If you’ve never heard of a serger before, you’re not alone.
I’ll start by saying it’s a type of sewing machine but doesn’t work the same as the sewing machines we’d normally picture.
The difference between a serger and a normal sewing machine is that a serger is way faster, cuts the fabric as it serges, and depending on the serger, it uses 2-4 threads, 3-4 threads, or 5 threads. The extra threads used in a serger give your projects wider seams, allow for more stretch in your fabric, and will give you more strength and durability in your finished product.
People like to use sergers because they do several things at the same time (sewing, cutting raw edges, and overcasting, aka stitching over an unfinished edge to prevent fraying), and they make their homemade clothes look as if they’d been professionally made and purchased at the store (kind of like a work smarter not harder mentality).
They also take away the nuisance of seam allowances by wrapping around and enclosing the raw edge with multiple threads instead of leaving that extra flap of fabric unfinished on the inside.
Sergers are most commonly used for making homemade clothing (especially children’s clothing), hemming pants, or finishing off edges in general. But they aren’t good for everything though.
A regular sewing machine works far better for things like buttonholes, quilting, embroidery, zippers, top stitching, and sewing in reverse.
That being said, a serger won’t adequately replace a sewing machine.
Sergers are definitely superior when it comes to stretchy or knit fabrics though – the way a serger uses multiple threads allows for more give in stretchy fabrics so they stay together longer. You can still use woven or non-stretchy fabrics with a serger. However, you’ll just have to do the majority of the construction on a sewing machine and just turn to the serger to refine the edges of the seam allowance.
There are different types of sergers that use a different number of threads. A 2-4 thread serger works with 2 threads on the straight stitch and 2 on the overcast. The 3-4 thread serger is the most common and works by rolling the fabric’s edge underneath itself and locking it in with either 3 or 4 threads. A 4-thread will make it more durable, while a 3-thread will give it more stretch. A 5-thread serger uses 3 threads on the overcast stitch and 2 on the straight seam.
The 8 Different Babylock Serger
Babylock offers several different sergers in various price ranges for different purposes. To buy one you need to use their location finder on the top right of their website and visit (or call) a physical retailer near you – you can’t buy them online.
Because of this, the prices vary based on location and special promotions. Babylock provides a vague price scaling chart for its products.
Here are the summaries of Babylock’s sergers so you can see which ones, if any, you’re interested in (note, they all have selections of optional presser feet you can add):
1. Cover Stitch
While not exactly a serger itself, the Cover Stitch is meant as a complementary accessory to a four-thread serger. The notable features of the Babylock Cover Stitch are its vertical needle penetration, Jet-Air Threading, and full-featured differential feed.
Having a vertical needle instead of a slanted one protects your fabric and prevents your needle from deflecting while your machine makes triple, wide, or narrow cover stitches for your projects.
Jet-Air Threading is a godsend of a feature that lets you thread your machine by just pushing a lever. The single unit differential feed dog mechanism makes for stronger fabric feeding and more consistent fabric-gathering.
The Cover Stitch moves at 1,300 stitches per minute. It can chain stitch with the needle left, right, or center. It also has a built-in light, a multi-purpose presser foot, and a color-coded tension system.
The Lauren is the most beginner-friendly, practical, and straightforward of Babylock’s sergers. With options for 2, 3, or 4 thread serging, the Lauren is professional, manageable, and reliable (making it both the simplest and the cheapest of Babylock’s machines).
The Lauren features a differential feed to adjust the fullness of the fabric through one-step gathering or stretching. It has a free arm for easy maneuverability to tough project spots like cuffs and sleeves, a lay-in tension system, easy color-coded threading, and an electric foot control.
It also features a snap-on multi-purpose presser foot with pressure adjustment, and a built-in light. It can perform a narrow rolled hem, flatlock decorative stitching, blind hemming, 4-thread, and 3-thread narrow or wide seaming.
The next-step serger for fast learners or those with a little experience under their belt is Babylock’s Diana. The Diana offers more features and possibilities than the Lauren while still being just as easy to use.
The Diana can serge with 2, 3, 4, or 5 threads, perform flatlock and rolled hem stitch functions. Its chain/cover stitch functions include a single, double, and triple cover stitch with overlock functions to seam and close off the edges.
It also has a differential feed, easy color-coded tension threading system, a built-in light, and a trim bin to catch your serger scraps.
4. Eclipse DX
The Eclipse DX is a bit faster, easier to thread, and offers a bit more customization than the Diana. It has Jet-Air Threading to thread the machine with a simple lever push and a full-featured differential feed for stronger feeding and more consistent gathering via a single unit feed dog.
It also features vertical needle penetration, and built-in light, ribbon/tape guide, and needle-threader – no more struggle with poor eyesight and the needle’s eye.
Other features include a speed of 1,500 stitches per minute, a fabric support system to keep stitches balanced no matter the fabric, speed, or stitch type. It has a manual twin cam tension system so you can adjust your thread tension to perfection, and 4, 3, or 2-thread rolled hemming or flatlock stitch options.
While the previous models also have dial-adjustable stitch length and width, the Eclipse DX and following models go a step further and have a rolled hem dial as well for a nice finish.
Babylock’s most popular serger Imagine has Jet-Air Threading through tubular loopers so thread stays tangle-free. It has a built-in needle threader and Automatic Thread Delivery so all you have to do is set the type of stitch you want and you’ll get a balance serge through any fabric.
Running at a max of 1,500 stitches per minute, Imagine has a full-featured differential feed. It has a multi-purpose presser foot with pressure and electric control (as in the previous models), and it offers various overlock, flatlock, and rolled hem functions. This device also boasts a heavy-duty cutting system so thick fabrics won’t cause any problem.
No need to worry about complicated threading with Babylock’s Enlighten, both it and the following Evolution has ExtraordinAir Threading. It’s a convenient button that, once pressed, will use a burst of air to thread your loopers all at once.
It also has Automatic Thread Delivery and a built-in needle threader. It’ll serge with 4, 3, or 2 threads that will complete 1,500 stitches per minute. It has the full-featured differential feed and has great overlock, flatlock, and rolled hem stitch functions.
Additional Enlighten serger functions include a heavy-duty cutting system, an advanced knife system, better lighting with 3 LEDs, and the exclusive Wave Stitch for further creative potential.
The Evolution takes the Enlighten up another level to include 8-thread, 7-thread, and 6-thread serging (going all the way down to 2-thread) – all easily threaded with one push and a gust of air through ExtraordinAir.
The Evolution has the ability to produce a cover hem itself instead of relying on a separate cover hem machine.
The Evolution offers the standard overlock, flatlock, rolled hem, and wave stitch options with the addition of the reverse wave stitch, and chain/cover stitch functions for single, twin, and triple cover stitching.
It also has the full-featured differential feed, LED lighting, Automatic Thread Delivery, adjustable dials for length, width, and rolled hem, heavy-duty cutting system, 1,500 stitches per minute, and full-color threading chart.
The newest, most feature-filled, and most expensive of the Babylock sergers is the Triumph. Babylock keeps finding ways to make threading easier, as shown with RevolutionAir Threading – press the button once and you’ll thread the loopers, press it a second time and you’ll thread the needles.
The numerous and stunning features of the luxury Triumph serger don’t come cheap.
It has plenty of room for larger projects with 5 inches of throat space to the right of the needle. It has all the stitch options of previous machines (overlock, flatlock, rolled hem, chain/cover) and the wave stitch got a thread delivery unit for more even and balanced stitching.
With the Triumph, you can go from a 2-thread serge to an 8-thread serge. It also allows you to use thick fabrics with the heavy-duty cutting and knife system. It lets you adjust the presser foot height and pressure easily with the knee lift lever and the lever on the front of the machine.
The More You Know
A serger is a useful machine to add to your inventory of craft and sewing equipment.
But it’s really no replacement for a regular sewing machine – a serger’s more like an incredibly helpful bonus tool.
Babylock is well-known for making some of the best sergers. Now you can decide if you want one of theirs, which one you want, and which would best suit your purposes.