to introduce you to my serger and tell you a little about what he does, in case you don’t know. (Sewing machine: her. Serger: him. ) Don’t you love the little knobs on top? I love the colors.

I have the Brother 1034D. It’s a fairly basic serger, but also a solid one. It doesn’t have a million extra functions that I’ll never use, it does what I need it to do. Although you can adjust the width of the serging and a few other things.

I use it to to finish sleeve holes.

And to help me hem the edges of fabric before I press them over and sew. That way I only have to press it over once!

I finish seam allowances with it. That fabric will never fray!

Sometimes I use it as a decorative feature.

There is a built-in knife that cuts fabric before it serges, so you always get a nice clean line. It cuts off the extra seam allowance that you may have. A multi-tasker if I ever saw one! 

Easy! Sweet. I recommend the Brother 1034D if you’re looking for a solid serger. 

Do you already have a serger? What do you use it for?


  1. says

    I am asking for one for my birthday/Christmas present this year. Will have to add this one to the contender list.

  2. says

    Kate, I’m actually glad you posted about your serger because I really want one and have been looking for one. I was wondering though, is yours really tricky to thread? The one I learned on in high school was super tricky. Anyways, I was just wondering. And, I can’t wait for pleats :)Thanks for having a fabulous blog!

  3. says

    I have the same serger (also refer to him as a “him) ;) I received mine for Christmas and love to use it for finishing seams. Like you, I also use it to save time when hemming, so I only have to press the fabric once! LOVE this little machine. I’ve yet to really explore and learn about all the features though… I read in the instruction book that you can use it to gather fabric… I’d love to figure that out. Are you planning more sewing lessons on using the serger?

  4. says

    Lots of my sewing friends keep telling me that I need to get a serger. I have 1 sewing machine- 1 sewing/embroidery machine- 1 embroidery machine and I am thinking about getting a 2nd embroidery machine but sergers look complicated and scary! Maybe one day…maybe…

  5. says

    i don’t have a serger but that is my plan for next year, if our budget allows, thanks for this review!

  6. says

    Thanks for this post, it is just in time for me. I received a serger for my birthday and have been scared and just staring at it, now I think I will open the box and start tackling my fears!

  7. says

    My boyfriend actually got me that exact serger for Christmas last year :D I LOVE it! So much easier when working clothing.. especially knits :)

  8. says

    Thank you! I am always looking for referrals on sewing equipment since I don’t really know anyone personally that sews… so I just kinda go off my own knowledge which is completely self taught. I have been wanting a serger since I feel pretty comfortable making clothes for my daughter now!

  9. says

    I am so excited about this post, my mom brought me her serger this past weekend from CA. He is a little run down and needs some TLC and a trip to the repair shop but he is also a solid little machine. He was made by Pfaff.

  10. says

    I have that same serger as well!!! = ) I LOVE IT! after battling and cussing at my mom’s dinosaur serger she let me use I finally ordered my own! I went through Amazon and read on all the good comments about other people using it. And I didn’t go wrong! It sooo easy to thread! A BIG PLUS FOR ME!!! I enjoyed your 101 SERGER post !!

  11. says

    I have this same one (from a long, long Christmas ago)…it’s at my grandma’s house since I was too busy sewing to figure it out (she wanted to use it to make some furniture covers). It even came with a dvd! I don’t know what my problem is.

  12. says


    Threading it is so easy! I think that is one of my favorite things about it! It comes pre-threaded and you can just guide the white thread through. Then it has easy instructions for when a thread gets loose.

    Hope that helps!

  13. says

    I just got mine, I think I told you that in an email, and was forced to use it to test your pattern! It’s so easy! Even rethreading it wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be!

  14. says

    I have the same machine… I’m still figuring out how to use it more than the basic stitch.

  15. says

    i LOOOVE my serger. it’s my mom’s old one and it still works great! she did get it serviced before i moved away so i wouldn’t have any problems. it is the BEST! I don’t know what i would do without it! …oh I have a singer 14u34…?

  16. says

    I have a serger and just it regularly to hold papers in place so the fan won’t blow them away…lol! I’ve had it for 2 years now and only got it to work right one time and it frustrates me so much that I just don’t even look at it…maybe I should woo it a little…i think mine is a her? how did you get a he? i work better with he’s than hers….ugh! I need a little mini Kate on my shoulder to talk-walk me through that machine :) Do you have those in your Etsy store?

  17. says

    I just bought the same one today and I can’t wait to get it! I’ve only been sewing for a year now, but I am really getting into making my own dresses and this will definately speed up the process. Thanks for sharing!

  18. says

    I bought a used Singer Surger. I have sent it to church a couple of times when my pastors wife teaches another pastors wife and her 8 daughters to sew. the handy one had to fix it the first time. Then I took it the night we made apron for the kitchen just did the edges finishing on it. and took it back the the Fort family came back for another lesson. Really need to sew more again. Been knitting more, and doing a little tatting again too since I am teaching a tatting class right now.

  19. says

    Oh my goodness thank you for posting this! I never new what that stitch on the edge of fabric was called (just saw it on clothing, etc). I always wondered what it was and how I could do it myself. Now I know!
    Now, I’ve just finally started to educate myself about the basics of sewing (I bulled through two quilts without even knowing there were different types of needles, yikes! But they came out well ;) )and purchased Singer’s “The New Sewing Essentials.” In the section where is talks about the different feet it mentions an “overedge foot.” Can this not be used to serge? The picture provided in the book makes it look like it is one method of serging.