Overlock Quick Guide


Overlock Quick Guide: Preparing, threading and sewing.    

  1. Extend the telescopic thread stand to its full height and turn it until the shaft clicks into its locked position


  2. Open the front & side cover as shown in diagram below.
    1. Push the cover to the right as far as it will go
    2. Pull cover down towards you
    3. Push cover to the left to unlock, and swing cover back away from you


      **NB. When threading the machine from the beginning, threading must be carried out in the following sequence:

      First: Lower looper threading   Second: Upper looper threading   Finally: Needle threading


  3. Lower looper threading:


  4. Upper looper threading:



  5. Needle threading:


  6. Connect foot controller and power cord
  7. When the threads are not wound around the stitch finger, gently draw out the four threads under and behind the presser foot.
  8. Turn the hand wheel towards you by hand two or three times to make the thread wind on to the needle plate.
  9. Begin to sew:
  10. Correct tension: Lower looper thread and upper thread should be well balanced with same tension.  (Both looper threads should make crosses at the edge of the fabric.)

  11. End sewing. Draw the finished fabric gently backwards and to the left as the machine is operating and making chain stitches. This is callled chain stitch sewing.

Avoid Overlock Overload – it’s ‘sew’ simple


Overlockers are one of the most useful items in the sewer’s workroom, alongside the sewing machine of course. But so many people wonder what they are, how they are used and what the advantages are …

When I first started sewing I even asked the same questions.

An overlocker does what it says in the name…it over locks stitches!! Simples!! We just over complicated it, especially giving it second as it is also sometimes known as a ‘serger’. Its primary uses are for seaming, hemming and edging as it gives a lovely professional ‘finish’ look to items, but they do offer versatility to be used in other ways too. An overlocker is the ideal solution for all projects that involve stretchy seams, fabrics that fray, sequins or beads. It accomplishes three sewing tasks in one easy step:


  1. A seam is sewn to join layers of fabric
  2. The edge is trimmed to provide a neat finish
  3. The trimmed edge is oversewn to prevent fraying


Toyota overlockers are based on a central philosophy of ease of use whilst providing advanced performance and features. They give you the confidence to tackle more ambitious sewing projects and achieve impressive results!!


One thing to bear in mind is that, although some projects can be done 100% with an overlocker, they cannot replace all the features of a sewing machine. They are better working together as a partnership and complementing one another, rather than being used alone on projects. For example you will need a sewing machine to sew in zips, facing, button holes and top stitching etc as this is not something you could do with an overlocker.


View our Toyota Overlock range here. Just like with sewing machines, our expectations and needs are different so you should write down what you want and then you can match it up to the machine that best suits you.

If you have any queries about our Overlockers or getting started connect to us on Facebook and ask us your questions today…

Toyota Over Locker Questions & Answers



Q: Why does my over locker keep skipping stitches?

  • Faulty needles
  • Incorrect threading
  • Wrong needle size
  • Incorrect needle insertion
  • Incorrect presser foot pressure


  • Replace the faulty needles
  • Re thread the over locker through all guides and eyes
  • Use correct needle size for the fabric
  • Needle heads must be pushed all the way up the socket
  • Increase the presser foot pressure for heavier fabrics

Q: Why am I getting irregular stitches?

  • Incorrect tensions
  • Incorrect threading
  • Wrong needle for the fabric
  • Needles incorrectly inserted
  • Needles and threads incompatible

sewing machine tension dial

  • Adjust the tensions
  • Rethread over locker correctly
  • Use recommended needle for fabric type
  • Flat part of needle head to back of over locker and pushed right up into socket
  • Use compatible needles and threads

Q: Why is my fabric puckered?

  • Tension too tight for light weight fabrics
  • Foot pressure too tight for light weight fabrics
  • Stitch length too long
  • Differential feed set on neutral or normal (only if the over locker has a differential feed)


  • Loosen tensions for light weight fabrics
  • Decrease the foot pressure for light weight fabrics
  • Decrease the stitch length
  • Use differential feed set on 0.5
    (adjust if still puckering)

Q: Why is my fabric stretching out of shape?

  • Foot pressure too great
  • Stitch length too short
  • Over locking on raw edge of light weight fabric
  • Differential set on normal(only if over locker has a differential feed)


  • Lighten the foot pressure
  • Lengthen the stitch
  • Stabilizing the raw edge with cording or ribbon, even interfacing
  • Over lock about 5 mm in from the raw edge of the fabric
  • Set the differential feed on 2

Q: Why is my fabric not feeding through properly?

  • Stitch length is too short
  • Incorrect foot pressure being used
  • Lint and fluff clogging feed dog/teeth


  • Lengthen the stitch according to the type of fabric
  • Decrease or increase the presser foot pressure depending upon the fabric
  • Clean the fluff and lint out of the feed dog/teeth

Q: Why do my threads keep breaking?

  • Threads are out of guides
  • Threads keep tangling
  • Tensions too tight
  • Thread caught in the cotton reel notch
  • Needles incorrect


  • Re thread the over locker
  • Release the thread tangles
  • Loosen the tensions
  • Release thread if caught in reel notch
  • Insert new, or different sized needles

over locker needles
Q: Why do my over locker needles keep breaking?

  • Incorrect needles being used
  • Needle not inserted correctly
  • Needle too fine for fabric
  • Thread caught in reel notch
  • Fabric being pulled through the over locker


  • Insert Toyota recommended needles
  • Use

  • Insert the needles correctly – flat side of needle head to face back of machine, push the needle heads right up into socket
  • a larger size needle
  • Untangle thread from the reel notch
  • Avoid excessive pulling of fabric while over locking

Q: Why does my over locker keep jamming?

  • Thread tails lying to front of over locker
  • Fabric trimmings going/falling into over locker
  • Stitches too short for heavy threads
  • Front protection cover left open
  • Attempting to over lock too many layers of fabric


  • Pull thread tails to the back as you begin to over lock
  • Fabric trimmings must fall away from over locker
  • Lengthen the stitch length and check the bite width
  • Reduce the number of fabric layers being over locked