Oliver + S

Issues with serger/overlocker

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    Pink Zipper @Pink Zipper

    I have had my 4thread overlocker for a while and used it regularly to finish off seams which I love.

    I often use scraps of the fabric that I going to sew with to fine tune the stitch.

    I have just started using it too sew knits. I was under the impression, maybe mistakenly that could use just the overlocker to stitch the seam. But results are terrible.


    This picture is without any stress on the seam. I have simply turn the shirt out the right way after stitching.

    The stitches are overly visible at the seams. What am I doing wrong? Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Nicole @motherof5

    You can use the over locker and indeed it should be tighter then that.

    The tension is not correct. There are a few options. Firstly,get it serviced and ask the technician to set it for you AND use it before you take it home to make sure it works satisfactorily.

    The next option is to have a fiddle your self.

    The first thing you need to do is take photos or notes of any settings so that you can reset it to the original settings if it doesn’t work out.

    Try tightening the stitch length(the manual will show you where to find it). This may help. If not,next try opening the tension discs gently with a pin and blow any fluff out,this can produce a loose stitch.

    If it is not improved,get your manual out and using that as guidance start adjusting the tension in small increments and test sew very carefully each adjustment.

    I like to use white fabric and write on the small sample the tension setting with a sharpie.

    This may not be a quick process and it is best if you don’t have any little helpers around so that you can concentrate.

    You could also try googling your machine make for some tips.

    I had tension issues with my new(to me)overlocker and I googled to no avail and finally resorted to emailing a person on Ebay that was selling the same machine and asking for help.

    The gorgeous lady rang me and spent 20 minutes on the phone talking me through it!

    Unfortunately,some machines are just duds and are really only any good for neatening.

    I hope this is some help and please ask if I need to clarify any points for you.

    Good luck


    Pink Zipper @Pink Zipper

    Wow thank you so much Nicole!

    Yes I have a few helpers at my place, so I will try all these tips out when I get back to the machine ..alone.

    I’m just so keen to sew with knits on the overlocker. I tried with my sewing machine and couldn’t put up with the triple stitch, it was so painstaking!

    Thanks again. Will get back to you with my results as soon as i can.


    JohannaO @JohannaO

    Along with changing the tension, etc- I find it really helpful to have a (mostly) matching thread color in my left hand needle. I find that I can hide some “oops” in the tension if I have a similarly colored thread in that needle. I use normal thread in that needle, so I can pick from any of the colors I can find at the store, instead of just what comes on the serger cones. That said, don’t use any vintage threads- the thread will catch on the edge of the spool, and you’ll end up with a hot mess.

    My serger didn’t come with a manual, so I’ve worked my way through my tension issues, and learned some new stitches using this book- http://amzn.com/0806998075

    Pink Zipper @Pink Zipper

    Thanks everyone. Great tip about the matching thread colour Johanna. I always wondered if I could use “normal”thread. My collection of overlocker threads include black white and in the middle grey. Not exactly a rainbow of colours!

    I have had a quick play with the stitch length and cleaned out the tension discs. It seems to improved things. Now to get sewing!

    Nicole @motherof5

    Bump baby bump!

    Jane @jesims


    Thanks for bumping this up! I will spend some time with it during nap time this week and see what happens. I have a wonderful visual of a color block hopscotch dress in my head that I’d love to make (wonder if the finished product will look like the image I have in my head? Guess that’s for a different post).


    Tamara @justsewit

    I’m hoping it is just as simple as adjusting the dials – I have a different machine but had the same problem until I realised my *darling* bells and whistles son tried “fixing” my machine when it didn’t need to be fixed and he’d changed the dials.

    The colour block dress sounds wonderful so I hope you get to make it and the machine is working well.


Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

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