help with starter serger choice

Janome vs Brother vs White etc...
I am considering a Brother 1034d serger through Amazon...with discounts
and free shipping it's going to be $174. I have never used a serger
before but I'm looking for a basic workhorse that I can use mostly for
finishing fabric. I hand dye and quilt, so pre-washing commercial
fabric and multiple washes for hand dyes can leave me with a lot of
finish work from ironing to trimming threads. When I finished the
edges (with a zigzag) on one load of commercial fabric, I didn't even
have to press it when it came out of the dryer. I would also be
using the serger for fleece items and for making simple linens--pillow
cases, napkins, table runners, etc.
I posted my question to another group and it was suggested I post it
here. Many in the other group had some suggestions for me and many
suggested BabyLock
Evolve (which I can't afford) or White. Another person suggested the
Gemsy G320. My local Joann's sells White and I can find it online. I
found the Janome 204d for $239.99 with
free shipping at as suggested by one person. I have a
Janome sewing machine so I'm partial to the brand but the Brother is
supposed to be easy to learn.
My question is--do you have any experience with the model of Brother
serger?--I've seen great reviews on the Amazon site. Also it appears
to be discontinued by the way it's listed on the Brother
an older machine. I'm not going to make a lot of clothing, and if that
changes, I think I can wait several years to upgrade.
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I can only suggest that you sit down and thread each one *before* making up your mind. Threading and differential feed are the most important features for beginners IMO. You also might want to consider who will service your machine if you buy it thru Amazon.
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I agree about threading one before you buy it. Elna's are easy to thread and if you can get a 634 or a 714 in ebay you wlll love it. After the babylock high enders that thread themselves, an elna is best IMO... and I own three.
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NO!!!!! Sorry to shout. I had two Brother sergers. Yes, two. The first one I had for a couple of days. Then I had to take it back because, after I stopped crying and realized it was not me, it would not work properly. I had the second one for much less time before it started doing the same thing the first one did. They both broke the thread at the lower looper. There's a "threader" that is supposed to make threading the lower looper easier. Well, that's what was breaking the thread every time. I can't remember the number that was on that one, but I would avoid all Brother sergers like the plague.
When I returned the second Brother serger, I went to Hancock's and got a White. I've had it now for several years. It's just a basic serger, nothing really fancy about it. It's a White "Speedylock 234DE." Now, if you look for that at Hancock's, they won't have that exact model name. Ask the clerks if they've been there a few years and if so ask what the new model name is for that one. Basically the same machine is still available, it's just called something else. I really love mine. And it gets A LOT of work.
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Sharon Hays
Buy a machine somewhere where you can get sewing help and technical help. The best Amazon can do is sell you a book!
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Yarn Forward
I have a Janome 344D that I got from a dealer and love it. I've done far more sewing since I bought it than I ever did before. I'm not pushing that machine but rather pushing buying from a dealer. I had some minor problems that I couldn't work out, brought it back to the dealer and she solved them. There was no charge involved, just a lot of her time. Not all dealers will be that helpful, some or even most may charge for time but all Amazon can do is, as Roger said, tell you to buy a book. Juno
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Thank you, all. I put the brakes on my purchase. I'll call around and see what's available through the local dealers. Thanks again.
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