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.
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.