The Singer 14SH754 Overlocker from Lidl

 
 Singer 14SH754

Hello!

This post is about the Singer Overlocker 14SH754 which is sold by Lidl, in several European countries. In the UK, they have sold it as part of their deals every year for the past couple of years. I first wrote this post in 2013 when I purchased my machine but I have found that in the following two years when the overlocker was available again, it received a lot of traffic. The post has been updated at the end with my thoughts on the machine after a year of use, and also with some links to other information about the overlocker. I have tried to reply to comments as they appear.

Original Post from 2013

Buying a serger or an overlocker is often the next step for sewists who want to expand their  dressmaking horizons. I'd seen a Singer overlocker advertised for sale for £149 in the week beginning 4th November (2012 - the price was subsequently lowered) while in Lidl last week, and after hearing the deal mentioned on social media I wanted to find out more. If you've looked into it online you might have seen that there is practically no information about the overlocker on the Lidl site, not even a model number. Mysterious! And not much help for someone wanting to research such a large purchase.

I have no idea if there will still be any machines available after the deal launch on Monday 4th November, but having snagged one for myself I thought it might be helpful to share a bit more about the overlocker in case anyone is thinking about buying one. As the same model has been on sale before it seems like a good chance it will be available again in the future so this might be helpful even if you missed out this time around.

On Twitter, the helpful Kelly of Make Sew Do had bought the overlocker last time it was on sale and knew that the model number was Singer 14SH754. Cheers Kelly! With this information I tried to find out more but there weren't too many reviews. I did find it for sale for over £200 on a number of sites so that seemed to be a good basis to me to say that it was a decent deal!


So what do you get for your money?

Here's a run down of the features taken from here:

Color-Coded lay-in Threading - With complete, easy-to-read diagrams, this feature makes threading your overlock a snap. Just follow the color-coded diagram on the machine for effortless threading
Differential Feed - Fully adjustable to ensure an even feed for perfect seams on every fabric-no breaking or puckering. It is also useful for keeping stretch fabrics and bias cut fabrics from becoming stretched out.
Adjustable Cutting Width- A moveable upper knife cuts fabric for 3.0-6.7 mm stitch width. It is easy to make precise adjustments for the desired seam width.
Stitch Length Dial - The Stitch Length dial is conveniently located on the side of the machine and can easily be changed to personalize the length of the stitch for all the sewing projects.
Free Arm Sewing - Remove the cloth plate to achieve access to hard to reach areas such as armholes and trouser cuffs.
Extra-High Presser Foot Lifter - There are 2 heights to the presser foot lifter. The second height offers extra clearance, which is needed when placing multiple layers of bulky fabric under the presser foot.
Presser Foot Pressure - The Presser Foot Pressure dial is conveniently located on the top of the machine and is pre-set for most sewing needs.
Tension Release - Raising the Presser Bar Lifter releases tension on the threads, allowing for threads to easily be pulled through the threading system.
Built-In Rolled Hem - Switching to the rolled hem sewing mode is effortless. An easy access lever moves the stitch finger in position for rolled hemming.
Portable - The Singer 14sh754 overlock has a built-in carrying handle, making it easy to transport the machine.
4-3-2 Stitch Configuration - 6 different stitch types ensure the perfect stitch, regardless of the project. Blind Hems, Rolled Hems, Pintucking, Flatlocking, finishing raw edges and joining seams


Stitches Functions
Four-Thread Stretch Mock Safety Stitch
This stitch is a favorite when sewing knit fabrics because the stitch stretches as the fabric stretches. This allows for neat and professional finishes that will not "pop" when the fabric is stretched.
Three-Thread Overlock Stitch
This Three-Thread overlock stitch provides a wonderful professional seam finish to woven fabrics. It is beneficial in preventing loosely woven fabrics from unraveling, and it offers decorative capabilities.
Three-Thread Wrapped Edge
An ideal finish for medium to lightweight fabrics. When using the Three-Thread Wrapped Edge stitch, the edges of the seams are wrapped to prevent unraveling without unnecessary bulkiness.
Three-Thread Rolled Hem
By simply moving the stitch finger dial, the overlock is converted to the rolled hem sewing mode. Beautiful Three-Thread rolled hems can be created to add an attractive finish to table linens, scarves and much more.
Three-Thread Flatlock Stitch
For true decorative flair on any project use the Flatlock stitch. Special decorative threads can be used to add texture and a dramatic embellishment effect.
Two-Thread Wrapped Edge
An elegant fine finish can be added to lightweight fabrics or knits. This delicate finish gives a couture effect and looks beautiful on finer fabrics.
Two-Thread Rolled HemBy simply moving the stitch finger dial, the overlock is converted to the rolled hem sewing mode.

Features
Built in carrying handle and storage area.
2, 3 or 4 thread overlocking.
Differential Feed.
Adjustable stitch length and width
Built-in rolled hem, at the touch of a button.
Flatlocking and decorative applications.
Movable knife, cut/trim off while stitching or not.


I couldn't find much in the way of reviews but there are a few here (though most are reviews of the company). I think customer reviews are always a mixed bag though, as ideally a product is evaluated by a specialist and compared with other products against a set list of features. Most reviews don't have much to say beyond whether it works well for them or not.

If you want a video introduction of the overlocker, you can watch this:



The machine seems to have been packaged especially for Lidl - the manual is labelled with a Lidl logo. It has a 3 year warranty (just keep your receipt), so the fact that it has been 'branded' by Lidl and has been sold by them before made me feel more secure about this warranty, rather than them having bought a job lot of overlockers they are selling off. However there do seem to be a couple of differences between this machine when purchased from Lidl and when bought elsewhere.

Machine Manual

What don't you get with the Lidl overlocker?

Reviews of the machine mention that it is pre-threaded. I'd assumed that this meant it came with 4 cones of white thread, as illustrated. This is not the case - there are 4 threads going through it but you will need to make sure you buy thread cones and learn to thread it if you want to get going straight away. The same machine bought from elsewhere seems to come with thread cones - this website mentions that it; "comes ready threaded with white cones to start stitching immediately"

No thread included

It also does not have a dust cover. this is a bit disappointing, although I know that my old cheapie Singer machine came with the crappiest thin plastic cover which got torn very easily, so it's not a huge loss. Again, this does seem to come with the machine when purchased from other sources - this website mentions that it has a 'soft cover'.

I imagine that the omission of these two things is a way for Lidl to make savings and deliver the product at this price. Do you know of any more differences between the Lidl machine and the machine when purchased elsewhere? As the retail price is at least £209 in other stores and online, I think a saving of around £60 is a good one and worth the loss of the thread cones and plastic cover.

Machine is threaded, and comes with a 'test strip' of stitching

If you're considering purchasing this overlooker, I hope this post provides some basic information to help you to decide if it's for you. I haven't even got around to using it yet so I will post again once I've actually tried it and do a more thorough review, albeit from my limited viewpoint of a overlocker novice. As most US and UK sewists seem to have the trusty Brother 1043d serger/overlocker that is the one with the most reviews so I hope this is helpful to bring together some information about a different machine.

If you have the Singer 14SH754 and have anything to add on your experience of it, please do comment below.

K x

p.s Lidl also have a deal on overlocker thread, 2 cones for £2. I am usually a thread snob and only use Gutermanns as I think cheap thread is a false economy, however I bought some of the Lidl thread to try out.

**Update on 5th October 2014 After nearly a year of use**

I had always intended to do an update post on this machine but never got around to it. Below are some thoughts after a year of use:

  • I had quite a faff with the tension but I am an overlocker beginner. There is a Craftsy class on Beginner Serging which I found helpful (but try and get it on sale, you'll probably be able to at some point)
  • As for threading - just do it loads is the best way and you'll get better at it. Also anytime I had a tension issue or another problem and tried to rethread just one thread it was a waste of time and I was just as well to do the whole thing from scratch - easier in the long run! I think this probably applies to all overlockers, not just this one necessarily
  • The pictures in the manual to show how to thread it are rubbish - black and white, grainy images which are not very helpful however if you follow the guides on the machine you should be fine. Otherwise the manual is decent and I found the troubleshooting guides helpful. Basically anywhere there are diagrams is fine but they've tried to be cheap in other places and use b/w photos which do not reproduce well.
  • I developed a problem with the lower looper of my machine hitting a knife and had to get it serviced. I phoned the number in the manual and was impressed by how efficiently this was done - they arranged a courier to collect it and then return it a few days later. It has been fine ever since and for anyone concerned about what Lidl would do if you developed a problem with your machine, this should be reassuring.
  • The manual insists on using particular Singer overlocker needles which are hard to find but says you can use normal Singer needles [and I quote] "in an emergency" - what does this mean? I don't know what constitutes an emergency, as either you can use them or you can't. Bit baffling. A sewing machine shop told me that I could use normal Singer needles in this overlocker but it's up to each individual, I'm sure Singer would tell me this was wrong
  • For the free arm sewing function, where you remove the cloth plate (I think it's called, it contains the tweezers and screwdriver) it's a bit stiff to get off and I found the manual illustration of how to remove it a bit baffling as they show a 'button' you press, but actually it's just a shaped bit that's moulded into the bottom of that removable section.
I'm certainly not an overlocker expert but I have been using mine happily for the most part and at £130 it's a deal that's hard to beat. They've definitely cut a few corners (as explained in my post) but the machine is a good one. Also my £2 thread cones are still going strong.

**Update on 16th October 2015**

Some further helpful resources for this machine can be found at The Makery Blog which includes beginner posts using this machine with lots of photographs:



Part 3 - Tension Settings

**Update on 22nd March 2017**

This blog post has proven to be consistently popular, as Lidl are still selling this machine regularly throughout Europe. And it's got cheaper (in the UK) from when I first bought mine! Please do read through the helpful comments, and here are my 5 top tips:

1. Don't be scared of your machine. Put aside time to learn about how it works and test its features. You won't regret this as knowing how it is supposed to work means that you will be better equipped in case anything goes wrong.
2. The photos in the manual are useless - unclear and confusing. Try using the 3 part series (above) from The Makery blog. This has clear step by step images and uses this same machine.
3. LEARN HOW TO THREAD IT PROPERLY. FROM START TO FINISH. Yes, you can pull the thread through using the 'tie on' method. But you will at some point need to rethread it completely and it really helps if you can do it completely. Sometimes this seems to be the only way it will work and you just waste time faffing with rethreading part or with the tying on. Don't be intimidated by the thought that it is difficult to thread - there are colour guides inside the machine to help.
4. When thread, ensure that you place the thread firmly between the tension discs. This helps combat tension issues.
5. Thread with the presser foot up.

Enjoy using your overlocker!

K x

129 comments:

  1. nice bargain! just to say, be careful on a cheaper overlocker that you don't try and go through too many layers - i killed mine (almost!) by trying to overlock 4 layers of fabic and sewing machine shop man said that the cheaper ones can't cope with that (i have the brother 1034d).

    i would really recommend learning to thread it from scratch rather than using the method where you tie the threads onto the old ones and pull them through - it's not hard and will save a lot of pain later on!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm glad you managed to get one! I think when I was researching from mine, the machine on the Singer site came with a 15 year guarantee, instead of 3 years, but other than that and the threads, I don't recall any other differences. The Lidl threads are 2 for £2, not 2 for £4 :) I went back to get some more yesterday - tried to get some additional colours the day after I bought mine and they'd run out of those as well! The one thing that bugs me about the machine is the carrying handle - when threaded, the threads sit over the top of it, so you can't actually really use it if it's threaded and I mean, why would you unthread it if you don't need to?! I hope you and your overlocker are very happy together :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoops! Will fix that! I noticed the handle thing too, seems like a weird bit of design.

      Delete
    2. I thought that was daft too so I re-threaded it. Now I will have to use it with the handle up! It may have been better to thread with the handle down and then just move the pairs of threads aside to lift the handle for carrying; as I did initially.

      Delete
    3. I got this for Christmas and tried the same with the handle. Now I just move the two threads to the side and lift the handle.

      Delete
  3. Congrats on your new purchase, hopefully it will provide many years of trusty service! :-) And definitely be careful with the cheap overlocker thread, you don't want to be constantly snapping threads, no matter how easy it might (or might not) be to re-thread!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'll definitely be keeping an eye on how the thread functions.

      Delete
  4. Good summary! I played with mine last night. After a minor paddy about those piddly threads they'd left you so you could tie onbi decided to re thread from scratch anyway to double check it threaded up the same as my babylock. Happily it did.
    Here's to lots of merry overlocking in our future!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, glad you're happy with your new purchase too :)

      Delete
  5. Thanks for the heads up! I didn't even know they were selling them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And now I've got one of these little beauties myself! Thanks Kestrel - lucky for me Lidl in Perth Scotland still had a dozen of them today!

      Delete
    2. Great! Glad you managed to get one, and that there are still a few to be purchased too.

      Delete
    3. Hi
      Im having trouble with my overlocker. The blades dont cut and its noisy. Do you have a number i can call
      Regards
      Jan

      Delete
    4. Hi
      Im having trouble with my overlocker. The blades dont cut and its noisy. Do you have a number i can call
      Regards
      Jan

      Delete
  6. Great review. I saw quite a few tweets about this machine and was interested to see if it was a genuine bargain or not! Sometimes these things are too good to be true but this looks like a winner.
    I so agree with you about the cheap threads, I bought loads from the poundshop when I was just starting to sew and chucked them all out and replaced them with Gutermann when I realised what a difference it made! Total false economy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This one was on sale here in Spain two weeks ago for 150€, I think. Reading your review, it kinda makes me regret not buying it... But I decided that it is not essential for my sewing and since I try to make only essential purchases (except for fabric and patterns) I left the machines at Lidl to be picked up by other sewing enthusiasts... I hope you have lots of fun with your overlocker!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Goodness me, I never noticed these in Lidl. A great review and if your over-locker's anything like the PC we bought from there you'll have many years of life from it! x

    ReplyDelete
  9. Congrats on the overlocker. It sounds like it will work for your sewing needs and it does make things so much easier and faster - especially when you're sewing baby togs that have a short shelf life.

    The only things I've ever bought at Lidl are wine and chocolate (in Switzerland tho)...who knew they had it all?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have the older version, 14SH654. That thing doesn't say die! It's been going strong for 12 years and sews anything. I hope you have as good luck as I have. For my regular sewing machine I have a fancy Bernina, but my little Singer serger can hold it's own, especially for the price.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kim, that's encouraging to hear your model is still going strong.

      Delete
  11. Thanks for the review as I'm wondering whether to part with the sponds to buy one. Perhaps I'll have to suggest it to Husband as an early Christmas present!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you fr such a comprehensive post. I am off to Lidl in my lunch hour tomorrow with my fingers crossed! Am pregnant so need to expand my knit sewing skills!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great! Hope you get lucky in your lunch hour and many congratulations on the pregnancy x

      Delete
    2. I got one! No thread, bot I can get that this weekend in town. I've not even taken it out the box yet because I'm a bit scared, but delighted to have it nonetheless! Thanks again!

      Delete
  13. This is a good thorough post. I wish more people would post machine reviews as when you are starting out the choice can be overwhelming. I bought a Janome 9200D overlocker on special offer from my local sewing centre, it was just under £200 so quite comparable pricewise. I didn't want to spend any more than this as I wasn't sure how much I would use it (answer - lots). It doesn't do as much as your new machine so I think you have got a good deal. The carry handle is also situated in an awkward spot and when I have had to move it the threads have tended to tangle a bit but I think most machines (if not all) are the same in this as the handle has to go on the top somewhere really. What I want to know the most is whether you have tried threading it yet, as that is the issue with my machine. There is just one tiny but crucial step missed out in the instructions, which I learnt the hard way and still have issues with sometimes. Please let us know how you get on with it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Philippa, I haven't tried threading it properly but will time myself when I do it and report back in an update post

      Delete
  14. I too have invested in this little machine & am a complete beginner. I've managed (just!) to thread it myself, but am still having a few teething troubles.
    The photography in the manual is appallingly bad, way too dark, but I found a step-by-step video on YouTube which helped a lot.
    The problem I'm having is with the lower looper coming unthreaded. I've noticed that right inside the machine, there is another thread guide that the manual does't mention & neither did the video.
    I've tried to pass the thread though this guide, but so far, to no avail.
    I bought some of the cones that Lidl were selling, but now realise that they're little more than taking cotton, so I'll be replacing those asap..
    I'd be interested to hear if any one else is having any problems.
    Regards
    Lizzy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment Lizzy. I've yet to thread it properly (have tied on threads and pulled through to start) but will look out for this issue when I do thread it. Perhaps someone else who already has the machine and has commented above may be able to help with this? You could try getting in touch through their blogs.

      Delete
    2. This is a really helpful review, thank you!

      Delete
  15. I just bought last week in Portugal - Im a beginner and had never even seen a serger live! Haha But It's been very easy to use after watching a few tutorials on youtube and having a quick read on the manual - I found the manual pdf online and the pictures are just a little better. Threaded using the knots with the lines that came threaded in the machine and had no problems. Following the manual and watching an online video I don't think re-threading will be difficult anyway. Already did some small trial works and all went easy! The only small beginners disappointment is that it doesnt seem to do the cover stitch, similar to a twin needle, but I suppose only some specific machines have this. ( I can do it even on knits with a walking foot in my sewing machine but its a bit tricky sometimes with threads bulking in the bobbin). I was also expecting the white cones as mentioned on online shops, but they had them for sale at a great price. I also found this serger thread hack very useful http://moonthirty.com/serger-thread-hack/. Conclusion I'm very happy with my purchase - its a world of difference for knits and I have no cons to mention. The threads do get in the way of the handle but it's no real problem, I just grab it carefully not to mess too much with the threads, avoiding to pull them. Kestrel -Thanks for sharing your thoughts and starting this useful conversation! Paula

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That link to serger-thread-hack is brilliant What a good way to wind your own spools from the cones.

      Delete
  16. I saw 3 in my local Lidl today (Brigg).

    I have been spending time getting my mother's old Singer running and this class of machine is way beyond my limit. Now I am looking at the tatty old kitchen curtains, and wondering why people do such poor DIY jobs.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Kan er een Nederlandse handleiding verkregen worden?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nederlandse handleiding is intussen (20-02-2014) online, met 2 vakjes in het Italiaans.

      Delete
  18. Hi! I found your page trying to research the 14SH754 I saw in my local Lidl (Sweden) today. The price here is about £121, so it does look like a bargain at about half the regulat price in other shops. I found no information about whether it has knives to cut or trim the fabric, until I came here. I guess I will have to check my bank account to see if I have the money available to buy one now.

    Thank you for all the information, just what I was looking for!

    Johan Adler
    Stockholm, Sweden

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I went and bought one a few days later, my first overlock machine, so I have nothing to compare it to, but it does seem to perform quite well. The price here is SEK 1299, which according to http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/convert/?Amount=1299&From=SEK&To=GBP is just above £120, I have no explanation for the price difference. There was no thread cones, no dust cover, and just the one standard foot (no blind hem, elastic and so on).

      Thank you for your original post, without reading about other satisfied customers I may not have dared to buy it at Lidl and at such a low price.

      Delete
  19. Purchased one today, went to my local Cardiff store under duress as hubby wanted to get the grater/shredder advertised on sale today at £149.95, BIG MISTAKE dearest :-) I saw this they only had 3 left so I bought him his grater/shredder and he bought me the Singer 14SH754 overlocker a very unfair trade on my part lol.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oops overlocker machine on sale for £149.95 not grater/shredder, that was £6.99.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've noticed that lidl are doing the event again from Monday the 6th of October. They've reduced the price to around £130·00. They also have a singer sewing machine for £100.00 as well as the overlocker cones at about £2 each.
    I was wondering how you are getting on with yours one year on Kestrel?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Andrew - thanks for the comment. I've put my thoughts below, hope you find something helpful in there

      K

      Delete
  22. I too am interested to hear how you're getting on with your machine now, as like Andrew I'm looking at the latest offer in Lidl starting next week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Judi - thanks for your comment, I've written an update below and hopefully it will help. Let me know if you have any specific questions

      K

      Delete
  23. Hello there Andrew & Judi & other potential overlocker purchasers!
    I always intended to do an update post on this machine but never got around to it. My thoughts after a year of use:
    I had quite a faff with the tension but I am an overlocker beginner. There is a Craftsy class on Beginner Serging which I found helpful (but try and get it on sale, you'll probably be able to at some point)
    As for threading - just do it loads is the best way and you'll get better at it. Also anytime I had a tension issue or another problem and tried to rethread just one thread it was a waste of time and I was just as well to do the whole thing from scratch - easier in the long run! I think this probably applies to all overlockers, not just this one necessarily
    The pictures in the manual to show how to thread it are rubbish - black and white, grainy images which are not very helpful however if you follow the guides on the machine you should be fine. Otherwise the manual is decent and I found the troubleshooting guides helpful. Basically anywhere there are diagrams is fine but they've tried to be cheap in other places and use b/w photos which do not reproduce well.
    I developed a problem with the lower looper of my machine hitting a knife and had to get it serviced. I phoned the number in the manual and was impressed by how efficiently this was done - they arranged a courier to collect it and then return it a few days later. It has been fine ever since and for anyone concerned about what Lidl would do if you developed a problem with your machine, this should be reassuring.
    The manual insists on particular Singer overlocker needles which are hard to find but says you can use normal Singer needles 'in an emergency' - what does this mean? I don't know what constitutes an emergency, as either you can use them or you can't. Bit baffling. A sewing machine shop told me that I could use normal Singer needles but it's up to each individual, I'm sure Singer would tell me this was wrong
    For the free arm sewing function, where you remove the cloth plate (I think it's called, it contains the tweezers and screwdriver) it's a bit stiff to get off and I found the manual illustration of how to remove it a bit baffling
    I'm certainly not an overlocker expert but I have been using mine happily for the most part and at £130 it's a deal that's hard to beat. They've definitely cut a few corners (as explained in my post) but the machine is a good one. Also my £2 thread cones are still going strong.
    I had a quick look at the machine and it's possibly a good deal for an electronic machine - my first machine was a Singer and it served me well. However I like a mechanical machine, personally, and would rather get a good quality mechanical than a lower end electronic one.
    Hope some of these thoughts are helpful!

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a timing with your "one year review". They are again on offer here in the Netherlands and I've been thinking about purchasing it ever since I saw it last year. Back then I just recently started sewing classes, but after a year I could really use this addition to my equipment. I just hope they have some left when I get to the shop after work.....

    ReplyDelete
  25. I've JUST bought this machine as its on offer again (the usual price of overlocker a is a little out of my price range for a luxury item) so thank you for the review- good to hear feed back that people machines are still working!
    Gemma (moustachioedthreads.wordpress.com)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hello, I'm from Lisbon, Portugal. I'd never had a or tried to use a overlocker. I've just bought this overlocker on Lidl today and your post is really useful for me. It cost 149,99 eur. I also bougt the thread and I hope it will fine. Thank you very much for all the information you gave to all of us. I'll try to be back with more experience as you did and I hope it will be helpful also. Once again, thank you very much! Paula

    ReplyDelete
  27. I bought this model a couple of weeks ago from Lidl, Spain. So far, so good, it has done everything I have asked of it. I have borrowed a friend's Toyota brand ruffling foot, of the click on/off variety and it works well with the Singer. I have yet to try her other fancy feet as they are screw fitting and would entail me removing the mounting unit from the needle bar....maybe one day when I am feeling brave and have a Phillips screwdriver handy...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to know that other feet will fit this machine too :-)

      Delete
  28. I forgot to say thank you for your write-up, it helped me decide to put my hand into my savings!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Just wondering if this machine does hems on T- shirts well? That would be main reason for me to buy it.
    Thanks,
    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Michelle
      I have never tried making a hem with it. It can apparently do rolled hems and blind hems though

      Delete
  30. It's back at Lidl again from 12 October FYI.

    ReplyDelete
  31. hello,
    the offer will be back next week in Lidl UK. Does anyone know if this machine will sew leggings, bikinis and this kind of elastic fabric?
    thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thank you Kestrel for such an informative review and for all the other comments too. After working my way through them I have decided to spend my birthday money and get one. I've thought about getting one for many years but always talked myself out of it by thinking they would be too hard to thread and that I wouldn't use it very much and so it would be a luxury. However, thanks to the above I now feel happy to get one. That's if I can find one in my local Lidl. Last year my husband saw an advert saying they would be in store but I tried 3 stores in my area on the morning they were due in but no luck. In one, I asked an assistant and she said she knew nothing about them. Of course I convinced myself after that that I wasn't meant to have one! Anyway, fingers crossed for tomorrow, (gosh, it's actually today, just seen the time!)I hope I will be back checking all the advice with my new overlocker in front of me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh I hope you managed to get one RosieJoe!

      Delete
    2. Yes I did Kestrel! I was there 10 minutes after opening and 4 had been taken. Estimated they had 20 to start with. Went back later in the day and they still had a few left. Wonder if they alternate which stores get a decent amount and which only get a few. They definitely don't all get the same re my previous post. Haven't had chance to try it yet. Had a car reverse in to me the next day. The pain in my back and neck have been getting steadily worse and so am unable to sit at my machine table long enough to try it out. Tablets I have from my doctor zonk me out too and I figured I need all cylinders charged to get going! Still I've waited a year to get it another few weeks won't make much difference. Must admit I'm getting pretty frustrated though!

      Delete
    3. Great news that you got one! Sorry to hear about your injury, hope you feel better soon

      Delete
  33. Thanks for such an informative post. I just got one (today) in Lidl Ireland €160. I'm really excited to start using it. I chose mine based on the name Singer. I had borrowed a friends (an Aldi Silvercrest) hers was fine but it kept breaking, and constantly had to be serviced. After reading the comments, I'm looking forward to 'playing' with mine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh great, happy overlocking! Mine has been going string for 2 years

      Delete
  34. The deal is back. I bought one today and they were flying off the shelf. I did not buy any thread. I too only buy Gutermann. I do not want to use thread that is poor quality as it snaps. I am not sure if I will keep this for my husband to give to me for Christmas but I am so eager to use it. I am planning on going to the sewing show in November either in London or Birmingham and plan to buy some thread then. I have never used an Overlocker but am studying sewing at college so will ask my tutor to show me what to do.

    Thanks for the review Kestrel as I did believe that this machine has a dust cover as stated on the Singer website. Now I know that I need to get one from somewhere (or make one).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great, glad the review was useful to you. I've actually been using the thread pretty happily and haven't noticed a repeated breakage problem. I was suggested to me that you can use better quality threads for the needles and cheapo stuff for the loopers, which is a good compromise

      Delete
  35. Just bought this from Lidl. It's my first overlocker even though I've probably been sewing for over 50 years. It's out of the box and I've been reading all your reviews before attempting the threading. Found I couldn't get the accessory box off and couldn't find anything explaining how to do it in the instructions but my husband has just managed it. It's all a bit scary at the moment as I stare at it so I think I'll watch the Youtube video before going any further!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy overlocking! I thought it was hard to get the accessory box off too and that manual is really unclear about how. Good luck!

      Delete
    2. The strength needed to remove the accessory box is the one complaint I have about this machine...I'm still not sure if we are supposed to push the lever up, push it forward or pull it back!

      Delete
    3. So frustrating, I am stuck, but otherwise this review page by Kestrel is a fantastic resource, and great to hear how others are getting on!

      Delete
  36. Could not get the overlocker at the two lidl's I tried,do you know if they are getting them in again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know but I would say it's unlikely til next year as they usually have them in for the one week deal. Sometimes if they have some left over they may still have them, you could try phoning some other stores.

      Delete
  37. Help, I can't get the Free arm off - am I just STOOPID?!?!?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's pretty tricky - you have to push that oval shaped 'button' (part of the moulded plastic of the machine) in and then pull it out but it can be a bit stiff. You're definitely not the only one to have this issue!

      Delete
    2. Thank you Kestrel, but I still can't get that thing off, and I now HATE this machine and I haven't even used it yet! πŸ˜“πŸ˜“

      Delete
    3. Oh no, it's pretty tricky and stiff. Sorry to hear that you hate the machine. Maybe if you can get stitching without removing the accessories box? Or if you could find a class near you that might be able to get you going with it too?

      Delete
    4. Hi Louise.

      I recently bought mine at Lidl and even though I struggled initially with removing the accessory box section from the free arm I've now mastered a technique that seems to work every time. Try this: Stand to the side of the machine facing it side on. Push in the 'button' as hard as you can to release the box section and 'wiggle' the box section at the same time, enough to create a gap between the box and the machine. As long as it's been released then you can let go of the button and then use both hands to pull the box section towards you. I was worried to pull too hard to begin with in case I broke it, but it's more robust than it looks and it now seems to have eased up and comes off easily.

      I spent a whole day playing around with the machine and found it helpful to download the pdf instructions I found online on to my tablet. This enabled me to zoom in on the photos which made it a bit clearer to see what was happening. I have mastered the threading and now feel confident I can do it without looking at the instructions and I have also done samples of each of the seam finishes and edges. I think I now need to get to grips with adjusting the tension properly as some of the stitches seemed to look too loose. I now intend to sign up to one of the Craftsy serger classes to learn a bit more.

      Whilst at Lidl, I bought 4 cones of thread in each of the colours (24 cones for £24) and even though I haven't done very much so far I haven't had any problems with it.

      All I need now is some time to get the machine out again and to follow one of the Craftsy courses. I'm not sure whether to choose the Beginner Serger class or one of the classes by Angela Wolf. (I'll have to wait a couple of weeks as the house is upside down at the moment as we're having the kitchen refitted.)

      Delete
    5. I buy just one of each colour I need, but keep three extra of white, grey, and black as I have found you only need to match the "outside" needle thread to the colour of your material, that being the one that shows if the seam is stretched. As long as the overlock stitches are in the same tonal range, they are not obvious in use.

      Delete
  38. I bought this machine a couple of years ago at one of the sewing shows for around £200. After a year and a half of trying to use the darned thing properly due to the conflicting advice in the handbook and advice from people who know about sergers, I traded it in and bought a decent machine and have never looked back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear, sounds like a bit of a disastrous experience. I agree the handbook is pretty useless in parts - the diagrams are ok but the black and white photos are poor quality and not helpful

      Delete
  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I've had mine for approx 5 months now & I totally love it!!

    My only gripe is the same issue as many others have had & that's getting the sewing arm off. You most definitely need 2 hands. From the Overlockers side use 1 hand in griping the front & finger pushing in on the plastic knob underneath, get your other hand & grip the back & literally pull. It's how I manage to get mine off without causing injury to myself or the overlocker.

    Threading is easy, as I cut, join & pull them through.

    Thanks for the tip re changing feet, I never realised this. My Singer Sewing machine is the One Plus & I've many, many feet for it (it's a fantastic machine, which I've also had approx 5 months & I highly recommend it.)

    Have fun sewing everyone!!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I brought this over-locker from Lidl last year 2014 for £99 & mine came with the dust cover, it was threaded but didn't have any cones which i never expected it would. i have looked on other sites & they sell at over £200.This year at Lidl they are selling it again for £129 & the Singer Brilliance for £119 so i brought this as my second sewing machine & it works lovely and with now having two i can sew with my daughter.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I bought mine 2years back from Lidl, Latina, Italy. And its still working. I bought the cone thread from Lidl. But find its a bit rough. From my friend advise(he is a professional sewer) use a good quality thread, as it will reduce less pressure of the motor when its in used. So he has given me 4cones of Gutermann 200 polyester thread. Its a fine and strong, and I notice, after the edging and my normal sewing, there is no "in print" mark on my fabric.

    My advise is use a good quality thread.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi has any one used it for rolled hem?
    I've lost my manual. I have checked on YouTube but dtill finding difficulty doing the rolled hem, any help please

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi, Great blogpost. I have spent a few hours reading up on maintaining overlockers. The left hand needle keeps breaking on mine and I am not sure if the blade needs changing - I had completely forgoteen the three year warranty:) Did they charge you?

    ReplyDelete
  45. hi ive had my overlocker for a few months now after purchasing from Lidls locally my only problem is i can only use the 4 thread stitch as i haven't figured out what to do with the other threads when you need to only use two or three??? do you pull then out completely or just leave them in situ i managed to fit the converter but didnt have the faith to try it? any advice would be greatly appreciated.... thank you for your wonderful review it reassured me in buying it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can remove the needle and thread that you don't need if you are using less than the 4 thread stitch.

      Delete
  46. Really glad I came across this thread, great tips, advice & feedback on this machine. Lidl's are advertising them again for sale at £1.29 from 6th Oct. My daughter starts a Fashion and Dressmaking City & Guilds course on the 5th, so perfect timing. I will be up bright & early in an effort to buy one for her.

    ReplyDelete
  47. LOL Wish full thinking........ make that £129.00!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thanks for the information and regular updates. I am planning on getting one on 6 October 2016.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Singer 6180 Sewing machine £119.00 and 14SH754 Overlocker £129.00 @ LIDL Thursday 6th October

    http://www.lidl.co.uk/en/our-offers-2491.htm?id=957&ar=10

    ReplyDelete
  50. I enjoy sewing, but have never used an overlocker, though have been thinking one would be a good addition to my sewing space. I heard that this one was available in Lidl for a very good price, but was still unsure and stated researching on the interweb πŸ˜‰. Found your blog so helpful I decide to take the plunge. Passed the first hurdle with your help - removing the accessories case! Now to try threading and sewing. Many thanks for the initial virtual hand holding. πŸ˜€

    ReplyDelete
  51. I enjoy sewing, but have never used an overlocker, though have been thinking one would be a good addition to my sewing space. I heard that this one was available in Lidl for a very good price, but was still unsure and stated researching on the interweb πŸ˜‰. Found your blog so helpful I decide to take the plunge. Passed the first hurdle with your help - removing the accessories case! Now to try threading and sewing. Many thanks for the initial virtual hand holding. πŸ˜€

    ReplyDelete
  52. Got one!! I found this review very helpful, although buying it still felt like a giant leap of faith! So far, so good, although I made heavy weather of pulling the new threads through as I didn't release the tension grrrr! Also, as others have said, the photos in the instructions are rubbish and the accessories box is extremely tricky to remove. I also don't understand about the converter. I can see how to fit it, but do you have to put a thread over it or anything? The only real problem I have is that my mains lead doesn't connect well to the machine - I have to really push and push it in to get power to it. However, with a 3 year guarantee, I'm not too worried. Really loved my first sample overlock though! Also first time ever using any electric machine! So pleased I bought it -and I got loads of the Lidl thread too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've not used the converter before but maybe someone else can chip in with advice? Yes the instructions are really useless

      Delete
    2. This video shows how the converter is used for a rolled edge:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk8qFFvaaBY

      Delete
  53. Got one today from lidl fir £129. Its taken all evening, a torch and some grumbling but its finally threaded. Luckily there is a singer dealer locally so I know where to go if I get stuck or need needles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Ha! you will be pleased to know i did exactly the same but had the added problem of no batteries for my torch but a lot of as you say grumbling later i succeeded. Looking forward to trying it out.

      Delete
    2. Threading is definitely the best way to get to know the machine, I always find that rethreading completely is the best thing to try first in the case of any issues

      Delete
  54. Got one today last one in the shop in this province so think I need help and support as this machine may bully me!!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Thanks for your post, it gave me the confidence to purchase one today. I thought they'd all be gone but there were four left in my local Lidl (Southampton).

    ReplyDelete
  56. I got one last Monday....and sat looking at it, terrified.
    I'm a sewer of many years and always fancied one, but never thought I'd use one.
    I found a 'beginners guide to serging' on you tube and it was wonderful. Particularly the threading section.
    The threading was much easier than expected, and I've serged loads of fabric scraps from my stash.

    I have so much to learn, but my overlocker worked straight out of the box.
    I set the tension dials to 0 before threading, and each one to 3 before I started sewing.
    I truly wish I had bought one years ago.
    This cost me 129 GBP.......but the cheapest I've seen elsewhere are 229 GBP.

    I will keep practicing on scraps this week and try experimenting with the stitch length and tension.
    I will tackle the feed dogs next month. Good luck to everyone who bought one.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I meant to add, I bought a book today which is all about overlocking.
    Their threading guide wasn't as good as the youtube tutorial,
    But they have a great guide on all the types of threads you can use.
    I thought you could only use cones, but I find I have a huge stash of fine polyester threads, mostly gutterman for my machine embroidery, that will be fine to use.
    I haven't read any more of it yet...but I'm getting quite excited at the thought of experimenting with my new machine

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hi there,

    I took my old sewing manchine in to get a service done on it and while I was there I mentioned to the chap (who was very helpful) that I'd just bought myself an overlocker. (Last saturday I read through this blog, looked at the reviews on Amazon, thought eff it! and went and bought it.)

    So told sewing machine man about it and that I hadn't taken it out of the box yet. He asked if I still had the reciept and advised that I return it as what I'd bought was rubbish.

    Now I'm not sure what to do. I could take it back and save up for something sturdier (his words not mine) or I could keep it and use it and love it.

    Kestral, how are you getting on with yours 3 years later? Was it definitely worth it? Has it done everything you needed it to do? Has there been any major issues with it? From the sounds of this blog, there has not, but just checking....

    Any advise from 14SH754 owners appreciated. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hi there - I am still using mine regularly. I did have a few issues getting to grips with it initially but I had not used one much before and now I seem to have cracked the issue of threading and tension. It seems to be the cheapest out there but not a whole lot cheaper than the Brother 1034D (I think) which seems to be really popular.

    So it's definitely at the cheap end of the market, and you might wish to invest some more - just like an entry level sewing machine, I would not necessarily be counting on this machine to meet my needs forever and may eventually wish to upgrade. I certainly don't think it is rubbish but it is, essentially, a cheap machine, and just like a cheap sewing machine, you might find it meets your needs ok or you might want to upgrade after a while. I spent £80 on my first Singer sewing machine which I used for about 3 years before I upgraded and I've had this overlocker for about 3 years with no need to upgrade yet.

    Not sure how much that helps, but it really depends on your budget and needs

    ReplyDelete
  60. Ladies, don't be afraid. I've finally got round to threading 'the beast'. Tied my thread ends from the cone onto the pre-threaded bits in the machine and slowly churned it through. Sewed a sample knit fabric. I feel proud. Would post a pic but not sure how or if I can on here!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Hi Kestrel, thank you for your post! I'm very happy with mine and agree its a good machine. But after quite a few meters of curtains I need new blades. Anyone knows how to buy new blades for this model? Thanks!
    Paula

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Paula - have you thought about getting your blades sharpened? Am thinking mine need sharpened. Are you in the UK?

      Delete
    2. Blades for a bewildering variety of models can be found on eBay. Sharpening doesn't seem hard, but I think I would get a spare set before I tried. And I was able to sharpen and use a scythe before I left school. So my views on sharpening and edge could be misleading.

      It's clearances around the edge to use the sharpener that matter, but can it be that different from sharpening a kitchen knife? Well, yes, the action is more like scissors. And there are a couple of things here that might make it pretty easy.

      http://www.wikihow.com/Sharpen-Scissors

      The aluminium foil method looks worth a try, though I'd remove the needles. I'm inclined to think it would be more of a clean-up than a full sharpening.

      Delete
    3. I wouldn't risk sharpening them myself but have seen a company in the UK that offers overlocker blade sharpening pretty cheaply

      Delete
  62. I ended up investing in a book on overlockers from Amazon. There are several, and the Amazon search engine seems to know that "serger" and "overlocker" means the same,

    But, as an ordinary male with a sewing machine, some of the ideas and examples in sewing books seem a touch frivolous. Do I really want to make my own headscarf?

    There's a big of a gap before something such as http://malepatternboldness.blogspot.co.uk stops being intimidating.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Great thread. Can you use sewing machint feet on it? I got one for £75 that someone bought and never used. Really pleased with it

    ReplyDelete
  64. I'm so pleased to have found this thread, I rarely go to Lidl but was in there today and saw these overlockers at such a good price so bought one. Ive done quite a bit of sewing through the years but have never used an overlocker and am looking forward to learning how to. It might just have to wait till after Christmas though. Thanks for all the info and tips here ladies.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Bought one today from Lidl. Thanks for all the advice .... watch this space

    ReplyDelete
  66. Hi, i bought mine from lidl on the 06th september 2016, i didnt get a chance to use it as i was rushed into hospital with pneumonia
    ...but when i got out and got my self well again my sister asked if she could just overlocker a top she had cut,
    she then forgot to put the knife down all the way and knocked the timing off, it then wouldnt chain at all

    so i called lidl and they gave me the number to the singer sewing machines and they collected it and also fixed it free of charge ....
    but make sure to keep a receipt or a bank statement with proof of purchase,
    when it finally came back i was busy doing college work and i needed to change the threads so i always cut the old thread at the thread tree then tie the new ones on, then pull them through !!
    after setting the tension to 0 i touched the tension dial of the upper looper and something dropped inside of the machine and the whole tension disk and button went really loose,
    so i called them back up and the sewing machine mechanic said that when i sent it in the first time he thought the tension dial was too tight so he had loosened it,
    but he did say it was his fault and they are collecting it again free of charge,
    i do reccomend their customer service as they have been amazing with my overlocker ....
    if you fancy an overlocker at a fantastic price...
    download the lidl app and click on hohoho ....
    they have the sewing machine and overlocker on again at the same price £129.00 !!!!
    Hope you enjoy x

    ReplyDelete
  67. Hi I am having a problem with the looper hitting the needles how can I fix this

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, if this is happening then the timing has been thrown off and it will need to be fixed by a sewing machine engineer - same thing happened to me too

      Delete
  68. Hi! Which tension settings do you use? I've tried everything and can't get mine right!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found my tension issues have been when the threads haven't been sitting properly in the tensions discs - when threading it, if you make sure that you really place them correctly between the discs.

      Delete
    2. Thank you! I'm going to try rethreading it today πŸ’— It's not been right since I brought it and was ready to give it in, much prefer my brother 1034d πŸ™ˆ

      Delete
    3. Set all your tensions to 0 before you thread up, then it is easier to get the thread in the correct position before you change back to the right tension.

      Delete
    4. Also, thread with the presser foot up!

      Delete
  69. Hello again... sorry, I got myself confused (above!)... I bought this machine
    yesterday from Lidl £119 - hopefully a good buy. I am terrified by the instruction booklet and wonder if anyone knows of an instruction dvd for this please? I'm far better being shown what to learn than trying to fathom from a book! My husband can testify to this! Thanks for all the useful comments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue! I'd recommend looking at the series of 3 posts from The Makery blog, linked above, at the end of the post. The second one is on threading and has great clear pictures, unlike the instruction booklet which is next to useless. Although you can rethread by tying and pulling the threads through, it's really important to learn how it works and be able to rethread it from scratch. This will really help if you have problems and will help you be less terrified of it. Promise, it's worth it!

      Delete
  70. Hi Sue, if it comes pre-threaded the easiest way to thread up your own cones is to attach them to existing ones and slowly wind it through. This avoids the stress of re-threading. YouTube videos are available and each overlocker is principally the same. The key is to keep the looper threads long after you finish the seam otherwise you'll need to thread it again. I hope this helps but post again if needs be. Best of luck

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Caroline. I think it's the whole fear thing of "I can't do this...." And not believing in myself. I was a nervous wreck a few weeks back when I'd got a new computerised sewing machine! A friend kindly got me started on it...That was all I needed..A friendly shove with her at my elbow!! I'd still appreciate a DVD!!!!!



      Delete
    2. Sue, I know this might sound nuts but I went though the 3 makery links (at the end of the post), reading out loud and mimicking the pictures.
      As I'm a visual learner it really helped me associate the descriptions with the visuals of it :-) I also made notes in the (really useless) instruction book to help me keep a track of what I'd understood. It's taken a few days, but I successfuly managed to thread and sew a little today!!
      Good luck- maybe one day we'll be the ones making a dvd for folks like us who learn differently :-)

      Delete
    3. Agreed, Rhian. For Sue and anyone else reading who is nervous about threading - look at the Makery links and spend time learning about how your machine works. Don't be scared of it and if you understand a bit of how it works you'll be armed with knowledge in case it starts going weird.

      Delete
  71. Firstly -Kestrel THANK YOU!!
    this was just what I needed, I too bought this machine in Lidl a few days ago- I've been reading the manual and going though your blog post step by step each day and after I few false starts I successfuly managed to sew this morning!! With minimal panic :-)

    Without this post and all the amazing additions you've made across the years and helpful comments and tips I'd have been too scared to buy!!
    Oh and the thread cones were 3 for £3 in Wales which was a bit weird :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so welcome, Rhian, really glad you've found the post helpful. The price of the overlocker and thread seems to have got cheaper over the years. I had to get mine fixed recently because the timing was out and the engineer commented that he thought it was good quality thread - and he sees a lot of thread so he should know! Also I'm still on my original cones from 2013, so it lasts ages!

      Delete
  72. Thank you one and all!! I am thrilled to have come across this post - I am so relieved to have fellow strugglers who are able to help and encourage! This is a lovely blog, Kestrel - thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for reading and commenting - I love to hear what you have to say