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How to use an over locker


How to use an #overlocker ? I used to have goose bumps whenever I heard the words ”over locker”. I had mine waiting for me in an unopened box for a full year… I bought it knowing that one day I would be brave enough to try to learn how to use it. Now, I can’t imagine my sewing without it!! Absolutely love the speed and the quality of its work. I feel like switching back to the my regular machine (whenever I have to) is like swapping from a Jaguar to a good old Fiesta (no offence!).

Can be used with 2, 3 or 4 threads.

The tension dials are located at the top of the machine and there is a separate dial for each needle and your upper and lower looper as well. Most of my usual ”serging / overlocking” is done on number 3.


The stitch length is controlled by a dial on the side. The lower the number the shorter the distance between stitches, the higher the number the further apart the stitches.


There are normally two sets of teeth (feed dogs) on an overlocker. With the differential feed set to 1, both sets move at the same rate and the fabric lies flat. If the feed dogs move at different rates – the fabric gathers.


If you are using your overlocker for decorative sewing and do not want to cut the fabric as you sew, the knife can be disengaged.


What puts people off, is the though of threading the thing but the colour coded instructions are very clear, my Singer comes with drawings on the machine which is quite useful. If possible, new threads can be tied to the old ones and pulled through, so no need to do all the procedure from scratch. Especially if you replace them just before they run out or when swapping to a different colour.


Hopefully this will inspire some of you to give it ago. Personally I don’t know why I was waiting sooo long, as it speeds the process of sewing up and gives a professional look and quality to the project. Of course there will be some things that will not be able to be completed by a serger so I recommend owning both if you can.

Et voila, the final result. Hope you enjoyed it. I love my handmade sweatpants 🙂


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