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Tuesday Tips with Lindsey Rae - Overlockers/sergers - are they a must buy?

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

When you are just starting out on your sewing journey you don't need to rush out an buy all the latest equipment and notions, but once you've been sewing for a while and are wanting to up your game getting an overlocker is definitely the right step in my opinion.

✂️ Overlockers give you the professional and clean finish on the inside of your garments quickly and looks so much better than just a zig zag. If you only sew a garment or two a year, then an overlocker may not be for you, but if you are making a couple garments a month, then not only will an overlocker save you a lot of time, it will definitely elevate your sewing.

✂️ I recommend taking a class and perhaps hiring out an overlocker or trying one. Maybe you could even borrow one from a friend. Once you use one, you will see what all the fuss is about and it can be a little bit of a try before you buy.

✂️ If you can, purchase your first overlocker from a trusted authorised dealer. Unless your best friend is a sewing machine expert and can help you oil, thread, and operate your new machine you will want somewhere with lessons and help to show you how to get going with your new machine. There is a reason you always find $150 non/used overlockers at op-shops and on facebook market place. It is because they purchased or were given something with no help or guidance. Trust me, you will want someone to sit down with you to show you how to thread and get started sewing so you feel confident. Then you will be well on your way.

✂️You all know I LOVE my @brotheraustralia overlocker, but when you are looking for a machine I recommend taking in a scrap sample of what you plan on sewing. Have the sales staff demonstrate to you how easy the overlocker is to thread, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT, and also test your swatches. Make sure the machine sounds capable of sewing your fabrics and has the features you are after. For example: Self threading, needle threader, easy to thread upper and lower looper, ease of tension adjustment and thread cutter. Some things may not be important to you, but having a look out there for what is on the market within your price point and narrowing it down will really help when trying to make a decision.

So ultimately, yes, I think you need an overlocker if you are seriously getting into dress making. Do you have to have one? No. Could you bind your seams, sew french seams and flat felled seams? Yes. Can you just do a zig zag? Yes. Will it look neat and professional? Probably not. It is totally up to you, but I hope my tips will help you on your journey.

If you've got any questions on technique, equipment or fabric...well anything sewing related...let me know! I'd love to help and in the process if your question is used on a Tuesday Tips post I'll send you a code for a FREE PDF pattern too!


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Welcome to Sew To Grow!
Our mission is to help you build a perfectly fitted handmade wardrobe, so when someone asks where you got your fabulous frock you can confidently say 'I made it!'. To help you on your sewing journey, here you'll find a range of tutorials about sewing techniques, garment fitting, notions and tools, fabric and more!

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