My overlocker arrived yesterday! I unpacked it and, I’ll admit, it scared me. It looked so complicated. So, I placed the cover over it and I backed away cautiously. I eyed it warily for the rest of the day.

I decided not to be such a wimp today. I took off the cover and resolved that I would learn the basics. You see that small table it’s sitting on? That’s my sewing table. It’s barely bigger than my sewing machine. It’s in a corner of my living room (which is now very untidy with sewing stuff). I dream of the day I can get a sewing room and a bigger table to work on.

I plan to use the overlocker for a long while, so I figured I should invest some time in getting to know it properly. I watched the tutorial DVD which was pretty strange. It looks like it was made in the 1980s and it’s delivered by a woman with the most monotone voice I’ve ever heard. Here’s an extract if you’re interested. I read the manual, too, and made some notes on what seemed to be the most important bits for quick reference.

Finally, I watched this video, kindly sent to me by Handmade Jane, which shows more clearly than the tutorial DVD how to thread the overlocker. Emboldened by this, I took the bull by the horns and deliberately unthreaded the machine so I could practice threading it up. I’ve read lots of anecdotes online about how awful threading an overlocker is, so I thought I’d get the worse over with it and just give it a try. Actually, it wasn’t too bad. I’d need to watch the video to do it again, but it took only a few minutes.

After all that, I did some overlocking/serging. Here’s my first attempt:

You see the way the thread loops are hanging over the right edge of the fabric? Is it meant to look like  that, or do I need to fiddle around with the tension?

I have so many questions about using an overlocker, I’ve ordered this book (when in doubt, buy a book is my motto). In the meantime, if anyone has any top overlocking/serging tips, I’d be very pleased to hear them. Here’s to neater seams!