Happy Birthday Brother 1034D Serger!
As I am spring-cleaning my sewing area in a very microscopic corner of my small dwelling, I was moving around my serger to work on a project for this weekend and noticed that I kept an Amazon.com bill attached to my serger’s manual. Today, April 10 2015…What a coincidence! …I purchased this Serger on April 10th of 2008, so today it is my Brother 1034D’s 7th Anniversary!
Seven years ago, after reading reviews over the internet, I chose the Brother 1034D model. Back then in 2008, when I purchased it, I had no idea how to use it. I was just starting to play with my vintage Singer 401 sewing machine and I wanted to add a serger to work with stretchy fabrics. However, it was when I discover Craftsy that I really started using my serger and I am very pleased with it. I have serviced my serger a year ago, and I am about to schedule another service to keep it in good shape for this coming summer. So far, I have not had any issues with the machine.
What you get with your Brother 1034D serger:
- Instruction Manual
- Serger techniques booklet with details on types of stitch and settings to work with your serger
- DVD with instructions on how to thread your serger and how to use specialty feet
- A pair of tweezers to help you pull the thread through the eye of the needles
- 4 small spools of thread color red, blue, green and yellow so you can practice threading your serger
- 4 small spool holders that look like white wheels. I use more cone thread so I have never used them
- 4 thread nets to prevent threads from pooling and getting caught
- One foot that is attached to your serger: This is the multipurpose foot that you will be using more often
- A blind hem foot which is the same one that you will use to do rolled hems (you can also use your regular foot for this)
- A gathering foot that you can use to make ruffles, shirring fabric, or gather and sew in one step
- A small wrench to unscrew and remove needles
- A small plastic brush to clean lint from your serger (I use a thick make up brush and it works much better than this one)
- One set of universal Schmetz needles: This serger loves universal needles. Whenever I tried using stretch or jersey needles, I have issues
Helpful to have:
- Threading gadgets and a good quality brush to clean your serger. Floss threaders and a thick make up brush will be your best friends! The bristles go gently yet they are very effective in removing fine lint that collects as you serge. You will use this brush a lot!
Stitches that your Brother 1034D serger does:
- Overlock with 4 threads
- Overlock with three threads
- Rolled Hem
- Narrow hem
- Blind hem
- Flatlock (ladder stitch)
- Decorative stitches with exposed seams. You should use high quality threads and you must reduce the tensions in the upper and lower loopers.
Stitches that your Brother 1034D won’t do:
- This model does not do two thread overlock, which other high end models do with a two thread converter, a small device that fits into the eye of the upper loper. Bernina sergers offer this. I don’t really need this particular type for garment construction. So I can totally live without this feature.
- This model does not do coverstitch, or chain stitch. You need a coverstitch machine or a combo overlock/coverstitch machine. You know a machine is a coverstitch combo when you see that it supports 5 to 8 threads. I personally prefer to have one machine for serging and another for coverstitching. That is why I purchased my Janome Coverpro Cpx1000.
What I like the best:
- I love the way this serger finishes the edges, it makes your garments look very professional. I use my serger for garment construction and I use stretchy knit fabrics very often. I am very pleased with the results and the look
- The machine behaves very well with textured threads (wooly nylon threads) in the upper and lower loopers. You can achieve very strong seams that stay flat. So far I have used my serger with jersey knit and fleece fabric, and it performs beautifully without hiccups
- I love the look of the rolled hem and it pays off to work with high quality decorative threads (I like the Superior brand)
- Gathering with your serger saves you so much time!
- The blind hem works great with fleece fabric. Play with your foot and pieces of fabric until you get a perfect blind hem
My recommendations for a smooth experience:
- When you purchase this serger, if you still receive an old dvd, if you feel overwhelmed watching it and understanding threading, don’t worry. There are many users of Brother 1034D that have great detailed tutorials on threading it. Watch these Youtube playlist I have gathered for you to learn how to thread your serger. These are what I consider, the most helpful videos to help you get started. I am saving you time so you can go for it and take that serger out of the box.
- Threading your serger requires following a specific order. You must always begin by threading the upper looper, then the lower looper, then right needle and left needle. It is important that you follow this order. The lower looper sometimes if you are working with fuzzy threads, it can be tricky to get the thread to catch a particular notch.
- Purchase a beginner’s serger class to start playing with your serger. Even if you don’t own a serger yet, I recommend you take this Craftsy class: Beginner Serging” with Amy Alan. The level of detail is very helpful no matter what kind of serger you have and the class is really well organized.
- When taking the class, take the time to print out the workbook pages and prepare your workbook binder. Here you will document settings and staple the samples with your best stitches. You need to begin with this workbook until you build confidence and get a better feel for what settings your serger performs at its best. You will be grateful when you see that you can save a lot of time and grief keeping your workbook handy!
What I really wished this Serger have:
- Built-in needle threaders and air threading… maybe I am asking too much because it seems that you have to pay a lot, lot more to get this feature!
- I don’t have any issues threading my serger at all and the serger really does all of the above mentioned stitches and it works like a charm. Is just a fact that I am getting older and more nearsighted so threading needles is becoming a pain lately.
So here is my reviews for this awesome serger, solid machine for a great value. So I hope you get your machine out and get serging!