Thursday, March 10, 2011

Demystifying the Serger/Overlocker

I'm not an expert, I've only had this thing for 6 days. But I'm in love with it.

Yes it looks confusing... let me help:
DON'T PANIC!! everything's colour coded, people go on and on about how difficult an overlocker is to thread... and yes it's more complicated than a normal sewing machine, but it's got 4 spools of thread and it does awesome stuff!!... here's the trick, if you can thread a normal sewing machine, you can probably sew a  serger. Most sergers have nice colour coded diagrams like this and instructions...
if you look carefully you'll also notice that all the little thready hooks and loops and things inside are all colour coded too! so you really can't go wrong.
These little fellas are interesting. On a normal sewing machine you'd have your different stitch settings (zig-zag, elastic stitch, straight stitch, buttonholer etc) but on your overlocker all your different stitches are mode by fiddling with these little tension dials. Again, seems complicated, but you'll have diagrams and settings for different types of stitch in your instruction book.

of course you've got different thread, you need to use 'cones' like the one on the right instead of reels like the one on the left. you don't have a bobbin, you've got the lower loopers instead so all the thread you use is mounted on the back of the machine.

here's some interesting knobs... haven't fiddled with them yet... will let you know when I do...

and here's the sucker all threaded up:

OK, so I'm going to serge this delightfully green fabric. I'm using a 4 thread stitch so my machine serges the edges and stitches at the same time

I videoed it for you:

And this is how it turned out it the end:
Yup I need to fiddle with my tension dials, but that stitch is reasonably acceptable.

So... now you know everything I know about serged sewing...

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