Please can anyone recommend an entry/mid level overlocker? I"m looking at Husqvarna, Pfaff or Bernina and wondering if there is a lot of difference at the mid-price level. x

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    Apr 3, 2013, 12.38 AMby Jnettistitches

    I own both the Huskylock 910 and 936. I have used the 910 for around 10 years now. It has been worth the money. I bought the 936 for the coverstitch, which I use all the time too. I have also sewn on a top end Babylock and would recommend it if you could afford it. I started years ago on a 3 spool Singer serger.

    I used the heck out of it and sold it for almost what I paid for it. I would definately start with a 4 or 4/5 spool thread sttich machine. I was worried but the difference between the 3 spool and the 4 spool is another thread guide and needle. So if you can thread a 3 spool you can thread a 4 spool which gives you so much more.

    Buy from a store that repairs and services machines and offers classes free of charge when you purchase their machines. I love my sergers and if you sew a lot it will give your projects a professional and polished look, as well as being so much faster, it offers a great stretch stitch. Good luck and happy buying. Jnetti www.jnettistitiches.com

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    Apr 3, 2013, 03.01 PMby katensew

    I have a Bernina 4 spool for some 20+ years now and it has proved faultless – just having to replace the cutting blade. One invaluable tip is NEVER to unthread it ! I renew the colour by knotting the new colours to the old, loosening the tension and running the machine slowly until the needle threads are almos at the needles – then I cut off those two knots and thread the needles – and run the machine until all 4 new coloured threads appear ! Adjust tension back to normal.

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    Apr 3, 2013, 06.51 PMby sleepy-dumpling

    Thank you both for the advice. I’m going to a shop tomorrow for a test drive!. I managed to find somewhere that sells all of the above, it’s a bit of a trek but it will be worth it. I’d love to buy a Babylock but the only one in my price range is the 750DS Prestige. This is the very bottom of their range so I’m not sure if it’s comparable to their others. There is quite a big jump from this one to the next price level. Any thoughts?

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    Apr 3, 2013, 09.42 PMby katexxxxxx

    I wore out a Huskylock 910 in about 5 years…

    I now run a Brother 1034D, which is a 3/4 thread machine, and a Bernina 1150MDA. The brother is a good basic machine, easy to use, easy to thread, and never puts a foot wrong. The Bernina is a 2/3/4 thread machine, with impeccable manners, a beautiful stitch, and smooth as silk. Run the two side by side and you can feel and hear why the Bernina is twice the price of the Brother.

    Threading both machines is easy. I frequently do so from scratch, and it never takes more than a couple of minutes. You HAVE to unthread completely to clean between the tension disks, and it really is no bother to learn to thread them. I never see why people are so afraid to do this!

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    Apr 4, 2013, 05.31 PMby sleepy-dumpling

    Thanks Kate. In the shop today the chap advising me said that Juki is the best and that they make the overlocker for Bernina. He also said that Pfaff and Husqvarna overlockers are made by Singer and they are not very good at all. I was taken back a bit. They also recommend Juki sewing machines and say they are the best on the market even above Bernina! They did say Bernina are extremely good and have a loyal following but that the name commands the price. I’m interested to know what you think Kate as you have a lot of experience with different machines :) As far as the overlocker is concerned I will go for the Juki.

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      Apr 4, 2013, 10.47 PMby katexxxxxx

      Yes, Juki make the Bernina. I couldn’t get a Juki overlocker in my area when I bought the Bernina. My Bernina sewing machine is a 1005 – the last to be built in Switzerland, and my Husqvarna Lily sewing machine the last of the wholly Swedish built Husqvarnas… These days if I was looking for a new domestic machine, I’d be taking a long hard look at the Juki machines. They seem to have the old European build quality.

      My old Huskylock 910 got really hammered… I should have taken more care of it, and learned an expensive lesson. And I never used the memory, so when I replaced it, I was looking at the 905. The Bernina was close in price at the time, and so much quieter and smoother that there was no debate! So I got that and the Brother for the free arm for a good chunk less than the price of two 905’s. And yes, I frequently have BOTH overlockers up and running…

      As Su and I work here as professionals, and there’s neither the physical space nor the right flooring to run industrials (AND we need more flexibility in our machines than most industrials offer!), we run on a combination of a Husqvarna Lily 550 (bought 1999), a similarly aged Bernina 1005, and a Husqvarna Optima 190 (now about 30 years old!), and the two overlockers in my workshop, and another Lily 555 (same as the 550, but with ‘updated’ colour scheme, and about 5 years newer than mine) and another Bernina overlocker (previous model to the 1150MDA) in Su’s smaller workshop at her house. We mostly work here as there is more space.

      There are times when we have two sewing machines set up in different colours, plus a third for a different process (like sewing eyelets!), and both overlockers out, with one in one colour and one in another, or one set to rolled hems… We dance about between them as need be! It’s often easier and quicker than re-threading and reconfiguring all the time! :D

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    Apr 6, 2013, 08.51 PMby sleepy-dumpling

    Wow Kate! It sounds a bit manic :) I must admit I like the sound of it! I hadn’t considered the Brother but I will take a look. At this point in time I’m really learning the ropes so good and basic is ok for me. I can’t wait to be up there with all you expert sewers though. x

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      Apr 7, 2013, 07.36 PMby katexxxxxx

      It does geta leeeetle hectic at times – like when sewing nearly 40 historic garments in two and a half months, with Christmas and New year in the middle!

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