I don’t actually have an overlock machine. When we were buying my serger I either wasn’t paying attention or wasn’t thinking straight…but we got one without the option for overlock. Now that it’s some 5 years later, I’m kicking myself for that, but I’m not quite ready to drop the couple hundred dollars to buy the separate machine I’d need. That’s where this trick comes in.
If you’re using a normal sewing machine with standard thread to sew on knits, you can always use a zig zag stitch, and I have done that in the past. As my sewing is getting better and better though, it always bothered me that I didn’t have the option of a straight stitch on my knit projects.
Thank God for wooly nylon.
I’ve talked about this thread before, but up until recently I had only used it in my serger. I have only been able to find it on cones, and so I hadn’t been able to use it on my sewing machine…and had frankly been a touch afraid it would mess something up if I did anyhow.
I finally bit the bullet, bought a stand so I could use thread on cones to the side of my machine, wound a bobbin and tried sewing straight seams with it.
It worked perfectly.
I used this technique to finish all the edges on my patriotic swing shirt and I love how it turned out. This doesn’t yield a seam that’s quite as stretchy as true overlock, but it is enough that I haven’t had to worry about snapping my seams (like I always did with standard thread). If your sewing machine doesn’t have a self threader, you will need a needle threader to get the wooly nylon through the eye.
I’m sure, being the sewing addict that I am, I will eventually buy an overlock machine. Sewing is kind of my crack, and as I improve, I get more and more annoyed when I don’t have the right “tools”, but this technique is going to let me put off the purchase for a while, and should be just right for those of you who only work with knits on occasion!
Hope this helps, and of course, as always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments! I love hearing from all of you!
* Just a note…what I’m talking about is also called cover stitching…I’m not 100% sure “overlock” is the correct terminology. This is what I mean.*