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Recommend serger with cover stitch

LarissaR | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I’ve been dying to copy some of my ready-to-wear items, but I’ve noticed that almost everything is finished with what’s called a cover stitch. My serger doesn’t do that, and I don’t know how to finish a seam in a similar way using a sewing machine and basic serger. I like the strength and stretch of the cover stitch, and I’m thinking about getting a new serger that has the cover stitch option. Does anyone have any opinions about the best machine to buy? Any regrets? Anybody have a way to create a nice top stitch that stretches a bit so I don’t have to buy one? I’m somewhere between a novice and an intermediate sewer, but I’m always eager to learn more.

Thanks in advance!


  1. User avater
    dayenu | | #1

    i can suggest one NOT to buy: The Bernina. it's a pain to convert from serging to coverstitch or chain , sews very slowly and makes a massive racket while sewing. I sold mine on ebay and am waiting till I can afford a babylock or a stand alone coverstitch machine.

  2. Crazy K | | #2

    I got a Babylock Evolve a couple of years ago and really like it.  The coverhem is easy to set up and the jet threading a dream.  The one downside I've found with that machine is the lack of space to the right of the needles.  I have other sergers so that hasn't been an issue for me.  I have an Elna that does a coverhem but it isn't easy to convert.........also a Janome Compulock that does the coverhem but again, much more difficult to change.

    There you have my nickel's worth...............


    1. Tatsy | | #3


      I have a Babylock Evolve and love it.  The cover stitch can be either two or three-thread.  When I first got it, I made a prairie skirt, gathering each tier with the differential feed. The waist casing was the only seam that needed to be sewn on the sewing machine.  The whole garment took 25 minutes, start to finish, with no cutting since it was all remnants.


  3. JanF | | #4

    don't know if u can access from this - but daughter just acquired one like this - can do 3 lines of stiching at top with overlock stitch underneath - so far so good - needs to practise - but I might get 1 for myself - good value for the money i think!

  4. Monamoo | | #5

    I just purchased a Viking 936 last night. I start a class on it Friday. I can get back to you.

  5. carolinecymru | | #6

    I only have a 3-4 thread serger. But I use a wide separation twin needle threaded with normal sewing thread and wooly nylon in the bobbin to give a stretchy finishing stitch that has the look of the basic cover stitch outside and has the zig zag stretch of the wooly nylon inside, covering the fabric edge. Can't figure out a way to fake the cover stitch that looks as though it's 3 needles serging though - the one that's used a lot on sports wear.

    1. Skye | | #13

      Regarding triple stitch - you can get triple needles by schmedzSp?) I used to use this and the varioussized twin needles on my S/M.

      I have a Janome coverstitch 1000 and love it - it is very easy to thread ie same as for S/M I like having my three machines set up and just slide along no changing threads over mid project the down side is need to have more thread but for some projects I just wind bobbins and use that for the needles threads on the c/s I have an Elna 945 serger - 5 thread which I got after I perchased my c/s and I actually haven't tried the c/s out but it looks easy and the serger is very easy to thread.

       I would go and test drive if you can with lots of different fabric samples and have fun playing :)

      1. carolinecymru | | #14

        Thanks Skye - I didn't know there were triple needles too! Your idea of 3 machines set up is great, but I have a VERY small workroom, and it's crowded enough with my standard 3-4 thread serger and sewing machine permanently set up.... though the main space hog is my embarrassingly large fabric stash.

  6. MargieT | | #7

    I have just bought the Janome Compulock and it does a nice cover stitch.  It takes a few minutes to set up but I seem to be getting faster at doing it everytime I use it.  The machine has a total of 21 stitches.

  7. MaryinColorado | | #8

    I have had the Husqvarna Viking Huskylock 936 for many years.  I have never had a single problem with it.  It is a wonderful machine, does a narrow or wide coverstitch beautifully.  The stitches always look perfect.  Does everything from denim to lace to sheers.  I especially love and chose this machine because I like to do artsy things with Rayon embroidery thread to heavy cord and yarns in the loopers.  I love the 2 or 3 thread rolled hems for heirloom serging. 

    (I especially appreciate the large three ring binder that folds open for easy reading.  This notebook style large OWNERS MANUAL explains clearly with photos how to do everthing.  It doesn't come with the machine, but the dealers have it or can order it for you.  Explains how to do inside and outside curves, change from coverstitch to overlock, using elastic, etc)  Also Serger Secrets is an excellent book.   

    Check out http://www.patternreview.com's machine reviews, go to the websites for the machine brands you like.  TEST DRIVE.  I always expect free "get to know your machine classes" too.  There are two levels of classes at the dealer I went to.   Some have serger clubs too.

    Hope this is helpful.  Mary

    1. pinkit | | #12

      I have been watching carefully the treads on the subject of Sergers.  for quite some time I have been lusting over them.  However, I have very few choices among dealers in my area and felt I needed to be as close as possible to help.  Therefore, I have been watching the discussions that talked of the Husg. 936.  It has all been very helpful to me and your input was quite valuable especially the mention of the instructional books.  Last Fri. I attended a day long series of presentations given my Diana Celolia of the Husqvarna Company.  Well! I finaly made the leap and purchased the 936 at a special given price for that event. $1149.00 but with tax was $1217.94 whch I thought was quite a deal.  The people here give lessons and also have Serger Club which looks to be quite a bit of fun. I wanted your input concerning the instrucion books.  the shopping list of books passed out at the event listed Serger Secrets, & The Ultimate Serger Answer Guide.  Is this second one the one you are referring to.  Also, since you have been having a good experience with your machine would you mind my contacting you for hints in the future.  THANKS!

      1. MaryinColorado | | #15

        I haven't read the second book.  I sent you a response via email.  Hope you recieved it.  Congrats on your new 936!  I hope you love it as much as I do! Mary

        1. pinkit | | #16

          Thanks for the reply.  My new 936 arrived at the store last Wed. and I had a class scheduled  for Fri. to do some PJ's so we decided to set it up and for me to try it.  Obviously there will be a learning curve.  They do have the book you told me about plus the others and I am sure I will be purchasing the one you mentioned and perhaps some others.  Yes, I did get your personal e-mail and I will try contacting you there to see if I have it right.

  8. jtsadler | | #9

    Personally, I would go to a shop and try them out.  They are more than happy to assist you.  And I mean try them out in whatever settingyou like from threading to doing a cover stitch. 

  9. SuzyShadow | | #10

    I too have a Janome Compulock and use it almost exclusively for the cover stitch. I come from a group of "shorties" so t-shirts that go to your knees are very common. It does take about 3 steps to set up the stitch but since it is computerized, the instructions show on the screen.

  10. Betakin | | #11

    Besides the comments here you might wish to check the reviews by owners on line at PatternReview.com then go and test as many as you can in person. There are many owners that prefer having a coverhem only machine and a serger. I prefer the combo of both in one machine rather than to have to thread two machines. I understand that changing over some combo machines to coverlock is time consuming but some sergers require more to do than others. I do not have to change the foot or the plate to convert to coverhem and the tensions are also automatic. I just dial one of the 17 stitches on the number dial. (This is not a computerized model.)  I also like that my coverlock is only a 4 thread yet has 17 stitches with chain stitch, narrow and wide double seam cover hem and triple seam coverhem included in the stitch program. I have owned several sergers in the past and I think my Elna 744 is the easiest to use with the auto tensions that never need changing and tilt needle bar for ease of changing and inserting needles into the 5 different needle positions. This is a very heavy duty machine and is quiet and sturdy and is as big as my sewing machine.  I own another serger (much smaller) without the coverhem ability and I like it also but the Elna is by far the easiest and does the most. When I sew for my grandkids I like to use the triple seam coverhem and I like to reverse it so that the underside looped stitches are on the topside of the fabric and in a different color than the fabric to give it a deco look.

    I quite honestly have never owned a serger that I did not like and still hold my old Babylock in high regard. I have found that some are much more basic than others and some require much oiling frequently and some require no oil at all. Some vibrate and some do not. I do suggest to try out as many as possible before purchasing because models vary even in the same brands but if you are happy with your serger that you now have you may wish to have a separate cover hem machine. The models vary in price and in the way they perform. Some machines stitch off the fabric easier doing coverhem than others. Some you have to go through several steps to remove the stitches from the machine when ending coverhem. That is why I chose the machine I did and because of the price being less than some coverhem only models.

    My covelock Elna 744 is now discontinued. The 745 is taking it's place but it is a 5 thread model and not a 4 thread like the 744. The 745 does have a built in blanket stitch in the stitch program and also the 2 thread converter is built into the machine rather than an extra accessory.

    Janome Coverpro owners seem to love their cover hem only models and the Babylock cover hem machines are also highly rated but cost a bit more. I wish you the best of luck in you choice.


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