I made 2 of those sleep sacks for my little girls and they have (as kids do) grown out of them. So before they get passed on to the next babies who need them, I thought I would give the huge benefits of a serger another plug! I simply could not even dream of managing without my serger. It is so much faster than a sewing machine and cuts the fabric edge for me at the same time as neatening & finishing the seam edge(s).
Now, of course, that is not all a 4 or 5 thread serger will do but it sure forms a huge part of why I just about beat someone’s door down to buy my first serger (used) way back before 1990. I had decided it was exactly what I had to have for neatening the seams of my 2 young children’s clothing: I made a lot for them from PJ’s to sweat shirts & t shirts to dresses & pants. I also made a lot of home décor like drapes & duvet covers etc. I was getting so frustrated because seams would often unravel & pop open because (1) the seams were not strong enough and (2) the zig-zag I was using to neaten the seams often didn’t work so good after multiple trips through the laundry.
I also realized that sewing knit fabrics like I was doing for t-shirts, sweat pants etc was really not that successful when sewed purely on a sewing machine. Seams pop when the knit fabric stretches. I virtually never sew a straight stitch seam on a knit fabric using my sewing machine as I know I am going to have to repair little “popped” holes on seams. I am so not into that kind of time wasting. I hate mending anyway…..so I like to do it right first time around by using my 2 sergers for probably 80-90% of all my knit fabric garment sewing. Yes, there are stretch stitches on a regular sewing machine and they work well. However, the serger has the distinct advantage of cutting the excess fabric and all fuzzies off as you neaten the seam. Brilliant! Honestly, if I did not have my 2 sergers, I highly doubt I would ever sew knit fabric clothing…way too much fuss and bother.
So my first serger was a very basic 4 thread serger which did not even have differential feed (yes, I knew very little back then!). I have had other sergers since that & currently own a 5 thread computerized Elna serger which is incredible.
I love it. This model is no longer a current model but I am so glad I bought it before they were discontinued. The closest model to this would probably be the Janome 1200D although the 1200D does more than the Elna 945 as it also has the top cover hem feature.
I also have the Janome 1000CPX which I use for all my hems & neck, sleeve edgings etc. Again, because I am sewing so much with knit fabric, it really pays to have tools which will do the job quickly, professionally and efficiently.
These fleece/minkee sleep sacks were made super quickly (maybe an hour – hour & half each?) due to the benefits of my serger.
I do want to point out that not everything on these sleep sacks was made on my serger…..I do also use my JANOME sewing machine for certain things such as the zipper insertion on the front of these sleep sacks. I did a simple zipper insertion where I laid the zipper face up on top of the fabric & sewed it down……maybe I will share more in another blog post about this fun zipper technique. Bottom line is: A serger does not replace a sewing machine but it sure is one heck of an addition to the sewing room!