Friday, 18 April 2014

Getting my "L plates" with the overlocker!

A few weeks I decided to drop off some unwanted fabric scraps to the Fabric Cave. I totally can't be held responsible for the fact that they were having a BIG FAT SALE at the same time. Coincidence? Totally!

I had every intention of dropping my stuff off and making a mad dash for the door before the fabric could lure me in. What can I say...I'm weak. I fondled a A LOT of fabric but in the end only came home with three meters of this knit jersey jumper type material. Guess how much? Go on....yes, $5! For THREE METERS of fabric. MINE!

I new exactly what I was going to make with this fabric - another Mandy Boat Tee.

I decided this was a low risk way to see if my new (30 year old) overlocker and I would get along! I was given this overlocker by my father-in-law a little while ago - it had belonged to his wife who was an avid quilter. Confession: I was terrified of it so it sat in a corner in our flat for...ages. I just felt a bit overwhelmed by something that had the potential to slice my finger off if I got too near the blade...or slice a hole in my garment...or that requires a PhD to thread...or is so old it looks like it should be hand-cranked to work.

I really had no confidence in ever being able to use an overlocker...until my Mandy Boat Tee class over at Tessuti! Neurosis aside I was still wary as they just look so dang complicated to thread. I mean LOOK at this thing. WHAT is going on in there?  I was told by one of the sewing teachers over at Sew Make Create that she NEVER re-threads her machine...she simple ties on the new thread to the old thread and feeds it through the loops/needles until the new colour is there. Apparently Singer agrees with this method as that's what their instruction book says too.

OK. No more excuses!

I'm pleased to say that everything went pretty well with me and the dramas to report. I'm not sure that the tension is quite right but the tee I made is still in one piece, so hooray. The tension dials are pretty tough to adjust - they're quite stiff and to dial the tension up (or down) a notch you need to turn the dial for a full 360o rotation. My thumb muscles are too weak for that nonsense!

Now that I've used the overlocker I really love it. Despite my initial gut feel about this "old thing" I actually really like the look and feel of it. I hope she's got a lot more life in her yet.

Oh...and watch this space for my new Mandy Boat Tee. Coming right up!


  1. I have an overlock machine and quite frankly I am terrified to use it. Can't wait to see your boat tee, perfect for this machine.

  2. Catherine Alekna19 April 2014 at 19:36

    i so want to use my boyfriends sisters overlocker while she's living away in the UK. Now is the best time to use but but its not threaded! eep! great score from Fabric cave! i really cant wait to see your tee!

  3. Scared Stitchless19 April 2014 at 20:22

    Hooray! I'm glad you made friends with it. When I bought my overlocker from Aldi it came pre threaded (hooray) but it had been knocked around enough that it wouldn't actually make chains in the thread (boo) so I had to learn how to thread it right from the beginning. Turns out youtube is great for that kind of thing and now I can do it without needing to pause a youtube clip at every step. They're so helpful when sewing knits, can't wait to see your Mandy Boat!

  4. I just love the solid look of this - everything now looks so plastic - cue cliche - they just don't make things like they used to!

  5. Once you get used to it, you will wonder how you ever got by without it!

  6. I'm already using the overlocker to sew up seam finishes on my woven stuff. I love it (though I am a bit afraid to change thread colours)!

  7. At first I was scared by the look of it - like driving a bit old car from the 50s with no seatbelts or airbags...but now I love it. It's so solid and sturdy and looks so GREAT!

  8. I'm hoping I never have to rethread my looks SO complicated! There were tweezers involved when the teacher at Sew Make Create threaded it for me.

  9. Use it! Could you get someone over to thread it for you do you think (not me, someone who knows what they're doing I mean)!

  10. Perhaps do a class using an overlocker like I did. Once I had my first go at it I was a convert!