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Overlocker recommendations?

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Overlocker recommendations?
Post By JVCA. 14/02/10, 05:14 am

So I'm vaguely considering getting an overlocker (preferably one that's second hand, as if it's cheap enough my folks might get one for me for my birthday) and I'm wondering what kind of things should I be looking for? I've been told by a friend of my mum's that Berninas are good, and that I should get one with automatic threading (which sounds like a fanTASTIC idea from what I've seen of Aurellion trying to thread hers. D: ), but I'm still a little bit lost... Anyone got any recommendations/warnings for me? nodnod
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Re: Overlocker recommendations?
Post By Paul. 14/02/10, 06:51 am

I don't have any experience with them but from what I have seen they go for about $100 on Trademe.
Sometimes the only reason for selling is because the owner can't remember how to thread it or it is not used often.
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Re: Overlocker recommendations?
Post By neimhaille. 14/02/10, 07:14 am

If you have the money there are some that do everything and more and have adjustable width and lengths so you can pretty much hem everything ;) And can be used for topstitching even when the blades get taken out. *Sigh* But then I just learnt how to do things the old fashioned way (1000 years old in some cases) and adapt ;)

If you want something to just tidy edges and possibly work with crazy materials and not worry about breaking things get thee to the Trade and Exchange, trademe or thrift stores. I got a three thread overlocker for $50 and I have used it on sheers and pleather and even beaded fabric (lost a lot of needles but they are easy to replace). It's an 80s Janome and I highly recommend early models for tough jobs. My 1960 Husqvarna goes through leather as if it were butter. I can oil it as well thus care is my responsibility and I generally don't need to send it away to be fixed ;)

I do have a love of industrial overlockers. Lightning Bug as my monstrosity is called oh so affectionatley*) means I can sew a few bodysuits in a day as opposed to one over a few days with a sewing machine.

*the less affectionate names I reserve for the designers who made it a difficult task to replace needles and rethread... and to the random spool that twists the wrong way and snaps.....



So I guess to sum up for everyone: decide what you really need, what you would like and compromise somewhere in the middle :) An industrial machine can usually be got cheaply but they take up space and require a van at least to shift from one house to another.
Super machines that do all the work for you means you gets things done quickly but often miss out on the satisfaction of doing the work and tend to be harder to fix. I would love one myself though ;)
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Re: Overlocker recommendations?
Post By JVCA. 15/02/10, 05:58 am

Thank you for the very informative post. Very Happy I've been looking through trademe, and you're right in that there are some cheap industrial ones on there. Unfortunately I don't have the space or the courage to go for an industrial one just yet (my first overlocker! D: )

Half of the problem I'm finding when looking at trademe machines is that they provide a model number, but because the machine is so old I can't find any info about the machine online... I've found a couple within my price range - any particular commentary about any of these?

Bernette 234 [link] or [link] (First one is cheap but no instructions - second one seller is looking for more than $150 according to the Q&A so is maybe not worth it?)
Janome 434 [link] (From the sounds of the Q&A it has an instruction book. Pricey, but leaning towards this as a second choice?)
Bernette 334D [link] (Kinda pricey, but still in bday present price range - I'm leaning towards this one the most. Hasn't reached it's reserve yet though...)
Janome JL 603 [link] (Doesn't have a manual with it, and seller doesn't know when it was last serviced...)
Acme??? [link] (I'm a bit wary of this one - unknown brand)
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Last edited by JVCA on 15/02/10, 06:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Overlocker recommendations?
Post By jpwise. 15/02/10, 06:06 am

Bernette 234 - Instruction Manual

http://www.berninausa.com/webautor-data/486/Bernette_Serger_234_manual.zip
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Re: Overlocker recommendations?
Post By Anaria Zar-Rel. 01/03/10, 01:23 pm

Some of them can be a real headache to thread - my first one was a cheap 'Cascade' one, did my head in! I now have an Elna 654, which I love (I find it really easy to thread too) - but strangely Spotlight put the price up recently, so it's more expensive now then when I bought it...
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Re: Overlocker recommendations?
Post By JVCA. 01/03/10, 02:00 pm

I ended up getting a Babylock one in the end. Very Happy I'm still yet to play with it (still patterning, hahah), but it appears to be good and we got it from a machine serviceman who put a good warranty on it too - hoorah! Very Happy (This one certainly looks kind of terrifying to thread - I think I might take some photos of the threading so I have visual reference when I need to rethread it...)
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Re: Overlocker recommendations?
Post By sakuramiyabi. 01/03/10, 02:08 pm

Threading an overlocker for the first time might be daunting but once you get the hang of it it's really easy.

Currently using my friend's one indefinitely (since he never uses it) its a GLobe M-34 and its the same one Tammy's mum bought.

Works like a charm when I have the tension set right. Overlockers are <3.
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Re: Overlocker recommendations?
Post By neimhaille. 04/03/10, 09:18 am

Unless you have a machine made back when men did the making and testing... ;) Seriously I need to do a video of the marvels of my machine.
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Re: Overlocker recommendations?
Post By RJayne. 04/03/10, 12:14 pm

I've found that, unless you need to be very specific on colour, you don't need to keep re-threading an overlocker.
Just use black on dark colours and white on light colours.
If you're getting low in your spool of thread, there's a really easy way to avoid re-threading:
Just take the end of the old thread and the start of the new one and TIE THEM TOGETHER.
Works like magic, and is completely unnoticeable!
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Re: Overlocker recommendations?
Post By JVCA. 04/03/10, 02:57 pm

Yeah, I've been told about the tying the ends together trick. Very Happy My main concern is of it accidentally coming unthreaded, though. D: And yeah, I don't think I'll bother going beyond black and white as colours. I was lucky in that my machine came threaded - unfortunately it came threaded in black, and my current project is white, so I need to source some white thread, hahah. TradeMe, here I come!
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