Playing with tension on the Brother 1034D

Posted by on February 9, 2013 at 8:40 pm.

This morning, my Brother 1034D arrived via Federal Express!  I was busy hanging with my daughter and so I didn’t check it out until this afternoon.

One of the many features that appealed to me about this serger machine is that it can use regular needles and thread. The machine comes pre-threaded. The provided spools are the traditional sewing spools (not the serger spools) so if you have plans on doing a lot of serging (immediately after you receive your machine) you won’t be able to do it with that thread. But since you think ahead, you already are armed with additional thread, right?

Brother 1034D

Brother 1034D, spools on the machine are Gutermann Toldi-Lock


I like that the thread provided is in four different colors (yellow, pink, green and blue.)  This was helpful since I could easily identify which of the four tensions (adjusted by using the colored dials above) might need to be corrected if I ran into any issues. Additionally using colored threads for each tension, helps someone new to serging (such as myself) quickly become familiar with what each thread (I’m using four spools) does on a serged hem.  Gauge off? No problem,  it’s an easy fix since the tension is represented by its own thread color. Thanks Brother! You really impressed me in this area.

Before I started serging with my Brother 1034D, I oiled it at the points recommended in the included manual. Afterwards I fed numerous scrap fabrics through the Brother 1034D. I played around with the gauge and occasionally, depending on the fabric texture, I had to tweak the tension settings a bit.  I did this for a few hours, and learned a lot in the process. Finally, I serged scraps on the correct settings and am keeping them on file. In doing this, I can easily refer to the proper tension setting depending on the fabric I’m using. Several weeks ago, when I was researching this machine, I stumbled upon a fabulous article about this topic. It was written by Peter of Male Pattern Boldness. I’m so happy I stumbled upon this useful tip. Thanks Peter!


Brother 1034D  serged edge

Brother 1034D serged edge (Gutermann Toldi-Lock thread)


After understanding what all the threads did (and being impressed by the nicely serged seams) I took off the colorful threads and threaded my large spools of Gutermann Toldi-Lock. I currently have Maxi-Lock thread on order. Although I’ve never used a serger, or threaded one, I found this serger easy to thread and had no problem following the clearly marked guide that’s shown on the machine.

After my serger session was complete, I made sure I cleaned up the loose threads/fiber that was hanging out in my machine. I take great care of my items which might explain why my things last a long time. Today I used a vacuum attachment to suction up the lint that had made it’s way into the gears. You can purchase canned air, vacuum attachments, or tiny vacuums that make loose fiber cleanup a breeze.

My first impression about the Brother 1034D is positive. It’s sturdy, quiet, makes a neat serged hem at the correct tension and I didn’t have any issue threading this machine. I’m looking forward to many hours of enjoyment with my Brother 1034D… and of course I’ll be sharing some of what I create here on Celebrate Life.

Lovely stretch fabric that I'm making into a top/pants.

Lovely stretch fabric that I’m making into an outfit (top and flowing pants.)


Today, I didn’t get to create anything for my daughter or myself, but I did learn a lot about serging.



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