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Forum > Sewing Machines > Overlock stitch - trim seam before sewing? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Overlock stitch - trim seam before sewing?
Using an overlock stitch
Linda0902
Linda0902
New Jersey USA
Member since 7/2/13
Posts: 36
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 7/21/13 3:43 PM

I'm making a swimsuit bottom. My sewing machine has an overlock stitch for knit fabrics. My pattern calls for a 1/2" seam, but the machine's overlock stitch is 1/4". It does not allow me to make the stitch wider.
Should I:
Trim the seam before sewing? or
Use a zigzag stitch instead, and trim the seam after sewing?
Miss Fairchild
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Miss Fairchild
USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 7936
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In reply to Linda0902

Date: 7/21/13 5:21 PM

An overlock stitch is one that stitches along the edge of the fabric, similar to a zigzag, but even closer. You use an overlock foot to sew with this stitch. I used the overlock stitch and foot for years, before I got my serger (aka "overlocker") and I trimmed the seam allowance to 1/4", then stitched both seam allowances closed using the overlock stitch. In fact, I just came across a pair of undies I made with this method.
-- Edited on 7/21/13 5:22 PM --

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Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
Ohio USA
Member since 5/28/11
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In reply to Linda0902

Date: 7/21/13 8:08 PM

Trimming first might be hard on swimsuit material. I sewed a swimsuit on my sm before buying a serger. I used a zigzag then trimmed close to that. Try both methods on scrap material to see what you like best.
diane s
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diane s
Oregon USA
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Date: 7/21/13 11:50 PM

I would use the zigzag and trim. If this is the first time you've made this suit, I would quickly machine baste and check the fit.
Swimsuit sizing and lycra spandex can lead to alot of variables and it's a pain to pick out stitches in spandex.
I sewed for dancers and twirlers for many years and always did this with a new design or fabric.

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My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

Linda0902
Linda0902
New Jersey USA
Member since 7/2/13
Posts: 36
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 7/22/13 6:32 AM

Thanks, everyone! I posted this question on Ravelry also, and someone suggested machine basting it with a straight stitch first, and trying it on, then make adjustments, use the overlock stitch, and rip out the straight stitch.
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