Silly question, right? Choosing an overlocker (serger to our US friends) is possibly the second-biggest decision after investing in a sewing machine.
If you don’t know what an overlocker is or does, a machine like the Janome 6234XL overlocker allows you to quickly finish seams neatly and so that they don’t fray with wear or laundering. Your sewing starts to look more finished and that can be a big boost to your creative confidence.
I’ve had my Brother M1034D overlocker for seven years. I bought it in 2011 after shoving pound coins in a jar. (I still recommend this as a great way of saving up for goals – I currently have two jars on the go.)
The Brother M1034D is an affordable model. It’s pretty much perfect for beginners and has been a loyal friend.
Unfortunately, my head had been turned. Pretty much every sewing school I attended had a Janome overlocker – and oh, what a treat they were to use. Such even stitching. So fast! And their own little trays for collecting scraps. I was smitten.
I decided it was time for an upgrade and recently welcomed a Janome into my home. I timed how long it took to unpack this baby and start overlocking. Six minutes, from stripping back the sellotape to hearing the thrum of an engine. And that time included taking photos.
Highlights of this model include:
- Colour coded easy threading
- Uses standard ballpoint needles
- Instructional DVD (though this home can’t play DVDs any more)
- Differential feed
- Easy rolled hem conversion
- Lots of yummy accessories…
Tips for investing in an overlocker:
Test your commitment to sewing first. You don’t want to spend chunks of money, only to discover that this was a short-lived affair.
Do what I did – practise with overlockers at sewing school, a specialist sewing shop or at a friend’s. My first experiences with an overlocker was as a student at Morley College.
Buy sensibly, but don’t be scared of the budget option. As long as you do your research, buy a brand you or others are familiar with and avoid secondhand options.
Scared of an overlocker? Push through the fear! I know people who bought overlockers and then left them to sit in the box for six months. Really, once you’ve had your lightbulb moment, you won’t go back. I went to a one-off evening class to get over my overlocker fear.
Not ready yet? That’s cool. Remember, an overlocker is a luxury, not a necessity. There are loads of ways to finish a seam. Below, I used the selvedge on one seam as my finish.
I’ll leave you with the deal breaker consideration. Do you love sewing with knits? Then you might want to start dropping overlocker birthday hints … ooh, about now.
Do you have any overlocker tips to share?
With thanks to Janome for the loan of their machine.