I know. You’re a quilter. Or maybe you enjoy machine embroidery. You don’t need a serger to have a happy life.
But I’m here to tell you that you can use it in many useful ways, even if you think you won’t. If you never want to have one, that’s OK. But let me try to persuade you just a little.
Why You (Might) Need a Serger:
- To make quilt backs. I use my serger all the time for this simple reason. It is the fastest machine to do a very straight and very sturdy stitch on long pieces of fabric. Afterward, I just iron the serged edge to one side. This is especially helpful when the back of the quilt is rather scrappy and I am assembling multiple pieces. Just keep your edges straight, and off you go. Easy peasy.
- To make duvet covers. You may or may not want to do this, but I use a nice comforter on my bed that needs a duvet. I always make my own, never purchase one. I piece them together just like quilt backs. Usually I have one print on one side and another print on the other, so when I flip the comforter I get a contrasting, yet coordinating look.
- Curtains and valances. This is the very best way to make things for the home. I have different valances for different seasons in my kitchen. They get lots of washing and re-hanging over the course of the years. They have to be able to withstand all of that and a serger keeps the raw edges from unraveling. Of course, the edges that you will see are turned under but seams and ruffles really last with a serger.
- Pillow cases. I use the easiest pattern for pillow cases ever (not the burrito style–google it if you don’t know about that.) The Ready Set Serge is great for simple serger ideas and I have used a number of her patterns over and over and over again.
- Garments. This one is a no-brainer, but if you’ve never sewn garments, it may not be obvious to you. It’s the best way to give your sewing a finished look without elaborate things like french seams or other couture techniques. This is the tool for quilters who occasionally sew a garment.
- Knits and any stretchy fabric. Sergers were designed for this. They can pound through sweatshirt fabric like nothing else. Leggings? Bathing suits? Stretchy fabric for a skirt? All perfect on a serger.
- Simple bags. With the onset of the “bring-your-own-bag” movement, I have often found myself using leftover fabric (sometimes not-so-leftover fabric) as grocery bags, farmer’s market bags and carry-alls. I prefer cloth bags to anything else because I can throw them in the washing machine…and often do. The finished serged edges keep them from fraying and they withstand wash after wash.
I hope this persuades you to think again about a serger. I know that for folks who do more garment sewing than I, the serger is priceless. But even as someone who is mostly a quilter and machine embroiderer, I find that the serger is the perfect complement to my sewing.
And here’s the thing. Once you have one, and learn to use it, you won’t know how you ever did without.