In Love with My New Serger/ Overlocker

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was given an overlocker or serger for my birthday! And before we get much further I’d like to ask if anyone knows the difference between the two? It seems that people in New Zealand talk about overlockers and the American blogs I’ve read talk about sergers. EHow tells me that they are pretty much the same except that sergers can do a few more stiches – is that true? For argument’s sake, I’ll refer to it as an overlocker in this post because I’m more comfortable with that term

So here is my birthday gift – a Baby Lock BL097

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This is IMMENSELY EXCITING for me because since taking up sewing again, in January this year, I have completed 15 items of clothes – 9 dresses, 4 skirts, and three tops (and have three more dresses and a cape waiting patiently to be finished *cough cough*). That is to say – this year I’ve been mad keen on sewing. And I set myself a wee goal, that if I was still sewing next January I would buy myself an overlocker. However, when the opportunity presented itself I couldn’t pass it up.

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So far I’ve only got white and black thread so bear with…

I’m not sure about the situation in other blogger’s homelands, but in New Zealand overlockers are hideously expensive, generally starting at $800, compared to sewing machines which can start at $200. So when this model came on sale and it coincided with my birthday, it was as though fate had it written in the stars. Mum and I went halve-sies and since then I’ve been overlocking like it’s going out of fashion.

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I took great joy in overlocking as I sewed my Lady in Red dress on Sunday; I’ve also overlocked the lining of my yellow Kate Middleton dress (above), yet another WIP; and I’ve overlocked this mystery item (below) which I’ll tell you about next time:

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There is an awful lot of chatter on the internet about how nervous-breakdown-inducing threading an overlocker is and I’m sure this chatter is only aided by scenes like this, which I am the first to say, look intimidating

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the inside of my overlocker

…and the fact that it comes with several tools – including this vaguely threatening looking pair of tweezers – doesn’t help

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And I may be new to this game, but patience goes a long way. I know, call me Sally the Sage. But truly, I’d never threaded an overlocker until this week and if I can do it then it must be dead simple. On the inside of this Baby Lock there is a colour coded guide of how to thread this machine

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If all else fails, follow the instructions…
– An old family saying

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20 thoughts on “In Love with My New Serger/ Overlocker”

  1. This is a piece of equipment that will definitely take you to the next level in sewing. Sergers open a whole new world in sewing. Congrats on your new acquisition!

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  2. I have learn’t that Overlockers & Sergers are exactly the same, it’s just a term. Overlockers/Sergers all come in different model levels, neither is better than the other because they are the same. Like my Bernina, there are 4 different ones, the more you pay the more function you get.

    I am so glad you are enjoying being back into sewing and what a great reward?! I did the same thing – after I got right back into it I got my first overlocker and I have never looked back, it will improve the quality and finish of your garments so much 🙂

    I always re-thread my overlocker from scratch – I know there are tricks to do with knotting the treads etc but to be honest you need to get comfortable re-threading your machine from scratch, 9 times out of 10 if you have a tension or stitch problem you cannot solver re-threading will fix it. I still remember the first time I re-threaded without thinking about grabbing the instructions, I felt so pleased with myself 🙂

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  3. Congratulations on your new machine! I’ve only heard them called sergers here in WA state….. I have a couple, always keeping a back up or two under the sewing table here. You’re right, the threading can make one take up serious drinking! I’ve got one that is almost a self threader, but it still can prove to be cranky………..then, that makes me cranky. Best tip is to never thread the lower loopers. Tie the new thread up at the top thread guides, and I just manually pull the two lower threads through until the new thread comes out. Then thread the uppers, and you’re ready to go.
    Have a great time! You will love the way your projects look!

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      1. I just save the older ones when I get a new one. I never buy them new either, but pick up one that is a floor model, or something that is a trade in. I sew/design for a living, so I need back up machines.
        Have fun learning what your machine can do for you!

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  4. Oh you make me want a serger even more! Please tell me that the Kate Middleton dress is the yellow shirtdress?!
    I’ve had it on my to make list, but then I found one of my ‘inspiration’ dresses on sale, so I grabbed that instead!

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  5. To thread an overlock (searge) easier with other treads you may just cut the treads close to the lock treads and then tide new treads with 8 knots – tide good so it will not break. Then just sew slowly the chain …. old trick from my school… But still – if a tread break you will need to know how to follow up – so exercise … SUCCESS!!!!

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