Monday, November 10, 2008

Craigslist Has Given Me The Urge To Serge

I've always wanted a serger. There are so many sewing projects that can be enhanced by the beautifully finished seams & edges a serger can create. What I really love is that most sergers can cut away fabric as they sew. This is an absolute must for reconstructing garments. Unfortunately, sergers cost - A Lot! Even older or vintage ones are hard to come by, but if you do find them they usually have no manual and no threading diagram (sergers require pretty complex threading for operation).

Well, after scouring Craigslist waiting for ads to jump out at me something did, a listing for a Singer 14 series serger in the NJ listings (my State) - But get this, the cost? $50! "That HAS to be wrong," was my first thought. Or, its missing something, or broken or cross posted from some state somewhere clear across the country. What the heck, I decided to email the poster and leave my phone number as they requested. Within 20 mins I got a call back - the serger was working (although the poster hasn't attempted to use it) and is located about an hour away from me. The downside, no manual and no accessories. No worries. I ordered a $5 downloadable manual from so I had all the info I needed to thread and use the serger - assuming it really worked.

What I found when I arrived, the serger was in like-new condition! It couldn't have been used more than once or twice. Even the foot pedal was like new. Still, I was a bit leary about whether it worked or not and the seller was very hesitant to confirm that it did. However, when I got home I read the manual and found that the front plate of the serger is actually a door that opens to show the threading guide! I followed the instructions and thread all 4 threads, oiled the oiling points, adjusted the tension and stick in a fabric scrap... bada-bing-bada-boom - it sews! Beautifully, I might add. Here's what I think: Seller purchased serger; seller couldn't thread serger; seller posts serger on Craigslist for cheap; buyer (me) buys serger and finds out how to thread it and tells her readers all about her great buy; readers think, "dayum she's good!"

1 comment:

Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said...

Ha, good buy! Now I've just inherited a vintage serger (they call them 'overlockers' here) which I remember my mother using many many years ago. It's going to take some cleaning up and repositioning on a suitable table (she used it, as I recall, with the drive belt from a treadle sewing machine - no electrics back then) but I want to get it working because I remember how very very useful she found it. I still have handkerchiefs overlocked at the edges, and old machine-knit sweaters with seams overlocked. Wish me some of the luck you had!
And thanks for the link to an online source for advice even if I'm unlikely to find the manual for this particular one.

What's the betting there's a Ravelry group for serger-users?