What to Choose? Serger, Overlock or Interlock Stitch Machine

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Choosing a Serger or Overlock Stitch was difficult for me, because these words created so much confusion. On top of that, I found so many words which are used for the same stitch.

I gathered all those details for me and you, so we save time and energy. I hope this serging and overlock machine guide helps you make the right decision.

We know about "cutting the corners" let's find out something about finishing the corners and seams.

Table of Contents

Why you need Serger or Overlock Stitch

When you stitch a dress, notice that fabrics' threads are loose from seams. You can cut those threads. But again, after a wash threads are there.

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

If you want a neat seam finish, you will need a serger. You can use overlock stitch option, in your sewing machine also.

Overlock Stitch has different variations - Interlock, Overcast, Serger and Coverstitch

  • · OVERLOCK
  • · OVERCAST
  • · 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.

A Serger or Overlock Machine Must Have These 7 Features -

  1. A good serger / overlocker should have at least three or four threads. Mine had three threads..

  2. It should have adjustable pressure foot.

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

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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.

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

Three Popular Ways to Finish Edges - Serger, Overlock Stitch and Interlock


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I  used a basic overlock machine, which could make simple fast overlock or interlock stitches. 


In a boutique or when volume of work is more, this is the best machine. It has a cutter and it can serge well.


Initially when I bought it, i was skeptical if I would be able to operate it. Because it looked complicated. But, it's a simple plug and start overlocker.

why I loved this Overlock Machine in my Fashion Boutique Business

Simple, Basic, One Stitch,High Speed

Pros

  • It is a high speed monster, ideal for fashion boutique.
  • Easy to operate and extension table gives support while overlocking.
  • Very economic.
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  • 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.
  • Plug and start. No training needed.

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.
  • Better sergers available in the market.
  • Not manufactured by big brands.

Conclusion:

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.


This  overlocker is specialized to do serging with cutting extra fabric. No more features, which is a drawback.


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If you want more than an overlocker, you must go for an advanced machine with more features. 


With this kind of serger, you can decorate and trim the edges more beautifully. You can do creative and beautiful things with your fabric and imagination.


Juki is a ideal serger for a neat and beautiful edge finish with 2, 3 or 4 threads. A Juki serger can do automatic rolled hem also.

It features a powerful knife system with dedicated drive mechanism, with a Sewing Speed of 1500 spm.


Juki can sew light to heavy weight fabric, with stitch length of 4mm.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Serger / Overlocking Machine

More features. Consumes Less space. Easy to Carry

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.
  • More features than a simple serger.

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.
  • If you are sure you will use all the features, then buy it; otherwise it is a waste of money.

Conclusion:

More features add to your creativity and imagination.  You get more ideas to finish with different combinations of stitch.

Depending on your budget and requirement, choose a serger / overlock or interlock machine which can serge well with a clean finish and more options.


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You can use an Overlock Stitch in Sewing Machine by using a Foot Snap.  


This foot can overlock but will not cut extra fabric and threads like a serger.


Automatic zig zag sewing machine brands like Brother, Janome, Singer etc. can be used for overlocking. But domestic sewing machines do not have this foot setting.


An overlock stitch foot is available online separately. It is not part of the usual sewing machine accessories.

Conclusion - Buyer's Tip for Choosing Serger or Interlock Stitch

An Overlock stitch foot can be added in your sewing machine but if the volume of work is huge, you will need a serger or overlocker.

This will  overlock but it will not trim unwanted fabric and threads while overlocking. You do not have many decorative stitch options, neither you have the benefit of high speed overlocking. 

But at a low cost, without buying an additional overlock machine or serger, you can finish the hem easily at home.

With my experience, I can say that a serger or overlock machine is the best sewing companion that you can have.

Otherwise, have an added feature of overlocking in your existing sewing machine for smooth and neat finishing of edges.

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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