Saturday, February 25, 2012

My new baby(lock)

As I mentioned before, last week I received this package...

So what's inside?

Ta Dah!
okay, but what's inside that?!


Yup, thanks to an unexpected (and surprisingly large) tax rebate, I went crazy and bought myself an overlocker/serger. But not just any serger, the Baby Lock Imagine Wave

I've never used an overlocker before, I have always been a bit intimidated by them. They look so complicated with all the threading up palaver, the various tension dials, fine tuning it for different fabrics etc. But one of my plans for this year is to start regularly making my own clothes, including using jersey and sheer fabrics, and I knew an overlocker would help me get the best results.

So why this machine? Well, because it has done away with all the bits that had intimidated me before. Worried about threading up? This machine does it with a whoosh of air. AIR! Confused about setting the correct tension? This machine doesn't even have tension dials! The machine does it all automatically, you can even stitch different weights of fabric without even having to stop and re-adjust everything!

The above shot is all the bits and pieces that came with the machine, including the extra freebies I got for buying it from here. The freebies were: 12 cones of thread, two packets of machine needles, measuring tape, a seam ripper, three extra Baby Lock machine feet and a set of really sharp scissors. The Machine itself came with an array of accessories, the most useful thing being a quick reference stitch guide which has been my constant companion while I've been getting the hang of the machine!

I started off taking it slow as I want to properly get my head around the machine and its capabilities. I started by reading the instructions cover to cover, and then again, this time threading up the machine and trying out the various stitches. I labelled the important parts and generally had a bit of a play using various materials.

did you know you can make overlocking lace?

So onto first serging projects.
First up was this self-drafted t-shirt with little cap sleeves...

using this flock of birds jersey material I found a while ago 
on a remnants stall in Lewisham Market
the birds are a slightly pink colour.

Next up was a black version of a self-drafted cowl neck, cap sleeve
t-shirt I had made before on my usual sewing machine,

but this time the seams looked all professional!

And to extend my (so far rather basic) clothes making skills,
I turned to this amazing book
which my mum gave me a few years ago, and had a go at drafting a top with a peter pan collar and short kimono sleeves (neither of which I had tried before).

I made the collar piece and a slightly smaller under-collar piece which when sewn together, would make the seam roll under the collar.

I used some nice lace print jersey I had in my stash. I spent a while making sure the collar had a smooth curve to it and that it was pressed flat with the seam tucked underneath. Working back and forth from sewing machine to serger, I put it all together. The collar was serged on then folded over and stitched down, the hems were also serged, folded over and stitched.

I was wearing this top out for the first time yesterday and passed some graffiti that nicely matched my first serged t-shirt!
outside Shoreditch High Street station

I am very happy with my purchase of a swanky new serger and would like to thank Lisa from the excellent U-Handbag Blog for her review of her new BabyLock serger. I had spent ages looking around the web at so many (too many!) serger options, but her review is what settled it for me! 

Further adventures in serging to follow....


  1. Oh how exciting! My parents bought me a used one when I was younger but I could never quite get it working.

  2. wow, I just stumbled upon this post. The overlock made lace is so amazing- you should write a tutorial on how to do it. Please let me know if you will some day ))))))