Skip to content

Using an Overlock foot

Do you have an overlocker? They are great and I would not be without mine, I love owning one, but sometimes it seems too much hassle to re-thread it when you only want to overlock one thing, or you do not want to go out and buy overlock threads in a colour you will not use again.
What is the answer?  I recently made this stretch jersey top using just my Bernina sewing machine with an overlock foot. I have to say it was no trouble at all to switch feet and choose a different  stitch in fact it was quick and enjoyable.

I found a piece of this unusual burnout fabric at Abakhan Fabrics. It is a soft feel stretch jersey, there was just enough to make a top.

The pattern is Butterick 6132 available from on the link HERE it is a very easy pattern to make. There are four options to choose from, I chose option A which has an A symmetrical neckline.

I have a Bernina sewing machine, from Jaycotts, and the overlock  foot is shown above. This is the link to a universal overlock foot, suitable for most other makes of sewing machine Universal overlock foot but you should contact if you are in any doubt as to which foot to choose.
The overlock (or overedge foot) gives you an edging similar to your overlocker. You use it with one of the special stitches for overlocking on your machine. Before you start sewing  please check that your needle will not catch anywhere on the foot, if it does adjust the needle position or stitch . 
You will also need a needle especially made for jersey fabrics, I chose a BALL POINT MACHINE NEEDLE which slips through jersey fabrics easily without damaging the fabric.
Before you start sewing your top  you need to take a spare piece of fabric and practise the various stitches on your sewing machine, most machines have at least two to choose from. When you find the stitch which suits your fabric best and you are most pleased with make a note of the stich in case you forget, well I would forget!

The pattern instructions are very easy to follow, so cut the fabric out making sure that you cut out the size which best corresponds to your measurements,  not your commercial dress size. Match up obvious patterns as you pin the pattern pieces in place.  Tack it all together and try on. If you are unsure of the corrext size then you need to make a toille out of a cheap stretch fabric, adjust it to fit and transfer the changes to the pattern before cutting it out in the real fabric.

Another product which I absolutely love is this thread. It is Mettler Seraflock thread, Click here to view more details it is fabulous because it stretches so you can sew stretch fabrics using just a straight stitch, it really does make life simple. Together with the overlock foot, this thread means that you can make a stretch top without moving from your sewing machine and with very little trouble.

The top took me only a couple of hours to make, I stitched the front and back together at the shoulders, changed to the overlock foot and overedged the shoulder seams.The collar needs interfacing with a stretch lightweight interfacing, for details view HERE it is important to use a food quality interfacing which is suitable for your fabric,  so buy the best you can and remember you only need a little piece so your purchase will last for ages.
The version I chose has an  A-symmetrical collar whicH  is a nice design feature and very simple to make. You may choose to make one of the other designs in the pattern envalope though, they are all fabulous.

To hem the sleeves I used a normal hem - just fold the fabric over, press and fold it over again enclosing the raw edge and top stitch. For the lower edge I overlocked all the way around and turned it up about half an inch and top stitch.
That is the top finished apart from a final press. It was so quick and easy to make that I don't think I could have gone out to buy a ready made one any quicker!
I would like to mention that if you sign up for the Jaycotts newsletter via the link HERE you will be the first to hear about special offers and competitions, and see new products as they arrive.
Thank you for reading this. Let me know if you have made this pattern too, and if you have been tempted to use any of the products mentioned in this blog post I would love to know how you got on. 
Previous article Lining a Dress