Singer Tiny Serger - TS-380 Plus
Reviews,  Videos

Singer Tiny Serger TS-380 Plus Video Demonstration

This entry is part 8 of 11 in the series Sewing Machine Showcase.

I spotted this Singer Tiny Serger in the display window of my local Value Village thrift store. It was tagged at what I feel was an unrealistic price for this plastic machine, $129.99. I watched the machine as it slowly came down in price over a few months, and I eventually scored it for just $29.99.  Good things come to those who wait!

Singer Tiny Serger TS-380 Plus Video Review

My Notes About the Tiny Serger

The Tiny Serger works for what it is, but if you are doing a serious amount of sewing, I would recommend skipping this and purchasing a full-size serger. Why, you ask?

  • The machine is very slow, even when the dial is set to high-speed, in comparison to a full size
  • The machine does not include a cutting blade, meaning you need to trim your fabric with more care prior to serging.
  • The serger is more difficult to thread than a full-size simply because everything is more compact.  It’s hard to see inside the machine to thread the upper and lower loopers.
  • You can only achieve one style of serging unlike a four- or five-thread serger which can achieve many styles of serging depending on how you thread your machine. You can’t adjust the stitch width.  You can’t do a rolled hem.
  • The machine itself feels cheap and not sturdy. But it is inexpensive, so it’s to be expected for the price.

Because of these reasons, when I came across the Whites Super Lock 534, I ended up selling this model and making the switch to a full-size four-thread serger. I haven’t missed the Tiny Serger at all, except for its cute appearance on my shelf.

Singer Tiny Serger TS-380 Plus Sewing Machine Instruction Manual

Singer Tiny Serger TS-380 Plus Instruction Manual illustration

Thankfully Singer provides the manuals for their older machines on their website. If you have are having a hard time finding it on their official site, I’ve mirrored the download link here for your convenience.

The most useful page of the manual is probably this tension diagram.  This will help you adjust your thread so that it will look perfect no matter what thickness of fabric you throw at the serger.

Singer Tiny Serger TS-380 Plus tension adjustment guide

My final thoughts?  If you don’t have a serger and you come across this machine at a great price, go for it!  It’s a fantastic “gateway” serger.  I took a quick look on Amazon and it appears you can still find some people selling these machines if you are interested in giving this machine a try (affiliate link – if you purchase I will receive a small cut at no extra cost to you to help support this blog!).

Do you have a Tiny Serger?  How do you like it?

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  • John LaBove

    FYI, the light is for threading the machine which is why it only comes on when the foot pedal is not connected.

  • Susan

    I found one of these at a thrift store for $5. It has its limitations but has some advantages. It is a three-thread serger, and full sized servers usually can handle 4 threads. I’ve used mine for doll clothes and it makes a nice finish for tiny seams. I took it to a retreat and serged the edges of wool blocks I made into a full sized quilt. It does only have one speed, but that’s not a big deal if you’re not in a hurry. It’s compact, easy to take to sewing classes/retreats, and once adjusted, makes a nice stitch. I did not find it hard to thread. Just follow the manual.

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