Check out my new Overlocker

That’s a serger to my US friends, I believe.

I’m a big fan of the Aldi discount supermarket chain. A huge fan, especially now they’ve started stocking New Zealand made cookies under their home-brand label. Those Kiwis make some very fine cookies.

For those who aren’t familiar with it, Aldi is a German-based discount food store chain. They sell all the basics like flour and honey and cheese at excellent prices and have a wine section (in the state of Victoria but not in other states due to liquor licensing laws.) They don’t stock everything you need in a typical weekly shop but tend to be located near other supermarkets so you can get all your basics at Aldi and then top up on extras at one of the bigger supermarket chains.

Wikipedia tells me they’re the biggest retailer of wine in Germany. Think about that for a moment. Wine. Germany. Biggest retailer. No wonder the founders brothers Theo and Karl Albrecht were Germany’s #1 and #2 richest men until Theo’s death in 2010.

Theo was kidnapped and held for ransom in 1971 and wasn’t photographed again since the day after his release. Imagine being so wealthy that you felt you had be a recluse. I picture that Theo’s life  on his estate (guessing here), with servants (guessing again) and security (seems like a sure thing) as very comfortable, but it sounds lonely. That level of isolation and probably fear sound like a high price to pay for extreme wealth.

Aldi have weekly specials of non-food items, many of which are momentarily appealing but which you probably don’t really need (bread makers, high pressure cleaners etc). Having said that, I’ve bought all sorts of things at Aldi since they opened in Australia, including a camping cookware set and a vacuum cleaner. Oh and an Android tablet which is almost as good as an iPad, but for less than half the price.

A while back the weekly special was overlockers for $200, which is a good deal. Here’s mine.

Overlocker tension dials

These tension dials aren’t the latest design, but that’s OK.

It’s probably a Janome or Brother re-branded as Lumina, which is one of Aldi’s many own-brand labels.

It does the job, even though it’s clearly not the very latest design. These tension dials are the giveaway. The latest designs have done away with those big lumpy dials.

I’m dreading the day when a thread breaks or when I need to change the colour that came pre-threaded on the machine.  Any machine that needs tweezers for threading is the stuff of nightmares.

I have to admit that it took me a while to even open the box after I brought this overlocker home and I still feel a little intimidated by it. I have only used it a little, for tidying up seams, something it does brilliantly.

I have the feeling that there is so much more I could be doing with this device. I know you can use them to attach lace, but I think it’s been at least twenty years since I felt the need to attach lace to anything. Just not my thing, lace. Maybe I should take a class. Or watch a video. Or just keep quilting.

6 responses to “Check out my new Overlocker

  1. Looks good. What does it do and how will you use it?

    • If you look at a commercially sewn garment you’ll see that the side seams are neatly finished and no raw edges are exposed. That’s the basic function of an overlocker. Business shirts are an exception – they often have a felled seam, which is a whole other story.

      Overlockers can be adjusted to do other tasks like joining stretch or polar fleece fabrics. This requires you to disengage the overlocker’s cutting knives. A rolled hem uses three threads rather than the standard four, and you need to change the tension settings to do a rolled hem. All of that is stuff I need to learn and master.

  2. Hi,
    Thinking of buying this machine second hand for 100$ in total. (incl. shipping, as i live on an island at the bottom of Australia)

    I do basic sewing – skirts, dresses, bathers, ect. Only have a cheap Janome sewer, which I use it’s zigzag to finish edges.

    I’ve got a lot of experience and am starting to significantly more advanced pattern alterations ect. and at school I’ve gotten used to the lovely industrial sewers, cover stitchers, blind hemmers, button holers, button attachers, lettuce edge, fusing press… aaah, and the lovely, fast overlockers.

    Wondering if this machine – Lumina 4, will get the job done?
    Finishing raw edges, attaching elastic to knit fabrics, ect. ect.

    • Sounds like you’re on a great journey with your sewing. The Lumina is probably not the latest and greatest in overlocker technology but my assessment is that it does the job. The features seem to be there to do hems, disable the cutting blade, finish raw edges etc – it’s just a matter of learning how to use them. Please get in touch again if you need me to photocopy the manual for you, should you decide to buy the second hand one you mentioned in your comment.

  3. I heard a good tip for threading which is, just snip the threads at the spool, then load your new spool on and tie the new thread end to the old thread on and then pull through until the new thread colour is through the machine… Voila!

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