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Learn something new – mastering my overlocker

One of the challenges I have set myself this year is to learn new skills and try new craft techniques.

I am rather ashamed to say I have a brand new overlocker sat in its box for several months. To be honest it rather terrifies me, four threads, two needles, lots of knobs, a blade which cuts the fabric as you sew… Somehow it feels very different to my normal sewing machine.


This is particularly difficult to admit due to the story behind it’s purchase. Last autumn a facebook craft page lit up with conversations re Lidl’s special offer on overlockers, specifically which stores had any left by midday. The tot wondered quite why we changed shop for our groceries that day, but to no avail. But then this kind lady I have never met offered to pop to her Lidl and buy one for me, I could refund her once she had purchased it. The kindness of strangers can be quite overwhelming at times.

singer overlocker

So this month my challenge was to get this what by now felt like a monster out of its box, learn how to thread it and make something, anything!!

I have enlisted assistance, purchasing my first course from Craftsy “Beginner Serging“. Having not used an online sewing course before I appreciate the fact that you can revisit the video lessons as many times as you like, their are downloadable course materials, plus you can ask advice. I could not be more impressed, even though I am only on lesson number three. I particularly like the idea of keeping a record of samples with the tension, stitch width etc for each  sample. Time consuming initially this is going to save so much time in future. I am looking forward to moving beyond this step and completing the course – learning to sew a box bag with zip.

Practising the tension

Practising tension

I have also invested in the book “The Overlocker Technique Manual”, which I am also finding incredibly helpful. In  particular photographs of stitching with the wrong tension with suggestions of how to fix it.




What’s more I have sewn two items:) Starting with an infinity scarf I followed this fab tutorial over at Serger Pepper. It’s a great quick project to start sewing knits, what’s more I could use some of my stash of old t shirts just waiting to be upcycled.

Upcycle tshirt infinity scarf

Secondly I have sewn up a Uptown/Downtown dress for my daughter – although I suspect I will be making the next size up very soon! The eagled eyed amongst you will remember I have sewn this pattern up before. The knit fabric comes from a stall on Norwich Market, its great to support local business. I am amazed how quickly the dress sews up with an overlocker, its so quick:)

Uptowndowntown dress


The overlocker remains a steep learning curve, the tension continues to regularly defeat challenge me.

This month I am joining  up with a try something new blog hop organized by Swoodson Says. I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else has tried for the first time this January.


See what other bloggers tried this month!

Rebecca at Hugs are Fun – Sashiko Embroidery

Kristy at Simply This Life – Knit Latvian Braid

Crystal at Stitched By Crystal – Wood Burning

Vicky at Vicky Myers Creations – Using a Serger/Overlocker

Kelly at Just Another Project – Sewing with Piping





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Jojo Sewist

Friday 12th of July 2019

I am very late to your party, but didnt find the help looking for. However enjoyed anyway. My same serger has sat in the box for 4yrs. People wishing for one made me feel guilty, I just took it out of the box. It came with a decent video, but didnot show how to change the presser feet. I know that shd not keep me from learning to use what is on machine. I cant take a Craftsy class due to yucky internet service where I live. I do hope you have learned and upgraded machines by now. I will check out more of your posts and back to the You Tube. I live in the deep south, USA.


Saturday 7th of February 2015

I'm intimidated by overlockers. I want one, but I'm scared of them at the same time.


Thursday 5th of February 2015

Yay, sergers! I have one, but only use it for basic straight lights. I've yet to master all that it's capable of :) Nice work!

Kelly J

Thursday 5th of February 2015

Sergers do have a steep learning curve like you said-for the first year I used mine my husband had to repair it everytime I tried to change the tension-but now that I've gotten the hang of it I love it! Your first projects turned out great!


Thursday 5th of February 2015

I have a terrible habit of getting supplies and then being too nervous to use them! It's especially daunting with bigger things that have a steep learning curve! I've had a weaving loom for months that I've been too nervous to try and I did the same thing as you, I got a Craftsy class!

I look forward to seeing what else you make as you get the overlocker figured out! That scarf and dress look great!

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