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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Coverstitch Machine for Beginner ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Coverstitch Machine for Beginner
agympro
agympro
Member since 6/23/12
Posts: 20
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Date: 6/23/12 2:18 AM

I am very new to sewing, as in I know how to thread and sew a straight stitch on the 30 yr old Singer machine my mom gave me and that's it. I am interested in sewing gymnastics leotards for my daughter with the intention of selling them as I improve. I have done A LOT of reading, but not much practicing. I will definitely be purchasing a serger, but I am wondering if I should also get a coverstitch machine? Since I intend to sell them as I improve, I want them to look professional (have seen some online that did not look so great). However, the coverstitch machine is so expensive I'm not sure its worth it for me right now. Is their only purpose to make the seam appear professional? How difficult is a coverstitch machine to learn for a beginner, and do you think it is worth the price for what I intend to use it for?

agympro
agympro
Member since 6/23/12
Posts: 20
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In reply to agympro <<


Date: 6/23/12 2:21 AM

Let me also add that I found the Janome Cover Pro 1000CP on ebay for $239. Seemed like a good price for something "like new, used only once or twice".

edster
edster
Advanced Beginner
OR USA
Member since 2/19/10
Posts: 144
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In reply to agympro <<


Date: 6/23/12 12:25 PM

Hi agympro, and welcome to pattern review!

I started making leotards for my daughter a few months ago and it is really fun. It doesn't take long to get good at it. Start with a simple pattern, no fancy designs, and no binding.

I bought the 3/8" swimwear elastic from Spandex House (just like the leg elastic in the GK leo I took apart, and am thinking about buying the rubber elastic from Sew Sassy. That is used in the armholes of the GK leos I have. I did not like the Dritz 3/8 elastic - it is extremely stiff , and is not the full 3/8" wide, either.

I use the zig zag stitch to attach the elastic, but it is possible to attach elastic with a serger - I even have an elastic foot for mine - but I did not want to take the time to experiment with it. If you use the serger to attach the elastic it does look better.

The price for the machine you found on eBay sounds great, I would definitely go for it! A coverstitch is really not the same as a twin needle on a sewing machine. I think if you are sewing leotards you definitely need one. It should be easy to learn since there is only one looper to thread!

There is so much great fabric out there - you will have a blast making leotards!





------
Kenmore 158.14101
Juki MO-735
Juki TL2010Q

heathergwo
heathergwo  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
CA USA
Member since 11/14/11
Posts: 958
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Date: 6/23/12 8:53 PM

Tough to say if a coverstitch is too much for a beginner. It really depends on how inclined you are to use it and practice on it and get it working to where you want it.

Having done a bunch of research on coverstitch machines recently, I would say that is an EXCELLENT price for the Janome Coverpro. That and the Brother 2340CV are similar, lower end coverstitch machines that tend to work good enough for a lot of people who don't want to spend a ton of money on this type of machine.

Once/if/when you get really good at it, you can always sell that one and upgrade to something nicer, like a BL, etc.

I also highly advise you to purchase a SEPARATE coverstitch machine & serger. Those that have the combo models seem to HATE having to switch back and forth and just ads more frustration and time rather than saving it.

Finally, the coverstitch will provide you with the professionally look that you are going for.

------
Brother Innovis 1250D
Babylock Enlighten
Singer Curvy 8763
Brother 1034D
Janome 385.19606
Brother 2340CV

agympro
agympro
Member since 6/23/12
Posts: 20
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Date: 6/24/12 1:09 AM

Thank you both! All the knowledge and advice I can get at this point is wonderful. This site has an almost overwhelming amount of information to help.

I am slowly gaining the confidence in myself to just go for it and purchase and practice. If I spend money on these machines I will definitely be putting in the practice! Maybe a good way to push myself. I have been trying to practice on my mom's old sewing machine she gave me but I would rather be practicing on the real thing. I agree that from what I have read, more people that have convertible machines complain about them rather than rave about them. Along with the Janome Coverpro 1000 I plan to purchase the Brother 1034D serger.

Thanks again for helping me out.

bluefly
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bluefly  Friend of PR
GA USA
Member since 8/19/06
Posts: 622
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Date: 6/24/12 6:42 AM

I would go for the coverstitch. I bought a serger off eBay then called around sewing shops to find an instructor. I took a 2 hour private guide class to learn the machine. That is a good price.

------
"Let's make the most of this day"
bluefly

iSewQuiltArt
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iSewQuiltArt
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AUSTRALIA
Member since 4/4/08
Posts: 3582
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Date: 6/24/12 8:01 AM

If you are planning to do lots of knit sewing then absolutely, a coverstitch is a huge advantage, just be absolutely sure the model you buy can handle what you are asking of it. Some get caught up on seam intersection or spit the dummy to coverstitch through elastic. When they do this they will skip stitches and it will be frustrating and ugly, possibly ruining your garment.
I have the 009DCC Bernina cover and chain model, that has a compensating foot. I haven't tried the fabrics and elastic you are wanting to sew because I have not ever sewn leotards or swimwear to have remnants to try it out on. But I have tried other stretchy fabrics and the compensating foot is brilliant to get up and over uneven heights without any stitch problems. I had owned a different lower priced model and not been entirely happy with how it got caught on seams more often than not and then just skipped stitches badly.

Owners of Babylock seem to love their CS machines and I have seen many bloggers making all sorts of stretchy stuff with elastic sewn in. The machines are the most expensive and about double out here what I paid for my 009DCC, but I have rarely ever read of anyone not being happy with them. The Janome and Brother machines OTOH have very mixed reviews, some love them and others do not. May depend what they are doing with them (fabric and sewing) or it may just be a big difference in capability. Some argue the older made Brothers appear to be less problematic than the newer ones. I do not know about this as i have never used one.

Do look at all you can and test them out well when you test drive, on the fabrics you will use and the elastics you like. You should expect a learning curve but being a beginner should not turn you away from the advantages that a CS machine offers- super stretchy strong seams with a highly professional finish. You never know where a good CS machine could take you!

------
Quilting up a storm
Bernina Girl, in possession of a small herd...

heathergwo
heathergwo  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
CA USA
Member since 11/14/11
Posts: 958
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In reply to agympro <<


Date: 6/24/12 8:41 PM

Sounds like you've got a plan! Make sure to write a review after you've had your machine for a little while!

The Brother 1034D serger is a GREAT machine. I have that one and love it! It's also an awesome deal at just under $200 on Amazon. In fact, there's a whole thread on that model here on the board. Just type it in the search bar and it should pop up!

HAVE FUN!!!

------
Brother Innovis 1250D
Babylock Enlighten
Singer Curvy 8763
Brother 1034D
Janome 385.19606
Brother 2340CV

twinthread
twinthread
Member since 7/25/12
Posts: 1
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Date: 7/25/12 10:33 PM

I am new to coverstitch machines. I recently talked to a quilter who says to get a coverstitch machine that makes a chain stitch. She uses it to attach her quilt top and backing to a zipper that zips onto a long-arm machine. She has the Janome 1000 CP and showed me that she can very easily pull the stitches out to remove it from the zipper once the quilt is quilted. I am wondering if I would be able to do the same thing with a Janome CoverPro 900 CPX? If so, is there a trick to being able to pull out the stitches easily on either the coverstitch or the chain stitch?

agympro
agympro
Member since 6/23/12
Posts: 20
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Date: 7/26/12 1:00 AM

Well, one month later I am still very much in the beginning stages. I have to admit that once I signed up for a 90 min private lesson that will happen on July 31 I slacked off trying to figure it out myself. I have been playing with the tension using the material I want to use and have gotten it a little better. I guess I am not completely sure what it should look like in the first place. Any suggestions for tension settings on this machine for spandex/lycra?

I ended up waiting on the CS machine. Thought I would try to master the serger first.

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