I haven’t got loads of tips for using overlockers or sergers, but the are a couple of things that for some of you, you’ll think, ‘basic!’ and not read any further. But had I found a few of these things out when I started out my relationship with my overlocker I’m sure we would have had less rows.
So one of the worst things apart from inadvertent cutting through the body of your garment due to enthusiasm and misapplied attention to the wrong part of the seam you are serging is finding out your seam needs to be re sewn. Because that means you’ve already lost your seam allowance right? Now I haven’t got a solution for the lost seam allowance, but what about unpicking serged seams? Sometimes we make mistakes. All of us.
Look familiar?? The numbers of times I’ve fought tooth and nail with those irritating threads when I’ve made a mistake. And ended up resorting to doing this
Cheats way out! Desperate absolute last resort. But you never need to get that far if you know how. It just takes a bit of understanding which threads to focus on. So I threaded my overlocker with different colours to show you- orange thread for the left needle, white for the right needle and red woolly nylon for the loopers. I’m showing you a four thread overlock stitch, but the same principle applies to a three thread stitch too.
And sewing a four thread overlock stitch it looks like this
So bearing this in mind, let’s aim to take out those needle threads. There is a way to identify the needle threads in the chain at the beginning or end of your stitching (they are usually the straighter threads whilst the looper threads are loopier, around these straight threads). So if you can find the needle threads you just pull them together like this with the effect of “ruffling” the looper threads around your needle threads as you pull them.
You can see that all that’s left once those needle threads are pulled are the remains of the looper threads. They have nothing to keep them attached though and are history. Just brush them away & into the bin!
But it’s often hard to pick out the needle threads from the chain if you are using four threads the same colour. There is another easier way – the way that I do it. Concentrating only on the needle threads place your seam so that you are looking at the top of it.
And unpick as you would a normal seam but only focusing on the needle threads. But keep away from the loopers – that’s where the trouble starts. Easy if you know!!