O’ wondrous overlock machine: the Rubylock

I sew on a vintage Singer treadle machine, it’s a 66K and I absolutely love it. However, it was not designed to sew knits. So when sewing knits I use a stretch thread called Mettler Seraflock and it works well, provided there’s not too much stretch required.

After searching for a solution, I came across a post by Vintage Sewing Machines which described an overlock attachment which makes a proper overlock stitch. Naturally, I went straight on eBay! I found just one seller in Belgium who was selling two, I couldn’t find it anywhere else. Even though the seller had no feedback, and it was about €60, I ordered it and was so happy when it arrived in tip top condition!

Here are some pictures of this fascinating machine:

Photo of the Rubylock machine attached to the Singer foot and needle clamp, like a standard attachment
Photo from the side showing the thread setup. It has two extra thread reels which sit at the back

It is fairly lightweight, but I was still a bit apprehensive attaching it to my machine. It screws on likes a normal foot, and latches into the needle clamp. The attachment is an intricate design, but essentially just adds extra threads which loop around the edge of the fabric. The normal straight stitch links everything together. I spent a while adjusting the tension discs to get a reasonable stitch, but got there in the end. Here is a video of the Rubylock in action:

Photo of the overlock stitch it makes. The red thread is in the attachment, and black thread in the machine.

So, am I pleased with it? Yes! However, I was hoping it would enable me to make stitches which were more stretchy, but that’s not the case because it uses the stitch already there. The stretch of the stitch is only as stretchy as the least stretchy part! But I am really happy to have something I can use to finish off the edges of seams and it’ll definitely help with fabric that frays easily. For the knit fabric, I guess I’ll just have to figure out how to get my zigzagger to sew in a straight line…

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