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Forum > Sergers, Coverstitch and Blindhemmers > Help selecting a coverstitch machine? ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Help selecting a coverstitch machine?
I have a checklist.
quirktastical
quirktastical
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Georgia USA
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Date: 3/25/14 1:31 PM

Hello all. I love knits now that I have a serger, but I HATE twin needle sewing and want a real coverstitch for those super-stretchy professionally-finished hems, so I am in the market for a machine to do it. I've done some research on some of the moderately priced available online models and have kind of a checklist of things I'd like it to have and wondered if y'all could help me with choosing the right one.

I *REALLY* like the features of the Singer 14T967DC (or 14T968DC) 5-thread combo serger/coverstitch machine and all the stitches it can do. I have read some past topics on these boards that people seem to like them pretty well, BUT I do not like that apparently there is one very specific type of needle it needs that is not available in ball point. A user posted in one of the topics I read that they found a ballpoint needle that mostly worked with the machine but it gave them issues with coverstitch, which is what I want the blasted machine for to begin with. I realize that a universal needle "can" stitch knits, but I would strongly prefer a ball point or stretch needle that will be no question about its knit-friendliness.

The Janome Coverpro 1000CPX looks nice, but I can't really find one online, and I have not gotten far enough to research the available needles for it. I watched a YouTube demo on there and the lady was so excited about the machine. The three-thread 900CPX is available online, but I feel like for the $400 pricetag, it should have at least 4-thread capability or something like the other models.

Brother 2340CV looks pretty good, but I'm concerned about the lack of auto-tension release, and a lot of reviews stated this as problematic. Also have not researched the needle issue yet because I couldn't get past the auto-tension thing.

TL;DR: List of things I want in a coverstitch machine
1.) Has ballpoint/stretch needles that are actually compatible with and made for the machine.
2.) 4 or 5 threads preferably.
3.) Automatic tension release (I guess when finishing the coverstitch to get the fabric out?). Auto-tention setting is a plus but I don't mind having to balance it myself if need be.
4.) I would *prefer* to be around the $400 mark, but if I saved up a bit could go to $600 if there is something WAY better for that.

Thanks in advance!!

sewsally
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sewsally  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/25/14 4:16 PM

I might have a Viking 1002LCD for sale and will post on Pattern Review.

Its older but is 5 thread, takes all needles, converts from serger to coverstitch. Has a nice wide space to the right of the needles. It will be in the your price range.

I have Babylocks now but I am still reluctant to sell it.
-- Edited on 3/25/14 4:18 PM --
-- Edited on 3/25/14 4:18 PM --

Karla Kizer
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Date: 3/25/14 6:21 PM

The lack of auto-tension release is a very real non-problem. If you can learn how to raise the presser foot on a sewing machine, you can learn to push a plastic lever to one side. I will admit to originally choosing the Brother because of the price; now I just feel smug and smart for getting a reliable CS machine.

------
“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” -Robert Heinlein and Ann's father. Thanks for the reminder, Ann.

Where are we going, and what am I doing in this handbasket?

Matthew 25:40 (New International Version)
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'



beauturbo
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Date: 3/25/14 8:31 PM

I don't think item # 1. "Has ballpoint/stretch needles that are actually compatible with and made for the machine"

Is even a valid worry or concern either, as most cover stitch is even done on knits, very much on purpose, so they would not even make a machine anyplace that could not take needles good to sew on stretchy or elastic fabric. So I think you can take that off your list too. Just make sure you know which ones those are for whatever you happen to get.




-- Edited on 3/25/14 8:38 PM --

quirktastical
quirktastical
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In reply to Karla Kizer <<
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Date: 3/25/14 9:31 PM

Quote: Karla Kizer
The lack of auto-tension release is a very real non-problem. If you can learn how to raise the presser foot on a sewing machine, you can learn to push a plastic lever to one side. I will admit to originally choosing the Brother because of the price; now I just feel smug and smart for getting a reliable CS machine.

So how exactly does the tension release on the Brother work? I kept reading reviewers who say something about having to use a toothpick to pull the threads out one by one or something...

I do have a slight bias for Brother just because it was my first sewing machine (a very basic one), and I have run the thing into the ground, and I'm sure misused it, but it's still going strong.
Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
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In reply to quirktastical <<
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Date: 3/25/14 11:48 PM

There are some older threads here that cover how to release the tension/threads for removing fabric. It is not as easy as just raising a presser foot, but my Janome CP1000 is a $600 doorstop because it skips stitches like mad on lycra/poly knits that my Brother 2340CV plows through with nary a single skipped stitch (so far) and uses regular household sewing machine needles.

IMO, it's all a gamble as to whether any brand cover-stitch machine will behave properly or be a nightmare.

Pamela R
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In reply to Doris W. in TN <<


Date: 3/26/14 8:42 AM

I bought a Janome 1000, and took it back 3 times and had it replaced twice with new ones, and finally went to a 900 and I LOVE IT.!!!!!
I sew dancewear bathingsuits t-shirts etc and do not miss the 3 needle, of the width options.

Karla Kizer
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In reply to quirktastical <<
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Date: 3/26/14 12:25 PM

I've posted these instructions in a few places, but it took me a while to find them. Here goes:

When Belinda had her wonderful blog, she posted excellent instructions for removing the fabric from the machine. I'm so glad I copied them and stuck them in the manual. Here they are. Like you, I think it becomes automatic, and it shouldn't scare anyone away from this machine. It takes longer to read this than it does to actually do it. Once you've done it a couple times, it's easy and obvious.

1- By hand, turn the handwheel forward until the needle is in the highest position. Remember - Forward. (See arrow beside the handwheel.)

2-Place fingernail behind one of the needle threads, above the foot. With your other hand, push the tension lever for this thread and pull the thread forward several inches (you're making a loose loop in front of the needle and over the foot.)

3-Repeat Step 2 for the other needle thread(s).

4-Lift the presser foot. Use the allen key that comes with the machine and swipe the key under the presser foot from front to back. You will be pulling the loosened thread loops underneath the foot and towards the back. (Mine tend to wind up back and toward the left of the foot. )

5-Cut the threads near the allen wrench, which is now behind or at least behind and to the left of the foot.

6- With one hand, push the tension lever for the looper thread and with the other hand, pull the fabric backwards, out from underneath the presser foot. The needle threads will automatically pull to the wrong side (back) of the fabric.

7-Cut the looper thread, tie off the threads. The machine is now ready to start stitching again.

End of Belinda's instructions...Karla talking again: Once you've done it a few times, it becomes automatic, logical and takes only a few seconds. The most difficult part is remembering that you have to push the tension levers on a couple of the steps, or the thread won't move.

------
“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” -Robert Heinlein and Ann's father. Thanks for the reminder, Ann.

Where are we going, and what am I doing in this handbasket?

Matthew 25:40 (New International Version)
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'



quirktastical
quirktastical
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In reply to Karla Kizer <<
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Date: 3/26/14 1:15 PM

Thank you so much!! I think I will go with the Brother machine because I really did like what it had to offer for the most part. I have all these gloriously beautiful knit fabrics and a ton of ideas, but I just will not sew them until I can do it the professional way with a CS machine.

SheBear0320
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In reply to Pamela R <<
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Date: 3/26/14 2:32 PM

I agree -- I love my CP900 and have never had any problems with it. I use it on knits, spandex blends and wovens and it always does what I want it to.

------
Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
56.0 yards sewn (as of 08/13/14)
113.125 yards purchased (as of 08/13/14)

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