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Overlocker sewing machine advantages

Between 2 and 4 spools of thread simultaneously!

Overlocker sewing machines have a number of key advantages, particularly when it comes to stopping the edges of cut fabric from fraying. They used to be professional level pieces of equipment, but these days overlockers are increasingly finding their way into the home market.

An overlocker by no means replaces a “traditional” sewing machine, but it does excel at joining two layers of cloth and trimming the edge of the fabric to stop fraying. According to The Sew in Brighton Sewing School

“Its primary function is to clean finish a raw edge, giving the project a professional appearance. Many overlocking stitches have built-in stretch, making them the perfect tool for seaming knit fabrics. Additionally, the eyes of the loopers are larger than the eyes of sewing needles and can therefore accommodate thicker decorative threads.”

Other overlocker advantages

An overlocker’s stitch pattern typically allows for a significant amount of stretch – useful when sewing elastic or stretchy fabrics. And being able to stitch a number of threads at a time can be a huge advantage. The Jaguar Supa Lock 486 for example can be set for two, three or four threads.

An overlocker doesn’t use bobbins but loopers to supply the lines of thread, making it easier to contain the materials edges within the seam.

It’s important to remember that an overlocker won’t completely replace a conventional sewing machine – inserting zips and buttonholes or topstitching will still require one of those.

Jaguar overlockers – super, easy threading

Exclusive to Jaguar overlocker sewing machines feature a unique cutting system which opens up by 180 degrees, giving easy access to the looper thread guides. Threading is quick and easy with no need for tweezers or specialist tools – it’s as quick and as simple as that!

  • The Jaguar 487 – an excellent choice for those looking for features and performance. Surprisingly easy to use.
  • The Jaguar Supa Lock 486 – a 2, 3 or 4 thread overlocker with differential feed.

“The Jaguar 487 is easy to thread as each route is colour coded, easy to access the the workings under the needle plate as this part can swing all the way open allowing a very clear view of all the mechanism housed here.”

Helen McGowan, Kildare, Ireland.

New to sewing? Here are some ideas to get you started

Simple sewing suggestions and tips for beginners

Sewing is an enjoyable past time for many across the world. In many cases, what starts off as a hobby can go on to become a serious business.

Whatever your justification for wanting to take up sewing, we’ve come up with a few suggestions that may well help you get up and running just that little bit more quickly, bearing in mind that the internet can be a wonderful information source!

1) Keep it simple!

Don’t stretch yourself too much too soon. Build up your basic techniques and capabilities by producing something that’s straightforward, but will still provide you with a tangible and pleasing end result.

We thought we’d start off with something suitably seasonal, so for our first example we’re heading off to the How To Sew website, on which they’ve provided a delightful tutorial on how to make winter coasters.

The simple step-by-step guide we’ll get you up and running in no time, enabling you to produce a decorative addition to your festive dining centrepiece.

2) Build your sewing skills

Sarai Mitnick has written a series of articles that we just adore! One of our absolute favourites The Art and Science of Skill Building is a powerful and well written piece.

Sarai has every sympathy for the newby.

“I know how disheartening it is to be a beginner at something. Often when you’re learning something new, your imagination and taste greatly outpace your actual skills.

“You know when something looks wrong, but you aren’t at the point where you can fix it. Not yet. This can be highly motivating, but it can also be incredibly frustrating.”

Of her most valuable pieces of advice is to learn at least one new skill within each project undertaken.

The highlight of her article is called “A true beginner sequence” – a six project springboard that will help you to achieve a great deal in a short space of time.

3) Look at the bigger picture

Steps to start your sewing hobby by Allie will enable you to take a step back and plan a series of actions and activities.

Ali lists seven categories that’s when considered will really make a difference to the newby sewer.

  1. “Take an introductory sewing class
  2. Start with simple sewing projects
  3. Get a working sewing machine. Or get your sewing machine working
  4. Practice. A lot
  5. Get the right tools
  6. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
  7. Find your community.”

4) And when you’re ready for a new sewing machine?

OK, we must admit to being a little biased here, but we think the wonderful range of Jaguar sewing machines can provide everything that the beginner needs – but with the capabilities that will enable you to progress efficiently and easily to far more complex and imaginative projects in the future.

The Novum Life 157 for example, has 14 built in stitches, adjustable stitch length, a built in needle threader, a top loading bobbin, a stitch selector dial and a 3 year warranty – yet retails at only £149!

Jaguar Novum Life 157 sewing machine
The Jaguar Novum Life 157 sewing machine – it’s a little beauty isn’t it?

See the full range of Jaguar sewing machines »

Quilting: not everything you need to know, but…

Making the most of your sewing machine for quilting

We love quilting here at Jaguar Sewing Machine Central, so we’re always on the look out for some useful, tips, tricks and techniques to share with our colleagues and sewing groups.

Get in touch if you’d like us to cover a specific topic in a forthcoming article by the way…

Spinning seams

Right – to kick things off, we liked the simplicity and excellent photos of the blog entry How to ‘Spin’ Seams from the Cooking Up Quilts website.   Beth, a quilter and pattern designer, recently added this really useful tutorial.

“This is a helpful technique to use in a block where there are lots of seams coming together in one place – it can help to flatten the block and reduce bulk.”

She’s helpfully used a dark thread on the seams so that you can see what’s going on really clearly.

Perfect your quilting – without needle and thread!

One of the biggest challenges for the developing quilter is to be able to reproduce consistent, accurate shapes at will – training your “muscle memory” as it’s sometimes called.

We love Quilting Daily (why wouldn’t we?) and Tweeted a coupe of days ago about an outstanding piece by Brenna Riley Gates called Longarm Quilting: Making Muscle Memories.

Don’t panic by the way when you see the word “Longarm” – these methods are just as relevant if you have a conventional sewing machine!

We were intrigued by this idea – and by trying it ourselves have come to realise that you can improve your quilting techniques far more quickly by NOT using  a needle and thread. Sounds weird? Actually, it’s remarkably straightforward – one of those “Why didn’t we think of that?” type things…

Brenna quotes Dawn Cavanaugh’s lesson – muscle memory – from the APQS Longarm Certification (Sponsored by Fons & Porter) course she teaches.

This technique is something that you can practice watching TV – never a bad thing! Although it now looks as though you won’t be able to do it whilst watching the Great British Sewing Bee(Don’t get us started on that – it’s just too sad!).

Brenna observes that “To be a successful quilter, you must make your muscles remember what it feels like to make smooth curves, flowing lines, and graceful shapes over and over again.”

Make the most of those leftovers!

We’ve always got a lot of those of course – and were wondering whether we really need to bin them all. So we had a little look around and found a wonderful article by the redoubtable Sherri on the A Quilting Life blog.

Her excellent article How To: Scrappy Quilt Binding Tutorial shows that some really engaging results can result from reusing those leftover bits and pieces. It’s a clever piece, enabling the reader to imagine themselves sorting through scraps, colours and patterns, showing how to respond by what they have to hand.

“I was pretty happy with the look…so glad I went with scrappy for this quilt instead of with just one color or even with a scrappy version of one color.”

We’re definitely scrappy binding converts now!

Sewing machines for the new and experienced quilter

Featuring the wonderful quick threading system. The unique DQS (Digital Quick-threading System) has now been introduced to the UK. All current models come with a three year parts and labour guarantee and the 100% satisfaction guarantee.

The Jaguar sewing machine range »

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