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Machine question: embroidery vs serger?

JeffTanner's picture

I want to buy my spouse a
b serger
, but how is it different from an b embroidery machine

Ginna's picture

(post #25471, reply #1 of 4)

Jeff - There is no similarity between serger and an embroidery machine. An embroidery machine sews a picture or design, for example a sports teams logo. It is not just an outline, the design is thread filled. The design can be sewn with a single color thread or with many different colored threads.

A serger, on the other hand, generally sews long straight lines like seams. It can be used to sew seams or finish edges, or do both at the same time. It can also be used to create decoration but the decoration would be based on long lines of stitches. It sews much faster than a sewing machine.

If you have a sewing machine dealer or a Sears near you go ask them for a demo. They should be able to answer most if not all of your questions. (The Sears Kenmore machines are made by Janome but are much cheaper than Janome.) HTH.

jonesie6's picture

(post #25471, reply #2 of 4)

if your wife wants to finish off the edges of knitting and polar fleece, and you don't want to spend too big of bucks, maybe you should consider a different SEWing machine, maybe to replace what she has...that has an overlock stitch built into it. The serger would do it WAAAAAAY faster, but cost more than it seems you want to spend...(I was bummed about not finding a consumer reports things either...)

You can probably trade in her sewing machine. About Embroidery machines: can of worms, ok, all of this is! Anyway, there are combo machines: Sewing and Embroidery Both!
Stand Alone Machine: Embroidery only (or sewing only)

If you found a sewing and embroidery combo machine, it would have an "overlock" stitch in it and you'd kill three to speak.

The main combos right now are quite pricey...
Viking Rose
Viking #1+ (don't forget the plus sign, it means plus embroidery)
Designer 1 (Viking)
Janome 8000 or 9000
Esante ESe2
Brother 8500
Bernina Artista 180e
Elna 7570

I may be missing a couple. BabyLock will be the cheapest, and the Viking Designer 1 the most costly.

A serger will be important if she wants to finish off all her seams all the time and really, really fast. Too much to know! HOPE this helps even a little!

jonesie6's picture

(post #25471, reply #3 of 4)

JEFF: one more thing, I think what I said wasn't too clear, above, but basically, she can OVERLOCK (finish off) the edges of her polar fleece and knitting, SEW everything else, and EMBROIDER as well, all in one machine if she had a combination machine.

So, a serger is only important if she wanted to overlock and CUT the edges of EVERYTHING ALL the time very fast.

A sewing machine won't cut (serge) the edges unless a special attachment is purchased and I haven't heard if they even work well.

I agree with other comments that she should take classes before you buy either! They cost a lot and are very personal...that sounds funny, but every sewist/sewer uses their tools uniquely! Happy Christ Mas

By the Way: a Viking Rose (600) is a decent machine too.

If you want to see what used items are going for look up the website:


A.J.'s picture

(post #25471, reply #4 of 4)

I am thinking about buying an Elna AE Carina from a friend. She said, that she replaced the pneumatic foot control, because it was a weak point in design.
I heard, that the original pneumatic foot control was excellent. Any thoughts on this? Thanx, A.J.