And yes, it IS a big deal. And yes, I am very proud of myself. Because my overlocker is very scary. See….
I have wanted an overlocker/serger (or overedging sewing machine as the manual calls this one) for a long time. I sew pretty much exclusively with cotton and/or linen. I also have quite a lot of handwoven cotton which hasn’t been sewn because it involves FRAYING – lots of it. Which also means either French or flat-felled seams most of the time. Now most of the time, that is fine. However, when I just want to make a simple, summer top (for example) it turns what should be a relatively quick make into something much more time consuming. It also means that the finish is often way better than the fabric calls for. For example, my first version of the Sian Combo Top uses scraps of $1.00 rayon so I don’t expect it to last long but it has French seams everywhere.
Now where I live has precious few sewing machine shops. There are fortunately more fabric stores. This is because the sewing market here largely caters to people buying fabric to have made up by a local tailor. Of which there are many. It is quite common here to have professional and/or formal clothes tailor made. Because of this many sewing machine shops (and nearby Chiang Mai has a lot) cater to tailors and therefore stock semi-industrial or industrial machines. This means that they stock a lot of Juki and also Jack, which seems to be a slightly less expensive version of Juki.
So when it comes to overlockers you either buy something like mine, which at just over $100US seemed like a bargain, or a much less scary looking Juki, which at over $400US seemed like less of a bargain. I did ask a couple of tailors and a curtain maker and they all had one just like mine. They have a great reputation for just working well for a long time.
Probably the biggest surprise when I tried this in the shop was how quiet it is. Given how much I have read about the comparative noisiness of overlockers, I expected this to make a racket. But it isn’t any noisier than my machine and my new machine is quieter than my old one. I think a lot of this is because while the motor and base are bolted to the table (which came with it) the machine itself just sits on rubber feet within the base. So there is no movement during use and therefore I guess no rattling or other noise. Anyway, I am very impressed.
To say I was nervous about threading this would be a massive understatement. These are the instructions for threading the Small Looper.
No handy colour coded charts here. And note that the written text is what to do before you start threading. The actual instructions are Thread in order as indicated by arrows 29-30-32-34-36-37-38-40-42-43. That is it!
Despite this my first attempt was very close. I changed one thread at a time so that
if when it didn’t work I would know which one was the problem. But never fear, YouTube to the rescue. I found a very helpful video in Spanish no less and successfully threaded my very scary overlocker! And yes, it did come threaded with normal spools of white thread but white isn’t a useful colour for me and so the very first thing I had to do was thread it. And I’m so glad that I just had to get over this immediately (well it took a couple of days) as it otherwise would have grown in my imagination into an overwhelmingly difficult task. And it really wasn’t that difficult.
Now just watch me make all the things!!!