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REVIEW : BROTHER 1034D SERGER

May 9, 2012

I bought my serger from Amazon about a month ago and so I thought that it was about time that I gave a formal review of it in case any of you are looking to invest in one too.

The Good :   I can’t believe what a great deal this is. I was pretty skeptical because it was so cheap, but it had so many other great reviews so I thought I would give it a try.  I sew a lot and so have probably already made 5 garments with it and it has been great.  No tension problems (my biggest fear).  I havn’t tried a lot of the extras yet, but am planning on doing some posts soon as I explore those.  I couldn’t recommend this machine enough, especially for a first serger.  I am sure that eventually I may want something more fancy and sturdy, but for the time being this is all that I can afford and so I am so happy that I can have a machine that does the job for the time being.

The Bad : I will say that I can feel a big difference in sturdiness between this and my Bernina sewing machine.  I doubt that it has many metal parts – mostly plastic – which will not last as long.  It’s pretty loud and shakes a lot.  My husband does not love it when I serg while he is trying to watch TV.  My biggest complaint is that it is not easily portable.  It has a dinky handle on the back and so every time I end up moving it I end up unthreading it or having pieces fall off.  I live in an apartment and don’t have room for a designated sewing area so I end up moving it from the kitchen table to the closet constantly. Any suggestions?

Conclusion : Overall I would say that this is a great machine for the money you pay.  I doubt this will be my last serger, but I hope it will at least last me for 5 years and at the price I feel like that is a steal.  It has changed the way I sew to have a serger.  If I had waited to afford an expensive serger I would have had to wait for at least another couple of years so I would say that I am very happy with the purchase.

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35 Comments

  • Reply beth lehman May 9, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    glad to see your review! i don’t think i can justify it yet….

  • Reply Sue May 9, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    thanks for sharing the review! I’ve had this serger in my amazon shopping cart for months and have found myself becoming increasingly jealous of all the blogs it’s been popping up on lately! your glowing review makes me feel that much closer (and justified!) to pulling the trigger and buying the darn thing!

  • Reply gingermakes May 9, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Thanks for reviewing! I JUST bought the same serger– I’m so happy with it! Ditto with the hubs/TV situation, though– I can get away with using my Janome sewing machine while he’s watching something, but the serger… not so much. I can live with that, though! I couldn’t believe how great of a deal this little machine is!

  • Reply Gillian May 9, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    I have the same one! I’ve had it for about a month, and it’s been really reliable so far. I’m really happy with it! For moving it around, would it help if it lives on a non-stick tray so that you could just pick up the tray and carry it?

  • Reply Vanessa May 9, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Your review is right on! I have had my serger for almost two years now, and I use it quite frequently without any problems. I move it around, but no issues with unthreading as you have stated. I also have not noticed any shaking with my machine. The suction cups on the bottom hold pretty firm to my sewing table, though maybe I will pay more attention next time I serge to see if I wasn’t aware of it. Yes, it is on the noisy side, but it has also changed the way the sew tremendously–I don’t remember what I did without it!!

  • Reply Rae Veda May 9, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    I bought the same one! I love it so much. It works great for knits. It is quite loud though! xo, rv

    http://aneclecticheap.blogspot.com/

  • Reply Rae Veda May 9, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    What sewing machine do you use?

    • Reply Kelli Ward May 10, 2012 at 8:00 AM

      Rae Veda – I have the Bernina Activa 220 as my sewing machine and I love it. It was a splurge but I use it all of the time and it is solid.

  • Reply sallie oleta barbee May 10, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    I know what you mean about the plastic-y parts and the noise! We live in a loft style apartment so there is no retreating from the loud chomping of my little brother 1034D! I also have to move my serger back and forth when I’m not using it – I never use the little handle on the back because it disrupts the thread – I just lift it up from the bottom.

  • Reply Darsana May 10, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    I’m with you on apartment living–mine is constantly circling from diningtable-to-top-of-bookshelf, but I’ve never had it unthread. Maybe make sure you push down that telescoping thread-thing (real name has escaped me) before lifting? Also, I recently purchased a thick rubber mat that helps some to minimize the vibrations/noise of the 1034D.

  • Reply Christine May 11, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Thanks for the review! I have been eyeing this machine as a first serger and it’s been recommended to me a few times. How was the setup? Were the instructions provided pretty clear? I’ve never used a serger so don’t really know where to start in that respect.

    • Reply Kelli Ward May 11, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      The set up was pretty good. They have some outdated but helpful videos that come with it and the instruction manual was nice. It took me a few times threading it to get it right, but it’s really easy now. I think you would do just fine.

  • Reply Stephanie May 14, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Great review! I have an entry-level Singer that my MIL gave me years ago that works surprisingly well. I think my next machine will be a coverstitch THEN I’ll upgrade my serger (or maybe get a two-in-one?).

    I have a Bernina Activa, too! I worked for a dealer for a while and couldn’t resist getting one. They are such great machines.

  • Reply Helens Sewing Adventures May 16, 2012 at 4:04 AM

    Thanks for reviewing – I actually bought myself this machine last week (still waiting for the delivery) so it’s interesting to hear other people’s opinions about it.

  • Reply pupuknasa July 13, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    For detail you can visit http://www.brother1034dserger.net

  • Reply Debbie Forrester March 21, 2013 at 6:41 AM

    I bought this machine just 2 weeks ago and it stayed unused until yesterday. I played with it a little and used the video to learn how to thread it and then it stopped working. Brother support suggested all the same solutions like “plug it in”etc which it was because the light was on , duh! Anyway, their sugestion was to take it to a service center. They didn’t offer to replace a part before I have to drive over 15 miles away to get it repaired. I’m not happy about the lack of customer support since I’ve had the machine such a short amount of time.

    • Reply Kelli Ward March 21, 2013 at 9:25 AM

      debbie that is horrible! i use mine a lot and it’s still going strong. sounds like you got a real lemon. i really wish that brother was giving you better support.

  • Reply Charlotte Ikerd April 6, 2013 at 3:37 AM

    Thanks.. I just ordered it from Amazon! I’m in the wedding planning and event business and I need an economical way to make table runners. I think serging the edges might work great. We’ll see! 🙂

    • Reply Anonymous September 11, 2013 at 5:24 AM

      Charlotte, for table runners you can also try a narrow hem foot on a sewing machine, that saves you thread and gives a more formal finish, fast and cheap. By now you can tell how it went with the serger which also sounds a great idea!

    • Reply Faith June 26, 2016 at 3:24 PM

      I’m just wondering if you are still happy with this Brother 1034d machine. I’m trying to decide what to order after my BabyLock died.

  • Reply Moonhowlingirl July 16, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    I’ve had this serger for 6 months and haven’t used it heavily but it’s already falling apart on me. So, so frustrating. The lower looper came loose and knocked the upper looper out of alignment. When I looked closely, a screw had come loose and that was the cause. Not really built to last which is disappointing. I called several service centers and have been told this is a common problem with this machine. Ugh. I’m still under warranty so hopefully getting it fixed will be a painless process but I now have little faith in it’s longevity. I just want to put my experience out there because I do believe now that you get what you pay for. I wouldn’t repurchase a brother serger or recommend one either.

  • Reply Moonhowlingirl July 16, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    I’ve had this serger for 6 months and haven’t used it heavily but it’s already falling apart on me. So, so frustrating. The lower looper came loose and knocked the upper looper out of alignment. When I looked closely, a screw had come loose and that was the cause. Not really built to last which is disappointing. I called several service centers and have been told this is a common problem with this machine. Ugh. I’m still under warranty so hopefully getting it fixed will be a painless process but I now have little faith in it’s longevity. I just want to put my experience out there because I do believe now that you get what you pay for. I wouldn’t repurchase a brother serger or recommend one either.

  • Reply tettie July 21, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    I am looking for a machine that will handle nylon/spandex, stetchy slippery fabric and give a nice even smooth finish. Will this machine do the trick?

    • Reply tettie July 21, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      without the fabric slipping all over the place…

  • Reply tettie July 21, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    I am looking for a machine that will handle nylon/spandex, stetchy slippery fabric and give a nice even smooth finish. Will this machine do the trick?

  • Reply Sharon Parsons November 10, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    This was very helpful. I have had my serger (not a brother) for over 20 years. I am looking for an upgrade. I plan to stay with Brother

  • Reply Anonymous December 20, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    I’ve had mine for at least 6 years now (maybe longer, don’t remember) and I use it almost every day. I use it with all kind of materials. I have not had any problems so far. Love love love it!

  • Reply Anonymous February 5, 2014 at 12:46 AM

    Does it sew around curves? Inner and outer?

  • Reply Jan O'Malley March 20, 2015 at 8:05 AM

    I have this model and so far it does a lousy job sewing. It’s also very LOUD! Sounds awful – like it’s about to break. Years ago I had a Singer serger and it was great. But this Brother 1034D sews poorly. The finished stitches look sloppy every time no matter the settings. I figure I must be doing something wrong. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • Reply Barb Loecker November 20, 2015 at 10:00 PM

      I suggest you go to Facebook and search for the Brother 1034D group. Many helpful people in this group who will get your stitches looking great with this machine. It is a matter of getting the settings right for each weight of fabric.

  • Reply Edie February 14, 2016 at 7:47 AM

    I recently used a Bernina serger in a class and it is loud also (much louder than their machines at any rate) Probably not as loud as the Brother but $200 vs about $1,000, you can put up with a lot! I have a sewing room and no husband to complain so I should be ok in that regard.

  • Reply Janet Richardson April 9, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    I sew fleece and
    PUL fabric and wondered how it would do with the,PUL is tough to sew on and so is Minky.
    Would appreciate suggestions as to which server would go best with them.I was looking at this brother but the negative comments are putting me off.

  • Reply Highball Emy April 10, 2016 at 1:50 PM

    Hello! I just wondered if you are still using this machine and how it is holding up four years on? I would like an overlocker but I’m not sure how much I would use it, so I don’t want to buy a really expensive one!

    Thank you!

    Emy
    x

    • Reply Faith June 26, 2016 at 3:29 PM

      Please let me know what you decided. I’ve ordered this machine but I’m now worried that it will fall apart
      Ohlmeyer6@cox.net

  • Reply svscoa February 27, 2017 at 11:30 AM

    I’ve seen too many complaints about the 1034d’s stitch quality and durability. Enough to turn me off of the machine. There’s no urgent need for a serger, so I’ll save up and buy either a Juki or a BabyLock to partner with my Bernina sewing machine.

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