I purchased a new walking foot for the new machine, because once you've used one, it's hard to imagine living without. The new sewing machine came with several presser feet, however, including an overedge foot (a/k/a overcast foot). Now I don't really need an overedge foot; I have a serger. But since I now have an overedge foot, I thought I'd give it a spin.
|This is my overedge foot, Janome foot C.|
If you've seen my first post on Sewing Sweater Seams with a Sewing Machine, you know that I highly recommended using a walking foot for sewing seams if you don't have a serger. Below are the steps that worked for me when I tried out my overedge foot and sweater knit fabric:
Step 1. Attach the overedge foot. Please follow the instructions in your manual for your machine.
I'm working with a Janome foot C. This is a snap on foot and, there was no need to detach the foot holder.
Step 2. Place right edge of fabric against guide, slightly beyond the needle. You can see the guide in the most clearly in the photo above. It's the black flange on the right. The guide on your machine may be slightly different. With needle still up, lower presser foot.
|Foot down, needle up|
|I found that the zigzag overedge stitch worked better on the sweater knit than hockey stick.|
Step 5. Change to your walking foot or zigzag foot and sew your seam. Once the edges are finished, you can put right sides together and stitch the seam. I used a wobble (narrow zigzag) stitch with the width at 0.75 mm and length at 3.0 mm.
|It's not as neat as a serged edge, but it will keep the edges from raveling or fraying.|
- Use matching thread ;)
- The cleaner you cut your edges and steadier your speed, the neater your overedge stitching will appear.
- If you see your fabric stretching out at any point as you stitch, you may end up with a flared edge. Reduce the pressure on your presser foot, if your machine has that feature. Some people recommend placing tissue paper between your knit fabric and the feed dogs. (I was never able to get sewing-on-paper to work reliably with sweater knits and my old sewing machine, and I hated picking out the paper shreds afterwards. That's why I bought my first walking foot.)
- Always practice on cutaways first to get all settings correct.
- Overcasting all edges right after cutting stabilizes the edges nicely, but you'll still need to use appropriate stabilization at the shoulders (and perhaps other places) in your garment.
Do you have experience with an overedge foot or a side cutter? Any tips? Please share.