The perfect sidekick to your sewing machine

  • Sew, cut and tidy up in a single operation
  • Accommodates a wide variety of fabrics
  • Achieve professional seams and hems
Learn about the similarities and the differences of the L 850, L 860 and L 890 through our expert chat!

Overlocker categories

Which model do I need ?

Picture: Overlocker/Serger

An overlocker is the machine for you if you…

  • Want to sew, cut and finish like a pro in one single operation
  • Want to achieve a highly stretchy seam with knitwear
  • Want to sew decorative flatlock seams in woven or knits
  • Prefer fine rolled hems in lightweight fabrics

Picture: Overlocker/Serger

The overlock/coverstitch-combo machine is best of both machines in one:

  • Sew, cut and neaten in one single operation
  • Sew a durable 5-thread stitch in woven fabrics
  • Achieve highly stretchy seams in knitwear
  • Sew stretchy topstitching with a coverstitch
  • Decorative flatlock seams in woven or knits
  • Fine rolled hems in lightweight fabrics
  • Professional hemming of garments and home decor
  • Decorative applications with the chainstitch

Bild: Overlocker

Questions & Answers About BERNINA Overlockers

When you are sewing, do you want to be able to cleanly cut and neaten the fabric edge at the same time as sewing the seam or hem - all in just one operation?! What sounds too good to be true becomes a reality when you buy an overlocker. Whatever you want to sew, you will complete your sewing project more quickly than ever before - and on top of that, your homemade items will look more professional, both inside and out, thanks to perfect seams and fabric edges. The latest technology and innovative features make using BERNINA overlockers pleasantly easy and ensure that every stitch is just right.

Of course, there are many reasons for purchasing an overlocker. Here are the most important ones at a glance:

  • Professional overcasting of fabric edges
  • It's quick and easy to achieve perfect results
  • Ideal for knitted, stretch and woven fabrics
  • Perfect for delicate silk or satin fabrics
  • Also sews heavy linen, fleece and denim fabrics
  • Differential feed for pucker-free seams or for gathering and ruffling

Unlike a sewing machine, overlockers can handle up to five threads simultaneously. The threads are interlaced with each other to create highly elastic seams, which is necessary when sewing knitted fabrics, jersey and all types of elastic fabrics.

In professional clothing production, overlockers have always been a permanent fixture in studios and sewing factories. With the introduction of the overlocker for household use at the beginning of the 1980s, overlockers also found a home among amateur sewers, where they are now indispensable. Once you have sewn on an overlocker, you won't want to be without it! It not only sews faster than a sewing machine, it also carries out more steps in a single operation, which of course saves a lot of time. The fabric edge is first trimmed by a knife – you can set the cutting width on the knife – and is then overcast and the seam is sewn. And this all happens at the same time, in one operation.

Seams sewn on an overlocker are not only neat and professional, but they also do not fray; they stay flat, and the fabric edges remain firmly bound, even after washing. Just what every amateur sewer who loves homemade clothes wants. Overlockers offer efficient sewing, and they enable users to achieve a perfect-looking result for their home-sewn items. Overlockers can also be used creatively in other ways. For example, decorative threads can be used to create beautiful contrast elements using different types of stitches, such as on flatlock seams, hems or edges. The creative application possibilities of an overlocker therefore go far beyond merely sewing and overcasting.

Threading the looper on a BERNINA overlocker is quick and easy with the help of the automatic lower looper threading mechanism. Plus the manual needle threader simplifies the needle threading. Color-coded thread paths are provided to help you. There are also various BERNINA tutorials that provide step-by-step guidance on how to thread the overlocker. There is therefore no reason to be unsure about using an overlocker as a beginner. Once you have threaded it a few times, it quickly becomes second nature.

And there is an additional trick: You can simply tie the ends of the new thread onto the already threaded yarns directly above the thread holder and pull them through, which is what the pros do!

As well as overlock seams, overlockers also have other more specific stitches, such as the flatlock seam, roll seam, or the super-stretch seam.

While most people (even those who don't sew) are familiar with the zigzag stitch on a sewing machine, the stitches on an overlocker initially raise questions. But what sounds complicated is actually quite simple. Here is a brief overview:

4-thread overlock with integrated safety stitch
This is an elastic and very durable seam, which is best suited for knitted fabrics, such as jersey and other types of knitted fabrics made from natural or synthetic fibers and for hand-knitted items. This seam is also suitable for fine to medium-weight cotton, viscose, silk or man-made fabrics such as batiste, poplin or satin.

3-thread overlock seam
This stitch, which is suitable for all fabrics, is used for overcasting edges, seams, hems and facings. In addition, it forms a fine, elastic, soft, durable seam that is suitable for fine to medium-weight knits. With decorative threads in the loopers, it is suitable for creating decorative and quickly sewn edges.

2-thread overlock wrapped seam
This is used for overcasting edges, seams, hems and facings – this seam is an all-rounder and is suitable for all fabrics.

3-thread super-stretch
This overlock seam is highly elastic and is suitable for fabrics that can be stretched in all directions (longitudinal and transverse elastic fabrics), such as Lycra and cotton Lycra. It is also particularly suitable for sewing swimwear, underwear and sportswear.

3-thread narrow seam
This fine seam is ideal for light silk, cotton and man-made jersey fabrics. It is ideal for transparent and semi-transparent woven and knit fabrics as well as to sew in lace.

3-thread flatlock seam / 2-thread flatlock seam
This special 2- or 3-thread overlock stitch is pulled flat after sewing.
It is a beautiful flat decorative seam which can be used for all woven fabrics. It is equally suitable for all types of patchwork. The 2-thread flatlock seam is very elastic and also looks very nice as a decorative seam on knitwear and highly elastic fabrics.

3-thread roll hem / 2-thread roll hem
This is an attractive hem that's quick to sew. It works well as an edging for hems, ruffles and flounces on fine fabrics, such as silk, organza and chiffon, as well as for fine and lightweight woven fabrics or jerseys. These stitches are also ideal for inserting lace.

All or a selection of the stitches described above are available depending on the overlocker model. Some overlockers, the so-called combination models, also offer coverstitches, meaning that you can turn your overlocker into a coverstitch machine. Coverstitch machines are another specialist machine for the sewing studio.

Overlockers (unless it is a combined model) do not have either coverstitch or chain stitch. However, with these two types of stitch, your clothes can look even more professional! Coverstitch is a flat hem that overcasts the edge of the fabric while remaining elastic and flat. Coverstitch can also be used as a flat joining seam if a seam has direct contact with the skin and should not rub against the skin, for example in swimwear, underwear, sportswear or pajamas. Coverstitch allows you to create these perfect flat joining seams for the highest comfort in a flash.

Chain stitch allows fabrics to be joined and the seam allowances to be ironed open. It can be used as a hem and for topstitching using the striking chain-stitch pattern. Or you can make decorations using the coverstitch and chain stitch for special textiles such as pillows and furniture covers.

Coverstitch: 4-thread coverstitch / 3-thread coverstitch
Coverstitch is a 3- to 4-thread covering stitch characterized by 2 or 3 parallel seams on the right side of the fabric. It is an elastic, durable, flat stitch for sewing hems and seams in stretch fabrics. It is suitable for topstitching seams and for sewing on stretch lace or for hemming with elastic tapes, e.g. in swimwear or children's clothing.

2-thread chain stitch
Chain stitch has only limited stretch and is ideal for seams and hems in firmer woven fabrics or for stabilizing seams in jersey and knitted fabrics. It is suitable for bindings or decorative effects (e.g. gathering) in finer materials for clothing and home textiles. With decorative yarns in the looper (wrong side of the seam facing out), it can also be used for decorative stitches.

Coverstitch machines are another perfect companion to a sewing machine and overlocker, and add extra finesse to your homemade textiles and garments.

If you choose an Overlock/Coverstitch machine as a combined model, then you have all stitches in one machine.

The biggest advantage here is that the chain stitch together with the 3-thread overlock stitch creates a 5-thread safety seam, which is ideal for woven fabrics and home textiles. A combination machine therefore has three functions: You can sew overlock stitches, coverstitches and combination stitches!
Depending on whether you want to sew overlock or coverstitches/chain stitches, the combined machine is set up for the specific function before sewing, which takes some time. However, as time is precious, most creative people who have enough space tend to consider buying a dedicated coverstitch machine so that their "fleet" of equipment, including an overlocker and sewing machine, is available and ready to use at any time.

When sewing on a BERNINA overlocker, you can enjoy a high level of comfort.

For example, the infinitely variable differential feed is an excellent feature. You can use it to achieve beautiful, pucker-free seams on knitted fabrics and prevent unwanted gathering of seams on fine fabric.

The differential feed is probably one of the best features of an overlocker and the most significant difference to a sewing machine. Two feed dogs, which are independent of each other and arranged one behind the other, feed the fabric and "push" or "pull" it under the presser foot. This either stretches or holds back the fabric during feeding, depending on the setting, keeping the seam or hem nice and flat. For general sewing on an overlocker, the two feed dogs are set in a ratio of 1:1, which means that both feed dogs feed the fabric at the same speed.

If the differential feed is set to a value of less than 1, the fabric is stretched slightly during feeding because the front feed dog moves the fabric more slowly than the back one. This causes the fabric underneath the needle to become slightly taut, preventing the formation of wrinkles. This is especially helpful when sewing silky-smooth or densely woven fabrics that wrinkle easily.

If the differential feed is set to a value of more than 1, the fabric is fed more quickly than the rear feed dog can "grasp". This prevents the fabric from being overstretched and creating puckers, which is especially useful for knitted fabrics and loose knits.

However, the differential feed can also be used to create a deliberate gathering of the fabric. When deliberately creating gathering on particularly soft fabrics and to regulate the amount of stretch when sewing knitted or special fabrics, it may be helpful to adjust the differential feed again individually to the particular fabric and to sew a test piece first. It has a variety of uses, such as for creating ruffles in children's clothing or home textiles.

Before adjustment with the mtc
the seam is too loose and the loops do not fit snuggly round the edge.

After adjustment with the mtc
the seam is just the right size and fits snuggly round the fabric edge.

The perfect overlock seam in a jiffy

The abbreviation "mtc" stands for "micro thread control". This fine-tuning allows the amount of looping thread wrapped over the fabric edge to be fine-tuned, avoiding undesirable loose loops and creating a beautifully wrapped fabric edge. Thanks to the mtc fine-tuning, the thread tension only has to be adjusted once, because if there is a subsequent change in the cutting width or thickness of the material, it is sufficient to simply adjust the mtc fine-tuning. This saves you a lot of time because the fine adjustment of the thread usually requires lots of test seams and patience. On models without mtc fine-tuning, the cutting width and one of the two looper tensions has to be changed manually to produce beautiful seams. With the easy-to-use mtc micro thread control, these multiple adjustments are not necessary because the mtc fine-tuning system includes the knife and stitch tongue.