Advanced Style, and some opinions needed.......

Hello lovelies. I need some opinions from you regarding sergers/overlockers (depending on where you are in the world) but first I wanted to share with you the fabulousness that is the documentary Advanced Style.


Advanced Style was/is firstly a street fashion blog, devoted to capturing fabulously dressed women over 60. The photographer and author of the blog, Ari Seth Cohen, has recently released a documentary starring several of his amazing regulars.

I can't tell you enough how much I enjoyed this film - it was, in a nutshell, joyfully inspiring. I'm not normally one to bandy such words around, but seeing this made my month, if not year! Ari is so respectful and protective of his 'entourage' and the ladies are indescribably marvellous. They refuse to be invisible, and have clearly changed the lives of many by inspiring them to develop and embrace their own styles as they age. It was hilarious, touching, charming, occasionally sad but never condescending. I loved it. I've just turned 36 and I hope that when I'm the age of these ladies I have just as much contentment with my age and style, and I look forward to following the blog now that I have learned about it.

I don't want to give too much away - all I can say is do try and watch it - it has limited independent release in Australia at the moment, but you can view the trailer and buy it as a download via this link.

My favourite quote - "I never wanted to look young, I wanted to look great".

My favourite lady - Ilona, the 94 year old who harvests her own red hair to make her own false eyelashes and jokes about not buying green bananas as she can't be certain how much time she has left.....

Image from Advanced Style
And now to back to me me me!
I'm sniffing around at second hand overlockers at the moment, but am getting rather overwhelmed at the variety out there in the wild. I'm going to look at a Janome Harmony 9102D on the weekend, and really just wanted to get the vibe on peoples experiences with different brands. Tell me - what have you got, what do you love about it and what do you hate? I'd honestly rather not have one than get one that's a lemon.....
Thanks in advance!

Comments

  1. I have a pfaff coverlock 4.0.

    It's an ok machine as it it mostly does the job but has the following down sides:

    The foot is so big it doesn't overlock curves very easily (I don't struggle nearly as much on the industrial machine at college)
    It is picky about what thread you use (it snaps birch thread) but gets on ok with Dor Tak
    It doesn't feed fabric brilliantly
    It doesn't use standard schmetz needles
    Not many feet Availble
    It's huge
    You are in for a fight ever time you want to use the coverstitch function

    Pro's are it's electronic and you can store tension settings in your favorites which is the one redeaming feature

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    1. Thanks Jo - this is the problem - what should be a great brand doesn't seem to be consistent across the range!

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  2. Wow that was really negative ;)

    Thanks for the film recommendation, i'll try to catch it.

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    1. Hope you can - it was playing at the Nova.

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  3. I really hope that film gets a Canberra release....
    I have a baby lock eclipse and I lurve it.

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    1. Fingers crossed! Would be a great Spoolette outing! Thanks for the Overlocker tip!

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  4. Thank you for the link ... seen the trailer and it's a definite "must see"- Charming!!!! As for the overlocker part I use a Bernina 700D - it's the most basic and has no coverstitch but I find it to be very reliable!

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    1. Thanks Sasha - I'd love a Bernina but they're a bit out of my budget.....

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  5. I Love the advanced style blog and can't wait to see the film. I've had the Brother 4234D for 4 years now, and it works great!

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    1. Thanks Sara! Hope you get to see the film soon!

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  6. I have an Elna 664Pro. Awesome machine! It has a dial thingy at the front which shows all the machine settings for the main 12 different stitches you use. That wayou don't have to pull out the manual every time you want to change settings. I've had mine for 9 months and LOVE it. I think Elna is made by Janome, so it uses Janome needles & terminology.

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    1. Thanks Rebecca! I've read a couple of Elna reviews that were a bit dodgy but I think it was a fairly cheap machine. So many models. It's overwhelming!

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  7. I need to watch that! I'm intrigued by your phrase "they refuse to be invisible".

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    1. I mean it both literally and figuratively - their outfits are often quite outlandish and attention grabbing, but they are also so vibrant and living active lives - working, modelling, teaching. I've often heard older women feel invisible and these ladies just do not allow that to be true for them! I hope you love it!

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    2. And I mean invisible to society in general, not men specifically!

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  8. I will hunt down Advanced Style. Maybe will look out for the DVD, have buckleys of getting to the movies between now and Christmas :(

    I have a Janome JL603 (I think, not in the vicinity to check) 3 thread overlocker that has not missed a beat in 27 years and thousands of sewing hours. Nothing fancy, weighs a tonne (all metal construction), does like to be serviced occasionally and does like a sharp blade. Brilliant to change thread because you can tie your new thread on and run it through. I also have a Janome machine (slightly younger at 26 years) so I'm possibly not qualified to give an objective opinion as I haven't sewn on anything else! I can just advocate for the brand.

    A couple of years go I went through a stage of thinking I needed new machines (and then looked at too many pictures of new and shiny which left me mostly confused) but my rational side pointed out that there was nothing at all wrong with the machines I had and they still did a great job. So I redirected those funds into gorgeous fabric. As you do.

    Overlockers are a very useful tool for your sewing room, good luck in the research.

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  9. I have a Janome Pro 4DX and I love it! It wasn't the cheapest serger out there, but it definitely wasn't the most expensive either. It took a little getting used to, as any serger would, but I absolutely love it! It does a 3-thread or 4-thread overlock and it also does a rolled hem. It has extra accessories you can buy, like a gathering foot and elastic foot etc. I think a serger is a great investment for any garment sewer - I know I use mine all the time.

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    1. That's great to know Heather, thank you! I'm pretty sure I'll get this one - fingers crossed I'm not disappointed!

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  10. Someone was telling me about Advanced Style just the other day; I'm looking forward to seeing it!
    I have a Baby Lock Pro Line BL4-738DF that I've had for just on 16 years and it's been wonderful. It was a bit of an investment buy even back then,but I couldn't be more happy with it. LOVE it for all knit sewing. It does 4, 3 or 2 thread overlocking, has differential feed and can (I've actually just discovered this moment as I've checked the manual...) do flatlock seams or tucks and blind hemming. Although the shop owner who sold it to me said at the time you very rarely see these for sale second hand because people never get rid of them...Good luck with your search!

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  11. Which machine did you go with in the end? How is it working for you? I'm extremely inspired by all you have done and am thankful that you post all of your wonderful pictures so we can see (as beginners as I am) what is possible to accomplish as mere humans with these machines that we have!
    I just picked up the Janome Pro 4DX Serger to compliment my Janome Juno G1218

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    1. Hi Lara, thanks so much for coming by. I ended up getting a secondhand Janome - it's been great so far.

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  12. Don't despair, as many do over sergers. So many people leave their serger in a box because they are afraid of it(it doesn't look the same as a sewing machine). I tell all of my students to sit down with the manual and go through it from cover to cover and BOND with their machine. Then do it again a month or so later. Take note of the troubleshooting tips. If the stitches are skipping your needle could be dull or you might need to switch to a heavier needle to match the fabric type or number of layers that you are serging. Always use the needles that are recommended---don't use a needle from your sewing machine in a pinch. And something that most people don't know is that you should use the same serging thread on all of the spool pins(I worked in a sewing machine sales and repair shop) because if you use poor quality serging cones or combine an assortment of different brands your stitches may not form correctly and you will think that you have tension issues, which will precipitate a trip to the repair shop, where they will charge you the going rate to clean and oil the machine, and maybe advise you to use the same thread on every spool pin.
    CLEAN your machine very regularly, both regular sewing machine and serger because the lint from thread and fabric builds up very quickly. If you have forced air heat in your home, all of the dust coming from your ducts will contribute to dirtying/clogging your machine if you don't keep it covered when not in use. Too much dust and lint can build up under a top loading bobbin case and become a small piece of felt under the bobbin case, causing that area of your machine to labor and malfunction.
    And lastly, keep your machines away from moisture (humidifiers count). We are often tempted to use our breath to blow into a machine to clear out lint and debris, but remember that our breath is moist. The metal parts can start to rust, if only a little, but it all affects the operation of the machine and longevity of the parts.
    All of this gives us something to think about---pamper your machines and HAPPY SEWING!

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