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Cover Hem

Bloss1996 | Posted in Talk With Us on

Hello All,

I have an Elna 945 which I purchased from a friend last Fall … she was afraid to thread it.  I am trying to learn the machine by using different stitches each time I have to use the machine.

I am making a bathing suit skirt from Lycra and though I would use the cover hem (wide) stich on the bottom.  I get a bump between the two lines of stitching that I know should not be there.  I am also assuming that it has to do with tensions.  This is a fully automated machine which I normally do not have to do any adjusting to the tension so I am not sure I am setting everything right. 

The stictch seems to be correct just the bump in between the two lines of stitches.  The manual says that the underneath stictch (which I have threaded with wooly nylon) should be slightly loose.

Any help that anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated.






  1. Sofi | | #1

    Hi, you should try to put your wooly thread on the top looper, and make sure to use  correct size needles sometimes it is not to do with tension it could be needles or thread. happy sewing Sofi.

    1. Bloss1996 | | #2

      Hi Sofi,

      Thanks for your advice.  I have a couple of bathing suit skirts here that I was sort of copying and all three of them have the wooly nylon in the lower looper so that is one of the reasons that I was putting it there.  I also was following the Threads article from two months ago as well as an article written in Stitches (an Australian publication that I think is just great) and one of them ... not sure without rereading the articles also said to put the wooly nylon in the lower looper.

      I did experiment this afternoon and put some liquid stabilizer along where I am sewing and that seems to help but it seems to me that I should not have to do this.  I had changed from size 14 to size 12 needles but maybe I should go back to the 14's ... will try that.

      Again, thanks for your advice and I will certainly keep it in mind.


      1. MaryinColorado | | #3

        My two cents worth here:  I'd use a ballpoint or universal needle no larger than 80/12.   Narrow coverstitch should work better with this lightweight extremely stretchy knit.  Stitch width of 7, stitch length 4.0, differential starting with 1.0 and adjust from there. 

        Is the cut edge curling and adding bulk underneath?

        Hope this helps!  Mary

        1. Skye | | #4

          I would loosen off the woolly nylon tension - the automated tensions might be for normal threads,  You have got a great wee serger there

        2. Bloss1996 | | #5

          I am using Elna serger needles which are 12's.

          And no, the cut edge is not curling and adding bulk.

          I spent about an hour taking out the stitching last night as I was not happy with it so I will try again later today.

          As I said, I have applied some liquid stabilizer which you allow to dry and then stitch so I will try that today ... it just seems to me that it should be much easier than this.  But, at this point, I am willing to try anything. 

          A couple of weeks ago I used the cover stitch on a lycra bathing suit top and it worked much easier than this time.

          Thanks to all for their suggestions and please keep them coming.

          1. MaryinColorado | | #6

            When you made the top, did you use wooly nylon?  The tension should be looser for this thicker thread, rarely I've had to adjust the needle tensions too to get a balanced stitch.  My serger is very automated too, but some fabrics are "fussy".

            Since the top went smoothly, I am thinking it might be either the fabric, or is the skirt hem cut on a curve rather than straight across?  This would create more of a challenge to me.  I think if it is curved, I would make the hem quite narrow or use a light stabilizer or interfacing in the hem where it wouldn't show.  Sometimes I use a fusable knit stabilizer but haven't tried it in just a hem.

            If it's getting frustrating, you might just do a three thread overlock and do the topstitching with a double needle on the sewing machine.

            I don't know why someone doesn't make a stabilizer in flesh tones. 

            I haven't tried the liquid stabilizers, please fill me in if this works out.  Mary

            Edited 9/10/2007 11:03 am by MaryinColorado

          2. Bloss1996 | | #7

            I have used the liquid stabilizer before on my regular sewing machine.  I had wooly nylon in the bobbin and a twin needle on the top.  I went to using this as I had the same problem with the bump in between the two straight stitches on the regular machine also.  I found it worked quite well.  If I have to I may just do that on this skirt.


          3. jjgg | | #8

            It's good you are using the Elna needles for the cover stitch (they are not really needed for the other stitches). The Elna needles have a double scarf which helps catch the chain looper thread.That being said, just go ahead and adjust the tension on the chain loper thread (the brown one). That should solve the problem. Even though it is "automatic" doesn't mean its always what you need. Esp with the woolly nylon, you want it going in on a looser tension so it is not stretched tight when sewn. You want it to be able to stretch when worn

            Edited 9/14/2007 8:32 pm ET by jjgg

          4. ctirish | | #9

            I have not made a bathing suit on my serger yet, but on your regular sewing machine a nice wide zig zag stitch works great for the lower leg edge. I started using that when I saw it on a RTW swim suit. You may want to try it if you can not get the edge straightened out. jane

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