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Message Board > Sergers, Coverstitch and Blindhemmers > Why buy a coverstitch machine? ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Why buy a coverstitch machine?
Coverstitch machine or serger w/Coverstitch option
dimiko
dimiko  Friend of PR
Member since 6/12/11
Posts: 9
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Date: 7/10/11 2:03 PM

I'm a newbie and I would like get opinions to understand why people choose to buy coverstich only machines? I noticed they can cost as much as a decent serger. Do they do a better job for these stitches than a serger with the coverstich/chainstitch options? If you have a coverstich only machine, do you have a serger too and why have both instead of a serger that also does coverstich?

I recently bouth a serger w/o chainstitch which is fine at my current level and saved me a bit of $$. I'm just not sure if after I get more experience if I'll regret it or if getting a separate cs only machine would be more desirable.

Thanks for any input.

turrtell
turrtell
Intermediate
FL
Member since 10/21/07
Posts: 2
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Date: 7/10/11 2:45 PM

hi. (i've never posted before. this is a first!)

i have a huskylock s21 so it has the chainstitch (which i haven't used so far in the two years i've owned the machine, not that i sew often; i go through phases) as well as overlock stitches and coverstitch. the coverstitch was one of the main things i wanted in the serger when i bought it. but after i have used it a few times, i had this notion that maybe people who are into serious serging get a coverstitch-only machine is because it's a major PAIN to re-thread the machine every time you change stitches. imagine this scenario: you're assembling a shirt so you hem the sleeves (coverstitch) and then you sew the seams together (overlock) and then you apply the neckband (overlock and coverstitch) and then you attach one sleeve and then sew the side seams (overlock), then hem the bottom (coverstitch), then attach the other sleeve, sew the sides together (overlock). i'm not sure that that's the correct sequence of events but you can see that you are switching between coverstitch and overlock several times, rethreading again and again, which takes time. my experience has been painful so far that i'm beginning to use my twin-needle on my sewing machine more than the coverstitch of my serger. it's enough to make me want a coverstitch-only machine.

Debbie Cook
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Debbie Cook
USA
Member since 4/11/02
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Date: 7/10/11 2:51 PM

Turrtell is exactly right. Plus, CS only machines can use accessories that most sergers can't, such as binders, belt loop folders, fellers. I've got some CS info on my blog, lhere.

------
--
"I base my fashion sense on what doesn't itch." Gilda Radner
http://stitchesandseams.blogspot.com

iSewQuiltArt
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iSewQuiltArt
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AUSTRALIA
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Date: 7/10/11 6:34 PM

Coverstitch machines are designed to do only two things but they do them well- cover and chain stitch. Most of overlockers compromise both design and function to be combo machines. Coverstitching to them is unnatural. Whilst they may overlock well they do not always coverstitch well.

In the case of the machine I had before, it had a bump on the stitch plate that repeatedly caused seams to veer to the side when sewing anything with a hem wider than about 1cm. Big design flaw, a result of the stitch plate having to cover the loopers from the overlocker part of the machine that protruded above the level of the machine bed. And it worked only slowly at best, when attempting to CS, with skipping stitches constantly. And the maual said it could not coverstitch fine knits at and recommended not to try as results would be unsatisfactory. I found the results on medium knits and heavy knit unsatisfactory! It was a royal pain to thread with the chain stitch looper being almost impossible to reach the way it was hidden inside the edge of the machine where even tweezers have difficulty reaching, it was time consuming to change over to coverstitch mode and back again, and the procedure was even at my fastest still tedious slow- and when all was correctly threaded the results were still very ordinary. One skipped stitch and your whole hem comes undone. And it was one of those all singing all dancing expensive models that I had bought so that it could do coverstitch! I never really bonded with it despite having it for years- and never really loved overlocking.
I got so fed up with it that I decided to sell the beast and buy another overlocker that I liked more- then add a seperate cs machine if I found I really wanted it. The new overlocker is so much more fun, nicer stitching, easier to thread, that I found I was just sewing so many more knitted garments as a result, and was still hating twin needles for hemming- so added a few months later a CS machine. It was the best decision I could have made- now I use it all the time! I love not having to do the change over and have wonderful results with no waste of time and no stress.

I have used the chain and coverstitch functions and find it so simple to thread- the diagrams and some settings are on the front of the machine exterior and inside the front door- its just so easy to get great results. Its easy, and very fast to thread. No dramas. I've even managed to deal with slinky fabrics my other beast refused to sew and it hems them perfectly.

Occasionally I have had problems with skipped stitches but I am learning that most often its when I hadn't flattened the seam intersection enough before hand (I now use steam and a clapper to flatten the seam before CS thanks to advice from PR girls, it makes all the difference) or needed to adjust the presser foot pressure dial and had forgotten to do so. I use my CS machine frequently and love it- if I could turn the time back to when I first bought the first pricey badly designed overlocker (which was discovered of course only with use of the beast) I would now skip straight past that, buy a great 4 thread overlocker with pretty rolled hem and a seperate cover and chain stitch dedicated machine!

dimiko, if you find you like your overlocker but don't like its coverstitch ways, you could just add a coverstitch machine that is dedicated and not use the coverstitch function at all. The reason I sold my coverstitch capapable overlocker was that I really didn't like it and found it in parts tricky to thread- and temperamental.

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

dimiko
dimiko  Friend of PR
Member since 6/12/11
Posts: 9
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Date: 7/10/11 7:15 PM

Turrtell, Debbie Cook and Quilting Queen .. Wow, you are all awesome! Thank you all so much for the thorough information. I couldn't find anything close to this much detail elsewhere. The only thing I found was the idea of general convenience and each of you really drove home why. I feel much better about my little Viking s200 serger and the idea of when the time comes adding a coverstitch machine.

Thank you for your time and help!

sewsally
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sewsally  Friend of PR
Intermediate
WA USA
Member since 8/18/02
Posts: 1294
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Date: 7/10/11 9:39 PM

duplicate
-- Edited on 7/10/11 9:42 PM --

sewsally
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sewsally  Friend of PR
Intermediate
WA USA
Member since 8/18/02
Posts: 1294
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Date: 7/10/11 9:41 PM

I have separate serger and coverstitch machines now both Babylock and I don't swear anymore when I switch over to cover stitch and inevitably got something wrong or thread tangled on my combo serger/coverstitch. It tried my patience.

I set out to just get the coverstitch but the dealer made me an offer I couldn't refuse on the 2 machines. I still have the old Viking thinking I would use it because it has a large harp space. Hasn't happened in the 2-3 years since the Babylocks. I suppose I should sell it or give it to my niece.

dimiko
dimiko  Friend of PR
Member since 6/12/11
Posts: 9
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Date: 7/11/11 11:28 AM

sewsally .. It's good that you don't swear anymore

From what I can tell, it seems everyone loves their Babylock machines. I will have to take a look at them when the time comes (or the $$ comes). I'll also want to look at reviews on the 'cheaper' models.

As it turns out, my hand-me-down Singer sewing machine is not working so well and I may replace it soon. It was my mom's and I think she bought it in the '70s. It's only able to do a straight stitch and 3 step zig-zag. I was told that it will probably cost more to fix than it's worth. I'm looking at the Vikings mid level machines and scanning the reviews for all others.

purplebouquet
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purplebouquet
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AR USA
Member since 11/16/05
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Date: 7/26/11 1:16 PM

In case you're still interested in input: I have both a combo-serger and a stand-alone CS and found the CS stitch quality superior and the CS foot a lot nimbler. My presser foot on my combo machine is super wide (in order to accommodate the two serger and the three CS needles) and that makes serging small items and curves difficult.

Claudia

dimiko
dimiko  Friend of PR
Member since 6/12/11
Posts: 9
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In reply to purplebouquet


Date: 7/28/11 7:59 AM

I'm just curious to know which coverstitch only machine you own. I'm thinking of getting the Brother 2340 once I replace the sewing machine. I wish there were someplace local where I could just see and touch one other than just order it online. I have found both a Janome and Babylock dealer but they are expensive.
-- Edited on 7/29/11 2:46 PM --

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