Saturday, 6 June 2009

Adventures in overlocking

my new overlocker

I can't believe I haven't got around to blogging about my prized new overlocker/serger. With a bit of saving and a bit of birthday money, I bought this Janome 744D that I'd had my eye on. The people at Sewing Machines Direct were great, giving me lots of helpful advice on which one to go for. I ended up buying the same ex-demo model as Joanne as it was such a good deal, and I know Julia has one too and says it's great.

No sooner than it was out of its box (ordered at 4pm, arrived at 8.30am the next morning!) I was looking around for things to overlock. Having been frankly a little terrified of the sharp cutting bit and all those spools of thread I had a quick look at the instructional dvd and decided it was now or never. I even pulled out all the threads and rethreaded it - how brave am I? I have to say it was so much easier than I'd thought and I was soon running up a pair of pyjama bottoms for the boy, traced off a pair he already owned. Start to finish took around an hour, which is amazingly quick for me. The boy took to them immediately and raced off to play - he had to be pinned down to be photographed!


Buoyed by my success, I launched straight into some pyjama bottoms for me, in some Liberty Tana Lawn I'd been saving for that very purpose. Unfortunately, something went wrong with my tracing off method here, as they ended up a bit frou frou in the rear, but luckily they are still wearable, and the frou frouness is concealed when lying down.


I've also made a dress for the girl - based on Simplicity 4927, which I used to make a dress for her last year. This time, I made a little frilled sleeve cap and a facing for the top and added a longer zipped opening in the back instead of the button and loop fastening called for in the pattern.

chop chop choppity chopserged seams

I found it so much more satisfying to just zip through the side seams with my overlocker than pinking them as I did last time around.


I still wasn't happy with the finished dress though as it looked a bit like a hospital gown (ok, not much like a hospital gown, but just not right). So I after procrastinating for about 3 weeks, I added a couple of ruffles at the bottom, with a ric rac trim on one.

Simplicity 4927

I think my daughter can carry off the frou frou look.


  1. That dress is goergous, I love the frill. I think I had better get that pattern. I keep saying I will make some clothes but never get on to it.

  2. It is just lovely Helen and I love that pic of you in the morror. All our mirrors are old and have that foxed look which I really like, but it does make for a dire photo! x

  3. What lovely tidy, overlocked seams !!
    I'd love to have a try with an overlocker but they just look so scary.

  4. Oooh how wonderful! Happy Overlocking! x

  5. Oh, I'm jealous. I'd love to just zip along and have lovely professional looking seams at the end of it.

    I don't think even an overlocker could have me whipping out some pjs in just an hour, though. The pjs and dress all look great.

  6. just lovely! but wow - an hour, it would take me that long to find some scissors to even think about cutting out....... xoxo

  7. I love the dress... Overlockers terrify me! Maybe one day, but not soon!

  8. I love your overlocker, I love your pj pants (and your son's), I love the dress. Oh I wish I had an overlocker.

  9. WOW. is about all i can say. and again. WOW

  10. Ooh, the dress is gorgeous! Although I thought it was nice before too - if hospital gowns did look like that, people would probably get better faster :D

  11. You are so talented! I love the strawberry dress with frills. So cute. The overlocker looks like a really good one. I am still scared to use it to make clothes...

  12. I'm seriously impressed with this, the dress for your daughter is so pretty and I love the PJ bottoms too - frou frou is all the rage these days you know (we have lady gaga to thanks for this). Overlockers have always scared me to death - they look like they could eat you alive!

    BTW, the upcoming craft fair you asked me about is not very local I'm afraid, it's in Winchester guild hall on 5th July.


  13. Hi Helen
    Just wanted to say hello through your blog and I also have to ask, where did you get this gorgeous strawberry print fabric from? I'd love to make my daughter a dress just like it. It's very Boden. And thanks for mentioning us - glad you like the fabrics.
    Jo (Saints & Pinners)


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