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Can I Do Normal Sewing With an Overlocker? Answers Here! (2024)

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Are you confused about the difference between a sewing machine and an overlocker? Trying to decide which one would be best for your next project? Well, let me tell you – it’s like trying to choose between two different sides of a coin.

A sewing machine is precise in its accuracy and can perform detailed work such as buttonholes or decorative stitches, while an overlocker offers quick stitching with less control but more versatility when working with various types of fabrics.

Both are incredibly useful tools that will come in handy depending on what kind of projects you’ll be tackling.

So, if the question is: Can I do normal sewing with an overlocker? Then this article has all the answers!

Key Takeaways

can I do normal sewing with an overlocker

  • While an overlocker can perform some straight stitches, it may not be as precise as a regular sewing machine.
  • Overlockers are best suited for finishing edges and working with stretchy or delicate fabrics.
  • Overlockers have specialized feet for tasks such as inserting zippers or piping.
  • It’s beneficial to have both a sewing machine and an overlocker for different types of sewing projects.

Sewing Machine Vs Overlocker

Sewing Machine Vs Overlocker
You can create professional-looking results quickly and easily with a powerful sewing machine or an overlocker, each offering a unique set of stitches to make your projects stand out.

Sewing machines provide straight, zigzag, embroidery, and buttonhole stitching, while sergers/overlockers focus on the signature overlock stitch that trims and finishes fabric edges in one step. Sergers require four or more threads for certain stitches, but they sew three times faster than sewing machines, so it’s great for finishing edges quickly.

An extra fee may be required to do specialized techniques such as rolled hems and blind hems, but this is far outweighed by the neatness of the finish you get from an overlocker! Domestic sergers also have a cutting knife that helps trim fabrics accurately while thread-overlocking them together – perfect for those who need neatly finished seams fast!

When it comes down to choosing between these two options, think about what kind of stitch types you need, plus how many threads are needed, along with what type of fabric will be used most often in order to produce professional results every time.

What is a Serger/Overlocker?

What is a Serger/Overlocker?
You may be wondering what a serger/overlocker is and whether it can really do normal sewing. A serger/overlocker is designed to make an overlock stitch, which joins pieces of fabric together and finishes the edge at the same time.

It has a cutting knife that trims fabrics accurately while thread-overlocking them together for neat results quickly, making it great for those who need professional-looking seams fast! Furthermore, you can also use this machine to create blind hems or rolled hems with extra feet attachments if needed – perfect for more detailed projects.


Experience the convenience of making professional-looking seams and hems in a fraction of the time with an overlocker’s easy one-step operation. Threading is simple, while its cutting knife trims fabric edges accurately to finish off raw edges.

Overlockers provide superior results compared to regular sewing machines, especially when it comes to different types of stitches like rolled hems or blind hems that give garments an authentic overlock stitch look.


Discover the world of fast and flawless sewing with an overlocker. You’ll be amazed by its professional-looking results! Create quick gathers, finish seams perfectly, attach piping, or insert zippers with ease.

Sewing machines can’t match the speeds offered by overlockers that industry experts rely on for their best work.

Can a Sewing Machine Do Overlocking?

Can a Sewing Machine Do Overlocking?
Explore the amazing world of overlocking with a sewing machine! Although it can’t replace an overlocker entirely, a good quality sewing machine can produce mock-overlock stitches and even rolled hems. With the right attachments, like piping attachments, you can also create decorative finishes on your projects.

To achieve professional-looking results, ensure that your thread tension is correct and adjust stitch width accordingly to suit the fabric. Additionally, using differential feed will help prevent puckering or stretching while working with stretchy fabrics.

While a sewing machine may not have all the features of an overlocker, such as trimming excess fabric or finishing raw edges in one go, it’s still possible to sew pieces of fabric together efficiently and neatly using zigzag stitches, for example, before finishing off raw edges separately for clean seams.

Sewing machines can make various types of stitches, including straight stitch and some types of decorative stitching. They cannot trim excess material at once, but overlockers have cutting knives built-in which trims away any extra materials from seams automatically.

Sewing machines can do mock-overlocking, but it won’t be as neat as an actual serged edge. Overlockers have a neater-looking stitched seam than regular machines when performing an overlocked seam.

Sewing Machine Overlocker
Can make various types of stitches including straight stitch and some types of decorative stitching Focused on making only one type – The Overlock Stitch
Cannot trim excess material at once Has cutting knives built-in which trims away any extra materials from seams automatically
Can do mock-overlocking but won’t be as neat as an actual serged edge Has neater-looking stitched seam than regular machines when performing an overlocked seam

What Does an Overlock Stitch Look Like?

What Does an Overlock Stitch Look Like?
An overlock stitch looks like a line of stitching with two or more spools of thread, usually of different colors. It’s created using an overlocker, also known as a serger. The overlocker can join pieces of fabric together while trimming away any excess material from the raw edges at the same time.

To create this type of stitch, you’ll need to thread your machine correctly according to the instructions in the manual. For example, on Brother Innovis machines, you may find red threading lines for easier identification.

You will also need special attachments, such as a piping attachment if needed, before sewing knits with an overlocker. The result is a neat finish that not only joins fabrics but also gives them professional-looking results.

Do You Need a Sewing Machine and an Overlocker?

Do You Need a Sewing Machine and an Overlocker?
You may find that having both a sewing machine and an overlocker can be beneficial for your projects. For example, if you need to attach piping around the edge of a dress, the overlocker is much faster than using a sewing machine with separate attachments.

With its versatility, comes time-saving capabilities, improved quality results, and professional-looking edges when compared to traditional machines. The main purpose of an overlocker is creating neat stitches quickly – often with two or more threads in black and different colors – eliminating the need for foot pedal operation while still allowing you to make different stitches such as rolled hems and blind hems.

Sergers/Overlockers are great additions for those who do lots of sewing as they offer faster results than regular machines, which creates nicely finished seams every time without any extra effort from you! You’ll also save yourself some money on thread since most sergers use multiple spools at once!

Should You Get a Sewing Machine?

Should You Get a Sewing Machine?
If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to produce professional-looking results, then investing in both a sewing machine and an overlocker could be the perfect solution. When selecting fabrics for use with your machines, consider the types of fabric that each machine can handle.

Standard straight stitch on sewing machines may not work well with stretchy or delicate materials best suited for sergers/overlockers’ differential feed system.

Buying tips include considering your skill level, budget, and desired features. Stitch types vary between machines, as do their interchangeable feet options available.

Threading basics involve learning how to thread multiple spools of thread at once using color-coded tension dials.

Should You Get a Serger/Overlocker?

Should You Get a Serger/Overlocker?
Adding an overlocker to your sewing kit can give you professional results with less effort. It’s easy to thread, and its five styles of one-step automatic buttonholes make it ideal for beginners and advanced sewers alike.

With the ability to create different stitches such as rolled hems, blind hems, or a mock flatlock stitch – all done faster than traditional machines – this is a great tool to have on hand when working with knit fabrics.

There are many features that come along with owning an overlocker. The top spool of thread is adjustable, and the tension dials color-code threads. Four or more threads are needed for some stitches, and the knife trims the fabric edge while stitching together raw edges into neat “locked-in” finishes quickly.

An overlocker will take your projects up a notch without sacrificing quality!

Is It Worth Buying a Serger/Overlocker?

Is It Worth Buying a Serger/Overlocker?
Investing in an overlocker will take your sewing projects to the next level – quickly and professionally! With its ability to produce different seam types, thread types, fabric types, and more, it’s a great addition for any basic machine.

You can use this alternative machine for straight lines or special stitches like rolled hems or mock flatlocks. The quality of each stitch is amazing, and you’ll be amazed at how quick the final product looks with minimal effort compared to using regular machines.

Having an overlocker in your sewing room adds convenience since you no longer need separate finishing tools such as piping foots or zigzag feet attachments because they are already included on this powerful device! An overlocker transforms even beginner sewers into experienced professionals easily while allowing them to create professional-looking results every time without sacrificing quality.

How Does a Sewing Machine Work?

How Does a Sewing Machine Work?
You may be wondering how a sewing machine works, especially if you’re considering purchasing an overlocker. Well, the operation of a basic sewing machine is fairly simple: it uses two spools of thread and stitches them together to form one seam.

It can also be used to make buttonholes, zippers, and decorative stitches with specialized foot attachments.


You’ll be stitching like a pro in no time with an overlocker, creating neat and professional-looking seams swiftly! Threading it up is easy, simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The tension of the individual threads will affect how your stitches look, so make sure to adjust them accordingly.

Gathering fabric can also be done using this machine with its special presser foot attachment. Its cutting knife makes trimming edges quick and easy, while buttonholes are easily created without needing extra attachments or feet for basic stitches – making life simpler! With its versatile capabilities, you have limitless possibilities when it comes to sewing projects, from piping attachment to zig-zag stitch.


Exploring the range of uses for an overlocker can open up a world of creative possibilities, allowing you to create professional-looking results with ease. This great machine is an invaluable addition for any sewer, offering speed benefits, automatic features, and the ability to achieve professional finishes on various fabric types and thread counts.

With its knife blade that quickly trims fabric edges and its ability to join pieces of material in different color threads, an overlocker is often referred to as a most basic sewing machine. By using an overlocker, you can get your projects done faster while still producing quality results.

What to Know Before Using an Overlocker as a Sewing Machine

What to Know Before Using an Overlocker as a Sewing Machine
Before using an overlocker as a sewing machine, it’s important to understand what tasks it can and cannot do. It is capable of producing different seams quickly and professionally but has its limitations too.

To get the most from your investment, you should first take a closer look at thread tension settings for specific fabric types. A loose stitch may be suitable for lightweight materials such as cotton or linen, but chiffon-type fabrics require much tighter tension levels to ensure neat seam finishes.

Overlockers also come with various stitch options which are great for adding decorative touches – such as piping – to garments or home decor items. However, they cannot replace sewing machines completely when creating buttonholes or other specialized stitches like zigzag and blind hems due to their cutting knife feature that trims the edge of fabric simultaneously while stitching them together in one action.

An overlocker is a valuable addition if you do a lot of sewing requiring better finished edges than those made by a regular machine alone – making it the perfect partner alongside your traditional one!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What fabrics are best suited to an overlocker?

An overlocker is like a chef’s knife, effortlessly slicing through fabric and quickly creating professional-looking seams. Fabrics such as lightweight knits, delicate silks, and thin wool are best suited to an overlocker for precise finishing.

What is the difference between a serger and an overlocker?

An overlocker and a serger are both machines designed to join fabric edges while finishing them at the same time. Overlockers use two threads, but sergers may use up to five threads for more specialized stitches.

How do I thread an overlocker?

To thread an overlocker, follow your machine’s instructions for threading the needles and loopers. Make sure all threads are in their correct positions before passing them through the tension discs. Then, pull the threads down into the hook of their respective needle or looper. Finally, test stitch on scrap fabric to ensure quality.

Is it difficult to learn to use an overlocker?

Learning to use an overlocker is like mastering a new sport – it takes practice, but the rewards are worth the effort! With detailed instructions and some patience, you’ll quickly become comfortable operating your machine.

What is the best brand of overlocker?

An overlocker is the perfect tool for giving your sewing projects a professional finish. It’s like a hairdresser’s scissors, snipping and neatening fabric edges with ease! When it comes to picking one, the Brother Innovis-A50 offers an impressive selection of options.


You can use an overlocker to help with sewing projects, but you may miss out on some advantages of a sewing machine. An overlocker can quickly finish edges and replace the need for a walking foot when sewing with knits.

However, it won’t do essential tasks like buttonholes or decorative stitches. Plus, it requires four or more threads for some stitches. If you’re looking to do more than just an overlock stitch, you’ll need a sewing machine.

With the right machine, you’ll be able to sew faster, easier, and with more professional-looking results.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.