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Friday, 30 March 2018

The BROTHER 3034D Overlocker, Rolled Hems and other things!

 This post is all about my overlocker, rolled hems , oh and a bit of history too!


Overlocked narrow rolled hem, Seam interfacing tape,

 My overlocker is the  Brother 3034D and it is available from  To look at it on the web site click - Brother 3034D overlocker   To get the current price telephone them on 01244 394 09 There are upgraded models to this machine available so do telephone them for all the latest products
Jaycotts will also be happy to talk about and  demonstrate other models to you if you visit them

Once you get your new overlocker or sewing machine home don't be in too much of a rush to unpack it. Wait until you know that you will not be disturbed for an hour or two and then carefully unpack it making sure that nothing is left inside the box.

unpacked from the box

Once everything is unpacked check to make sure that everything has been included in the box, there will be a list inside the Handbook. Make yourself a cup,of tea and sit down to read your manual, please don't be tempted to rush straight in with no idea of what you are doing.


Take a photo of the factory settings , print it and keep it with your manual.

There is an Instructional DVD included so watch that too if you are able to.
With instruction manual in hand start to follow the instructions for threading the machine. Dont worry if progress is slow the first time you do it. If you follow the Instructions properly then you won't have a problem. I have to say that I found threading this an absolute dream, it is so easy!

Now comes the time to see if you have threaded it correctly! Following the instructions put a piece of fabric in place and sew your first overlocked edge. This is the result! 
I then unthreaded the machine and did it all over again, doing a test overlock on spare fabric to make sure that I had done it correctly. I had. 

My overlocker on you tube  the link is here kept you are unable to view it
My overlocker link to my YouTube

The machine comes with a blind edge foot which I am really looking forward to using and it does a rolled hem too. I am continuing to experiment with different widths and stitch lengths and I must say that this is the easiest overlocker I have ever used.

My very first overlocked invisible hem - all in one go!

I have just made a dress  and finished the hem in one easy step. How?, the overlocker does a blind hem which overlock the edge as you turn it up. Amazing! The (unpressed) hem, shown from the right side is shown above. 

Adding lace to a simple top and making a small rolled hem

 We will be working with lace fabric , which gives me the opportunity to talk about various applications which you may find useful
This time I am using a rolled hem around the neckline using my overlocker

Casual tops don't have to be boring. I took a simple T-shirt pattern and some jersey fabric, an off-cut of lace fabric and made a really easy but different top in less time than it takes to go to the shop and buy one! And for a lot less money too. 

The pattern is by  mccalls and I am just making the Top, version B, the pattern is from and you can purchase it here McCalls pattern by Nancy Zieman
The jersey fabric is from Minerva Fabrics, there is more to choose from on this link, so choose your favourite. Jersey fabrics
And lace fabrics can be bought from  Minerva too  Lace Fabrics

What I like about patterns designed by Nancy Zieman is that she talks you through each step thoroughly and gives advice on choosing the correct size and what types of fabric to use. You really cannot go wrong with her patterns. On this page for example she is talking about stabilising the shoulder seams. She recommends that you use clear elastic to stabilise the shoulders, but you could use iron on seam tape Iron on seam tape available from Jaycotts. It is a useful product to keep in, it has many uses, I use it in some form on almost all the garments I make

The first thing I needed to do was to check my measurements and choose the right size. I then needed to shorten the sleeve because I want to position the scalloped border on my lace so that it forms the sleeve edge.

I also wanted to add a lace overlay to the front of the top so I positioned the pattern on the lace and measured straight across from the armhole to armhole, having the scalloped edge as a decorative feature.

 The lace needs to be trimmed to remove the waste fabric and leave the pretty scalloped edge . Do this for both the front overlay and the sleeves. The sleeves are sheer lace by the way., With no jersey underneath.

Use a narrow zig zag stitch throughout and sew the lace overlay onto the top of the jersey fabric. Make sure that the fabric is perfectly flat- I use a temporary fabric glue to ensure no slippage when sewing two layers together.
Stitch the shoulder seams and neaten the edges.

Stay stitch close to the edge all the way around the neckline. Be careful with your iron by the way, and always use a pressing cloth. Jersey easily marks and lace is mostly polyester and so will melt if you are not care

The Rolled Hem

A lot of people are scared of their overlockers and do not use them to their full potential. The only way to get to grips with it is to use it. Don't be afraid of it, there are lots of tutorials on the internet if your manual does not give you the answer and it is all part of Jaycotts after care service too, so if you have a niggling little problem, for example you cannot get the tension right give Jacotts a call and they will help you. Contact Jaycotts
No matter what make of overlocker you own, get your manual out and read the instructions alongside these.
We are going to do a rolled hem around the neckline to neaten it. It's very easy and has so many uses.
Look at the photograph above,
This is the inside of the machine. In order to stitch a rolled hem we need to remove one needle and the stitch finger

Look in your manual to locate the stitch finger and pull it out by raising the presser foot lever, pull all threads to the back of the machine and then open the front cover. Turn the machine off by the way.
Turn the hand wheel until the upper looper is at its highest position

Then pull the stitch finger to the right and remove it.

Then you need to remove the LEFT needle , removing the thread too.

Adjust the stitch width dial until it is at R position

Then adjust the stitch length to R. Do a test on some spare fabric (both layers together to mimic the actual hem) if you need to adjust your stitch length of width then do it until you are happy with the result.

When you are happy start at one shoulder seam and stitch your rolled hem close to the edge of the neckline. When you have finished sewing tie your ends off neatly and put your machine back to normal unless you also want to do a narrow rolled hem along the garment hem

Attach the sleeves before you stitch the side seams. You can overlock all the seams without stitching the seam on your regular sewing machine but you cannot stitch over pins. They will break your needle and at worst damage your machine.  I find it easier to sew a normal seam and then overlock afterwards.

Matching the lace edge and the underarm seam  stitch the side and sleeve  seams in one operation .Overlock the seams .
You may either sew a  narrow rolled hem on the lower edge or you could overlock and then turn the hem up and top stitch using a double needle to mimic a cover machine. This will give a really professional result. This is the method I used.

I thought the neckline a little plain so I edged it with some narrow stretch lace .
You do not have to use this pattern indeed you do not have to make a top! Think how nice a dress would be with sheer lace sleeves and a lace covered bodice. I would in this case choose fabrics which complimented each other and which showed a glimpse of colour through the bodice under fabric. The possibilities are endless!

Meanwhile I have a simple everyday top using a small piece of luxury fabric to add texture and interest.

It was my Grandmother Annie who first taught me to sew and I feel that this is such an invaluable skill that we really ought to be teaching our sons and daughters to sew. 
How old were you when you learned to sew? By the age of 8 I was wearing my own hand made clothes to school and when I was a teenager I bought Vogue magazine and copied the designs. Each saturday I would go and buy new fabric and make it up during the week and wear it the following Saturday night. I always dressed in the latest fashions by doing this. When I was much older I studied Tailoring at college and  I am actually a qualified Tailor.

This is Alex Jaycott demonstrating my new overlocker in the Chester store. Just look at the bank of sewing threads behind him!

Story time 

I must tell you a story, it is apropriate I promise you!  After we left on Friday we headed to Sheffield.  Unfortunately we got stuck in a snow drift. Eventually we were freed and headed on towards Sheffield by a different route.

 We found  ourselves driving by Eyam and just had to stop. In case you do not know,Eyam was the furthest north town in England to be hit by the plague. It started in 1665, and started because the local Tailor bought a bolt of cloth from London, which was already infected with plague. The cloth was infected with fleas which brought the plague with them.

Led by the vicar, the Rev Mompesson,  the town sealed itself off and quarantined itself so as not to allow the plague to spread further. At least 273 victims died, although the number does vary according to whoever is telling the story.
In order to eat, villagers placed money in vinegar which was supose to kill the germs, on a stone on top of the hill and there outsiders exchanged it for food. They placed a whole ring of large stones around the outskirts of the town so people would know not to pass through them.

If you are in the area then it is well worth calling in to the village to see the small museum. Plague Sunday occurs every year where the courageous victims are remembered.
I find it interesting that because of a tailor, so many people lost their lives.

On a happier note I do hope that you will enjoy my future blog posts and that you will be able to help a young person learn to sew. We have so many crafts in this country which are in danger of being lost if we do not take our part in passing them on. Sewing is so rewarding and it would delight me to know that some more people were taking up this hobby.

Telephone on 01244 394 099 if you have any questions or to place an order. There is also a contact form HERE if you prefer. 

Don't forget to say that you saw this on my blog

Angela x

#Eyam #overlocker #jersey #rolledhem #top