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Tips & Techniques > Aligning coverstitch with top of hem

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Posted by: Sew Sew Sandi

About Sew Sew Sandi
Member since: 9/12/03
Reviews: 2 (tips: 2)
Skill level:Intermediate
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Posted on: 9/3/08 7:29 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 4 people   Very Helpful by 84 people   
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I'm probably the only person who has trouble using the coverstitch to topstitch the hem from the right side. I've tried using my fingertips to feel where the top of the hem is or marking the stitching line with chalk. I always veer off someplace and miss the hem. That means I either have to unstitch some of my coverstitch or handstitch the area left unhemmed. Here's my "aha" solution that the rest of you probably already use:
With bobbin thread in an easily seen color (often the end of bobbins wound for some other project), I machine baste the top of the hem from the wrong side. When I take my project to my serger, I line up the two needles so that the colored basting thread is between them. This does a great job of laying the thread from the looper across the edge of the hem and the basting thread is easy to remove. The hem is nicely finished and no additional fine tuning (fixing missed sections) is needed.

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gth said... (7/14/11 2:32 PM) Reply
Thanks-This helps SO much.
wearinbeads said... (2/2/09 5:22 PM) Reply
no, you for sure are not the only one!
Lou05 said... (2/2/09 4:02 PM) Reply
Terrific. I've always hesitated to buy a coverstitch machine because I didn't think I could learn to use it from the top. You solved the problem. Many thanks.
peggytil said... (1/28/09 10:37 AM) Reply
I have one of Bernina's first coverstitch machines. Since I've had it I have had difficulty topstitching from the front to. I also have difficulty with the machine period. This tip may help me out. Thanks, peggytil
thatlulu said... (1/27/09 6:20 PM) Reply
what a terrific idea--thanks!!
crestedmom said... (1/27/09 4:11 PM) Reply
good idea
dwenh said... (1/27/09 2:29 PM) Reply
Now isn't that the coolest thing!? Thanx!
Bunny7 said... (1/27/09 2:24 PM) Reply
I've been so hesitant to use my coverstich because I do mess it up most of the time. WOW! What a great idea. You're the best. Thanks.
brissie71 said... (1/27/09 1:23 PM) Reply
Nope - not the only one. I've only just got my coverstitch machine and am discovering just how much I don't know about using it. So, thanks for making one job much easier!
said... (1/27/09 1:16 PM) Reply
This is a great problem solver for me. I will definitely use this method.
sewsandysue said... (1/27/09 12:51 PM) Reply
hopesews said... (1/27/09 12:37 PM) Reply
Another possibility is to use just the chain stitch for basting down the hem if using regular thread. This makes removal very easy and on knits it allows give as you coverstitch while keeping the hem in place.
Marlene J said... (1/27/09 10:34 AM) Reply
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
AACmama said... (1/27/09 8:38 AM) Reply
I made an error on my vote...I meant VERY helpful, not merely helpful. I also have had this trouble with my coverstitching and hems, so this solution sounds like just the ticket!
tiredjw said... (1/27/09 8:09 AM) Reply
That is a very good idea, I always leave my hem wide and then trim after I do the cover stitch, but you way is much neater. Thanks
Karla Kizer said... (1/27/09 8:03 AM) Reply
I'm just reading your tip for the first time, but you apparently "channeled" the information to me. This is exactly what I did this weekend with my first-ever coverstitch hem. I can vouch for the ease and efficiency of this method - and it's a great way to use up those bobbins that have just a little bit of a "what was I thinking? color on them.
ConnieBJ said... (9/17/08 3:28 PM) Reply
Now why didn't I think of that!! Great tip!
Rhoda K said... (9/14/08 11:22 AM) Reply
I haven't tried my coverstitch yet, but I also experience this problem with twin needle stitching from the right side. Thanks for the tip!
maryl said... (9/12/08 7:21 PM) Reply
I've been using a coverstitch machine for years, and really have just given up on getting the top of the hem enclosed. But no longer! I've just ordered invisible thread from the sewingsupply warehouse. It's on sale for 2.99. Thank you both sooooo much!
Dusker said... (9/12/08 2:07 AM) Reply
Thank you, found this a small problem even today--although I didnt use surger for the coverstitch, but used double needles, can see this would have been a good idea to try. Thankyou Heather
Christine B said... (9/8/08 10:30 AM) Reply
Great tip - and thanks for the wash away thread comment, marycds! Between the two of you, you've made life easier for a whole bunch of folks!!
sewbehind said... (9/6/08 1:29 PM) Reply
Thank you for this brilliant tip. I will definitely use this. Thanks again. Helen
nancy2001 said... (9/5/08 8:31 PM) Reply
How ingenious.
marycds said... (9/5/08 5:01 PM) Reply
I do this also but use WASH AWAY THREAD in the bobbin. I quick spritz on the backside after I've done the coberstich and it's gone. The top sewing thread just lifts off.
sewtime said... (9/4/08 5:00 PM) Reply
What a great way to do a cover stitch, THANK YOU!
Lizz said... (9/4/08 4:37 PM) Reply
Eureka! You're a genius!
Susan M said... (9/4/08 4:33 PM) Reply
Duh, I have been having the same issue. I figured I was missing something, now you have given me a solution. Thanks.
EveS said... (9/4/08 1:35 PM) Reply
Ok, so now I'm thinking, "Why didn't I think of that??" Great tip and timely for me, as I just got my new CS machine last week. Many thanks!!!
sensorydeb said... (9/4/08 12:40 PM) Reply
Great idea. No, I have the same problem. This makes a lot of sense and it's easy.
MissTaraTara said... (9/4/08 10:14 AM) Reply
Great Idea! my coverstitch machine will be 2 years old in December and has NEVER been used because I don't have any of the optional feet. Now I can do some hemming and save some bucks along the way!!
KempCorr said... (9/4/08 10:13 AM) Reply
Great idea - and it will probably solve the other problem I have too. My hems often "slip" and are wrinkled by the time I finish. This will help hold them in place. Thanks for recognizing and posting a simple solution to a common problem.
Jane S said... (9/4/08 8:31 AM) Reply
Thank you, I wish there were a VERY VERY helpful rating, you'd get it!!
RosieN said... (9/4/08 8:26 AM) Reply
Thanks for this great tip! I am working on a knit top today and have been trying to figure out how to cover stitch the hem.
Kris32 said... (9/4/08 0:22 AM) Reply
Good one! I will try this next time I do a hem. Thanks.
Kirstenw said... (9/4/08 0:09 AM) Reply
Thats brilliant. I think the majority had your problem, including me, thanks for the hint.
ryansmumAria said... (9/3/08 10:42 PM) Reply
wow! what a fabulous idea. NEVER would have thought of this! Thanks for being so smart...
j222b said... (9/3/08 10:24 PM) Reply
I like this idea. I don't have a coverstitch, but I have the same problem with double needle hems on tshirts etc. when I use my sewing machine with double needles. Thanks!!
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