How to Choose Serger | Overlock or Interlock for Smart Finishing

How to Choose Serger | Overlock or Interlock for Smart Finishing

There is a huge confusion when you plan to buy your first Overlock, Interlock or Serger. First dilemma is to find out what exactly these monsters do? Ok, you found that out by checking out their definitions. Now comes the bigger question - which one is best suitable for your work? Should you buy an over-locking machine, interlock machine or simply a serger?

Wait! There is one more daunting and haunting question - Do you really need a serger or interlock / overlock machine or rather you manage interlocking with your sewing machine? Because that is also possible!  Which is the Best Machine for your kind of work?

You know about "cutting the corners" let's know something about finishing the corners and edges.

You would have seen that some of the fabrics' thread keep coming from all open sides. You get so stressed out - cutting and managing those threads, that you ​get small bits of thread all around you. And again! The same saga of small threads keep coming...To finish these threads coming out from the sides of your clothe, you use serging, overlocking or interlocking! Right?

Who invented a Serger?

Ahhh! How much I love ​the inventor of overlock stitching machines "Mr.J.Makens Merrow."

​Mr. Merrow and his son Joseph had a Machine Company in Connecticut in 1881 and they worked hard to ease our overlocking nightmares.

Know more about the man who invented overlocking machines.​

What is Overlock & what Other Names it got?

Overlock is a kind of stitch that is used to sew over the edge of one or two pieces of fabric for edging, hemming, or seaming.

Know More About Serger Overlock Machine

Difference between Overlock,Interlock, Overcast & Serger Machines.

  • · OVERLOCK / INTERLOCK
  • · OVERCAST / OVEREDGE
  • · SERGER
  • · COVERSTITCH

An overlock is a kind of stitch that sews over the edge of one or two pieces of cloth for edging, hemming, or seaming.

The term Overlock and Interlock are used interchangeably.

Best Overlock / interlock machine​ if you own a boutique.

What Does An Overlock Machine Do?

an overlocker is a sewing machine that stitches with either 3, 4 or 5 threads at the same time. They are mainly used to join seams, trim off the excess fabric and stop the cut edges from fraying all in one simple operation.

I loved how detailed information is given on We'r in Stitches, you can also have a look.

Should You Choose a Sewing Machine with Overlocking Feature or a Serger?

Now, you would have known the difference and similarity between this edge sewing stitch known by different names by different sewing machine manufactures.

​Overlock feature may be added in your sewing machine but an overlock machine / serger gives you exclusive specialization of this stitch.

Overlocking for Domestic Sewing Projects

You can use an Overlocking , Overlock Stitch Sewing Machine Foot Snap if you have any of the following sewing machines - Brother, Janome, Toyota, New Singer Domestic Sewing Machines or

For domestic or home sewing projects you can have a sewing machine having overlock feature.

All these sewing machines have overlock feature.


 Serging for Professional Work ​Setup

But for professional set up, it's beneficial to use an exclusive serger to speed up your work.

There are many simple function models as well as advanced models in sergers / overlock machine category.

You can choose the serger as per your needs and requirement. Based on your daily work needs, the feature of the serger should vary.

The Simplest Plug-N-Start Serger / Overlocker for Professional Work Set up

(I loved it in my Fashion Boutique)

When the volume of work is high and we need our serger / overlocker to do work faster then we need to buy a specialized machine for the serging with a cutter.

I used a simple serger with a cutter. Initially, i was skeptical if I would ever be able to operate it as it looked complicated. But in fact, there was nothing simpler that that serger.

Pros

§ It is a high speed monster, ideal for fashion boutique and I love it. 

§ Easy to operate and extension table gives support while sewing.

§ Very economic.

§ Does only one task of overlocking but does it so fast and nice that it's a boon for a fashion boutique where you have to produce volumn.

Cons

§ This machine consumes space.

§ Threading needs a little practice.

§ Can do only one task. You can't do multiple designer kind of stitches.

§ You can buy a multi stitch sewing machine and enjoy a variety, just by adding some more money.


In my view, this machine is good when you have a huge volumn of overlocking work and you want to specialize on overlocking a monotonous kind of thing.

For home sewing projects, where we need variety in our designs, this overlocking machine may not be upto the mark.​

What to Consider while Buying a Serger / Overlock Machine?

§ A good serger / overlocker should have at least three or four threads. Mine had three threads but more the merrier.

§ It makes sense to have adjustable pressure foot as per your sitting position.

§ For thicker fabrics, two step pressure foot lifter is a good consideration, otherwise you may get inconvenience while pulling the fabric out.

§ Adjustable bite width and stitch length would allow you to make designer eye catchy beautiful hem on kids' dresses and similar projects. You can also adjust the width and length as per the fabric thickness.

§ Another feature that you need is Adjustable Differential feed (for lettuce edge – wavy hems, or easy gathering).

§ A cutter or Retractable upper knife is generally given in a serger but you can check with your sewing machine because they generally don't have this feature.

§ Though most of the sergers / overlocking machines come with a Free arm (for sewing tubular items) it's not an essential.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Serger / Overlocking Machine

Pros

§ You'll be surprised how it reduces the amount of work involved in producing your finished project.

§ Your sewing projects get a professional and clean finish.

§ I make my handkerchief in a jiffy and it's also excellent for attaching elastic.

§ We can get a variety of fancy edges or hems in very less time.

§ I love the time a serger / overlocker saves me by finishing the hem so fast.

Cons

§ Overlockers / sergers can be expensive to buy.

§ Initially, I spoiled so many fabrics while I made the mistake of not paying attention - where my fabric was going. An attached cutter needs attention while working on a serger / overlocker.

§ Learning to thread an overlocker and set the correct tensions can prove to be interestingly mind boggling.

My View on Buying a Serger / Overlocker

It's not a rule on a rock that you must have all the features. Depending on your budget and requirement, choose a serger / overlock or interlock machine which can serge well with a clean finish.

Best Serger / Top Overlock Machines

Summary In a Nutshell

Through my experience, I can say that a serger or overlock machine is the best sewing companion that you can have. Or at least have an added feature of overlocking in your existing sewing machine ( I already explained the over locking snap on foot earlier in this post)

I have shown you many ways how you can get the best in serging / overlocking. You can compliment your existing sewing machine with a snap on overlock footer or buy a sewing machine with overlocking features.

Or for the sewing lovers, buy an exclusive serger. But before that check your budget and the features you want and based on that, choose the one that suits you. ​

A serger is not something you buy everyday, so make a wise decision and buy it considering a long time investment.​

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How to Buy Sewing Machine as Gift

How to Buy Sewing Machine as Gift

It is said that "when we choose a gift, we should consider how we would feel receiving it."

This single thought has created a havoc in my house because I am flooded with strange things, which I would never ever imagine buying or using; not even passing on to my enemies !

I have always believed that gifts should be either consumables or those things, you really know the receiver would cherish.

Checklist to ​buy a perfect gift for anybody on Hufffington Post.

GIFT = CONCERN & THOUGHT

Gifting for the sake of gifting is a BIG BURDEN ON THIS EARTH.

It creates clutter, hopelessness and economic strain.​​​​​

When you really putting your money to buy a gift, why not put some heart into it, too? A little understanding of the receiver's profession,education, social circle, hobbies, family can help us make this decision wisely.

WHEN IN DOUBT, GIFT CONSUMABLES (Chocolate,sweets, dresses, flowers etc)

​Let's see what other's choose as a gift on wikihow.

15 Steps Guide for Gift Selection

Find a perfect gift for anybody needs a lot of thought. I share with you a checklist based on which you can choose the best possible gift simply by going through that list.

When you zero in on the gift selection then we go ahead with choosing the best sewing machine for gifting.

1- Usefulness

Usefulness of a gift is a very individualistic term.​ What could be useful for a 45 year old may not be appropriate for a 5 year old.

I read a joke lately, which was like - The little Sam was wrapping a football as a gift to his grandmother. His dad got curious and asked, why he was gifting a football to the grandmother, when it was of not much use to her!" Little Sam replied,"For the same reason, grandmother gifted me the bible on my birthday!"

​Not all sewing machines are for everybody. How to buy a sewing machine?

While a beginner may find a hands on simple to operate sewing machine useful; for a seasoned designer, a pattern book may prove to be more attractive or may be a high value serger.

2- Uniqueness

​Everyone loves to receive a gift which is unique. Something they have not used before and something which is so awesome!

For such people, who are always ready to explore so much more and already have their sewing machine in place, you may consider gifting them a set of various presser foot feet kit, which could fit in almost all branded modern sewing machines.

There are many types of presser feet that you can check out to choose right.​

Imported 32 Sewing Machine Presser Foot Feet Kit fit for Brother Singer Janome

3- Creates Value

Your gift must add value to the receiver's life. If the person, you wish to present a gift to, at a stage where he/she is struggling to get something done; you can step in with a gift to add value in his/her life.​

4- Makes Life Easier

​Your gift should be such which could make the life of receiver a little bit easier. If the receiver finds the gift messy, cumbersome, difficult to handle or space consuming to store; then it's unlikely that he/she would ever use it. Reason is - our brain does not like to start things which are difficult to start with! Gifts need not be expensive, they need to be simple to make life easy!

5- Gives Pleasure

All these points go hands in hands but as the personality of the receiver differs, so the gift choices for them.

For a creative person what could be a better gift then gifting her the pleasure to c reat e!​ That could be in multiple ways. I suggested a few ideas through the shared links but you can explore somewhat similar things on the same page and make the right choice.

6- Latest in the Market

​What is old, may not be gold! The old saying has a twist in today's times, when things are changing at a rapid pace. Technology is advancing and benefiting us with better, newer and wonderful features - same goes with the features of our sewing machines.

I remember my mom's sewing machine, which used to be a pain in the neck and shoulders if the sewing project was a little lengthy. I loved sewing but not sitting long hours just to make my dress complete with pain.

​In later stage, I bought the machines with advanced features, which made sewing fun and fast.

What we are getting in latest models as built-in stitches, we couldn't think of a decade back. Here, we need to check out that the latest is also time tested and value for money.

7- Makes Life Smarter

What else you need on Earth but something which makes you smarter, saves your time, makes you look cool and trendy all the time. A sewing machine in-tune with a few designer stitches adds smartness and style to your wardrobe. It's no wonder that a sewing machine is an investment for a fashionista!​

8- Helps in Achieving Something

It seems easy to buy a necklace or dresses for your loved one. That's perfectly fine when you are in a hurry and just don't bother to think too much about the usage of the gift.​

But if you really care, you'll surely think if your gift can make the receiver achieve something more than momentarily happiness!​

Why should you buy a sewing machine at all?​

9- Fulfills a Goal

There is an old saying - if you want to make someone handicapped, feed them forever. But if you want to make them independent, ​teach them something.

​A well meaning gift, which fulfills the goal of the person, who is seeking it; then nothing is like that. A sewing machine as gift can fulfill many goals. Identify the one and fulfill it.

10- Provides a Sense of Belonging

A personalized gift which makes one feel loved and cherished is something, we value forever. I am sure this is the kind of feeling, you also wish to achieve, by gifting something valuable to your loved one.​

Some people like surprise gifts but there is wisdom if we suggest our gifting intentions and​ choose the gift most suitable to the person, who is going to use it. We can suggest a few options and observe the inclination for the gift.

11- Solves a Problem

​I have yet to meet a lady, who is not particular about her choices and solutions to her problems.

One of the common problem with most women, especially moms is mending, designing, creating, recycling and solution to all these problems is a good handy creative sewing machine. Which could work like magic!​

12- Helps in Saving Money

​The biggest irony of our times is that almost everybody looks no less than a celebrity on facebook, instagram and all other social networking sites. But if you meet them in person, they are walking beggars. Clicking with borrowed dresses, accessories and what not!

In earlier times, we could wear a dress in many many more occasions and nobody really bothered to care. ​

At least, we could repeat the same dress on two different get-together. ​But our visibility has changed now. Even if it's a small gathering and we deliberately choose to not post our pictures online; there would always be somebody in the group, who would post our pictures and make our dress public.

​So, what's better - picking up fights or creating new dresses? Of course, the later. Because it saves your money in shopping, surfing and spending. So, if you wish to make someone realize the value of money, a sewing machine is the best gift to give.

This is the machine, I am using for last 9 years.

13- Helps in Saving Time

​Time is money and we have read and heard it numerous times. But what does it anything to do with gifting?

Why? If you could help ​someone saving tremendous amount of time, then it's going to be awesome! Saving is the greatest saver of all!

14- Helps in Saving Efforts

A good sewing machine saves in efforts by pitching in with multi utility features and benefits. One can turn a simplest scrap into a great designer piece.​

While the older models of sewing machines may give you speed with single stitch feature; the new models add life to creativity.​

15- Acts as Investment or Creates an Income

​To sum up everything, if we could earn by doing what we love, then nothing is like that!

Sewing can never go out of fashion. In fact, the whole fashion industry's backbone is sewing. So, help someone be self reliant and create an income by a decent sewing machine.

Let's find out how one can earn money in sewing industry.

When you choose a sewing machine for a loved one or someone in your family, then it's not just a gift but a long time investment which is Useful, Unique to the needs of that individual, Creates Value, Makes Life Easier and can also give pleasure by solving the problem of last minute mending. In fact, it serves all the purposes mentioned above.​

What do you consider while buying a gift?​

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Best Sewing Books to Buy

Best Sewing Books to Buy

When we start sewing, we start looking for the best sewing books to buy. Because no matter how many video tutorials on sewing are available; a book is a must to learn a craft from the beginning.

WHILE BUYING TECHNICAL BOOKS FOR CUTTING & TAILORING, EITHER WE GO BY THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF OUR INSTRUCTOR OR BY THE EXPERTS WHO HAVE ALREADY USED THOSE BOOKS.

SOMETIMES OUR FRIENDS ALSO PITCH IN TO HELP US IN THE PROCESS.

Books to learn good cutting & sewing.

The books by Gayatri Verma, Zarapkar and Marfy are the ones I have used extensively. Rest of the design books you find in abundance in your neighborhood stationery shop also. The various design books are published by different publishing houses and the designs are very region specific.

I believe that cutting & tailoring or for that matter Fashion Designing is very individualistic. It’s just like cooking. If you know the basic ingredients right , you may cook anything. Likewise, if you know your basics right, you can stitch just anything.

You would get a lot of information which you can use for self-tutoring in my post Free Books on Cutting & Tailoring:

TO START WITH STITCHING BUT STILL IF YOU NEED TO BUY A SELF LEARNING BOOK THEN I WOULD RECOMMEND THE FOLLOWING BOOKS:-

Cutting tailoring in Hindi

  • Cutting & Tailoring Course by Gayatri Verma (Hindi Edition) This book is very practical. Can be used for home tailoring purpose. Reading theory part is important to grasp the lay out and pattern cutting.
  • This would be a good book in Hindi for learning the tailoring yourself. There is also a book Rapidex Home Tailoring Course by Asha Rani Vohra which is practically useful by which anybody can master the art of Cutting & Tailoring.

Best Cutting system

  • Zarapkar System of Cutting– One of the best books on Cutting and understanding the details of cutting various types of garments. Some of the layouts you may find out here in this link.
  • Though, initially it takes a little bit more time to understand this book and its technical language but once you are absorbed into Cutting & Tailoring mode, this book is very useful in the long run. It can be referred time and again.

Design Books

  • Design Books – When we start with our fabric, sometimes we need a guidance on the kind of design our fabric would be most suitable for.
  • For this purpose, it helps to refer to various design books to widen our color and design combinations and varied choices of layout of the available fabric.
  • There are many design books available in the market and many more are being launched every day.
  • Publishers keep updating them as per the market trends and fashion fads at any given point of time. Therefore, the designs in these books may change from time to time.

Learn Online Free Cutting & Sewing

Regional Books

  • Region specific Cutting,Tailoring & Design books – These are regional fashion books. The language and cutting formulas would be very basic.

Reference Books

  • Western Wear & Designs – This is also one of my favorite book on western designs, which you may find useful too. It gets published every year and with every Marfy magazine you get free patterns also. The designs shown are evergreen and can be adapted in various styles.

I hope these books are useful in your journey to learn Cutting & Tailoring as they have helped me in being a self learnt dress maker.

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Free Sewing Books to Make Your Own Patterns

Free Sewing Books to Make Your Own Patterns

Do you know that before buying sewing books, you must check out some of the free sewing books to understand the contents. The best way to learn anything including sewing is by referring to relevant good books.  YouTube is full of free video sewing tutorials and some of these are really good. But if you know your basics from a sewing book, your understanding increases manifolds.

Written material & books provide us a clear road map on how to go about our dress making project but initially we hesitate to invest in any new book as their usefulness is not very clear to us.

How to learn sewing?

How to buy sewing machine?​

Even if we are clear that we intend to buy a book on Cutting, Sewing, Tailoring & Dress Designing, we sometimes wish to know the content description and clarity before buying, which is very very important.

Sewing Books to Buy.

How to buy clothes?​

We Make a Better Buying Decision, when We Know the Content & Relevance.

As we gain understanding, it becomes easier for us to make a smart decision about choosing the reference material or books on tailoring to get closer to our goal of self tuition on Cutting & Tailoring or stitching.

Through experience, I realized that there are a number of books available in the market on Cutting & Tailoring and their content is somewhat the same but the way things are explained differs and one book may be easy to understand for your friend but it does not mean that it could be as easy on you as well.

Some people may be more comfortable with certain type of descriptive explanation and some of us can do with simple instructions and detailed narration.

It may vary from individual to individual. Still, I made some efforts to gather the information which I used at different points of stitching & dress making to get my concepts clear.

To start with, you may check out these books and reference material by experts for developing a clear understanding on the concepts of dress making. These are all FREE to read and to learn self tailoring :-

Sewing Books for Beginners

  • Cutting & Tailoring for Beginners – Even if you know nothing about stitching but interested to learn on your own then this book may prove useful. It covers the basic topics and content which will make you understand taking measurement, choosing clothe, setting your sewing machine in order and making basic draft for dresses.
  • Sewing for beginners  – This online sewing book provides contents in an easy to understand layout. You may try it. It has simple English to understand the basics.

Sewing Books for Sewists

  • Advanced Cutting & Tailoring with Designing – This book is an advance version of the above Cutting & Tailoring for Beginners Book. It is useful if you want to thoroughly understand the garment making process with a keen interest in designing. Alternatively, if you know the basics then you may skip to the chapter you are looking for. On the last pages you will find very easy to understand useful patterns also.
  • How to run a boutique profitably?
  • Should you open boutique business in partnership?
  • Reference Material: Last but not the least important is going through the images given and checking out from the visuals because eyes never lie. Sometimes what a hundred words can’t explain, a picture can.
  • Basics of Sewing– This book provides limited information on certain subjects for beginners to start with. Only a few points are explained keeping in mind the simplicity and grasping levels of novices. It is a good idea to start small. That small information includes certain technical words and it might test your vocabulary. When you learn and do step by step, you can retain the knowledge for a longer period.

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How To Sew Your Own Clothes

How To Sew Your Own Clothes

​If you have never stitched anything till date, how would you start sewing your own clothes? You may get apprehensive, afraid and even skeptical. But, sewing is easy and just anybody can sew comfortably good. You can easily sew your clothes by checking out these simple video tutorials.You can cut pattern and sew easily.

How to Take Measurements

How to use ready measurement calculations

Sewing your own Pajama / Pants / Bottoms

How to Sew your own Top or Tunic

How to Sew your Jackets

How to Sew Sleeves

How to Make Beautiful Necklines

How to Make Pockets

How to Make Saree Blouse Designs

How to make Useful Sewing Projects

Watch latest trends on Stitching Mall YouTube

Do you want free sewing tips and tutorials?

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