Overlocker Virgin No More. Just.

So I finally sat myself down and read through the Bernina 1150MDA overlocker manual. It’s only been 7 months since I got it as a present.

Truth be told I was scared of that beast. Compared to a sewing machine it just seems so complicated, so daunting. So many parts. So many thread paths. So many thread spools. So big a spool of thread!

Join a class you say? Easier said then done I say. For an introvert type. Who live in part of London without any sewing machine shop near by. And who doesn’t drive. Not even bike.

So it was with trepidation that I finally put the spool guide on and turned to page 1. Now I never read manuals. But I read this one cover to cover. Almost.

And actually it wasn’t that bad – serging my first practice swatch. But you won’t find me whipping up a wrap dress like the Selfish Seamstress on her first date with her Babylock.

No, I’ll be taking baby steps.

Next stop, figuring out how to live without pinning. And how to guide the fabric so that I’m sewing on the seam line with the 5/8″ pre-trimmed seam allowance.

Any tips and advice from all you overlocker old timers?

0 comments on “Overlocker Virgin No More. Just.

  1. I actually did just like Selfish, sewed a dress on my first try. The only tips I can give are:

    Use masking tape/painter’s tape to mark you knits, esp the purely geometric pieces that are rectangles and squares.

    I measured the common widths I use (3/8in, 5/8in, 1in) from the needle to the bed/arm and marked them with a Sharpie on the machine. Easier on the eyes than the molded plastic lines of my Brother.

    Test to see were 1/4in puts you on the bed of the machine. For those times when you need to correct something without trimming the seam.

    I also think the greatest tip I got on PR re:servers was to buy basic color cones like white, black, grey, dusty pink. On my Brother serger, I can use regular needles and thread so when I don’t have a matching color for a fabric, I put a regular spool on the straight needles and the cones I do have for the upper and lower loopers.

    I also write down the settings, especially for those fabrics I have too much of (in the beginning, I bought 3yds but find I mostly use 1.5 max.) and will use in the future. I serge a scrap and glue it to a small notebook I keep on my sewing table. Very useful.

    • Thanks for the great tips! I’ll definitely be trying them out on my first serging project.

      I don’t quite understand the tip about marking knits with masking tape though. What are you marking – where the pattern meets so you can line up the shape? Pattern notches?

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