If you’re looking for a professional finish on your knit fabrics and activewear projects, then you need a coverstitch machine. This type of sewing machine creates a secure and stretchy stitch that’s perfect for t-shirts, leggings, and elastic bindings.
If you frequently sew with stretchy fabrics and notice popped stitches on hems, investing in a coverstitch machine is worth your while. These machines use stretchy stitches that don’t pop like regular sewing machines.
What Is a Coverstitch Machine
An industrial sewing machine that uses a straight stitch to sew a seam is called a coverstitch machine. Its ability to have a finished look on both sides of the fabric lets you achieve professional results with your home sewing projects.
Is a Coverstitch Machine Worth It
If you’re working with a lot of stretchy fabrics that need a neat hem, then investing in a coverstitch machine is worth it.
If your sewing business requires you to make garments quickly or on a large scale, then investing in a coverstitch machine is a good idea.
If you are looking to create clothing that gives off a more professional appearance, then you need a coverstitch.
Having a coverstitch machine is only worth it if you want to create garments with no exposed seams.
A coverstitch machine is only worth the investment if you desire to create thicker hems.
A coverstitch machine is best for heavier fabrics and materials.
What Does a Coverstitch Machine Do?
A coverstitch machine uses two threads to create a seam that looks like it has been sewn with a single thread. The machine does this by using one thread for the top layer of fabric and another thread for the bottom layer.
The top thread creates a zigzag pattern by looping around itself, and the lower thread catches underneath this area before passing back up to where it started. This is called an overlock stitch.
Coverstitches give your clothes a more polished look, and they’re also stronger and last longer than straight stitches. That’s why you’ll often see them in jeans or other heavy-duty garments.
In addition to their function, zippers can also be used for aesthetic purposes. For instance, you might use them to create bartacks on pockets or bind edges of fabric together in order to create piping.
Types of Coverstitch Machines:
Coverstitch machines come in four varieties: two-needle, three-needle, serger/coverstitch combo, and top-coverstitch. The primary distinction between the types is the number of different stitches each can do.
Two-needle: Use up to three threads at one time with a Chain stitch or Double Coverstitch.
Three-needle: The three types of stitch are Chain stitch, Double Coverstitch, and Triple Coverstitch. All of which can use up to four threads simultaneously.
Combo machines: In addition to the capabilities of a standard 2 or 3-needle machine, this model also functions as a serger. These machines use up to four threads simultaneously and usually come equipped with 5 or 6 spool pins.
Top-coverstitch: The machine sews Chain, Double, and Triple stitches as well as a Top-Coverstitch using up to five threads simultaneously.
How Does A Coverstitch Machine Work?
A domestic sewing machine typically forms a lockstitch, which is created by interlocking the upper and bobbin threads with each stitch. On the other hand, a coverstitch machine sews a chain stitch.
The type of chain can be modified based on how many needles are in the machine. This resulting stitch is much more secure than a regular one, yet it’s also very stretchy.
So stretchy, in fact, that you can use it to hem slinky knits and activewear without fear of popping stitches!
What Stitches Can A Coverstitch Machine Make?
Most coverstitch machines produce three distinct stitches, but there is one exception to this rule. All stitches are made by combining a lower looper thread with different types of upper threads.
The chain stitch only uses one needle and is great for garments that require a tough seam but still need some give, like waistbands on elastic pants or adding shoulder binding to a knit tee. Though versatile, this type of stitch can come undone easily, so make sure to secure your threads before Knotting them off!
The “Coverhem” stitch, so named for its usefulness in hemming garments, is most commonly used to finish sleeve and hem edges on knit t-shirts. This particular method employs two needle threads and the width of the stitch can be easily altered by simply changing the positioning of said needles.
Hemming is a breeze with this machine because you can use it to grab the raw edge of knit fabric and it doesn’t restrict even stretchy fabrics. By simply changing needle positions, you can produce a narrow or wide stitch. The narrow coverstitch is typically used with a binding attachment to attach fabric binding or fold-over elastics.
The triple stitch is almost the same as the double coverstitch, but with all three needles. This creates a firmer final product than the double option; however, it won’t be as stretchy. You’ll often see this type of stitching in activewear or swimsuits because of how well it holds everything together.
The bottom of this stitch can be used to imitate the appearance of a 5-thread or top coverstitch, in case your machine doesn’t have one.
When to Use a Coverstitch Machine
A coverstitch machine can do many things such as hemming knits, making garments with neat hems and seams, and attaching elastic. It’s also good for finishing seams on woven fabrics. However, you may find that it takes up too much room on your machine bed if you’re working with something heavy or bulky.
Some certain garments and materials benefit most from being worked with a coverstitch machine.
Activewear: When you need stitches that can keep up with even the most vigorous activity, a coverstitch is your best bet. The stretchy yet firm chain stitch can take a beating and still look great.
Knits: Coverstitches are perfect for finishing the raw edges of knit fabrics because they can stretch without popping stitches. This is especially helpful when hemming slinky knits or activewear.
Binding: A binding attachment can be used with a coverstitch machine to create neat, professional-looking bindings for necklines, sleeves, and waistbands.
Heavy fabrics: The triple stitch option on a coverstitch machine is best for working with heavier fabrics like denim or canvas. The extra strength provided by the third needle prevents this type of stitch from breaking under strain.
If you find yourself sewing any of the above garments or materials regularly, then it might be time to invest in a coverstitch machine!
How Much Is a Coverstitch Machine
There is a wide range of prices for coverstitch machines, depending on the features you want and the quality of the machine.
Coverstitch machines that have more features usually cost more than those with fewer features. The table below displays some price points for coverstitch machines based on the number of features they offer:
Standard: A plain machine with no additional features will cost you between $300 and $500.
High end: This machine is designed for professional use and costs $1,000-$2,000+.
Advantages of a Coverstitch Machine?
Amongst sewing machines, the coverstitch is highly popular for many reasons. Some of its primary advantages include:
With coverstitching, you can sew in any direction without having to stress about puckering, which is often an issue when sewing curves on other machines. This method is perfect for anyone who has to attach multiple pieces together, especially if your project includes curves or corners.
Hem pants and skirts easily with a coverstitch sewing machine to get that clean, professional look that will last longer.
By mixing colors of thread in your stitches, you can create exclusive designs for your projects that’ll make them stand out from everyone else’s.
Coverstitch machines sew seams quicker than older models, making them ideal for the fashion industry where time is money.
Disadvantages of a Coverstitch Machine?
Although coverstitch machines are excellent for many types of projects, there are a few disadvantages to consider.
A coverstitch machine may not be an option for people who are just starting or don’t have a lot of money to spend on equipment because they can cost several thousand dollars.
They are large and heavy, which takes up a lot of space.
Because there are lots of moving parts, an overlocker will wear out faster than a regular sewing machine; this is especially true if you use it often or in a production environment with many other sewers.
Top Coverstitch (5 Thread Machines)
The 5-thread coverstitch is not as common as other stitches, and machines that include this stitch tend to be on the more expensive side. This particular stitch creates a similar appearance on both the top and bottom sides. Additionally, it can be used for many of the same things as a triple coverstitch.
If activewear is your thing or you really value this look, getting a machine with a triple coverstitch feature may be ideal. Although the stitch can be replicated by sewing an upside-down triple coverstitch, that way won’t allow you to see what you’re doing as you go and could end up causing alignment problems!
Serger/Overlocker Stitches (Combination Machines)
If you purchase a serger / coverstitch combo machine, it will also have the ability to sew serger stitches. However, in order to use these stitches, you’ll need to change the machine over into serger mode first. Although this sounds like a convenient function, some people find that the process takes upwards of five minutes- which can be frustrating.
Coverstitch Machine Uses:
If you frequently work on any of the following types of projects, a coverstitch machine would be an excellent investment for your sewing room:
- If you’re looking for a professional finish on your knit fabrics (such as t-shirts), look no further than our hemming service.
- Stitching seams on activewear like leggings and workout shirts
- Adding fabric or elastic binding to swimwear or lingerie in a single step
- Topstitch elastic or stretchy fabric without losing the stretch properties
Is it Worth Getting a Coverstitch Machine?
Whether or not you decide to add a coverstitch machine to your sewing supplies is a big decision, as everyone has different space and budget requirements at their current stage of the sewing journey!
If you frequently sew with knit fabrics (items such as t-shirts or dresses, swimwear, leggings, activewear, etc.), a coverstitch machine may help improve the finish of your garments and avoid snapped stitches.
I got my Bernette Funlock b48 combo machine because I wanted to be able to add beautiful finishes on my knit garments, but I didn’t have the space in my sewing room for a dedicated coverstitch. This machine has been an amazing addition to my sewing supplies and it is now an integral part of my stitching process.
Can a Sewing Machine, Serger, or Overlocker do a Coverstitch?
If you don’t want to buy a coverstitch machine just yet, that’s okay! Regular sewing machines and sergers can create stitches for the same applications. However, keep in mind that they cannot recreate an exact stitch as a coverstitch machine can.
Similar Stitches on a Domestic Sewing Machine:
The narrow double coverstitch can be closely replicated with a twin needle for a similar look on the top of your project.
This is a useful way to hem projects made from knit fabrics. However, keep in mind that the twin needle stitch doesn’t have as much give or elasticity as a cover stitched hem would, and some fabrics are prone to tunneling when using a twin needle.
Similar Stitches on a Serger/Overlocker:
The flatlock is a fantastic choice to securely join seams on a stretchy workout or swimwear fabric without using a coverstitch machine it can be done with only five threads or less.
This seam is constructed by stitching, opening, and then stretching the fabric so that the line of stitches encloses two raw edges. It may look different from a top coverstitch, but it functions just as well if not better.
Additionally, this stitch can withstand stretches and finishes seams neatly. Check your serger’s manual for tension adjustment instructions before sewing a flatlock seam; however, be aware that using this type of seam on hems can add bulk.
How much is a Coverstitch Machine?
In the United States, you can expect to pay anywhere from $450 to $1700. In Australia, $650 – $2400. And in the UK, £500 – £1200.
There are many coverstitch machines on the market from Brother, Janome, Bernina, and Juki. If you’re looking for a three-thread coverstitch machine, the Brother 2340CV is a great option that retails for $450 US. If you want a serger/coverstitch combo machine, the Bernette b48 funlock is perfect and it’s around $750 US.
The Janome Coverpro 3000 top coverstitch is a great choice for anyone looking for a high-end machine with lots of features. It includes a free arm, automated needle threader, and proprietary tension control system, retailing at about $1700 US.
The following coverstitch machines are what I suggest for buyers in the US and UK. Most of these will probably be obtainable globally as well. Additionally, I have reviewed coverstitch-serger combination machines
How to Choose the Right Coverstitch Machine
Choosing the right coverstitch machine can be a daunting task. Here are some main factors to consider when choosing a coverstitch machine:
- Number of Needles: Coverstitch machines come in two and three needle configurations. A two-needle machine is suitable for basic hemming and edging, while a three-needle machine is ideal for decorative stitching and attaching trims.
- Stitch Length: The stitch length is an important factor to consider when choosing a coverstitch machine. A machine with adjustable stitch length will allow you to achieve the desired length for your project.
- Threading: Threading a coverstitch machine can be tricky. Look for a machine that has a color-coded threading system and a detailed instruction manual.
- Price: Coverstitch machines can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Determine your budget and look for a machine that fits within your budget.
I hope know that you are well aware about is a coverstitch machine worth it or not? In conclusion, coverstitch machine is a valuable investment for anyone who is into dressmaking or sewing.
It provides a professional-looking finish to knit and stretch fabrics and can save time on finishing the edges of your projects. When choosing a coverstitch machine, consider the number of needles, stitch length, threading, and price.
With the right machine, you can achieve beautiful and professional-looking results on your sewing projects.