Overlocking A perfect beginning and end

A question that sometimes comes up during sewing classes is How do I secure the beginnings and ends of overlocking?

There are a few answers depending on the situation…

 

If the overlocking will eventually have another row of stitching or overlocking over each end (probable examples are side seams, shoulder seams and in fact, most regular seams), simply cut the overlocking chain off level with the end of the fabric.  If you leave a tail it will just unravel to become threads.

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 1 Just cut it

 

If the overlocking laps over itself (for example, overlocking hems before turning them up and overlocking around armholes), cut off the thread chain after stitching over an inch or two where you started.

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 2a Overlocking a hem

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 2b Overlocking a hem

 

 

What if neither of these apply, and the overlocking finishes into thin air?  This could happen at the point of a V neckline trim, or at the ends of an inverted pleat with a backing.

 

 

Use a rouleau loop turner to pull the tail through the overlocking:

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 3a Use a rouleau loop turner

Push the loop turner through the final inch or two of the overlocking, with the arm pushed away from the hook.  Put the tail in the hook and push the arm up.

 

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 3c Use a rouleau loop turner

Pull it back through with a slight downward motion.

 

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 3d Use a rouleau loop turner

Cut off the excess.

 

Don’t have a rouleau turner?  A darning needle does the same job.

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 4a Use a darning needle

Push the darning needle through the last inch or two of overlocking and thread it with the tail.

 

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 4b Use a darning needle

Pull the needle through and cut off the excess tail.

 

 

The tail can also be overlocked over:

(This takes practise)

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 5a A neat beginning

At the beginning of a seam, sew for one or two stitches then raise the presser foot.

 

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 5b A neat beginning

Bring the tail to the left, towards you, around and under the presser foot.

 

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 5c A neat beginning

Position it between the needle and the cutter.  Lower the presser foot holding the tail in position.

 

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 5d A neat beginning

Overlock over the tail for an inch or two, then swing it off to the right so it gets cut off.

 

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 5e A neat beginning

Hmmm…not bad.

 

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 5f A neat beginning

Blegh!!! Don’t let the tail get scrunched up at the beginning!

 

 

 

 

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 6a A neat end

At the end of a seam, stitch past the end by one stitch.

 

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 6b A neat end

Raise the presser foot and needle. Turn the fabric over really carefully to sew back the way you came.  Align the edge with the cutter.

 

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 6c A neat end

Lower the presser foot and turn the handwheel so the needle goes in at the end of the seam.

 

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 6d A neat end

Stitch over the previous stitching a short distance then run off the edge.

 

Overlocking A perfect beginning and end 6e A neat end

And cut.

 

Happy overlocking!

Cheers!

 

 

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