How To Do Overlock Stitch On Singer Sewing Machine

How to do Overlock Stitch on Singer Sewing Machine

Singer sewing machines are one of the most popular and widely used sewing machines for both hobbyists and professionals. Overlock stitching is a popular technique used when sewing garments, making it an important skill to know when it comes to nearly any type of sewing project. In this article, readers will learn how to do an overlock stitch on a Singer sewing machine and will also be provided with some tips for achieving the best results.

The overlock stitch is a special type of stitch found on serger machines, which are machines that finish the edges of materials to give them a professional, neat look. The overlock stitch combines overcasting, which is a stitch that finishes the raw edge of the fabric, with a straight stitch, and it is the stitch of choice when it comes to reinforcing seams. On Singer machines, the overlock stitch is referred to as a “lightning stitch” or a “surging stitch”.

The process of doing an overlock stitch on a Singer sewing machine starts by threading the machine and selecting the lightning stitch. Singer machines are usually equipped with a single-step threading system, which makes it easy to thread the needle and other components. It’s also important to choose the correct needle and adjust thread tension. Once the needle is threaded and the stitch is selected, the sewing machine is ready to do the overlock stitch.

Before starting the process, it’s important to use quality fabric. Tightly-woven, lightweight fabrics such as cotton or linen are the best options. When sewing with knitted or stretch fabrics, it’s recommended to use a zig-zag stitch instead of an overlock stitch. Using high-quality thread is also crucial for getting the best results.

Once everything is set, the next step is to place the fabric underneath the needle plate. Start sewing on the lower side of the fabric, and begin with a few backstitches before slowly moving forward. The backstitches, which are closely-spaced stitches that secure the beginning and end of a seam, should be wide enough to fit a finger through. It’s also important to guide the fabric neatly, ensuring the raw edges do not overlap.

Once the seam is complete, it’s time to trim the excess fabric. Use a pair of scissors or overlock trimmer to cut away the extra fabric, but be careful to stay away from the stitching. Carefully cut the fabric close to the stitching, but avoid snipping the thread.

Finally, it’s time to finish the edges of the fabric. Using a small zigzag stitch, sew back and forth over the raw edge of the fabric to secure it in place. Then press the seam open and admire the finished product. For best results, use a pressing cloth to protect the fabric from any heat damage.

Tips for Getting the Best Results

There are several tips that can help make sure that the overlock stitch is done correctly, and the results are perfect. To start, make sure that the fabric has been cut straight and cut evenly. Any imperfections in the cut will travel up the fabric and show in the finished product. Also, adjust the foot tension on the sewing machine to match the fabric to prevent puckering.

Determining the correct foot pressure is also important, as too much pressure can lead to puckering and not enough pressure can cause skipped stitches. It’s also essential to pay attention to the needle size and type. As previously mentioned, using a high-quality thread will also make a huge difference in the final result.

It’s also important to practice on scraps of fabric before starting with the actual material. All these tips will make sure that one’s overlock stitch is perfect, neat, and secure.

Common Problems and Troubleshooting

In some cases, it is possible to experience some issues when doing an overlock stitch on a Singer sewing machine. Common problems include skipped stitches, uneven edges, and puckering. To prevent these issues from happening, check the needle size and type, making sure it’s the correct one for the fabric being used. Also, make sure the thread is high-quality and free of knots.

If the overlock stitch is coming out uneven, then the pressure foot needs to be adjusted. Too much pressure can cause fabric puckers, while too little pressure can cause skipped stitches. It’s also important to make sure that the fabric is moving evenly, so it doesn’t twist or ruck while being sewn.

Sometimes, problems can arise due to a faulty machine. If the problem with the overlock stitch persists even when all the tips have been followed, it’s time to take the machine to a professional for servicing. There might be internal issues that need to be addressed, and a qualified technician will be able to identify and fix them.

Things to Avoid

When doing an overlock stitch on a Singer sewing machine, it’s important to remember some things that should be avoided at all cost. To start, avoid using a serger thread for the standard needle. Serger threads are usually too thick for the machine’s needle, and can break the needle or cause damage to the motor.

Also, it’s important not to use a thick thread for any type of construction. Thick threads can cause snags and tangles, as well as cause the stitches to become uneven. It’s best to use regular all-purpose threads for construction. Finally, avoid being too eager when sewing. Make sure to take the time to position the fabric correctly and take the time to guide it in a straight line.


Doing an overlock stitch on a Singer sewing machine can be a bit tricky. Additionally, there are several tips and tricks that should be followed to get the best results. Furthermore, there are several things that should be avoided, such as using the wrong thread, moving the fabric too quickly, and not adjusting the foot tension.

By taking the time to learn the proper techniques and following a few simple tips, it is possible to achieve a perfect overlock stitch on a Singer sewing machine, as well as produce garments with a neat, professional finish.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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