Overlocker Tips, Techniques and Tutorials

April is National Overlocker Month, and we’re sharing some of our top tips, techniques, and tutorials to help you sharpen your skills! Plus, we have our National Overlocker Month giveaway waiting for you at the end of this post, so be sure to read all the way through and get your entry in today!

Overlocker Tips and Techniques


Welcome to the world of overlockers! Maybe you have never worked with a serger before, or it could be that you just haven’t tried one in a long time. Either way, we are starting from square one and slowly walk through all the cool techniques your overlocker can do. With our Overlocker for Beginners series, you’ll be serging with confidence!

Top 10 Overlocker Mechanics Tips from WeAllSew

Keep your machine purring and in tip-top shape with our Top 10 Overlocker Mechanics’ Tips!

Do you dread to thread? Overlockers or sergers of all kinds have a reputation of being impossible to thread, but overcoming this dread of threading is key to your successful experience with these machines. Learn how to thread your machine today.

Top 10 Overlocker Needle Tips at WeAllSew

Check out our Top 10 Overlocker Needle Tips to help you create the perfect stitches!


As the old School House Rock song teaches us, 3 is a Magic Number, and this is a great way to think about the basic stitches on an overlocker machine. The three basic stitches are: overlock, flatlock, and rolled edge. Using three threads, we can easily adjust settings to achieve these three different stitches. Learn how it’s done on our Three Threads, Three Ways with a BERNINA Overlocker blog post. Then you can get creative with a whole bunch of different ways you can use them!

Overlocker Care Cleaning - overview

Showing your machines a little TLC is key to maintaining a trouble-free relationship. Just like your sewing machines, your overlocker needs some regular cleaning and oiling. Unlike your sewing machine, knowing when to do this varies more from person to person. You will learn quickly that an overlocker/serger creates much more lint than a sewing machine because with every stitch it is also cutting the fabric. Hello, dust bunnies! Find our top tips for Overlocker Care and Cleaning here at WeAllSew.

Overlocker Tutorials

L 890 Garment Sew Along Part 1 Introduction BERNINA WeAllSew Blog Feature 1100x600

Grainline Studio put together a fun garment sew along on the BERNINA L 890 to celebrate National Overlocker Month! Join BERNINA expert, Jen Beeman, as she walks you through the steps to sew up the free Airy Top and Comfy Dress patterns that she created to accompany the L 890. Three different garments will be sewn up using these patterns and just your L 890 Overlocker—no sewing machine needed!


Quilters often think they would have no way to use an overlocker/serger in their process, but see how it can make tidy and speedy work of the binding process with our Speedy Binding with an Overlocker tutorial.

5-Minute Mask with an Overlocker

Make a 5-minute mask on an overlocker/serger, all you need is two pieces of fabric and elastic with this tutorial.

Overlocker drawstring bag tutorial from WeAllSew

Quickly stitch up some drawstring gift bags. These bags can be made in themed fabrics for a shower or birthday party, and they can be stitched up in different sizes too! See how easy they are to make using your overlocker here at WeAllSew.

A wardrobe staple for everyone is a T-shirt. Learn how you can create a custom T-shirt on an Overlocker with this easy-to-follow tutorial and add more favorite T-shirts to your wardrobe.

2021 WeAllSew National Overlocker Month Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all of our WeAllSew fans who entered!

Congratulations to our winner(s):

  1. britiney

Keep an eye out for the next WeAllSew giveaway!

1,173 thoughts on “Overlocker Tips, Techniques and Tutorials

        1. i have had a serger for 9 years but have not used in awhile because i always had difficulty with threading it. so i would like to start from the basics and learn everything. the videos this month have reignited my interest in using a serger and i am really excited about the new sergers!

    1. I want to learn how to trim off material on my clothing if it is too long and learn how and when to maneuver the cutting blade for the best result. I have always loved how all the threads come together and make the end result !!!

    2. I would love, love, love to win a Bernina serger!! The applications are almost endless in home decorating, garment construction, and fun gifts to make for family & friends. The serged stitch itself is so intriguing to me, I would like to learn a nice fine edging stitch for linen napkins.

    3. I’ve never owned a Serger before. I just bought a 20 year old Serger. I’d like to learn how to use it from the threading of it to the use of various presser feet. I know nothing about Sergers. I need help to do everything on it.

    4. My 30+ year old serger has always been a frustration to me, consequently was not used often. Purchased my third Bernina sewing machine last summer and would like to have a Bernina serger to use for garments and quilting. These tutorials are very helpful.

    5. I want to start making some clothes for myself & having a serger makes that easier!!! Plus learn all the things I could make that I don’t even know!!!

    6. I just realized by watching all the tutorials what therserger overlock can do. I just thought it was for finishing seams, Would love to win one because being retired I am finally getting to sew.

    7. I want to learn how to not be so intimidated by the serger and how to use all the stitch settings. I only know how to use the setting it is on when I made the purchase!

    8. I would love to win the Bernina serger so I can fall in love with serging and sewing again. I would love to win so I could pair it with my new Bernina sewing machine I hope to buy soon. I would love to see all this Baby can do.

    9. I want to get a serger and learn to sew garments and crafts. I attended the Bernina Mystery Overlocker Series In College Station, Texas using the newest model- all electronic! It was fabulous !
      Thanks Bernina. I have the want for an Overlocker now.
      I could sure use your help.
      Devoted a Bernina user

    1. I have a vintage 930 Record, and i use it to make diaper shirts, bibs, blankets and other items to donate to our local children’s hospital. I’ve always wanted to get a serger to make my work faster and easier. I’ll be retiring in two months, and learning how to use a serger would be a great project!

  1. I’d love to learn EVERYTHING! I’ve never used a serger before. I’d love to use it for garment sewing and home decor. And even quilting if there’s an application for that.

  2. I want to learn about what I should serge and what I should sew. I want to be able to learn to use both my machine for sewing and my serger to the best of their usefulness.

  3. I just purchased the L890 and even though I have had a Bernina serger for many years (1100D) I feel like a novice. The L890 is amazing and I want to learn how to use the cover stitch and chain stitch and everything else about it!

  4. I’ve had a not-too-easy-to-use serger for a while. I only make things with the overlock, but I know there is so much more it can do. I’d like to learn all those other things, like chain stitch, rolled edge hem, flatlock, cover stitch, etc.

  5. I’d love to learn how to use a serger. I think it would be great as I tend to gravitate towards materials that fray really easily and have loads of ideas for projects! Thanks for the opportunity!

  6. Sometimes my overlock seam makes the “flatlock” effect when I don’t mean to. I’d like to find out what is going on with the tension, so I can stop accidentally flatlock stitching.
    Carol in Virginia

  7. I’d like to learn how to make a circular serged edge (when you can’t change the seam order to avoid having to stitch around a closed loop) look neat.

  8. I would love to learn about the different threads and needles that can be used for decorative serger stitches to enhance my projects. Thank you!

  9. Overlockers or sergers can do so much until they are almost indispensible . I would like to learn everything that an overlocker can do and use it for the professional look.

  10. Many, many years ago, someone crochet a bed-size “doily” blanket for me as a wedding quilt. It is not something that I have ever used. I would love to learn how I might cut it up in ways to make a pieced quilt.

  11. I have always wanted to be able to make a bathing suit that did not look like it was homemade. With the beautiful knits that are available and the right equipment (Bernina L 890 — hint hint) I believe that is a realistic possibility!

  12. What do you want to learn about serving? Is it too crazy to say everything? These little beauties are amazing to watch in action and I have been saving up to get one, so I am learning as much as I can so when I finally get mine, I will be able to get started with all the crazy projects I already have in mind. I am short and I have a daughter who is going to be petite so I want to be able to make clothes that do not look like I made them…

  13. Thank you! I would love to sew a whole garment or piece of home decor. All I know to do with an Overlock machine is to serge my edges. I know it can do much more.

  14. Would like to expand my sewing knowledge with a serger. From what I see they would be extremely beneficial when constructing clothing and other projects

    1. I would love to learn to thread my serger correctly. Apparently I am not doing something right. It doesn’t stitch. Once I can do that, I want to learn to do decorative flat lock stitches on it.
      I will be contacting my local store to get instructions on threading.

  15. I need to start from the beginning. I want to get proficient with a serger. I have a very old one and do use it but not much. Thanks for the tutorials.

  16. I would like to learn more about garment construction, especially causal pants and t-shirts. I sure could use a new Serger, mine old serger is almost 30 years and not reliable.

  17. I have never really wanted a serger but I would love to hem knits and do quilt bindings. I think I need a serger and would love to learn about the cost.

  18. I recently bought a serger and would like to learn to use it. I think it will be useful for rolled edges on blankets. I would also like to finish seams with it.

  19. All I can do is rolled hemmed napkins and overlock stitch around my cross stitch cloths… so, I think i’d like to learn pretty much anything and everthing else. I’d like to learn what I can do, with simple garments, home decor and little projects. I actually don’t know what I don’t know

  20. What I’m really hoping to learn is how to serge simple ladies T-Shirts. I’m flabbergasted by the prices I see on Ready To Wear and so many basic T-Shirts do not adequately cover my “assets”. I’m in my sixties so I’m not really excited about giving ANYONE a peek at my stomach. I’m only happy when I can buy a T-Shirt that drops to my low hip, so being able to confident serge would be a bonus for me.

  21. I love sewing, but with covid, I have not been able to visit my sewing stores. I would love to learn basically everything about using a serger. I did see the Overlocker for Beginners series, I think it would be great to learn. I have had my first covid shot and will get my second shot middle of May. My June, (they say that it takes a couple of weeks for the antibodies to develop after the second shot), I will be comfortable to enter the sewing stores and maybe take classes while still wearing my face mask (to be safe) at that point. I need to be careful because I am in the high risk plus I had to take extra care because I take care of my husband who is also in the high risk group. I am looking forward with the opportunity to learn how to sew with a serger and getting back to sewing and embroidery again.

  22. I have never had a seger. I have seen them used. I would like to be able to quickly hem with a double stitch. It would be a whole new experience.

  23. I need to learn what they are capable of. I have used an older Babylock but am eyeing a newer machine. I used my old one for basically finishing raw edges on seam allowances. I know they do more, just need to sit through some classes, with a new machine:)

  24. I need to understand how to dial the differential feed for different fabrics ( knits and woven, natural and man-made fibers) and for a two, three, or four threaded machine. I have a b44 that I bought right before COVID lockdown and have struggled the past 13 months.

  25. I want to learn more about flat lock seams and rolled hems (mine don’t turn out right). Looks like I need to review all your tutorials above. Thanks for providing them.

  26. I want to learn all there is to know about serging and using the serger. After reading this blog post I now know that you can use a server to do so many things!

  27. I have been told that the possibilities for projects using an overlocker are almost endless. I don’t know how to use one, or for which projects to use one, so I would like to learn some basics and then progress to more advanced projects.

  28. I love the L890! I love that I don’t have to find my owner’s manual to change stitches!
    I want to learn how to do cover stitch without having any tunneling.

  29. I would love to learn how to use a serger to make all my edges and hems look professional. I also would like to learn how to sew knits with a serger.

  30. I want to learn how to make anything and everything related to rolled hems! Ruffles! Table Linens and endless match match holiday napkins!

  31. I want to learn everything about serging! Store bought clothes never fit the way they should and to be able to make more clothing tailored the way I prefer it would be amazing. Though I need to get a serger before I can do too much more as trying to do overlock stitch on my machine isn’t my favorite.

  32. I want to learn to use a server for children’s clothes for grandchildren and gifts. Also could use to make tennis skirts and other workout clothes.

  33. I do not sew clothing, but I make a lot of quilts. I would love to be able to take a flattering shirt pattern and grab a few different awesome prints that are available and begin making some shirts for summer. Back in the day when I first tried an article of clothing the fabric choices weren’t great and we were cutting quilt pieces from cardboard templates!

  34. I want to learn how to use my serger to sew a wardrobe. I know there is a Bernina event coming on this very subject. I’m looking forward to it!

  35. I’m really interested in home textiles, like seat cover cushions with piping. But I’m intrigued by the many possibilities, including decorative stitching.

  36. I would love to learn tips of making well balanced stitches on different fabric types of fabric with the serger and serger ways to finish seams on different types off fabrics.

    Gail Yellen’s tips and lessons are great!

  37. I would love to learn EVERYTHING about a serging! Oh what fun it would be to learn how to thread aserger, how to use it properly & I’d like to learn if it has more than one foot? It would be amazing to learn how to use one! I love learning about sewing! Enjoy your day everyone! angielovesgary2 atgmail dotcom

  38. I would love a new Serger that us easier to thread than my present Burnette 234. Would like to learn how to do rolled hem. Thanks.
    Sandie in
    Louisburg, NC

  39. I love your projects and would love to try the new jet air threading serger. Thank you for all your inspirations

    I would like to use the serger for making more baby items for my kids having babies and T-Shirts. Can’t wait to try the new baby beanie.

  40. I have been sewing sense I was 12 years old I’ve never used a serger, to be truthful I do not know what I would make with the serger, I would probably sew the bindings on my 2nd quit I make.

  41. I have been wanting a serger to learn how to do T-Shirt tops, quilt squares, and finished garments. A sewing machine never looks so professional.

  42. I would like to see how the same serger stitch can act on different materials. What happens when you flatlock on chiffon, lycra, fleece, French Terry, etc.? But to see them all in a side-by-side-by-side photos.

  43. I need to learn alot abt serging. I have one but never learned to use it well so everytime I get it out it’s like learning to sew all over again.

  44. I’d love to win, so that I can re-learn sergeing techniques the right way with help from We All Sew tutorials! I owned a serger many years ago, but I don’t think I maximized my machine’s potential. I’m thinking about purchasing a Benina serger because I have a Bernina sewing machine and LOVE it!

  45. I’d love to learn on the best overlocker, Bernina in my home. I’ve tried your machine in my local quilt store and fell in love with it. With that said, threading the machine is always the hardest for me. So, threading would be my focus on learning along with different techniques applied to daily sewing. Thanks for the opportunity to own one of these amazing machines.

  46. I would love to learn to use a serger as I do not have one, so when I win this one I’m going to learn to use it, then serge all the raw seams in clothes I make, serge all the tote bag seams I make, and anything else I make will finally after all these years have serged edges! Hooray!

  47. I would love to work on using the decorator stitches to create a one of a kind shawl/ scarf using lots of yarns , open weave fibers and silks. I can picture it now !

  48. I would love to learn how to finish seams, sew knits more professionally, and learn to quilt on a Bernina serger. Thank you for this opportunity!

  49. I had a serger a long time ago and never really used it, but the newer sergers with auto thread are enticing and I would love a change to own one to be able to serge hems and other items.

  50. Everything!!! I have wanted a serger for the last two years. I attended a Bernina technique class for my 790, and the instructor let us try out the serger and I fell in love. I’m a quilter with a passion for quilting and a desire to serge.

  51. You have fabulous teachers and educators. Serging with a fabulous serger in addition to learning through Bernina teachers would be an incredibly joyful gift.

  52. I have never used and overlocker so I would love to learn everything. My husband has a swimsuit patten and I would love to sew his suits to help sell them. He is a self made designer and has lots of potential! Thank you

  53. I want to sew elastic into the top of pajama pants – the kind with the cord already in the center for a drawstring, so you have to make a couple of buttonhole openings for the cord.

  54. Oh my! I want to learn how to “use” a serger…period! I know nothing about them except that it would be so great to have one. I do costume sewing and need to finish seams more professionally.

  55. I just got a new L 890. I have a few things I really want to tackle. Garment sewing including stretch, silky and other difficult fabrics. I also want to try binding a quilt. Just got back from the fabric store wish me luck!

  56. I need to learn every thing about a serger. I’ve never used one but I’ve seen some of the great things they can do. It would be a great addition to my Bernina 440!

  57. I would like to learn how to make a knit dress using a modern serger. I had a serger 30+ years ago, but found it very difficult to thread. I’ve heard the new Bernina serger is much easier to use and thread in general. Of course, I love my Bernina 730e & 830e (I also loved my 1530 which was my original Bernina).

  58. I want to learn how to use my server for MORE than finishing the edges. Seems like an expensive edge finisher!
    Ruffles, adding elastic and decorative edges to start!

  59. I love using my overlocker to attach quilt binding and I use fusible thread in the lower looper.

    I would like to learn more ways to use my overlocker/cover stitch machine.

  60. I love to learn every thing I can on a serger, learning to make clothes also helps since grand babies are starting school and I love to sew clothes for them.

  61. I would need to start from scratch, and learn ‘everything’-especially threading and troubleshooting. And have the time to do it 🙂

  62. I would love to find out how to incorporate my Serger with my everyday sewing! I just need to figure out what advantages it gives! It seems so foreign to me! I need to watch your tutorials! I need to understand it more and would love to do so!

  63. First I would like to learn how to thread a serger, then the basic stitches to get me started. I would like to learn more after getting started.

  64. I would like to learn how to make garments
    on a serger.
    I have made dresses for my granddaughters on my Bernina machine, but as they are growing their fabric taste is changing. A serger would be a great help to me.

  65. I have always wanted to learn how to use a serger. What better way than winning one and getting to learn how to use it. I am sure there are many things I can do with a serger. It would look good in my sewing room.

  66. There is so much to learn about the serger and Bernina has always put out a quality product and I look forward to learning how to make quick outfits for my grandchildren.

  67. One can only imagine all that could be accomplished with owning an Overlocker. There would be so many sewing projects to do such as baby clothes, blankets, towels, yoga pants, elastic in clothing, knits,. Just to name a few. Bottom line is that I would love the opportunity to learn how to use an Overlocker Serger!

  68. I have seen people using sergers to sew cotton and flannel quilts. They say it’s super fast and it hold the fabric together really well. Flannel can fray a lot so I am curious to see how this would do!

  69. I need to learn it all. I have an old hand me down seger- it has always intimidated me, and I have never quite gotten the hang of it. I’d love to learn how to use it for perfecting my bags and making cleaner finished products.

  70. What I want to learn about serging is sewing baby and children’s clothing out of knit fabrics, completely on my serger, especially waistbands, cuffs and hems.

    1. I want to learn how to use a serger/overlocker for garment construction.I also want to learn how to do rolled hems on home decor items like napkins.

  71. I want to learn to use my serger without the knife engaged. I suppose I should learn if that is possible. And, learning how to fine tune my stitches. That would be good too.

  72. I always wanted a serging machine, but didn’t realize how much I would want on until I started quilting. There is so much I would love to learn about serging, to make my quilts and garments look there best.

  73. I want to learn more about making wearables with my serger. I love the baby cap and want to try making one. If I can do it I’ll make a few to donate. Thanks for the info.

  74. Serging is an important construction facet of sewing. I would like to use serging for decorative looks. Using the different widths of needle position and using threads that will be strong yet decorative.

  75. I would like to learn how to use decorative thread, different weights, and the flatlock stitch on the serger. Would like to make joggers on a serger. Like the free-arm on the Bernina 890 serger.

  76. I would love to have this as my old serger has completely worn out and I need a new one. I would like to learn how to sew elastic on bathing suits with a serger.

  77. I have a vintage 930 Record, and i use it to make diaper shirts, bibs, blankets and other items to donate to our local children’s hospital. I’ve always wanted to get a serger to make my work faster and easier. I’ll be retiring in two months, and learning how to use a serger would be a great project!

  78. I was gifted a BERNETTE b48 for Christmas. After I received the gift the store he bought it from went out of business. I would love to win another and most of all would love to learn all the techniques for this one.
    Thank you for this opportunity.

  79. I want to learn to make pouches for orphan marsupials in care like wombats and their closest cousins koalas. There is a great need and I want to donate them to ARC, Animal Rescue Craft Guild.

  80. using an overlocker is really new to me. So I am trying to absorb all I can. What I really want to learn and what has pointed me to an overlocker is the desire to make my own jeans. Off the shelf never fits but the more I learn the more excited I am to try a whole wardrobe of my own design.

  81. I would like everything that I can! Need to make a fleece quilt and would like to do the rolled hem for the edges. Also need to mend a sweater that is coming apart at the neckline.

  82. I’ve never used one, since I didn’t know what to use it for😉 I saw a demonstration at my LQS and saw how easy it was to thread, my interest was piqued. In the past I use to make clothing but currently do a lot of quilts & wall hangings, therefore I would want to learn everything that I could use this for❤️

  83. I would love to learn how best to use a serger in conjunction with my new Bernina 570 QE to create beautiful and unique projects! Best of both worlds! 🙂

  84. I really want to start making my own clothes, especially garments for yoga and working out. I haven’t worked with those stretchy fabrics before, but I know having an over locker would make things so much easier.

  85. My husband has been making surgical hats since they ran out due to the pandemic and giving them away to coworkers. I want to find out what a server could do to help him sew the inside band.

  86. I would love to learn how to use a serger without having tension issues every time I change the thread. I would use one for so many things if I could master that.

  87. My nephew is getting married next weekend and I’d love to be prepared to make items for their future children and home dec items for myself.

  88. I have not sewn anything with an overlock machine, so I would have to learn everything. It would be fun learning to sew on a a machine that is not a standard sewing machine. I think I would enjoy an overlock machine.

  89. I would love to learn about all the different stitches that it does and how to use it to add to my quilting .
    I’ve never had a surgery and I think this would be a great one to work and learn on

  90. I’m eager to learn about the “3” basic stitches and what they’re used for. I am a self taught quilter, crafter, and a all around “hey mom” (sister/friend and neighbor) who is asked … can you fix this, hem this, make this ?? lol

  91. I need to overcome my fear of threading this seemingly complex machine. Then I’d like to learn how to best incorporate the overlocker into every project. If I can do this, it will a coveted piece of real estate in my sewing room!

  92. My DIL doesn’t own an iron, so I’m learning to make children’s clothes from knit fabrics. I’ve been sewing for a long time, but my serger experiences are new. I appreciate all the helpful information available about sewing knit fabric and sewing on a serger at weallsew.com.

  93. I would *love* to learn about decorative stitching with my serger! There’s all kinds of things I would like to learn but I do already use it for neck/arm bands, side seams, etc. Thank you for this opportunity!

  94. I want to learn to feel more confident about changing the settings for various types of stitching.
    I’m afraid of all the dials. Worried I’ll screw up the tension and wont be able to get the machine back to stitching properly.

  95. If I could learn how to thread a serger, the sky would be the limit. Not just quilts, hats, shirts but placemats, tablecloths, napkins, etc.
    What a great opportunity for someone to win.

  96. I have had an old serger for 20 years and can’t use it because I can’t thread it. I am getting old and want to stay up to date will everything that’s new in sewing including learning to use a serger. With Bernina there is no end to what they teach you and for staying up to date they are the best. I need everything they can teach me if I am going to enjoy all the years I have left to sew..

  97. It’s been so long since I used my serger, I think I need to start from the beginning. And I need to know when to use the serger rather than my sewing machine.

  98. I have never tried different feet on my Bernette serger. I would love to know what projects might be available with the different feet, if there are different feet to try. I hope to buy the Bernina overlock/coverstitch machine soon, which I am sure have different feet available.