How I chose my new serger (and how it’s going)
Update: After I posted about this blog post on Instagram, the Texi marketing team reached out and thanked me for the review and asked if they could share about my post on their IG. Then, their CEO reached out and also thanked me. He left a kind note on my Instagram as well. They all left such a positive impression on me as a customer-centric company. So, kudos to them and I feel even more “joyful” about my machine.
This was really 4 months ago, I bought my second serger and I thought I’d share how it’s going!
First, I should clarify…this is actually the 1st serger I’ve bought because I won my first serger, a Babylock, in a sewing competition at the county fair back when I was 16!! Yep, I was a 4-H (Head, Heart, Hands, and Health) girl. So, while this is my 2nd serger, it’s the first one I’ve bought!
*Also, a quick note that I’m not associated in any way with the brands I mention..I paid for the serger with my hard earned cash 😀
Why a new serger?
Well, my Babylock (still running perfectly after 20+ years!) is in storage in New York! I had a trip booked for last April to get it, my Pfaff 1475, and a bunch of other things out of storage, but I’m sure you can guess that that trip was cancelled.
In the meantime, I was zigzagging all my seams or using French seams, which totally works! But I missed the speed and professional finish of a serger so I started researching what was available here on the island.
Serger trivia: The first serger was created in the late 1800’s but it wasn’t until the 1960’s that sergers became available to home sewists.
I sew on a budget, so my serger budget reflected that. My goal was to find a basic machine that would be easy to use and last many years. I found 2 brand new serger options at my dealer in the 300 euro price point.
At My Dealer
I think I’m lucky to have a local sewing machine dealer that cares. I bought my Janome from him and he was so helpful after I bought it, plus his son works with my husband (we live in a small town!) and I trust that he stands by his machines.
I explained to him that I was looking for a basic overlock for sewing clothes. I explained I didn’t need any fancy rolled hem stitches and that I’d only planned to use it to finish my interior seams with a 3 or 4 thread overlock stitch. He showed me his two base models: a Juki 644D and a Texi Joylock.
The Online Reviews
After I tried out both models in the shop, I took photos so I could remember the model numbers, went home and jumped online to research. I’d never heard of the Texi brand so I was a bit skeptical to be honest! But I looked them up and found that they support fashion sewing and offer a wide range of home machines, industrial machines and pressing equipment. They’ve been around since 2009 – not a long time but not yesterday, either! I could only find a handful of reviews on the Joylock, but all were positive.
The Juki had about 5x the reviews of the Texi, and they ranged from 5 star to 1 star. Some people really had bad experiences and it’s hard to shake those type of reviews out of the mind. Most of the negative reviews were saying that the machine broke after a few uses and having bought it through Amazon, they were having trouble getting support.
The Big Decision
This was not easy! Deciding between a newer brand with not a lot of notoriety, vs a well known brand with some mixed reviews. The Texi also comes with a 3 year manufacturer’s warranty. In the end, I know my dealer will help if something would go horribly wrong, so ultimately I couldn’t make a wrong decision.
Let’s talk about price: while they were both in the base price point, the Juki was about 80 euros more than the Texi.
Both machines were 4 thread overlockers, and had options for 2 and 3 thread overlocks and rolled hems so from an options standpoint, they were the same. They both offer the same adjustments like stitch length and width (the Texi 1mm wider than the Juki) and both have the adjustable differential feed which are basically two sets of feed dogs that control the rate your fabric feeds through the cutter and needles. You can use this adjustment to get the lettuce rolled hem. The Juki 644D was just a bit faster sewing at 1500 stitches per minute and the Texi at 1200 spm.
The Texi has a much more modern, smooth look with purple and other colors…and of course, the word Joy, as it’s part of their Joy line. Joy is such a high vibration word and I love associating it with my sewing! It also has a smiley face on the front, which as simple as it is, it makes me smile.
The Juki, while a tried and true machine, looked like they hadn’t updated the design for 10+ years and for that it was a bit…uninspiring.
I decided to go with my gut and chose the Texi Joylock! Overall, the driving force was the slightly lower price and how I feel looking at the Joylock!
How It’s Going
Having a serger again is soooo nice! My clothes will last a lot longer without fraying and they look 100% professional on the inside. So, there’s not much but positive things to say.
One of the features I love on the Joylock, that I didn’t think I would use is the thread cutter! It’s so handy. It does stick sometimes just a bit, which can be annoying. I thought maybe it would loosen up a bit with use but I think it will take a few more years of use to get it smooth! It’s not the end of the world but sometimes it takes a bit of pressure to open it. It’s a great feature though!
Threading is easy! I couldn’t believe it. I can change thread colors in a matter of minutes and I never resist changing it out. It’s a non issue! You can open up the whole lower part and there’s plenty of room to get my hands in there. I don’t even need the tweezers to get the needle threaded – just my hands. I know I struggled threading my Babylock as it was a bit complicated so this is great news.
The instruction book comes in many languages, so learning about the tension and other details is super clear. I’ve only had to adjust the tension 2 times, when sewing with silky fabrics and once with my Bleeker sweatshirt when sewing over the ruffles in the arm seams.
The suction cups on the bottom of the machine are heavy duty!! This machine is not going anywhere while I’m serging! So much that when I move the machine, I have to carefully work the suction out of the suction cups. I love that it feels so sturdy on the table.
I’ve only been using the 4 thread overlock…I haven’t even tried the rolled hem or 3 thread options yet!! I know, I know! I will at some point and report back!
Well, it’s messy no matter what brand you have. The Joylock came with a gutter type catcher which is great for the cut off seam allowance, but I can never get the inside as clean as I’d like. I use the little cleaning brush and I suppose I could use some canned air, but I feel like with the serger, unlike my regular sewing machine, the canned air just spreads the lint all over my space which makes for bigger cleaning. I’m on the lookout for a mini vacuum. Have you ever seen these?
Serging with my Texi Joylock has been a “joy” indeed and I’m glad I made the decision to try a (relatively) new to me brand! Aside from the thread cutter sticking a bit, it’s a fantastic machine!
Ps…I set up a Google reminder for 1 year from purchase to take it in for a cleaning/service.
Do you have a serger/overlocker? Which model do you have? Thinking of buying and not sure? Let me know if you have any questions below – I love talking shop!