Overlocking Basics

How to change the thread:

  1. Cut each thread and remove the cone. Tie new thread onto each thread in the machine, using a small overhand knot. Clip thread ends 1.3cm from the knot.
  2. Release tension, or set tension controls on 0. Cut needle thread in front of the needle. Pull on the tail chain to separate threads.
  3. Pull threads one at a time through thread guides, upper looper and lower looper. Pull needle thread until knot reaches needle eye. Cut off knot; thread needle with tweezers.

How to clear the stitch fingers:

  1. Raise the presser foot. Turn flywheel to raise the needle. Place left hand on thread chain behind the presser foot. To slacken needle thread, pull it gently above last thread guide-before needle.
  2. Raise the presser foot. Turn flywheel to raise the needle. Pull straight back on thread chain behind presser foot until threads separate and stitch fingers (prongs) of throat plate or presser foot are empty.

How to start a seam:

  1. Make the thread chain. Stitch seam for one or two stitches. Raise presser foot; turn the flywheel to lift the needle. Clear stitch fingers. Run your fingers along thread chain to make it smooth.
  2. Bring thread chain to the left, around and under the presser foot. Place thread chain between needle and knife. Hold thread chain in position, and lower the presser foot.
  3. Stitch seam over thread chain for about 2.5cm; then swing thread chain to the right, so it is trimmed off as you continue to stitch seam.

How to end a seam:

  1. Stitch the past end of the seam by one stitch and stop. Raise presser foot and needle to clear stitch fingers.
  2. Turn seam over, and rotate it to align the edge of seam with the edge of the knife. Lower presser foot. Turn flywheel to insert the needle at end of the seam and at the left of edge the width of the stitch.
  3. Stitch over previous stitches for about 2.5cm. stitch off edges, leaving thread chain. With scissors or overlocker knife, trim thread chain close to the edge of the seam.

How to stitch inside corners and slits

  1. Finish seams of inside corners by aligning the raw edge of the fabric with the knife of the overlocker. Stitch, stopping before the corner.
  2. Fold the fabric to the left to straighten the edge. This may create a tuck, which will not be stitched.
  3. Resume stitching, holding the fabric in a straight line. Once past corner, the fabric can be relaxed.

How to stitch curved edges

  1. Begin cutting at an angle, until you reach the desired cutting or stitching line.
  2. Guide fabric in front of presser foot so knives trim raw edge to the curved shape. While stitching, watch knife, not the needle.
  3. Stop when stitched overlap previous stitches. Lift presser foot, shift fabric so it is behind the needle; stitch off the edge to prevent gradual looping over the edge of the fabric.

How to stitch outside corners:

  1. Trim off seam allowance past corners for about 5cm. If making napkins, placemats, or similar projects, you can cut fabric to the finished size and omit this step.
  2. Sew one stitch past end of the corner, and stop. Raise the presser foot and needle to clear stitch fingers and slacken needle thread slightly.
  3. Pivot fabric to align the raw edge of the trimmed seam allowance with a knife. Insert the needle at the overlocked edge. Lower presser foot, and continue stitching.