Remember when I said the people at sewing stores will try and convince you of the fancy self threading machines that cost a fortune?! Well somehow I got suckered into that for my second machine! I shouldn't say it cost a fortune...they tried to get me to buy the super fancy baby lock Diana which is a cover hem and serger all in one...that baby is priced at well over $3,000.00! I wasn't about to spend that much so I went with a refurbished Baby Lock Imagine which if I'm remembering correctly cost me about $900.00 (new probably costs about 2,000 at least). They totally sold me on the whole self threading thing and the fact that you can easily switch from a rolled hem to an overlock etc...
Was it worth it? Yes and no. The self threading is pretty great...but it's only for the upper and lower loopers...but it's not like it's automatic...it still takes a few minutes to rethread the whole thing. But threading those upper and lower loopers quickly with the press of a button (once you get it set up for that) makes a difference. And switching from one function to another is pretty quick but still involves a few steps. And overall this is a well working machine...I haven't had any trouble with it...it's got a great manual and is pretty easy to figure out. I've been very happy with how this machine works.
But again...I sew a lot....and when I'm sewing up to 6 or 7 dresses in one day it really doesn't matter if I have one machine that does it all because in the end, it still takes an extra 5-10 minutes to switch out thread, switch to a different function etc...And if you have to do that once or twice per dress and I'm sewing 7 dresses in a day...well there's at least an hour of my time wasted. So really the best set up for me is to have one machine that performs your average sewing tasks, a serger that I use for seams and a serger that I have set for a rolled hem for my hems and sleeve finishings. I literally just roll my wheely chair from machine to machine when I need a different function instead of stopping everything, swtiching thread, unscrewing plates to switch a setting, etc...only to have to do that again in 5 minutes when I need a different function. So in the end I just keep this set at a rolled hem and use it for that...so I could have gone with a less expensive model. But again I do really like it and I figure if the other serger ever goes south or needs repairs, I have this great one that can do both my rolled hems and my seams. And because it's already refurbished once, trying to resell and get a less expensive machine would probably just be a wash.
So that is the system that works for me. But I sew professionally for a living and like I said, I sew a lot. If you just sew the occasional project that you need a serger for and you have the money to spend than it may be worth getting the imagine. Likewise, if you sew occasional projects and want a serger but don't want to spend a ton of money than I think the Janome is great option as well.
Next up...the Coverstich machine: