Serger stitch types available on each serger can be different.
The different types of stitches on a serger can vary depending on the brand and model. When shopping for one, be sure to know what types of stitches you will be using before purchasing a new machine.
Overlock 3 or 4 thread
The overlock type of stitch is great for woven or stretchy fabrics. Using the 3 thread overlock is best when not for a seam but for finishing the raw edge of the fabric. Therefore the 4 thread overlock is a more durable and stronger stitch which can be used for the seam and finish all in one.
Rolled edge hem
The rolled edge stitch is a great stitch to use to finish off sheer fabric edges. It uses two threads to create the stitch. You can also use it as a very narrow seam on sheers that you can see through to the inside.
Items like the hem of a T-shirt and the outside seam on a pair of jeans often are finished with overstitch. It creates a double row of stitches on the front side and on the reverse it encompasses the raw edge and stitches it down to the fabric.
This chainstitch is essentially the coverstitch with only using one needle. It creates a single line stitch similar to the sewing machine. Therefore, using this stitch is much easier to sew with a sewing machine than threading a serger and stitching.
The use of a flatlock stitch is often on athletic fabrics where the seams are laid flat and stitching overtop joining the two fabrics together. Hence, this stitch is thin and lays completely flat. It reduces bulk that joining two seams usually creates. It allows for the fabric to maintain the amount of stretch that it has without popping the seams. The stitching is visible on the inside and outside of the fabric.
Can a serger replace a sewing machine?
You can use a serger to make complete projects without using a sewing machine. With that said, I would not just have a serger. Therefore, a serger is a great companion for the sewing machine. The serger is a must have in my opinion for someone who is really into sewing. Therefore different stitches you are able to create with a serger will give your projects a professional look and finish.