How To Use An Over Edge (Overcast) Foot 8

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How To Use An Over Edge (Overcast) Sewing Machine Foot

How to sew over the edge of fabric with an overcast foot

The overcast foot is also known as an over-edge or over locker foot. It is a magical little sewing machine foot that can give you an edging similar to that of an over locker with just about any sewing machine. It simply clips on and off to attach and your ready to go.

sewing machine feet Over cast sewing foot 1 large

Line your fabric edge up against the guide and select either an over-edge stitch or a wide zigzag stitch. Always check that the needle won't hit metal in the centre with the stitch you have selected.

Over edge overcast foot tutorial

Most sewing machines have at least a couple of stitches designed to sew over the edges of fabric. As a general rule, those stitches that move only forward are better for light-medium weight fabrics, whereas those that move back and forwards are better suited to medium - heavy weight fabrics. You might want to experiment to see what works best with your machine.

The overcast foot works by having a bar in the centre which wraps the thread around the edge of the fabric as you stitch, whilst preventing the fabric from curling.

There are a few other ways you can use this foot too.

You can make a rolled hem with a zigzag stitch finish by pressing the edge to curl up and over then feeding through the fabric to curl around the centre bar.

Rolled hem over cast foot tutorial

Press the fabric end to start it, and line it up around the centre then gently use a finger to guide the fabric as you sew.

Rolled hem 2 overcast foot tutorial

You can reinforce a hem or tidy raw edges on a hem with the foot by lining the overcast guide up with the hem edge.

Reinforcing hems over cast foot tutorial

On extra stretchy knit fabrics you can get a neat edge by sewing your hem as normal but selecting an overcast stitch with a standard presser foot to do it. Trim the raw edge close to the stitching then line this new edge up with the overcast foot and sew over the hem stitching with the same overcast stitch.

Another use is to create a raised satin stitch with your zigzag by sewing in the centre of the fabric.

Raised satin stitch over cast foot tutorial

To make a fringe effect simply sew the raised satin stitch then snip or use a seam ripper along the stitches next to the outer side of stitching (where usually it would be over the edge of the fabric). Be very careful not to snip your fabric!

Making fringe overcast foot tutorial

This looks best around the edge of an applique. I personally think this is great for using on cards or pictures by not great for projects that will get much use as it doesn't take a lot of wear and tear before the threads begin to work loose.

fringe overcast foot tutorial

You can create a wavy edge to stretch fabrics by sewing with a short stitch length on your over-edge stitch with the fabric pulled out stretched as you go. Once the fabric is relaxed, it holds a stretched shape at the edge giving a wavy appearance.

The last use I can think of for the overcast foot is one I do frequently - I use the over edge guide to line up on the edge of my fabric but instead of an overcast stitch, I use an off centre running stitch as a 1/8 inch guide for top stitching.

Top stitch overcast foot tutorial

If you use it for anything else, I'd love to hear about it.

We hope you enjoy our tutorials and love hearing what you think so please leave us a comment.

Happy Sewing!



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8 thoughts on “How To Use An Over Edge (Overcast) Foot

  • Karen Adamson

    I recently bought a snap on overedge foot for my Elna SU from another seller online but was dismayed to find that the needle point hit the foot between the snap on bar and the opening for the needle to go through. Can you please advise what the width between the snap on bar and the opening is on the ones you sell? Hopefully you might have one that would my old Elna
    Many thanks

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      Hi Karen. Before you look to replace the overcast foot that you have, can I just double check, by “the snap on bar” do you mean the central bar? In which case, on most sewing machines you should be able to increase the width of your zigzag stitch which will change where your needle lands and hopefully should fix the problem. If you have tried all the stitch width settings and are still having a problem, please message us on email or facebook with a photo of where the needle is hitting and we’ll see if we can either help you work it out or try to help you find a better fitting foot.
      Best Wishes, Linda

  • Elsie

    Very good info just when I need it. Making an outfit for my 3 y o granddaughter and want to clean up the edges
    Since I don’t have a serger. Thanks, Elsie