The Sewing Place

Okaaayyy... maybe I need an overlocker...

Acorn

Okaaayyy... maybe I need an overlocker...
« on: June 06, 2019, 11:57:29 AM »
I can't believe I'm saying this.  I genuinely believe that overlockers and coverstitchers are the machines of the devil, and I've been happily sewing jersey on an ordinary machine for years.

However, I want to make some jersey clothing for my goddaughters, and when I make things for other people I am much, much fussier about neatness inside.

So, if I want to make nice hems and neat seams on (almost exclusively) cotton or cotton-lycra jersey, what do I need?  It doesn't need to be bottom of the range, but not too expensive, because I could be spending that money on fabric and other nice things.
  • CCL likes this
I might look as though I'm talking to you, but inside my head I'm sewing.

Ploshkin

Re: Okaaayyy... maybe I need an overlocker...
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2019, 12:16:41 PM »
@Acorn go to the old boy in Carmarthen and get an Elna 664 from him.  He will service and repair it (if necessary).  It's a fab little machine, that's why he sells them.  I've trusted his judgement on all of my machines and never been disappointed.
Life's too short for ironing.

wrenkins

Re: Okaaayyy... maybe I need an overlocker...
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2019, 12:22:52 PM »
I bought one from Mr Twingo last year and kept it in the sitting room where I could see it thinking that aversion therapy would work to overcome my trepidation. It didn't.
What did cure it was my new 28k for which I needed old school cleaning cloths so out came the roll of mutton cloth and off I went. Oooo the mess. The place was covered in wee half stitches where the blade had cut the knit.  :o
I now have some 'lovely' new dish cloths and him indoors has some very manky half towel cloths for whatever anglers do.  :x
It's great! Start with dusters or some old nonsense.
Mine is a Janome 9300DX and it works a treat. You can disengage the blade so you don't have to slice your seams if you don't want to which was my greatest fear. I imagined my stuff just getting smaller and smaller....
I still haven't a clue what I'm doing and have to read the manual very slowly and clearly to myself as I go along but I can see how it would be a boon to anyone regularly sewing jersey.
...and the threading's not really that big a deal either. There's a map inside the door and all you need is patience and some fine tweezers.
Go for it!  0_0
Fashion fades, style is forever!

Francesca

Re: Okaaayyy... maybe I need an overlocker...
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2019, 13:06:36 PM »
I love my overlocker, it's completely changed how I sew.

I have the Juki MO644D and I really rate it. It's a solid machine, goes very well, I've sewn an awful lot on it and it's held up.
Stash Busting 2019
Sewn: 36.4m
Traded: 45.9m
Added: 41.9m
Up/down: -45.95m

Follow me on Instagram

b15erk

Re: Okaaayyy... maybe I need an overlocker...
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2019, 13:08:41 PM »
I have a Pfaff Combi at home, but when my old Riccar OL died I needed an OL to use at work.  I took a chance, and bought a cheap Singer one, brand new from Lidl, and it's excellent.

Not a top of the range machine, but for all that, it has a great range of stitches for the price.  About £100 I think.

Jessie
Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.

Francesca

Re: Okaaayyy... maybe I need an overlocker...
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2019, 13:22:48 PM »
I have a Pfaff Combi at home, but when my old Riccar OL died I needed an OL to use at work.  I took a chance, and bought a cheap Singer one, brand new from Lidl, and it's excellent.

Not a top of the range machine, but for all that, it has a great range of stitches for the price.  About £100 I think.

Jessie

I had the Lidl Singer and found it to be a disaster. Could never get a consistent tension and when I took it in for repair the result was still lacklustre. It was also so loud and rattled the whole table top in comparison to my Juki. I felt like the Singer just wouldn't last that long.
Stash Busting 2019
Sewn: 36.4m
Traded: 45.9m
Added: 41.9m
Up/down: -45.95m

Follow me on Instagram

maliw

Re: Okaaayyy... maybe I need an overlocker...
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2019, 13:23:46 PM »
I used to think that I didn't need an overlocker until I bought a Brother 1034D, when I found how much I was using it and the way it bounced around a bit at speed I upgraded to a BabyLock Imagine. The Brother is still going strong with DDiL who doesn't give it the use that I did but do you know what? I wish I'd bought one 20 years earlier. I wouldn't sew jersey until I bought my overlocker and I haven't looked back, I love jersey.
At leisure on the leisure penninsula

Francesca

Re: Okaaayyy... maybe I need an overlocker...
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2019, 13:30:49 PM »
I am the same, wish I had one earlier. I just love the ability to throw together jersey garments and get a great result so quickly. Plus I like that I can confidently finish the inside of garments without having to go to the lengths of french seams and such all the time. It's nice to take a little shortcut here and there even on woven garments. I'd say I use my overlocker on everything I sew. I even overlock the edges of fraying-type fabrics before I wash them.
Stash Busting 2019
Sewn: 36.4m
Traded: 45.9m
Added: 41.9m
Up/down: -45.95m

Follow me on Instagram

Tamnymore

Re: Okaaayyy... maybe I need an overlocker...
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2019, 13:58:22 PM »
Yes, you need an overlocker. I've had mine for nearly 20 years...... I wonder if I need a new one.....  ;)
'One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.' Oscar Wilde

Kenora

Re: Okaaayyy... maybe I need an overlocker...
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2019, 14:00:34 PM »
Buying an overlocker years ago took my sewing to a completely different level. I have a Janome 6234xl and wouldn't be without it. It copes with everything I throw at it. :)
Minding my P's & Q's in Portreath

Elnnina

Re: Okaaayyy... maybe I need an overlocker...
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2019, 14:54:47 PM »
Oh I am with all the other enablers, could not do without an overlocker these days either - so yes go for it.

You may think I am absolutely bonkers, but I overlock all my toile fabric pieces once they are cut out, with all the fitting and adjusting I have to do, I cannot stand all the threads  working loose and dangling and getting in the way, at least by overlocking all the edges it remains neat and tidy.

Whilst I have not actually started using knit fabrics, I am ready to do so, only the need for summer wear has pushed the sort of winter wear on to the back burner.  Now with what I am about to start sewing is some shoulder  princess seams, and on the toile somehow the usual 5/8" seam allowance despite being clipped it is not looking right, so I am going to try and press the seam allowance to one side and then trim it down and overlock this - so this looks like more ready to wear seam finishing than the usual pressed open seaming.

I am lucky in that I actually have two Bernina overlockers, the larger one will actually do coverstitch, chain stitch, overlocking  and possibly some other stitches, whilst the smaller one is just an overlocker.

I actually went on a course when I bought the smaller overlocker, and whilst most of the group had a Bernina, there was one that wasn't and this made such a racket it was quite disturbing and it also bounced around a lot.  Whilst my Berninas are much quieter they are solid machines and stay put no jumping around.  My very first overlocker was an Elna and that was a lovely machine, but after about 10 years was causing a lot of problems not stitching properly, stinking the house out, and as I was making my daughter's wedding dress at the time, I had no choice but to go and buy a new overlocker just three weeks before the wedding - and oh what a difference this new one was - yes the smaller Bernina that I have.  This is now about 16 years old and has never caused me any problems at all.

When I first bought my smaller Bernina I had the opportunity to buy a pack of 5 additional feet at a ridiculously silly price, bought separately  they were around the £30 each.  The five attachments are a Multi-purpose Foot with guide, a Blind Stitch Foot, a Gathering Attachment,  a Cording Foot, and an Elasticator.

I believe but am not at all sure that it is Juki that manufactures the overlockers/coverstitchers for Bernina, but worth checking out.  I know that Bernina have a very strict guidelines that have to be followed when these machines are made which is not a bad thing.

Go on take a gamble I think you will just fall in love with one, and with you intending to make more clothes for your little god-daughters you have nothing to lose  Perhaps in six months time you will be back on here saying you didn't now what you were missing.

SkoutSews

Re: Okaaayyy... maybe I need an overlocker...
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2019, 15:00:25 PM »
I wouldn't be without an overlocker now. They make such a difference to the inside of wovens and tidy up armhole seams just beautifully. Sewing stretch and jersey fabrics is a breeze. Unlike @Acorn, I never had much success with sewing stretch fabrics on my 'proper' machine. There was one synthetic ponte which just wouldn't sew on it  :( Overlocker to the rescue!

The quality of the Lidl Singers seems to be hit and miss. Mine was very good as a low-price entry-level machine, particularly when I didn't know if I would get on with it. It's now sold on (Gumtree, full working order, one careful lady owner!) and I've upgraded (I got a deal at the Harrogate show) to
 the Juki MO-654DE which is mechanically identical to @Francesca 's machine. The only difference is the accessibility of some of the controls.

I agree that it is an excellent machine. The salesman told me that it would be the last overlocker I would buy - which sounded slightly disturbing! I'm sure he meant it as a recommendation.

Francesca

Re: Okaaayyy... maybe I need an overlocker...
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2019, 15:02:30 PM »
I wouldn't be without an overlocker now. They make such a difference to the inside of wovens and tidy up armhole seams just beautifully. Sewing stretch and jersey fabrics is a breeze. Unlike @Acorn, I never had much success with sewing stretch fabrics on my 'proper' machine. There was one synthetic ponte which just wouldn't sew on it  :( Overlocker to the rescue!

The quality of the Lidl Singers seems to be hit and miss. Mine was very good as a low-price entry-level machine, particularly when I didn't know if I would get on with it. It's now sold on (Gumtree, full working order, one careful lady owner!) and I've upgraded (I got a deal at the Harrogate show) to
 the Juki MO-654DE which is mechanically identical to @Francesca 's machine. The only difference is the accessibility of some of the controls.

I agree that it is an excellent machine. The salesman told me that it would be the last overlocker I would buy - which sounded slightly disturbing! I'm sure he meant it as a recommendation.

Yes I believe the 54 is the same with the upgraded threader. I can thread mine fine, but I know for some who struggle with dexterity and sight it can be harder to thread the lower looper.
Stash Busting 2019
Sewn: 36.4m
Traded: 45.9m
Added: 41.9m
Up/down: -45.95m

Follow me on Instagram

Sewingsue

Re: Okaaayyy... maybe I need an overlocker...
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2019, 16:32:47 PM »
What did cure it was my new 28k for which I needed old school cleaning cloths so out came the roll of mutton cloth and off I went. Oooo the mess. The place was covered in wee half stitches where the blade had cut the knit.  :o
I now have some 'lovely' new dish cloths and him indoors has some very manky half towel cloths for whatever anglers do.  :x
It's great! Start with dusters or some old nonsense.

Oh that's a good idea.
 I really need to use my overlocker instead of just looking at it and mutton cloth cleaning cloths would be a good way to practice.
Bernina Aurora 440QE, Brother BC-2500, Singer 99K (1938), Silver Viscount 620D overlocker.

wrenkins

Re: Okaaayyy... maybe I need an overlocker...
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2019, 16:40:20 PM »
@Sewingsue it definitely helps to start on something that doesn't matter.
The main problem I had with the mutton cloth was the amount of stretch. I found it difficult to make the ends catch. I am 100% certain it was user error though as I simply threw the MC in and hit the pedal. There's probably a pokey tool or something for when it matters.  8)
I've made myself chuckle. This " I simply threw the MC in and hit the pedal." is my approach to most things!  0_0
Fashion fades, style is forever!