Overlocker How-To

So, this September wasn’t only my birthday but was also when I became a fully fledged member of the Overlocker Gang courtesy of Mr Riley (a million thank you’s for that one! 🙂 ). Thinking it was going to be as awkward as everyone has said with regards to threading, I initially put off using it ….. for about half a day! 🙂 Anyway, I sat in front of it and guess what, this threading an overlocker malarkey is seriously simple stuff. I get that it looks like it’ll be a nightmare but honestly, nothing to fret over. A very small monkey could probably do it ….. in their sleep ….. blindfolded ….. ah, you get my point 🙂 (I’m making no apologies for the serious overuse of the smiley face emoji btw!) 

Anyway, if you also happen to be the rather proud owner of a Brother 3034DWT, or indeed a rather petrified new owner who has still to remove it from the box, then heres a little guide to threading.

Threading Guide

  1. First step has to be unplugging the overlocker. I know it sounds like simple stuff but you mess with this bad boy when he’s plugged in purely at your own risk. This is some serious ‘losing a finger or two’ sort of business. So make sure your overlocker is completely turned off before you even start touching it 🙂
  2. At the front of the machine you’ll see a white plastic cover, slide it across to the right slightly and then down so it’s completely open and you can see inside the machine. 
  3. Ensure that the telescopic thread tree is raised to it’s highest level and raise the presser foot using the presser foot lever.
  4. To begin the threading you start with the thread spool furthest to the right and then work across one at a time. So the order of threading is as follows: Lower Looper, Upper Looper, Right Needle, Left Needle. NB: if the machine isn’t threaded in the correct order then it will not operate correctly.
  5. Lower Looper: On the front of the machine you’ll see coloured lines showing the direction the thread needs to go. For the Lower Looper, the line is blue and the thread should go through the following ‘number markers’ (as shown on the diagram on the overlocker) – through 3, down through 4 and 5, through 6, 7 and 8 (making sure that the thread goes through both parts of 7). Pass the thread through as shown and then through the eye of the lower looper before bringing the thread up onto the sewing plate, leaving a large ‘tail’.
  6. Upper Looper:  (green line) Take the thread through 3, through 4, through 5,6,7,8 (only through the first part of 7) and then pass the thread through the eye of the Upper Looper and up onto the sewing plate.
  7. Right Needle: (pink line) Take the thread through 3, 4 and 5 (following the 4 & 5 next to the pink and yellow lines as opposed to the green and blue lines) and then directly across to 6, ensuring that the thread is kept to the right of the separator, back down and through the right hand needle.
  8. Left Needle: (yellow line) Follow the above directions but keep the thread to the left of the separator and pass it through the left hand needle.
  9. Ideally, or at least to begin with and until you’ve had a little play about with some different fabrics, keep the top tension gauges on 4, the differential feed tension on 1 and the stitch width on 5R.

    Top Tension Gauges

    Stitch Length

    Differential Feed

You, my friend, have just threaded your overlocker so when you’ve finished bopping round the room in a self congratulatory dance then go and play with your wonderful new toy 🙂