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What to do with a coverlock machine

Brenn | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I have a Bernina coverlock machine.  I’ve had it about 5 years and all I’ve done is the hems on a fleece dressing gown using coverlock stitch, and a beanbag using chain stitch.

It seemed to work OK after I got through the nightmare of threading it, but it was such a cumbersome beast (i.e. sewing with it, not the size of the machine), that I really don’t feel like getting it out of the box again.

What have others found using coverlock machines?  I hated my overlocker for a while but love it now.  Should I presevere and try to do fiddly things on it (like the swimming costumes I like to make), leave it strictly for bog standard T-shirt hems or get rid of it?


  1. gogojojo | | #1

    Hmmm...a Bernina coverlock?  Sounds really cumbersome - you should definitely sell it to me for 50 bucks since ya never use it.  LOL!  Seriously though, I just got a Pfaff Coverstyle and have used it for things like tapering pants (it's cool to get the stitch to look just like the original garment) and making things like napkins and placemats.  But I also love the look of some of the stitches that can be used for embellishment.  For a good example, look at this project from Pfaff's website:


    Before I learned how to use the serger, I thought it was intimidating, but after my class from the dealer, I spent a whole day just threading and rethreading for all the different stitches, and now I'm totally comfortable with it. 



  2. mem | | #2

     I would go and get some lessons .It may be that " A little knowledge is a dangerous thing".  is operating here. Dont give up yet. The swimming costumes are probably just the incentive you need.

  3. MaryinColorado | | #3

    Check out Linda Lee Originals, Home of the Happy Serger on the web.  Lots of patterns and ideas for serging.  I love the book "Serger Secrets", very informative and great instructions and photos.  Check out the dealers in your area and see if there is a serger club or classes.  You can do allmost anything on a serger nowadays, even make jewelry and hierloom clothing and baby clothes, hem levis too.  Check out Martha Pullen's website too and Nancy's Notions.  Public Television has sewing programs that often have serger work on, especially Sewing with Nancy with Nancy Zieman is great.  I love my Husqvarna/Viking Huskylock 936 for ease of use and versatility.  Mary in Colorado

  4. MaryinColorado | | #4

    I just posted to you but forgot to add.  Many people use the chain stitch on a serger for fitting or making a muslin as it is an easy stitch to pull out.  Hope you re-evaluate how great a serger can be!  I did start out with one that was too cumbersome and more hassle than it was worth before discovering the Huskylock 936. Mary in Colorado

  5. Jumala | | #5

    I wish I had bought the Bernina for coverstitch instead of a 5-thread model. I use an older 2-3-4 thread Sears overlock machine for most sewing and the 5-threader for coverstitch. Boy, I was dumb. The Bernina is cheaper than most 5-threaders if one already has a 3-4 threader.


    1. Kiley | | #6

      I looked at Bernina 009 coverhem machine but the $800 price was the same as the Elna 744 that I ended up buying. I felt my Elna was easier to use and offered so much more for the same price though it is only a 4 thread serger it has 16 stitch programs and 3 different coverhems and chain stitch. I love the triple seam coverhem and reverse it on clothes for my DGK's. It has automatic tensions that never need adjusting..just dial the number of the stitch you need on the graph and no tensions to change.  There is no changing of foot or plate to use the Coverhem. The needle bar tilts back for easy needle changes. There are 5 needle positions. The two positions in back are for regular serged stitches and the front 3 positions are for the 3 different coverhems and chain stitch. I have owned several sergers and this serger is by far the easiest to use and it does a wonderful job. It has a needle tesnion release button that releases the threads from coverhem in a snap without having to turn the wheel or fiddle with threads as some models require.

      Janome had not yet come out with their 2 Coverpro models when I purchased my Elna. These models are getting very good reviews and their free arm is a plus. Babylock's CS machine is also highly rated but I believe more expensive.



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