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How To Use Regular Sewing Machine As An Overlocker – Find Out Here!

If you plan to sew without a serger or overlocker, you will need to learn how to use a sewing machine as an overlocker. This will allow you to finish off the raw edges of fabric so they don’t fray or get caught on other items as you are sewing them together. 

Sewing machines are really meant for sewing, but you can use them for overlocking as well. It takes a little getting use to the sewing machine and it is a little slower then a dedicated overlocker, but it does a great job.  

You don’t need a fancy machine to use as an overlocker.  Any machine with a stretch stitch will work, but a 4 thread overlock stitch is best.  

If your machine has a 2 thread overlock stitch, it will work, but it will take longer to do the seam and the seam will be a little wider.

Overlocking on your sewing machine

Overlocking is an important step in your sewing process. You can use it to finish your edges and prevent fraying. When you are sewing a garment, you want to ensure that there are no loose threads hanging from the seams.

It is also a great way to finish off hems, necklines and bottom edges of your garments. And when you want to add a decorative edge to your fabric, you can use it to create a loop in the fabric.

A sewing machine with an overlocker stitch capability. If your machine doesn’t have this, you can use a serger, which is a specialized sewing machine that does overlocking.

Preparing your Sewing Machine

Many people are interested in knowing how to prepare their sewing machine in order to use it as an overlock machine.

The truth is that it is not that difficult. All you need to do is to adjust the tension of the machine, but to make sure that the machine is actually capable of overlocking.

You can check this by attaching a standard sewing machine foot to the machine, and then feeding a piece of fabric through the machine without the foot.

If you can see that the fabric is being overlocked, then the machine can be prepared for overlocking.

Presser Foot Pressure and Even Feed Foot

Presser foot pressure is critical when using a sewing machine as an overlocker. Sewing machines are great for basic sewing, but when you have to edge-finish, top-stitch, or hem, you need a sewing machine with a special presser foot and special foot control.

Check your sewing machine’s instruction manual and use a combination of the instructions to set up the machine correctly.

Faux Overlock Stitch

Sewing machines are a wonderful, multi-purpose tool that can be used in a variety of applications.

However, their ability to perform duties outside of basic sewing is limited by a number of factors.

Specifically, the machine’s inability to create a proper lock stitch is a common barrier to its use in these settings.  

Fortunately, there is a way to simulate the lock stitch, albeit with a bit of extra effort.  By using a faux overlock stitch, when sewing with a sewing machine as an overlocker, the same results can be achieved.

Faux overlock stitch is a sewing technique that produces the overlock look without the cost of an expensive sewing machine.

It is a combination stitch that combines a zigzag stitch with a straight stitch. It is also called a combination stitch.

Reinforced Straight Stitch

The best, most basic sewing machine stitch for overlocking is the straight stitch. This is because the straight stitch is by far the most versatile stitch in terms of sewing fabric together as well as sewing many types of hems.

This stitch is also used to create zig zags. The straight stitch can be used when you need to sew seams on the sewing machine as a substitute for the overlocker.

Twin Needle: For Fitted Knits

When you use your sewing machine as a coverlocker (you sew it, and then coverlock it), you should use two needles, and the twin needle is designed for this.  

This will make the stitches even and consistent, just as the coverlocker does.

Narrow Zigzag: For Garments with Ease

Use a narrow zigzag stitch on your sewing machine.  This allows you to make hems on your garments quickly and easily.

The zigzag stitch is a combination stitch that can be used on the straight, zigzag, and decorative stitches.  

To make a narrow zigzag stitch, you’ll need to select the narrow stitch width and use the zigzag stitch.

The zigzag stitch can be made in a number of different widths, just select the width you need.

Reinforced Straight Stitch: For Firm Knits

For those of us who are working with knits, you know how they can be a challenge to sew. Since the sewing machine needle is not designed for knits, you may find that the needle is easily bent or broken.

But you do not have to be discouraged by this because there is another way to sew with knits. You can use your sewing machine as a serger when sewing with knits.

By using a straight stitch with a reinforced stitch, your stitches will be firm and strong. You will not have to worry about the needle bending or breaking.

Sewing a rolled hem with an overedge foot

A rolled hem is a decorative finish, on garments made of woven fabric, that can be sewn on a regular sewing machine, with a rolled hem foot attachment.  

The hem is stretched on the bias, giving it a rolled appearance.  This is a different technique than a regular rolled hem.

If you would like to sew a rolled hem with your sewing machine you first need to mark the hem allowance with a fabric pen.

The most accurate way to do this, is to first fold the fabric in half and line up the two edges, then mark the hem allowance one inch in from the fold line.

Using the overedge foot as a guide

When using a sewing machine as an overlocker, the overedge foot is an essential guide for a perfect overlock. It helps you to achieve the correct stretch and tension on the fabric and reduces the risk of snagging.

In Conclusion

The sewing machine that you use for everyday sewing can also be used as an overlock machine. There are different ways to do this, but the one that I use and that I find the easiest is to use the sewing machine’s regular feed instead of the walking foot.

I always use the walking foot and the sewing machine’s regular feed, the only time I use only the regular feed is when I want to use my sewing machine as overlock machine.

Kirsten Carter

Kirsten Carter

Kirsten Carter is a freelance content writer who specialises in writing about travel, technology and health. When she's not traveling between her home of Tanzania and England, she writes for her blog Rightminded Travelling and features on a variety of different travel and technology sites.View Author posts

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