I have to stop being such an overlocking snob

Since buying my own overlocker nearly 15 years ago, I’ve become obsessed with neatly finished seams. So much so that I will pause projects until I can overlock seams neatly if that is my planned finish. Don’t think that it is JUST about overlocking, it’s not. I love my garments lined, french seamed, pinked, etc. Just not hairy/fraying!

So over the May Day bank holiday I found some time to do some sewing as many of us did, but I hadn’t brought my overlocker home. So either I was going to have to miss the sewing opportunity (no thanks), leave raw seams (which I can’t quite bring myself to do) or have a go at the overlocking stitch on my sewing machine. Which is what I decided to have a go at.

What am I making?

I recently came across the Galena dress for stretch fabrics from Little Lizard King which is a FREE downloadable pattern. Hooray, it’s free AND there is also a corresponding ladies pattern which is also free so it’s perfect for mummy and me outfits which I fully intend on doing. It goes from 12 months to 14 years for kids and the ladies goes up to US size 32. So everyone can wear it.

The cotton jersey fabric came from my good friends at The Good Stitch and you can buy it by clicking here.

The sewing machine overlocking stitch

I’ve never used the overlocking foot or overlocking stitch on the sewing machine. After a read through the instruction manual and a quick sample, it is actually relatively simple and I want to share how easy it is if you don’t have access to an overlocker.

When you set up the overlocker stitch make sure that your stitch width is wide enough. The overlocker foot has a little bar which prevents the stitches from being pulled tight to allow them to wrap around the edge of the fabric. If it is too narrow the stitch won’t be doing it’s job. The bar needs to in line with the cut edge of your fabric. You need to make sure the needle is not going to hit the bar. With my machine the default setting is the correct width but if your machine is more manual then you need to check first.

If the stitching makes the fabric distorted like this, it can easily be steamed back into shape. Just lay it flat on the ironing board and take your time to press a bit with steam then lift and do the same at various points. DON’T swipe the iron, it just doesn’t work.

This stitch is a lot more time consuming than an actual overlocker but it still looks great. It can be used to stitch the actual seams or on the edge of the seam allowance.

The biggest difference is that you need to make sure you trim your seam allowances neatly beforehand because unlike the overlocker, the sewing machine can’t perform that bit. I finished off the hem with a twin needle and pink ombre thread.

And how does Edie like her new dress?

She was very excited to have a new dress. She doesn’t have many as she went through a phase when she first started walking of getting frustrated that the skirt got caught under her feet when she tried to stand. Now she’s loving wearing a dress again so I expect I’ll start to fill her wardrobe with lots of home made ones! Also this pattern is a great simple make, it only took a couple hours for me to put together. The next step is to try one for myself.

Thanks for reading.

Rosie xx

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