Taming your coverstitch

Bernina 2000DCE

I have a definite love/hate relationship with my coverstitch machine. I love, love, love the professional, RTW look it gives hems, but I hate how difficult it is to set up,  re-thread, and how finicky it is to use with a soft knit. Probably part of it is the fact I don’t use it on a daily basis…maybe I just need to give it a little more love.  More often. Maybe.

Anyway, I did manage to thread it with black thread and re-stitch the hem on one of my favorite knit dresses. I had decided my zebra print dress was just a hair too long, so I cut off the old stitching, applied 1/4 inch Steam-a-Seam to the inside edge, and then folded it over and pressed into place.  I fought with threading the machine for a bit, but finally wrestled everything into its assigned place. The Steam-a-Seam (lightest weight) really helped hold the hem in place on this soft knit fabric. I made it all the way around the hem circumference, and then overstitched a bit. Coverstitching can rip out easily, so I usually try to lock the stitches in this manner. 

Getting the fabric out from under the machine is completely non-intuitive.  Step one is to lift the presser foot with the needles in the highest position, slide something like your machine screw driver under the presser foot from the back, and then pull the needle threads towards you. Who figured out this weird little dance step anyway? Step two is to cut the needle  threads and pull the fabric to the back of the coverstitch machine and away from you.

Pulling needle threads thru             Cut needle threads

Magically, all the threads are now on the underside of the garment. I have no idea how this works, I just know it does. Next I tie the threads into a small knot so the stitching doesn’t become unraveled. Voilà, hem done! Not exactly the biggest sewing accomplishment of the century, but at least the dress is wearable again.

coverstitch inside             New hem

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen

4 Responses to Taming your coverstitch

  1. You have totally made me day! The method for getting the fabric off of the coverstitch machine with the threads all on the underside is priceless!

      • Thank you, this method works perfectly on my stand-alone cover hem machine, but when I try to do this on my serger/coverhem combo, Elna 845, I really battle to get the threads not to unravel. Does this method also work on serger/coverhem combo machines? The reason why I’m using my Elna 845 combo for the cover hem, is that it has a very nice decorative top cover hem which my stand alone coverhem machine does not have.

        • Shamin – I think it depends on which threads you grab hold of together. There is one thread (looper I am sure) that if you pull on it will completely unravel. So I am just really careful to try and grab ! needle + looper, and not apply much pressure until I get the first knot in place. Hope that helps!!

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