If you’re a mother who likes to sew costumes and dresses for your kids, or if you’re just creative and love to experiment with fashion projects, then an overlocker sewing machine is what you need alongside your conventional sewing machine.
This machine will enable you to come up with garments and projects that will look like they were made by an expert.
What is an overlocker sewing machine?
When purchasing an overlocker, you must understand all its features so you can make the best decision.
This machine can tidy seams or edges of the fabric, and create many decorative effects. It can sew up to 1,500 stitches per minute so sewers can save a lot of time.
When the overlocker was invented in 1881 by the Merrow Machine Company, it was only intended for industrial use. The first overlocker sewing machine used loopers to make loops for the needle to pass through, utilizing the concept of crocheting.
In 1964, several engineers and managers of a company in Japan tried to innovate the machine by making it smaller and portable.
They wanted to market the machine to the home sewers. They tried to make a smaller version of the industrial overlockers.
Eventually, they invented the “Baby Lock”. The home machines were capable of sewing several stitch types as compared to the industrial machines, which were only capable of sewing one stitch type.
What are the types of overlock stitches?
The most common way of identifying the overlock machines is by the number of threads used in making the stitches. Each of these types has its benefits and uses:
* The two-thread model is used for finishing seam edges, stitching flatlock seams (with the wrong sides of the fabric together), stitching garters and lace lingerie and sewing hems. This is the type that is commonly used in homes.
* The three-thread model is used for sewing fabric edges, creating decorative edges, making rolled hemming, and finishing the seams of knit fabrics.
* The four-thread model is used for creating decorative edges and making durable stitches while still maintaining flexibility.
* The five-thread model is quite expensive but can do many types of stitches. It uses 2 needles so there’s no need to switch machines to produce a strong seam and a neat finish. It is usually used in making apparel.
The stitch width and stitch eccentric features also determine the type of overlock stitches made. The stitch width specifies how wide each stitch is.
The lighter the fabric, the wider the stitch should be. The stitch eccentric specifies the number of stitches there should be for every inch of fabric. The stitch eccentric affects the way edges look.
Another feature found in overlocker sewing machines is the “differential feed” feature.
This allows the feed to be adjusted according to the need and type of fabric used. Stretched seams and wrinkled edges can be created using this feature.
Do I Need An Overlocker Sewing Machine?
Whether you are thinking about purchasing your very first sewing machine, or you are simply looking at an upgrade for your current sewing machine, you will discover that one option that you might need to investigate is the overlock sewing machine!
An overlock sewing machine is also known as a serger and at the most basic level, you will find that it is a machine that is capable of creating a finished seam in one pass.
Some machines are capable of serging as well as the basic functions of a sewing machine, while other machines will only be capable of serging
When you are thinking about purchasing an overlock sewing machine, there are a few things that you need to consider!
The first thing that you need to know is how an overlock sewing machine does what it does. Essentially, it will trim the seam and enclose the seam allowance inside a casing of the thread in one pass.
There will various types of width and intricacy that you can get from your machine, but before you move forward, you are going to need to know what your options are.
For instance, a 2 to 4 thread serger has a true safety stitch as well as a two-thread overlocked edge. For everything that the machine sews, two treads are used and you can set the machine to make sure that each stitch is separate from the other.
Another thing that you might want to consider is a 3 to 4 thread serger. You’ll find that this machine can function with three or four threads and each thread will give you a seam that has a bit of stretch.
If you use a four-thread seam, you will get a wider seam that is also stronger.
Both of these options will still give you a rolled hem, which is a great way to protect the seam and to make sure that it does not unravel or come loose at any point.
Rolled hems are much stronger than simply serging the hem of fabric and you will find that it creates a more finished look as well.
If you want to take a look at a hem that has had an overlock sewing machine used on it, look inside your t-shirts or sweatshirts.
When you are thinking about purchasing a sewing machine for beginners, remember that an overlock sewing machine might not have all the features that you need.
For instance, unless specifically mentioned, it might not be able to do facings, zippers, topstitching or buttonholes.
Take some time and think about how you intend to use your machine and what your best bet is going to be. Then decide whether or not this is going to be the best machine for your needs.
Choosing the Right One
Now that you’re ready to buy your overlocker sewing machine, make sure that you check out several brands and models.
Try out all the features to see if the machine is working well. Check if knotted threads flow easily by tying an overhand knot and adjusting the tension dials.
Try to do some stitches and check if it is easy to start and stop the machine when you are already doing the stitches. Also, check if the presser foot is easy to raise and lower.
Use many types of thread to check the tension adjustments. Sew at different speed levels to see if the machine is easy to control. Try several types of fabric to see if the machine works well.
Do not be in a hurry to decide which brand or type of overlocker sewing machine to buy. Choose only the machine that is best suited to your needs and will guarantee your satisfaction.