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Forum > Sergers, Coverstitch and Blindhemmers > Any good combo coverstitch machines? ( Moderated by Deepika, Jacqui315)

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Any good combo coverstitch machines?
Lori Githens
Lori Githens  Friend of PR
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 127
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Date: 8/27/13 9:45 PM

I have an Elna 945. I've always been satisfied with the coverstitch on it-until recently. I'm starting to have skipped stitches. I'm willing to admit a lot of it may be user error, I believe if a machine isn't performing well, rethread and start again and that usually fixes it. I know patience goes a long way when coverstitching. But I'd like to sit down to CS and have it just work.

I've considered getting a separate CS machine. But thinking it through, I'm not sure having a separate machine is that big of deal. I don't have a place for it, I don't want to have extra thread for a other machine, and I really don't mind switching it over. My biggest reason for wanting one is because I have heard that dedicated CS machines do a better job of CS'ing and are more reliable. That's what I'm looking for. I want to set up a CS and have it work. Stitch a nice even stitch, and no skipping.

If I got a CS machine, I'm leaning toward a Babylock. But all that money for one use is bothering me. It seems like those with Babylock servers really love them. So I'm wondering how good the coverstitch is on the Evolution ( and new Ovation)

So how are Babylock combo machines?

Hello my name is Lori and I have SMAD

my latest loves are Pfrancie, my Pfaff Performance 5.0 and new baby Beatrice Bernina 560

Member since 2/13/08
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In reply to Lori Githens

Date: 8/27/13 11:33 PM

Hi Lori,

I have a BL Evolve and it is an absolute pleasure to sew with. Takes less than a minute to swap from coverstitch to overlocking. Never had to adjust tensions or had a problem with the quality of the stitching on the coverstitch.

The air threading makes it quick to rethread. The tensions for the overlock are done with horizontal bars rather than disks, so you don't need adjustments for the tension. Goes from chiffon to thick polar fleece with perfect auto tension - Bliss!

Initially I hadn't looked at the BLs because of the price and bought a different machine. After two days, took it back and paid the extra for a BL.

The BL are really well designed and well made. I expect my machine will still be going strong in 20 -25 years from now.

Having said that, it might be worth getting your current machine serviced, if the problem has just crept in. May be a much cheaper option if you are reasonably happy with it.

Good luck!

It's the journey, not the destination that counts


biochemistress  Friend of PR
Virginia USA
Member since 11/8/05
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Date: 8/28/13 10:52 AM

Have you tried new needles? If it's skipping stitches, I'd replace the needles first, as well as rethread. Then I'd take a look at tensions. Occasionally you need a slightly different tension for the looper depending on what fabric and what thread is being used. For example I change my looper tension when using wooly nylon in it. After all that, see about getting it serviced, to make sure that the looper is working properly, etc.
annenet  Friend of PR
Virginia USA
Member since 8/2/03
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Date: 8/28/13 11:14 AM

I've got a Bernina 1300mdc and it's a snap to convert to cover. the Juki 755 is pretty similar but since my dealer is a Bernina dealer I went with that. I would agree, change the needles. Also it might need a tune up.

So many projects, not enough time
At my house in VA:
Bernina Activa 220, B580, B790
Singer 201-2, 221, BL Enlighten, BL Sashiko, BL Cover Stitch, Consew 75T

At my Lake House in PA:
Bernina Artista 165E, Singer 503A, BL Evolution

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Date: 9/1/13 10:27 PM

Well mine takes closer to 3 min to switch over. I have to remove 2 needles and then insert 2-3 in a different slot. And all threads have to be moved and rethreaded through tension paths. The looper is jet threaded- just seconds.
As far as the quality, I have never used a stand alone CS. But I do love the results I get. Mostly hems on knits but sometimes belt loops, workshop apron ties, hems on wovens now and then. It doesnt skip.
The most difficult is getting it to end correctly in the round when hemming. I need to review that every time.
I often think about a CS only machine, but for the same reasons you gave I never have looked at one even.
So yes, I'm still quite pleased with my Evolution at year 3 now.

sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

rieski  Friend of PR
Maryland USA
Member since 7/18/09
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Date: 9/6/13 1:36 PM

I had an Elna 944 and the CS was always hit or miss on it, when it was new, after it had been serviced, etc. It had real problems bunching up stitches over seams and it regularly skipped stitches, no matter what the fabric, needles, etc. It was the inky machine I ever bought new ($2,000) so I was very reluctant to give up on it. I bought a used Babylock CS on eBay and thought I had gone to heaven; the difference was amazing. No skipped stitches, no bunching over seams and the air threading is just incredible. One year later I nought a used Babylock Imagine and I couldn't be happier. The two machines complement one another. They use the same foot pedal and since I too am space-challenged, I just switch machines as I need too. Yes, you need to buy more thread but if you get it n sale, it doesn't take long to accumulate enough of the basics.

The Elna had a lot of wonderful features but perhaps it was too smart for itself. I read once that some of the issues with the machine are the minute tolerances required for all the functions to work properly. I've come to the conclusion that separating the CS function from the serger function allows each to operate better.

I sold my Elna and used the proceeds to offset the cost of the Imagine. Sewing has become so pleasant now; best investment/decisions I've ever made.
Clareew  Friend of PR
Hampshire United Kingdom
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Date: 9/6/13 3:23 PM

I have a Janome Coverpro 100cp coverstitch and hate it. It is so unreliable, it will sew brilliantly for two garments then the next will need taking out 3 times. I feel I should use it because I have it, but I would love a machine that did its job correctly.


Machines: Juki F600, Juki 654 serger, Bernina 550 for art work,Babylock BCLS , handcrank Singer 201
A Singer Featherweight Centennial and an old Necci in the loft waiting for TLC

Marie367  Friend of PR
Ohio USA
Member since 5/28/11
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In reply to Lori Githens
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Date: 9/6/13 3:39 PM

I bought the Elna 745 this spring. I really like it. I have heard that it needs the serger needles for the coverstitch. I use those and have not had a problem. If you like the serging on your Elna, maybe you could just get a coverstitch. I am thinking of doing that as I am not fond of switching back and forth. I don't have alot of room though so a combo machine was the best choice.
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