If you are considering adding a serger to your sewing arsenal, you have certainly heard about the Brother 1034D. This machine has been my trusty sidekick for the past nine years, and though I’ve owned a couple of heavy-duty sergers that can sew through multiple layers of thick fabric, I always come back to the Brother 1034D like to a good, well-worn pair of jeans.

In the labyrinth of sewing machines and sergers, the Brother 1034D stands out for its reliability, versatility, and affordability. But is the Brother 1034D the right machine for you? Well, grab a cup of tea, settle in, and let’s find out together. You can also look at my other favorites when it comes to serger machines for beginners and learn more about what sergers are and what they do.

brother 1034d

The Brother 1034D Features: A Quick Overview

The Brother 1034D is a 3/4 thread serger with differential feed. This means it can use three or four threads simultaneously to create a variety of stitches. It’s capable of producing a 4 thread overlock, 3 thread overlock, narrow hem, rolled hem, and ribbon lock stitches, providing you with a wide range of options for your sewing projects.

One of the standout features of the Brother 1034D is its built-in free arm. This is particularly useful when you’re sewing cylindrical items like sleeves or pant legs, as it allows for easier manipulation of the fabric.

In terms of speed, the Brother 1034D is quite impressive, capable of sewing up to 1300 stitches per minute. This speed allows you to complete your projects efficiently without compromising on the quality of the stitches.

The Brother 1034D is a mid-sized machine, weighing in at 13.45 lbs. This makes it sturdy enough to handle a variety of projects, but still light enough to be portable if you need to move it around. The machine also comes with three accessory feet: standard, blindstitch, and gathering. These additional feet provide you with even more versatility in your sewing projects.

Basic Specifications:

  • Weight (lbs): 13.45
  • Maximum sewing speed: 1300 stitches per minute
  • Stitches: 4 thread overlock, 3 thread overlock, narrow hem, rolled hem, and ribbon lock
  • Stitch length: 2 – 4 mm
  • Stitch width: 5 – 7 mm
  • Differential Feed: 0.7 – 2 mm
  • Needles: Home machine needles (130/705 H / HAx1 / 15×1), sizes 75/11 – 100/16.
  • Included feet: Standard, Blindstitch, Gathering
  • Acceptable fabrics: thin, medium weight, stretch, and some thick fabrics (such as corduroy, tweed, or thin denim)
brother 1034d serger

As you can see, this is a versatile, reliable machine that’s well-equipped to handle a wide range of sewing tasks. Now, let’s move on to discuss my personal experience with this machine.

My Journey With The Brother 1034D: The Short Version

Nine years ago, I was on the hunt for a decent quality serger that wouldn’t break the bank. After much research and comparison, I decided on the Brother 1034D. It was a decision driven by the machine’s impressive features, positive reviews, and affordability.

From the moment I unboxed it, I knew I had made the right choice. The setup was straightforward, and within no time, I was threading it like a pro. The color-coded threading guides were a godsend, especially for a serger newbie like I was at the time.

Over the years, I’ve used the Brother 1034D for a myriad of projects, from crafting delicate garments with lightweight fabrics to handling heavier materials for home decor items. The machine’s versatility has consistently impressed me. Whether I needed a 4 thread overlock for a sturdy seam or a rolled hem for a delicate edge finish, the Brother 1034D delivered.

The machine’s speed was another feature that I came to appreciate. With a maximum sewing speed of 1300 stitches per minute, I was able to complete projects efficiently. However, don’t let this speed intimidate you. The machine’s speed control is excellent, allowing you to slow down for intricate parts and speed up for long, straight seams.

brother 1034d serger review

One thing I must mention is the noise level. Yes, the Brother 1034D can be a bit noisy, especially when running at full speed. But, I found that placing a rubber mat underneath the machine significantly reduced the vibrations and noise.

Maintenance-wise, the Brother 1034D is relatively low-maintenance. It doesn’t require a lot, but it requires consistency to keep it in tip-top shape. Regular cleaning and oiling, as with any sewing machine, are necessary to keep it running smoothly. I also found that using high-quality thread reduced the frequency of thread breaks and tension issues.

That’s been the condensed version of my experience with the Brother 1034D serger, stick around if you want to get into the specifics of the machine’s performance, its pros and cons, and learn some tips I’ve picked up along the way.

How to thread the Brother 1034d

If you’ve ever used a serger, you’ll know that threading can be a bit of a challenge, especially for beginners. The Brother 1034D is no exception. It doesn’t have the fancy air jet threading system found in more high-end models, but rather a manual threading system.

Now, I won’t sugarcoat it – threading a serger can feel like you’re trying to solve a Rubik’s cube. But don’t let that scare you away. The Brother 1034D comes with color-coded threading guides that are a lifesaver. They guide you through each step, making the process much more manageable.

brother 1034d threading

In my years with the Brother 1034D, I’ve threaded and rethreaded this machine more times than I can count. Yes, it was a bit tricky at first, but with practice, it became second nature. It’s like learning to ride a bike – once you get the hang of it, you never forget.

One life-saving tip, not just for this machine, is to tie the new thread to the old one and pull it through when changing thread colors. This saves you from having to thread the machine from scratch each time.

Another thing to note is that the Brother 1034D is a four-thread machine. This means you’ll need four spools of the same color thread. While this might seem like a downside, it’s pretty standard for sergers and allows for a wide range of stitches. One tip I’ve found helpful is to keep a set of neutral-colored threads (like white, black, or gray) on hand. These colors can blend well with a wide range of fabric colors, saving you from having to switch threads too often.

Switching Settings and Threads: A Colorful Adventure

One of the aspects of using a serger that can be a bit challenging is switching settings or threads. The Brother 1034D, like most sergers, requires a bit of a setup change when you want to switch from one type of stitch to another, such as from a 4 thread overlock to a rolled hem.

brother 1034d settings

Now, I won’t lie to you – this can be a bit of a hassle. It’s not as simple as turning a dial on a regular sewing machine. You’ll need to rethread the machine, adjust the stitch length and width, and sometimes even change the needle or foot. But don’t let this deter you. Once you get the hang of it, switching settings becomes less of a chore and more of a routine part of using the machine.

Maintenance and Longevity

One of the things I appreciate about the Brother 1034D is its durability. After nine years of regular use, it’s still running smoothly with no significant issues. This is a testament to both the machine’s build quality and the importance of regular maintenance.

Like any sewing machine, the Brother 1034D requires regular cleaning and oiling to keep it in top shape. Due to its trimming function, the machine tends to collect a lot of dust and lint, especially in the knife area. I’ve found that cleaning it every two to three weeks keeps it running smoothly. A small brush (like a paintbrush or makeup brush) works well for this. Also, a compressed air can, like those that use for cleaning computers can be very helpful at removing lint, unless there is too much of it, then you might find yourself in a whimsical cloud of fabric fuzz. Remember to use it sparingly and in a well-ventilated area to avoid getting lost in a fluff-filled frenzy.

Oiling the machine is also important. A drop of sewing machine oil in the specified spots (as per the manual) every few months can go a long way in ensuring the machine’s longevity.

Another aspect of maintenance is the use of high-quality thread. Lower quality thread can cause tension issues and frequent thread breaks, which can be frustrating. I’ve found that investing in good quality thread not only improves the machine’s performance but also reduces maintenance issues.

As for the machine’s longevity, the Brother 1034D has proven to be a reliable workhorse. Even the original factory-installed knife blade is still in use after all these years, which is quite impressive.

To Buy or Not To Buy

No serger is perfect and the Brother 1034D has its strengths and weaknesses. Let’s go through them real quick:


  • Reliability and Longevity: As I said, after years of use, this serger is still going strong. The machine is sturdy, made of metal and plastic, and has shown no significant wear and tear over the years. Even the original factory-installed knife blade is still in use.
  • Affordability: Compared to high-end models like the Baby Lock, which can cost between $8,000 and $10,000, the Brother 1034D is a fraction of the price. Despite its affordability, it delivers solid performance.
  • Manageable Threading: While the Brother 1034D doesn’t have the fancy air jet threading system found in more high-end models, its manual threading system is manageable. The color-coded threading guides are a helpful feature.
  • Ideal for Fashion Sewing: The Brother 1034D is ideal for those who do a lot of fashion sewing, particularly with knit fabrics. It’s great for creating neat, finished edges on fabrics.
  • Durability: The machine has shown no significant wear and tear over nine years, and I am still using the original factory-installed knife blade.


  • Noise and Vibration: The Brother 1034D does vibrate and make noise when running. However, placing a rubber mat underneath can absorb some of the vibrations and reduce the noise level.
  • Switching Settings or Threads: Switching settings or threads can be a hassle if you wish to use different functions like rolled hem or flat lock stitching. Also, if you want to use different thread colors, keep in mind that you will need four spools of the same color, as this is a four-thread machine.
  • Maintenance: The machine collects a lot of dust due to its trimming function, so regular maintenance is necessary. I usually clean it every two to three weeks to keep it running smoothly.
  • Needle Breakage: The needle tends to break often if the machine isn’t threaded correctly or if the fabric is too thick. To remedy this, I have bought a pack of universal 90/14 needles—the same ones I use for her sewing machine.

Who is Brother 1034D For?

The Brother 1034D is a versatile machine that can cater to a wide range of sewing needs. However, based on my experience and the reviews of others, I believe it’s particularly well-suited to certain types of sewers.


If you’re new to the world of serging, the Brother 1034D is a great place to start. It’s affordable, reliable, and relatively easy to use once you get the hang of threading it. The color-coded threading guides are a big help, and the machine’s versatility allows you to experiment with a variety of stitches and techniques.

Fashion Sewers

If you are mainly sewing clothes, particularly with knit fabrics, the Brother 1034D is a fantastic choice. It’s great for creating neat, finished edges on fabrics, and the differential feed helps prevent stretching or puckering.

Home Sewers

If you’re a home sewer who does a lot of alterations or makes home decor items, the Brother 1034D can be a valuable addition to your sewing room. It’s great for finishing edges, creating ruffles, and sewing seams on a variety of fabric types.

Budget-Conscious Sewers

If you’re on a budget but still want a reliable, versatile serger, the Brother 1034D is worth considering. It offers many of the features found in more expensive models but at a fraction of the price.

Brother 1034D vs Brother 1034DX: A Tale of Two Sergers

If you’re in the market for a serger, you’ve likely come across the Brother 1034D and the Brother 1034DX. Both machines are popular choices among sewing enthusiasts, but how do they stack up against each other?

1034d vs 1034dx


Both the Brother 1034D and the 1034DX are 3/4 thread sergers with differential feed. They both feature color-coded thread guides, presser foot pressure adjustment, a built-in free arm, and a retractable knife blade. They’re also both capable of handling a variety of stitches, including 4 thread overlock, 3 thread overlock, narrow hem, rolled hem, and ribbon lock stitches.


While the Brother 1034D and 1034DX share many similarities, there are a few key differences to note. Unfortunately, the PDF provided does not contain detailed information about the Brother 1034DX. However, based on my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the Brother 1034DX is an upgraded version of the Brother 1034D. It features improved threading with a color-coded, lay-in threading system, and it also has a convenient stitch width control.


Both the Brother 1034D and the Brother 1034DX are solid choices for a serger. They’re reliable, versatile, and offer a range of features that can cater to a variety of sewing needs. The best choice between the two ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you prefer a machine with a more straightforward threading system and stitch width control, the Brother 1034DX might be the better choice. However, if these features are not a priority for you, the Brother 1034D offers similar functionality at a potentially lower price point. Here is a video comparing the two side-by-side:

Final Verdict: Is the Brother 1034D Serger Good?

The Brother 1034D is a testament to Brother’s reputation for producing quality, affordable sewing machines. It’s a machine that can grow with you, adapting to your evolving sewing skills and project needs.

So, would I recommend the Brother 1034D to others? Absolutely. Whether you’re a beginner looking to delve into the world of serging, a fashion sewer working with knit fabrics, a home sewer doing alterations and home decor, or a budget-conscious sewer looking for a reliable, versatile machine, the Brother 1034D is a solid choice.

I would rate the Brother 1034D Serger 9 out of 10. Despite a few minor cons, it’s a reliable, solid machine that offers good value for money.

That’s it for my review of this wonderful serger machine. I hope you found it helpful. If you have any questions or want to share your own experiences with the Brother 1034D, feel free to reach out. Happy sewing!