Until recently, I have been using my overlocker mainly to finish the raw edges of my seam allowance. Then I used it for a rolled hem in one of my projects, and Poof!, the penny dropped. I can actually use the overlocker to finish hems as well. Considering I’ve had an overlocker/serger for more than 5 years. I think that, because my previous overlocker was a pain when it came to threading, so I avoided experimenting with it.
A couple of years ago, I splurged on an Enlighten overlocker from BabyLock. Due to the Air Threading system this machine has, change threads or removing needles for various stitches is super easy.
NB: I bought the machine with a 15% discount during a BabyLock promotion a few years ago. Without any intervention from the manufacturer/dealers, I decided to review its hem features. This is not a sponsored post and does not contain affiliate links.
While making my mixed fabric sweater I was way too lazy to test hems on the sewing machine for the fabric I was working with, so I thought what if I use it to finish the hems as well with it. The centre front seam also needed a rolled hem that is exposed. So I thought that it might be a good idea to use it also for the hems.
On knitted fabric, an overlocked/serged rolled hem is not quite uniform. However, that did not bother me too much.
Using the Quick reference Threading guide that came with the machine I quickly set it up for a 3 thread overlock narrow. What can I say I am a pictures/diagrams kinda girl, the nice way of saying that I did not bother checking the manual which is stored away in a box.
When I did not have enough fabric to cut full body pieces for the Southbank sweaters I made recently with leftover fabric, I used the 3-thread flatlock seam on the overlocker to stitch two pieces of fabric together before cutting the full bodice pieces. I opted for the 3 thread flatlock stitch to add strength to the seam.
For the hems on this one, I used the rolled hem option as well. This is the second make I made entirely on the overlocker/serger. Depending on the fabric the hem will look ruff or neat.
I continued to use the rolled hem option on my overlocker to finish the hems on my short sleeve Briar Tee as well.
Then it occurred to me that I can use the rolled hem option to hem woven fabrics as well. Some fabric such as crepe or silk can be a bit of a pain to hem. I find that I don’t always get an even hem so I figured that maybe a rolled hem on the overlocker might save the day for me. I used this option on another version of Ogden cami (some versions I blogged about here here here and here)
For this one, I used matching black thread.
When I made a Silk cami (leftover fabric again), I went for a contrast thread to finish the hem. It also meant that I needed to go a little bit slower to make sure the rolled hem is uniform as it goes around because on the fabric it can be obvious if it’s not.
The model I have can also do a 2 thread blanket stitch, 2 thread ladder stitch, 2 thread flatlock stitch, 3 thread wave stitch and 3 thread rolled wage stitch. However, I did not yet use these stitches in my projects.
I am pretty impressed by this machine. It’s super easy to thread thanks to the AirThreading system. Although it’s a bit expensive for me it was worth the investment I made buying it. I no longer stress when I need to change the threads to match the fabric of my projects. I’m actually thinking of buying overlocker threads in more colours. I want to have a rainbow of threads for my overlocker.
If you want to know more about this overlocker/serger Alex from Sewrendipity has made an in-depth review of the BabyLock Enlighten here.