Brother 1034D

Review

Design - 99%
Functionality - 98%
Price - 97%
Features - 99%

98%

Exceptional

Best serger on the market for a fantastic price.

Overview

Like most of the brother products that I have reviewed the Brother 1034D is an inexpensive reliable machine that is suitable for almost everyone. If you like to make clothes then a serger is a priceless tool that will give your clothes that professional finish and save you tons of time! I had been sewing for many years before I got my hands on my first serger. Until then I struggled getting my clothes to look professional and could not believe how easy it was with a serger.

The Brother 1034D is a fantastic choice if you are looking to invest in you first serger machine. It can perform both 3 and 4 thread serging giving you beautiful overlocked seams that suit almost any project as well as being used for decoration.

Key features

Let take a look at some of the key features of the Brother 1034D.

  • 3 and 4 thread serging. The ability to do both 3 and 4 thread serging gives you so much versatility.
  • 22 on-board stitches functions. Acceptable amount of different stitch functions that will allow to tackle most projects.
  • Great Price.  Offers so much for its low price. Not many machines can match it for value.
  • 1300 stitches per minute. With so many stitches per minute you will get through longer projects in no time.
  • Tension control. Super easy to set the tension.
  • Useful Space to keep all you accessorise in one place.
  • Free arm. So useful when working on sleeves and cuffs.
  • Differential Feed. You will have no problem with stretchy material or gathering ruffles with this great feature.
  • Adjustable stitch width.
  • Snap-on Presser feet.
  • Weighing in at only 15lbs it is easily transported.
  • Telescopic knife. Knife can be extended to trim your fabric for you before serging.

Differential Feed

A differential feed is one of the most important features of any serger. The Brother 1034D includes a feed ratio of 0.7 to 2 that is a great range and works really well. For those unfamiliar with differential feeds or new sergers I will quickly explain.

A serger contains two feed dogs, a front feed dog and a back feed dog. The back feed dog stay at the same feed rate while the front can be changed. What this means is that if you have the feed ratio at 2 you front feed dog will feed twice the speed of the back feed dog, creating ruffles. On the other hand if you have it at 0.7 the front will only feed at 70% of the speed on the back feed dog, which would stretch the material. If you wanted them to both feed at the same rate you would set you feed ratio to 1.

This allows you make adjustment if you fabric is ruffling up or stretching unwantedly; or add ruffles to you projects with easy. It is a very simple idea but allows for a great amount of versatility and the use of lots of different fabrics.

This allows you make adjustment if you fabric is ruffling up or stretching unwantedly; or add ruffles to you projects with easy. It is a very simple idea but allows for a great amount of versatility and the use of lots of different fabrics.

What’s included?

Like all brother machines it comes with a great stock of accessories, equipping you to get started straight away.

In the box you will get:

  • 2 snap-on feet
  • Foot controller
  • Soft case
  • A guide booklet that is in both Spanish and English
  • An instructional CD
  • 25-year limited warranty.

The 2 included presser feet that come as standard are the multi-purpose guide foot and gathering foot. Additional feet are available for an additional cost.

The accessory bag includes:

  • A set of needle
  • Tweezers
  • Cleaning brush
  • Wrench
  • Trim trapper
  • Four Spool nets

Something I love about the 1034D is that it operates using standard sewing needle so you will not need to buy new ones.  Singer have included a built in work lamp that offers plenty of light so you will not need to have a separate light when using it.

There is a hard case available as an optional extra that I highly recommend if you like to take your sewing with you. This machine is only 15lbs so is portable. The hard case is very reasonably priced and is a fantastic way of keeping your machine safe.

3 and 4 thread Serging

With the ability to do both 3 and 3 thread serging the brother 1034D has great versatility in what fabrics it can handle. For more sturdy fabrics that don’t stretch so much a 4 thread overlock is perfect as it gives you a strong seam. For light fabrics the 3 thread overlock is great as it will give you a narrower seam while still maintaining strength. I recently made myself a new bathing suit and found that the 3 thread was perfect for the nylon I was using.

Using the presser feet that come as standard with the 1034D you can also produce a narrow hem, rolled hem and ribbon lock stitch, which will be suitable for many garments. However there are additional presser feet that will enable you to produce a pin tuck, blind hem and flat lock.

Setup and performance

It is important to note that this machine is not self-threading but don’t scared it is actually really easy once you get the hang of it.

From talking to other seamstresses I know many people avoid using a serger simply because they believe that they are difficult to thread. While this is sometimes the case, the opposite is true with the Brother 1034D. Don’t get me wrong I did mess up my first time and had to start again but if you follow the instructions properly you will have no problem.

I can set mine up super quickly. The 1034D is color coded guiding you on how to thread it and has full instructions in the guide booklet. It is complete with pictures, as long as you take your time and follow the guide carefully, you will be ready to go in no time!

Between all the sergers that I have tried the Brother 1034D offers the best guide on how to correctly thread it. Threading a serger will always be a more involved task then a sewing machine but with a bit of patients anyone can do it.

If you do struggle don’t hesitate to look on YouTube since there are plenty of great guides on how to get started and operating the machine.

In terms of performance it really is a pleasure to use. I love making clothes and have had so much fun using this to give my projects a professional finish with little effect. For those of you who have never used a serger before you will have no problem with 1034D, it is fun to use and easy to set up then most machines.

Brother have included a free arm which is not standard on other machines that I use all the time to finish off sleeves and cuffs.

Keep in mind that you cannot use for convention sewing, if you are a complete beginner and looking for you first sewing machine make use to look at my best sewing machines for beginners guide to find the right machine for you.

Brother 1034D sewing

Down sides

It is hard to fault the Brother 1034D since it offers so much for such a reasonable price. However there are a few things to consider before you purchase one.

As anyone who has used a serger before will know they tend to be pretty load. The 1034D is no different.

Another downside of this machine is that there is no cover stitch or chain stitch options. This is not a surprise since there are dedicated cover stitch machines. If you are interested in a cover stitch machine please be sure to look at my best cover stitch machines.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Super easy set-up with great guide.
  • High quality for the price.
  • Versatile
  • Makes adding ruffles easy
  • It’s fast with 1300 stitches per minute.

Cons

  • It is pretty load, however, you will find that most sergers tend to be load then conventional sewing machine.
  • It will not be able to replace you sewing machine and is best used in conjunction with one.
  • No chain stitch

Conclusion

I have put the Brother 1034D in my top 10 machines currently available. It’s a fantastic serger that has something for everyone at an unbeatable price. Brother never fail to provide excellent support and great accessories with their machines and the 1034D is not different.

If you are in the market for your first serger then I cannot recommend this machine enough you will not be disappointed and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

It is versatile and can make any project much faster and give you a professional finish that is almost impossible with a standard sewing machine. I love using mine for clothes however there is something for everyone no matter what it is you like to make.

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