Save the money you would have spent on both a mediocre sewing machine and a serger and put that into a good sewing machine. Then save up for a good serger. I didn't buy a serger until after I had been sewing seriously for nearly a decade.
For example, when I made my refashioned red shirt, I didn't feel like changing the thread in the serger so I made the shirt entirely with my sewing machine.
I use and reuse basics such as Kwik Sew 2555, often. This time, I cut a size small instead of the medium in Fashion Fail. Small gives a more fashionable and closer fit, but I think I will grade between the small and medium sizes because I am more comfortable with a looser fit. The medium looked just plain sloppy and awful.