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Overlocker Stitches

Overlocker stitches

This guide to overlocker stitches is an extract from Overlockers and Overlocking – A practical guide written by Lorna Knight and published by The Crowood Press. This useful guide will help you get the most from your overlocker. 

An introduction to overlocker stitches

An overlocker has various settings and performs different functions; when you are new to overlocking, it is not always easy to know when and why to choose each stitch. This brief outline should help.

4 thread overlocking stitch

introduction to overlocker stitches

Both needles are used to make strong seams when joining two pieces of fabric together. 

Narrow three thread overlocking stitch

Beginner's guide to serger stitches

The right-hand needle is used for edge finishes on lighter-weight fabrics. It is also suitable for seams on light or sheer fabrics on loose-fit garments, where there is no pressure on seams. 

Wide three thread overlocking stitch

Overlocking for beginners - a stitch guide

The left-hand needle is used for edge finishes on loose-weave cloth or heavier fabrics. 

Two thread overlocking stitch

Overlocker/serger stitches explained simply

Use this for flatlocking and as a seam finish on lightweight fabrics. Using just two threads gives a less bulky finish. Use one needle and the lower looper with the upper looper converter in place.

Rolled hem

How to sew a rolled hem on an overlocker/serger

Choose this for narrow hems and edges on lightweight or soft, sheer materials. Use the righthand needle and adjust the settings as described for your model.

Picot Hem

How to sew a picot hem with an overlocker or serger

Use this for narrow hems and edges on soft, light fabrics. The stitches are spaced further apart and give a softer edge as compared to a rolled hem which can be too stiff for some fabrics.

Lettuce Hem

Choosing the correct overlocker stitch

This produces a curly, decorative edge on stretchy fabrics. The settings are the same as for a rolled hem but the handling technique is different.

Fishing-line hem

Best overlocker hem for stretch fabrics

Use this for a firm, flouncy edge on bias or stretch fabric. The settings are the same as for rolled hemming but the overlocking stitch covers nylon fishing-line. 

Pin tucks

Doing decorative stitches on an overlocker or serger

Used for a textured, decorative finish: a rolled hem is sewn on a fold rather than an edge.

Flatlock stitch

How to do a flatlock stitch on an overlocker/serger

Used for a decorative flat seam where overlock stitches form on the surface. It also produces a folded hem useful for stretch fabrics.

Ladder Stitch

How to use an overlocker - stitch guide

This produces a flat seam with ladder stitch detail on the surface. It is the reverse of a flatlock finish and is used for overlocking a blind hem.

Blanket Stitch

How to do blanket stitch on an overlocker or serger

Used for a decorative hem with the appearance of hand-sewn blanket stitches.

Wave Stitch

Learn how to use an overlocker or serger

This gives a decorative edge which can be enhanced by using two colours. It is only available on Baby Lock models.

Find a more detailed guide to using these overlocker stitches in Overlockers and Overlocking – A Practical Guide by Lorna Knight. It is available direct from the publishers, The Crowood Press at a 20% discount. Order your copy here. 

Once you’ve mastered the basic overlocking stitches why not try this guide to simple garment techniques with an overlocker.