Overlocking Glory

In order to be able to make good use of my overlocker that I got for Christmas, Mr Stepherella paid for me to have a 1-2-1 sewing lesson at Sew Over It in Clapham this week. It was my birthday present – how cool is that?! The lesson was with Sue, who was very lovely. We covered the basics of overlocking and I now have a much better understanding of how to adjust the tension! I learned how to make a rolled hem and we discussed different fabrics. I’d totally recommend doing this to anyone who has very specific ideas about what they want to learn. I really appreciated having the time to ask questions and really understand where I was going wrong previously. I took some notes but so far everything has stuck and I haven’t needed to consult them yet (there’s still plenty of time!!). Not that I found it easy when translating everything I learned to my own overlocker but I’m getting there!


I chose to use the lesson to start to make a garment at the suggestion of the Sew Over It staff. It combined the use of the overlocker with working with jersey, which was great for me not being very experienced with both. I chose to make the Simple Sew pattern that came free with Love Sewing Magazine a couple of months back as it looked suitably simple and suggested overlocking was appropriate for this project. Followers on Instagram will remember that I listed it among my “Sewing Resolutions” during the August Sew Photo Hop. It is a style that means I might actually wear it on a day-to-day basis – not least because it disguises the baby weight that continues to cling on despite my best efforts!


I bought some lovely navy Ponte Roma jersey from Guthrie and Ghani. It is beautifully soft and has washed up brilliantly with no discernible shrinkage. I’m wearing it today and absolutely loving how it feels. I still have a bit left (about a metre) and I’m wondering what else I could squeeze out of it – it’s far too nice for kids clothes!! Any suggestions?

I had thought I would need to use the sewing machine to sew some of this but Sue quickly showed me how it could all be done on the overlocker. Look at the beautiful stitching that I (with Sue’s expert advice!) managed!!


I didn’t finish the T-shirt within the lesson but we’d covered all aspects during the lesson and I put the neckband and sleeve bands on at home. The overlocking went very well during the lesson – it took a while for me to get my overlocker to do the same when I got home. I can only put it down to a threading error – and by that I mean that I threaded it in the wrong order. Can anyone explain to me why it is so so important to thread an overlocker in the right order? I can see no obvious reason but it really does seem to make a difference!

Anyway, the T-shirt is finished! Mostly, it worked out quite well. I have a couple of puckers around the neckband and the easing into the waist band is not all that even but once on it doesn’t seem to show that much – it’s entirely wearable anyway. My main issues are actually with the pattern (Or perhaps my pattern cutting – I discovered that it is really very difficult to cut jersey on the floor – on carpet no less. Luckily, as Sue pointed out, Jersey is very giving!). Anyway, I think I would prefer it if it were a little bit longer so that I didn’t expose my midriff every time I pick up the baby and I think the sleeves have a slightly strange shape as you can see in the photo below! What I’m most proud of though is the fact that it is made entirely on the overlocker – a lesson well spent! Many thanks must go to Sue!

Thanks go to Mr Stepherella for the wonderful photos in spite of my inability to smile or behave in any way naturally in front of the camera!

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