My new scary overlocker …

I have a confession. I have bought an overlocker. Why do I feel guilty? Because now I’ve got it, I don’t actually think I really needed it, I think I could have managed with my regular machine and sewn knits with a zig zag. Also, I don’t really feel good enough in my sewing world to move on to this landmark stage just yet, there is so much to learn and I’m afraid I’ll just stick to the simple stuff. This might actually be the equivalent of buying an MacBook Pro when all you’d do with it is shop on the internet (I haven’t done that, don’t worry) …  

Sod it! I like it, it’s blooming clever and look, I made a dress with it!


Oh dear, it’s a fine stripe stretch knit that makes your eyes a bit funny when photographed, so bare with me …

The overlocker is the Brother 1034D and I bought it from a local shop where I was given a demonstration and the offer of a free lesson whenever I fancied, I could take one home there and then and he gave me a good deal, sold.  At home, I looked at the box for a week or so, then late one night, I decided I couldn’t put it off any longer and on a whim, started the dress as an introduction to learning about what my new toy could do. 


I used my Simplicity 2444 pattern for the bodice, using only two pieces as a zip wouldn’t be necessary with this and the skirt is just two rectangles, pleated at the waist.

I played a bit with using the overlocker to sew the edge of my facing first, that went well, so I sewed the shoulder seams too. It’s actually very easy to use and oh so satisfying – no raw edges. I did a lot of switching nervously from one machine to another but maybe in future I’ll get a system worked out for that. 

Look at these lovely little complex stitches! (notice how they are in the white that the machine came ready threaded in!)


Now, this is where I sound very stupid and I appeal to your patient natures to help me through this bit …How do you hem with an overlocker like this? Do you overlock the edge and then turn it up and zigzag on your ordinary machine? Do you blind stitch (which I believe involves removing a needle, please don’t make me remove a needle!), or should I have turned up and hand stitched? Oh, so much to learn.


Don’t even get me thinking of re-threading! I do love the top tip of tying the threads to the new spools but the whole thing gives me a nervous tummy.

So, as you can see, I’m an absolute novice and I need a little lot of time to get my head around this. A day to immerse myself totally in the world of overlocking is on the horizon but in the meantime any hints would be welcomed most warmly.

I’m quite pleased with the dress, well, sort of, but I really do need to take up that offer of a free lesson. If it’s not too late.




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11 responses to “My new scary overlocker …

  1. Yay, congratulations on your new overlocker and even though you think you don’t need it at the moment, you will once you’ve used it a few times. First off, I’d advise you to take advantage of that free lesson! But for when you’re at home and you’re trying to thread it yourself, this video is excellent:
    I’ve got the same overlocker and this video has put me on the straight and narrow many a time! For hems, I finish the edge with the overlocker then sew it on my normal machine with a double needle. I’ve only recently discovered double needles and they’re fab, you get two rows of perfect stitching on the front and a nice zigzag on the reverse.
    I think the dress is amazing – I’ll confess now, my overlocker stayed in its box for FOUR months before I plucked up the courage to use it, so you’ve done brilliantly! Wishing you lots of luck and happy overlooking! x

  2. I have the same overlocker as you and I LOVE it. I find it indispensible for finishing seams neatly. However, you’re braver than me, I’ve had mine since last June and I haven’t plucked up the courage to sew knits yet! Jane sent me the same link on how to thread your 1034D and it really helps. Re-threading mine doesn’t bother me at all now. Enjoy it!

  3. Thank you! I’m feeling very excited about having neat seams, even though nobody but me will see them! x

  4. Overlockers are so dang rad! I feel like my makes went from bad to rad when I dragged my aunt’s one out of teh cupboard and started it up. I tend to finish the hem and then sew it up on my regular machine. Looks profesh and is really easy. Yay on this purchase- you are so at the skill level for this!!!

  5. Congrats on your new purchase! I’m a little jealous, but I also feel obliged to develop my general sewing skills and also try using my basic machine to sew knits before making the leap. But the leap will soon be made, I think, because that machine looks like so much fun! I’ll also be curious to see how you feel the machine handles overall? This is the model I’ve been eyeing.

    • So far so good, I’m really enjoying but it’s very early days and there’s a lot to discover. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything bad about this model, you should go for it!

  6. Just came here following on from your comment on my blog. Love your dress and will love to hear how you get on with your serger…I am too scared to get one but you might convince me!

  7. I have been dreaming of an overlocker for a couple of years now as I mainly sew knits and sometimes struggle on my regular machine, but every time I think I can maybe afford one, I start questioning whether I really need one, or whether it is just an extra gadget that will quickly be gathering dust… I am glad I am not the only one who has these moments of doubt, and also encouraged by the other comments here, maybe next time I have some spare cash I should just bite the bullet and go for it!

    • Hello, I confess it does seem a bit of a luxury, naughty but nice as they say! I know not everyone uses them and get on very well without them. I’m sure it won’t gather dust if you do decide to get one, you will love what you can do with it!

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