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Should I Buy an Overlocker Or a Sewing Machine?

Should I Buy an Overlocker Or a Sewing Machine

Being a beginner in the world of sewing, you may be wondering which machine is best for you—an overlocker or a sewing machine? Both machines can be used to create beautiful garments and accessories, but they are designed for different purposes.

An overlocker is designed to stitch and finish seams quickly, while a sewing machine is designed to handle a variety of stitches and fabrics. So, here, we’ll discuss the differences between an overlocker and a sewing machine, so you can determine which machine is best for your sewing needs. Also get the answer; Should I buy an overlocker or a sewing machine? Related article: Can Any Sewing Machine Sew Leather?

Should I Buy an Overlocker Or a Sewing Machine?

Deciding whether to purchase an overlocker or a sewing machine depends on what type of sewing projects you plan on doing. A sewing machine is a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of sewing tasks, including topstitching, quilting, and making basic garments. But, in my opinion, a beginner should start with sewing machine.

Overlocker Or a Sewing Machine

An overlocker is a specialized machine that is typically used for finishing the edges of fabric and creating professional-looking seams. Related article: How To Make Low Waisted Jeans High Waisted Without Sewing?

If you plan on making your own clothing or quilts, then a sewing machine is likely the better choice. A sewing machine will provide you with the necessary features and capabilities to sew a wide range of projects. However, if you primarily plan on finishing the edges of the fabric and creating professional-looking seams, then an overlocker may be the better choice for you.

In addition to considering the type of projects you plan on doing, you should also consider your budget. An overlocker will typically cost more than a sewing machine, but it will provide you with the specialized capabilities needed to create professional-looking seams. Related article: Are Brother Sewing Machines Better Than Singer?

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Ultimately, the decision between an overlocker and a sewing machine depends on what type of projects you plan on doing and your budget. If you primarily plan on making clothing or quilts and have the budget for it, then a sewing machine is likely the better choice.

And you can check out the best quilting sewing machines under 500 dollars. However, if you primarily plan on finishing the edges of the fabric and creating professional-looking seams, then an overlocker may be the better choice for you.

What’s Overlocker?

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An overlocker, also known as a serger, is a specialized sewing machine used to create professional-looking seams and finishes on fabric. It is primarily used in garment construction and can be found in both industrial and domestic settings.

Unlike a regular sewing machine, which typically has one or two threads, an overlocker uses multiple threads to create different types of stitches. It typically has at least three or four cones of thread, although some models may have more. The threads are threaded through different mechanisms in the machine, including loopers and needles, to create various stitch formations.

The main purpose of an overlocker is to trim the raw edges of fabric while simultaneously enclosing them with thread, creating neat and finished edges. It can create different types of stitches, such as a basic overlock stitch, rolled hem stitch, flatlock stitch, and more. These stitches not only secure the edges but also provide a professional-looking finish that prevents fraying and adds durability to the seams.

Overlockers are particularly useful when working with stretchy fabrics like knits or when sewing seams that require extra strength, such as those found in sportswear or lingerie. They can also be used for decorative purposes, as some models offer stitching options with different patterns or variations.

It’s worth noting that while an overlocker is a valuable addition to a sewing enthusiast’s toolkit, it is not a replacement for a regular sewing machine. A sewing machine is still necessary for tasks such as sewing straight seams, attaching zippers, and performing other types of stitching that an overlocker cannot handle.

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What’s Sewing Machine?

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A sewing machine is a mechanical or computerized device used to stitch fabric and other materials together with thread. It is a versatile tool widely used in various industries, including fashion, textile production, and home sewing.

Sewing machines have evolved significantly over time, but the basic components and functions remain consistent across most models. They consist of a needle, a presser foot, a bobbin, and a mechanism that moves the fabric through the machine. When the machine is operated, the needle moves up and down, creating stitches by interlocking the upper thread with the lower thread from the bobbin.

The primary functions of a sewing machine include:

  1. Straight stitching: This is the basic stitch used for sewing straight seams, hems, and topstitching.
  2. Zigzag stitching: This stitch allows for decorative finishes, stretchable seams, and securing fabric edges to prevent fraying.
  3. Buttonholing: Most sewing machines have a buttonhole function that automates the process of creating buttonholes, making it quicker and more precise.
  4. Zipper insertion: Sewing machines often have a zipper foot attachment that aids in attaching zippers to garments or other fabric items.
  5. Stitch patterns: Many modern sewing machines offer a variety of built-in stitch patterns, such as decorative stitches, quilting stitches, and embroidery-like designs.

Sewing machines come in different types and sizes to cater to specific needs. Some common types include mechanical sewing machines, computerized sewing machines, embroidery machines, quilting machines, and industrial sewing machines.

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Mechanical sewing machines are operated manually with knobs and dials, while computerized sewing machines have programmable settings and electronic controls. Embroidery machines specialize in creating intricate designs and patterns on fabric, while quilting machines are designed for quilting projects with features like an extended work surface and specialized quilting stitches. Industrial sewing machines are heavy-duty machines used in commercial settings for high-volume sewing production.

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Sewing Machine with Overlock Functions

A sewing machine with overlock function is a machine that can be used for a variety of sewing tasks, including creating professional-looking seams and finishing edges. It is designed to produce a neat, finished look, and typically comes with several different types of stitches, such as a three-thread overlock stitch and a four-thread overlock stitch. Read this post; Why Would A Sewing Machine Skip Stitches?

The three-thread overlock stitch is used for regular seams and hems, while the four-thread overlock stitch is used for heavier fabrics or for creating decorative edges. It is also possible to use the overlock function to create flatlock stitching, which is a type of stitch that creates a smooth, flat finish on fabrics.

In addition, the overlock function can be used to create rolled hems, which are often seen on professional-looking garments. All in all, the overlock function on a sewing machine is a great way to give any project a professional finish.


Should I buy a sewing machine or an overlocker?

That depends on your needs and what you plan to use the machine for. If you plan to do a lot of sewing and need to finish edges, an overlocker is a great choice. A sewing machine might be a better option if you are into crafting and mending clothes. Ultimately, the decision is yours.

Can you use an overlocker as a sewing machine?

Yes, you can use an overlocker as a sewing machine. An overlocker is a sewing machine designed to help you sew seams quickly and easily. It can be used for a variety of tasks, including hemming, seaming, and stitching. An overlocker can also be used to create decorative stitches and finishes.

Is it worth having an overlocker?

Yes, an overlocker can be a great asset for sewing projects. It gives a professional finish to seams and hems and helps to create clean and durable garments. It can also save time, as it does the work of several different sewing machines in one.

What is the advantage of an overlock sewing machine?

The advantage of an overlock sewing machine is that it can finish seams with a professional-looking overlock stitch, which provides a secure, flexible seam that won’t fray. It also helps to quickly and easily sew stretchy fabrics, as well as provide a decorative effect on certain projects. Additionally, overlock machines can sew seams, trim excess fabric, and finish raw edges in one step.


Jacky Butchers

Hi, I'm Jacky Butchers, managing and writing on LetMeSewing. I worked in the field for almost a decade, and I holds a degree in Textile Engineering from the University of the Punjab. I've an extensive experience with a wide range of sewing machines, and I'm is happy to share my skills with those just starting out.