14 September 2014
I’ve had two brainwaves regarding my overlocker (serger for my US friends), which maybe everyone who owns an overlocker has already figured out or knew about forever. But, just in case someone out there doesn’t know about them, I thought it would be a good service to tell all!
Does your overlocker walk or shimmy across your table while you’re sewing?
Mine would behave most of the time, but sometimes when I was sewing fast (when edging a single layer of fabric for example) the overlocker would start to jump and shimmy across the table. This got quite annoying as I ended up chasing it whilst I was sewing! Then I had brainwave number one: if I got some of that non-slip matting and put it under the feet of the overlocker it just might stop my machine from running away from me!
The added bonus is it’s really cheap so will last a long time. I roll I got was 30cms wide and one and a half metres long, price: 99p! I just cut a piece big enough for all 4 of my overlocker feet to fit on and it lasts ages before it packs down and stops working.
I’m now going to see if it works as well just cutting a piece of the non slip mat big enough for each foot. I’ll let you know if that’s a success.
Does the top layer of fabric bunch up while you’re sewing?
I use my overlocker a lot as I make tops for bellydancers, and bellydancers like sparkly fabrics. In fact the most popular fabric for tops is this nasty, evil, cheap stuff, which actually looks really good, but can be a nightmare to sew.
The problem with this fabric is that the sparkly discs are glued on and that glue transfers itself onto the needles on your overlocker. Also, it is very fine, the metallic threads pull easily and it’s very stretchy. Basically I have a lot to deal with here! The worst problem is that when I’m sewing some of the seams along the direction of the stretch, the top layer of fabric just bunches up in front of the foot and stretches and ends up way longer than the bottom layer. I’ve tried altering the tension of the presser foot, cleaning the needles after every seam and cleaning the bottom of the foot regularly too. No joy. Now for my brainwave. I realised that the fabric was bunching up mainly because the bottom surface of the foot was getting dirty, was therefore not smooth and was sticking to the fabric. I then remembered that my old sewing machine came with a couple of shaped teflon tape pieces you could stick onto the bottom of the normal sewing foot and the zip foot in case you needed the foot to slide more smoothly over the fabric. I dug them out but they were too small for my overlocker foot. So off to Google I went. I didn’t really know what to search for. I found that plumbers use teflon tape for winding around joints but that’s not self-adhesive and it’s very thin and really not suitable. This is what I did find though – teflon mouse feet!
I got mine from www.theptfeshop.com You get two strips of tape, each one is big enough to cover an overlocker foot.
It works wonders!!! I can’t tell you how happy I am!
So those are my two slightly unusual overlocker tips for you, I hope they have been of help to someone. My only annoyance is: WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THEM SOONER!?!?!?