I am Angela and I love to sew. I started sewing as a child and by the time I was a teenager I was wearing the very latest fashions to go out in. All me-made. I am passionate about reducing the amount of textiles sent to landfill, and encourage you to repurpose fabrics and clothes I started this blog in order to have a way in which to pass on my gained knowledge, and my professional knowledge to you, Sewing is empowering, you can save money by making items, make money by selling then, You can pass your knowledge on to others. What is there not to love? Interestingly I am a direct descendant of the Flemish weavers who came over to England in the 1300's. I find that fascinating especially as most of my family from as far back as I can trace are somehow involved in the manufacturing of fabric . . I have a degree in tailoring with a special interest in WW2 fashion.

Sunday 26 January 2020

The BROTHER 3034D Overlocker

 This post is all about my Overlocker - and  rolled hems

The Brother 3034D from Jaycotts

 My overlocker is the  Brother 3034D  from Jaycotts.co.uk.  To look at it on the web site click - Brother 3034D overlocker   There are plenty of other choices and Jaycotts will  be happy to talk about and  demonstrate other models to you if you visit them or telephone them
An overlocker is used to finish most seams very neatly, it can be used as a hem, it can be used instead of a regular sewing machine to stitch stretch fabrics together. It can be in a matching thread or a contrast.

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.

Once it is unpacked check to make sure that everything has been included in the box, there will be a list inside the Handbook.
You will either want to rush in and use it straight away (me) or you will sit looking at in in fear for ages! Which ever you are,  do take time to  sit down and read your manual, please don't be tempted to jump 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. This will be the most useful thing you can do, as you will want to refer to it in the future

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, it is a good idea to practice this even though it does come ready threaded.
 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!

Threading may seem complicated but start on the left and follow the colours for each thread and before you know it you will have reached the last thread . The included tweezers will help enormously. 

The large hand  wheel on the bottom right is the same as you will find on any sewing machine . Before you start to thread your machine turn it anti clockwise ( the direction of the arrow) until the line on the wheel alignes with the mark on the machine. This raises the needles to their highest position. Also raise the presser foot and turn the machine off

The dial at the top is the stitch length dial, and the other one is the differential feed dial which you may need to adjust when using some lightweight or very stretch fabrics.

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!  Keep this test piece with your manual so that you have something to refer to if you have a tension problem in the future
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 YouTube video showing the machine in more detail.

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

What accessories come with the machine?

The first thing you notice is the Blue Thread catcher on the front of the machine. This does what its name implies - it catches the threads and bits of fabric trimmed off during the overlocking process.
To remove it in order to empty it or to access the threading mechanism simply pull it towards you.

This particular machine also comes with a bed extension or table, it can easily be removed for free arm sewing.

This machine comes with the following

Thread nets which are used to tame some polyester threads.
Thread spool caps which you may need when using smaller bobbins of thread.
A cleaning brush
A Blind hem foot - which is amazing as with it you can overlock and sew a blind hem in one process
A gathering foot
And a  piping foot.

Other feet and accessories are available from Jaycotts.

Stored inside the machine are tweezers,. Spare needles and a hexagonal tool which is used when changing the needles.

I am going to show you how to do one process on the machine, in another post I will show you how to do a blind hem.

The Rolled Hem

What is a narrow rolled hem? A rolled hem is a narrow hem sewn with three threads that enclose the open edge of the fabric. It's important that the thread tension isn't too high or too low, so it is important to test the stitch before using it on your garment. 

It is used where a decorative effect is wanted on a very fine fabric, a scarf, lingerie or table linen and so on. After it has been sewn very fine wire can be threaded through it to make a structured item eg fairy wings.

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.
The telephone number is at the bottom of the page
No matter what make of overlocker you own, get your manual out and read the instructions alongside these.

To sew a narrow rolled hem we need to remove the stitch finger and one needle.
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.

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 stitch your rolled hem close to the edge When you have finished sewing tie your ends off neatly and put your machine back to normal.

A narrow overlocked rolled hem threaded with fine wire or fishing line makes as amazing hem on this dance dress

Use a metallic thread in the needle and a thread which matches your fabric or veil in the lower looper and create another beautiful edge.

And that's It.

Don't forget that as with any machine the lint needs cleaning out after every use, and the needles need changing frequently too. You may need to replace the blades eventually, depending on how much you use it  - I use mine a lot - but Jaycotts can sort that out for you.

There are plenty of different overlockers to choose from, so do have a look and don't forget to telephone Jaycotts (or visit) if you need help deciding Overlockers At Jaycotts

Telephone Jaycotts.co.uk on 01244 394 099 if you have any questions or to place an order.
You may wish to visit them, the address is on this page Visit Jaycotts

Thank you for reading this post