My Singer Tiny Serger

Singer Tiny Serger TS380A
Tiny Serger, Model No. TS380A
Circa 1980s – 1990s

I GOT A SERGER!! I’ve been wanting a serger for awhile. They are great for sealing raw fabric edges and working with knit fabrics. But they cost more than I’d like to invest and they take up a lot of space. Plus for a home sewer like myself, a serger is sometimes more a luxury than an essential. So it was just a pipe dream until now!

It came all the way from Bushwick, Brooklyn somewhere near Hart Street in mint condition with almost all the original accessories including the extra needle, spool caps, and threaders! I don’t know exactly when it was made but from looking at the box and pictures on it my guess is it’s from the 80’s or 90’s.

It’s more of a junior serger or kids-type hobby serger but this means it’s also extremely compact and the perfect beginner machine for someone who might just like to try it or have it around for when in a bind!

Singer Tiny Serger TS380A
Singer Tiny Serger TS380A
Singer Tiny Serger TS380A
Singer Tiny Serger TS380A

~ It’s compact and light, about 6in. x 12in.
~ The foot pedal has a switch for 2 speeds
~ There is a handy sewing light
~ Hand wheel
~ It’s super cute!

Overedge vs. Overlock
It’s actually an “Overedge” machine rather than an “Overlock” machine so it works basically like your typical serger except it does not trim or cut off the fabric edges. This can be a benefit for beginners who need practice working with a serger because the fabric does not get cut. So if it goes crooked you can simply rip out the thread and try again without the risk of losing fabric!

3 Spools vs. 4 Spools
A typical serger for home use usually has 4 spools. But the Tiny Serger only uses 3 spools. When you see a typical serger with 4 spools it will most likely be an Overlock machine that also trims the fabric as it stitches.

Resources and Manuals
The Singer Co. website is normally full of great information on all their products. But I could not find much information on the Tiny Serger. But I did find the full instruction manual!
Manual – Singer Tiny Serger, TS380A

I’ve been googling around and read mixed reviews about it. Some people say it’s difficult to work with but given its size and function it’s definitely noteworthy. Since it’s more a novelty item it may not be suitable for more serious sewers but perhaps for a budding sewer or hobbyist crafter it can be perfect!

❤ I got this as a present from Craigston Yip III, Esq. and it’s not even my birthday! My first project on this little serger will be a surprise present for the treasure hunter himself! Heart it so much and thanks. It’s perfect! ❤ ❤ ❤

What’s the difference between a Serger, an Overlock, and an Overedge Machine?
All the above are sergers. Sergers create a different type of stitch that wrap around the sides of fabric in order to join them. Unlike sewing machines, sergers only do a single stitch. This stitch cannot be reproduced in a sewing machine. Therefore a separate machine is needed for this stitch.

An Overlock machine traditionally uses 4 threads at once to create the stitch and it trims the fabric edge as it goes. An Overedge machine typically uses 3 threads at once and does not cut the fabric edges. Wikipedia has a nice intro article on sergers, overlock, and overedge machines.

I have yet to practice threading it and taking it for a test drive but will soon, so more about the Tiny Serger in action later. I’ve also only ever used the serger (overlock) featured in a previous post, so don’t have that much experience with a serger but now I’ll have a great opportunity to get comfortable with one!

I have received many emails about where to buy a mini novelty serger like this one. Unfortunately, I have yet to find one available on the market today. This is a vintage serger :(. However, many standard serger machines are available today. Here’s some info on where to buy:

Brands – Brands that make full-sized, full featured sergers with 4 spools. Prices usually start around $200 per machine to start though, a big investment for hobby homesewers.

Craft Stores – These hobby and craft stores should carry sergers along with sewing machines.
Hobby Lobby

Big Box Stores – These big box stores and online stores also carry sewing machines and sergers. Even Costco!
Costco may have some vintage tiny sergers for sale too.

Do you know where to find novelty mini sergers like this one? If so, please let us know 🙂

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27 comments on “My Singer Tiny Serger

  1. In order to replace my power cord for my Singer Tiny Serger I need to know the polarity for the plug. It’s either outside positive and inside negative ( +–C — -), or outside negative and inside positive (- –C –+). Can’t find polarity information anywhere. If you have a Tiny Serger with a power cord the polarity will be listed ON THE POWER PLUG. Is there anybody out there who can help me? Thank you very much, Jane

    1. My power cord says-
      Plug in class 2 transformer
      Model no: D7-10-03
      Input : 120V 60Hz 18W
      Output : 9VDC 650mA
      (-) C (+)

      I hope this is helpful. I just got mine today for a whole $5! The only thing missing is the tweezers, the extra needle, two small spool caps, and one large spool cap. I am going to contact Singer on Monday to see if I can buy replacements.

  2. I Googled for the owners manual for a ts380a…and the first website on the list was this one. I found my little serger at a Thrifty Shopper Store near me. The owners manual had been lost, but the machine was in its original box. Thank you so much for all the information and tips using this machine, not to mention that the owners manual is available for FREE! Much Appreciated! I cant wait to use it!

    1. Hi Jeannette, Awesome!! The Tiny Serger is a little gem. Perfect solution for people who might want a serger but don’t want the full-sized (full price) of a real serger!

      Lemme know how you like it! If you have additional comments, tips & tricks please share ’em! There’s not much info out there on the Tiny Serger so would love to hear other people’s reviews too.

      Happy Serging! 🙂

      1. This is what the power cord says:
        BNG Direct Plug-In Class 2 Transformer I/P : 120 v60Hz 10W ;
        then under that it says O/P : 9v DC 600mA
        Model 41-9-600D
        EIA 1729440 D


        1. I didn’t have foot pedal so I cheated. I found a plug (old cell charger) that fit the hole. and BINGO! Only problem is I have to plug in and out to stop and go. Hope this helps until you can find a pedal.

  3. I was happy to find this blog entry and comments. I just ordered a used Tiny Serger so I’ll find out soon enough but I am wondering, is there any stretch to the stitches at all? I do realize this isn’t for garment construction but hope it meets my seam finishing needs.

    1. Hi Kristin, Cool! Hope it works out. Hmm, sergers themselves are perfect for sewing stretchy fabrics like knit fabrics and for sealing frayed edges on knit or woven fabrics like for seam finishing. I do know there are stretchy thread that are elastic-type threads which you can sew with. But I’m not sure if those threads are compatible with this machine. Let me know how it works out! Happy sewing!

  4. I have a question…I have all three spools threaded correctly but it will not make the overlock stitch. It won’t loop. Have you run across this problem? I would appreciate the help.

    When threading the loopers, be sure that the thread comes through the heel of each looper, toward the front of the machine and then passes back through the toe of the looper toward the back of the machine. Thread from the middle spool goes down through the lower angled guide, and the looper that is furthest from you when seated in the sewing position.
    Thread from the right hand spool goes down through the upper guide and then through looper that is closest to you when seated in the sewing position.
    Thread from the left hand spool goes through the needle, toward the back of the machine.
    Pull all three threads under the presser foot and to your left. While holding the threads in your left hand, turn the hand wheel with your right hand and watch to ensure that all three threads chain together.
    Hope this Helps,

  6. When I set everything up all I’m hearing is a buzzing and the needle isn’t moving 🙁 I bought it used and the lady said it was never used, it was still in box with the packaging…what am I doing wrong :'(

  7. Help, I have a tiny singer surger and I dropped the needle inside and I shook it to get it out and it got stuck I cannot get it back out. I used a magnet and it would not come out. What do I do? I am afraid to use another needle and use it (never used it yet). Thanks

  8. I just got a second hand tiny serger. I found it easy (just a bit annoying) to thread. My issue is that the manual knob doesn’t turn when I step on the foot petal. When I opened up the machine it seems that the gears aren’t catching each other. If I push on the petal and manually turn the knob at the same time it works fine. Any ideas what I could do to get this little gem to run on its own?

  9. My model is a TS-380 Plusw
    Power supply says Bell South Products
    Class 2 Transformer Model No. DV-9300S
    Input120VAC 60 Hz 6w
    Output 9VDC 300 mA+ outside and – inside in a funny looking drawing
    {ndoor use only China
    I hope this helps!
    I bought my serger for $25 US in a Big Lots store in Gtiffin, Ga but have seen them sometimes in Walmart and Target. Try Singer Corporate Offices.
    I originally got mine to edge cross-stitch fabric bercause I was tired of basteing and did not like the residue tape left. Now I use it for everything I sew because I like to wash my fabrics before I make my projects. I am currently maling a slip cover for a nursery glider and ottman with matgh crib bumpers and would not even think of doing it without serging first.
    Good Luck email if help is needed.


  10. My mothear in law gave me hers. It was never used. The needles seemed to rub each other and it kept breaking the thread to the far left. After tweeking it a bit it now does not rub and the thread doesn’t break but it will not make the loops. It seems to be threaded correctly. Any suggestions?

  11. I just bought this machine from Criagslist and it didn’t come with a manual. What type of thread am I supposed to buy? I prefer to buy a heavier thread that can’t be pulled but I don’t know if it can handle it. Thanks!

  12. I have a Tin Singer serger that just sergese The knob on the side raises the needle up and down Is broken. I guess ! It was rocking back and forth when I sewed on it.
    Now it doesn’t move at all. I made it go in one direction and I think I broke it. Will it cost a fortune to have it repaired? I hope not Thank-you Doris Crawford

    1. Hi Doris, Thanks for your note. I’m not sure how much it will cost 🙁 Have you tried contacting some local sewing machine repair shops? Or perhaps even trying to contact Singer? Also, make sure that you are properly threading the serger. I know that if a standard sewing machine is not threaded properly the needle moves funny. Good luck getting it fixed!

  13. I wonder if you have any luck with this machine. I was planning to get one, but a friend seamstress said I should get something better. I really don’t need a serger very much, just eventually, hence the idea of getting a Tiny. Do you have any pictures of parts you used the serger on? I’d love to see the result. Thanks!

  14. I got one at a garage sale can anyone tell me if it needs to charge before use or should it be good to go once you plug it in.

  15. I got this exact model of the Tiny Serger new in 1995, but never tried it until now. I’m so tickled with it and excited to get more thread and start using it more.

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