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The Janome CoverPro 3000 Professional CPX Review

Janome CoverPro 3000 Professional Review

This Janome CoverPro 3000 Professional  Review was written by Abigail Sheridan de Graaff from quilting blog Cut&Alter. She is an award wining quilter and teacher. You can also find her on Instagram here.

What do you get with the Janome CoverPro 3000 CPX

I was delighted to be sent a CoverPro 3000 Professional from Janome to use and review. Find out my thoughts on this machine in the review below. 

What is a coverstitch machine?

Chances are you are probably wearing an item of clothing that has been coverstitched. If you look at the hem of any t-shirt you will see lines of straight stitching on the front and when you turn it over you will see a loopy stitch on the back, like an overlocked seam. It is the loops on the back that give it the ability to stretch without popping those front straight stitches.

In fact, when you look even closer, especially if you have used different colour threads, you will see that the straight stitches on the front are not true straight stiches but have loops on the back allowing them to stretch with the fabric.

This machine also has the ability to do a top cover stitch, using an extra thread, so that the top stitch looks similar to the bottom stitch. This is often used in activewear such as leggings and gives a very professional finish that will stretch with the wearer through all the positions that activewear needs to stretch in!

You can also read the Sewing Directory’s guide to what a cover stitch machine is here. 

What comes with a coverstitch machine

What do you get in the box?

The machine

Foot pedal

Dust cover

Instruction manual

Accessories box

CoverPro 3000 Professional CPX accessories

What is in the accessories box?

Metal foot and clear plastic foot

These have useful marks on the front of them to make alignment of stitches easy when sewing in the round, such as hemming the bottom of a garment or armholes – these are easily changed over with a click off, click on system located on the back of the presser foot.

Needles

These are a specific type of needle for a coverstitch machine and are ELx705 which are also commonly used for overlockers.

Tweezers

These are an absolute must have to make threading of the machine far easier – make sure they are kept near the machine at all times!

Needle threader

A nice inclusion but one I didn’t have to use because the built in needle threader works so well.

A small screwdriver

This is for changing needles.

A large screwdriver

This is used for removing the needle plate for cleaning.

A lint brush

Spool cap ends

These 5 cap ends are used if you are using spools/reels as opposed to cones and ensure consistent delivery of thread.

Thread nets

I had no need to use these, but they might be used to help the thread come off the cone better or if you have a very slippery thread that pools down at the bottom of the cone.

A little black gadget – tension release clip

This is used when threading the machine for top cover stitch if you are using a thicker thread it helps to open up the first tension plate that you thread goes through.

Two attachment screws

These are used to attach optional accessories for the machine, such as the binding, elastic gathering and hem guide attachments.

What stitches can you do with this coverstitch machine?

Triple Cover Stitch – three straight lines on top and an overlocked/looped stitch on the back

Cover Stitch – two straight lines on top and overlocked/looped stitch on the back

Chain Stitch – one straight line on top and a chain stitch on the back

 

And this make and model of machine has an option for an extra thread that means you can do a:

Triple Top Cover Stitch

Top Cover Stitch

When would you use a coverstitch machine?

Most people would use their cover stitch machine to stitch on knit fabric, such as jersey, t-shirt, lycra, anywhere that you want the stitches to stretch with the fabric. But this machine can also be used to sew woven fabric. As I have very little experience of using knit fabrics, I did my initial samples on woven fabric. I thought this would be a better starting point for me because I know how woven fabric reacts and therefore my learning would be all about the machine.

What stitches can you do with a coverstitch machine

How did it go?

Having had no experience with this type of machine before, there was obviously going to be a learning curve but, in all honesty, it hasn’t been huge. When I knew I was going to be getting a machine to review, I found lots of videos about coverstitch machines and watched them avidly.

That put me in good stead for when it did arrive. Unfortunately, almost as soon as it arrived my studio was going to be renovated and so I only had chance for a very quick go before it went back into its box!

It is a different way of sewing – the start and stop are not the same as a domestic sewing machine or overlocker and so take some time to learn. The bonus of this coverstitch machine, as opposed to some of the others, is that you can chain off the fabric, like you would with an overlocker.

However, if you are sewing in the round, such as a bottom hem or armhole you can’t sew like that and so there is a very specific way to start and especially stop. That did take some getting used to. I found that easier with the woven fabric over the knit fabric when I was doing my samples, but I guess that time at the machine and practice will make this better.

Click on each of the images above to view them full size and in more detail

Threading the CoverPro 3000 Professional

If you already use an overlocker you will be used to the concept of the threading but if you don’t this could seem a little daunting. I personally found it easier and quicker to thread than my overlocker and it only has the one looper instead of two. A great feature on this model is that the bottom looper can be brought over to the side, by pulling the knob forwards, which gives better visibility and therefore easier threading.

There are handy colour coded diagrams on the body of the machine when you open the looper cover which act as a quick reminder as to how to thread the machine.

With all the different samples I did I was mindful not to try to pull the thread through but to rethread from the start each time. I think this is really important so that you start to build up your muscle memory straight away and a broken thread is not a reason to stop making!! Not that I actually got any broken threads throughout this which was great.

What threads to use with a cover stich machine

What type of thread?

My previous experience of a coverstitch machine amounts to a quick demo at the British Quilting & Stitch Village back in April. One thing the lady did say was that fluffy/matt threads are the best ones to use and especially on the looper. That is what I started out with but I of course needed to know how it would handle other threads aswell.

It came threaded up with a white matt thread (not sure what brand) and I was also given some Madeira Aerolock and a variegated Aeroflock to try. Due to longarm quilting, most of my cone thread is Glide which is a 40wt trilobal polyester and it is shiny and slick. I also tried a rayon variegated and a cotton variegated. I have to say I got great results with all the different threads and didn’t have to adjust any of the tension settings.

I realise that these are just small samples and that sewing a garment might be different, especially with all the different knit fabrics out there.

For me having a machine that can accept all the different threads is really important because you never know what thread you might want to use in the future.

Stitches from a cover stitch machine

My Initial Stitch Samples

My samples on woven fabric, which is Pop Solids by Dashwood Studios, and all stitched with a stitch length of 2.5

Front of fabric shown above

1 Triple cover stitch

three straight lines equally distanced

three needles and looper threaded with white overlock thread

looper threaded with white overlock thread

 

2 Wide cover stitch

two straight lines 6mm apart

two needles, left and right, threaded with white overlock thread

looper threaded with white overlock thread



3 Narrow cover stitch

two straight lines 3mm apart

two needles, right and middle or middle and left, thread with white overlock thread

looper threaded with white overlock thread

 

4 Triple top cover stitch

three straight lines equally distanced

three needles and looper threaded with white overlock thread

looper threaded with white overlock thread

blue Madeira Aerolock for top cover stitch

5 Triple cover stitch

three straight lines equally distanced

three needles and looper threaded with blue Aerolock thread

looper threaded with blue Aerolock thread

 

6 Triple top cover stitch

three straight lines equally distanced

three needles and looper threaded with blue Aerolock thread

looper threaded with blue Aerolock thread

variegated Madeira Aeroflock for top cover stitch

7 Triple cover stitch

three straight lines equally distanced

three needles and looper threaded with blue Aerolock thread

looper threaded with variegated cotton King Tut thread

 

8 Triple cover stitch

three straight lines equally distanced

three needles and looper threaded with various blue Glide thread

looper threaded with blue Aerolock thread

9 Triple top cover stitch

three straight lines equally distanced

three needles and looper threaded with various blue Glide thread

looper threaded with blue Aerolock thread

blue Glide for top cover stitch

 

10 Chain stich

single line of thread

one needle, any of the three, threaded with blue Glide thread

looper threaded with blue Aerolock thread


11 Chain stitch

sewed with fabric reversed to get decorative finish of chain stitch

 

12 Double cover stitch

two straight lines 3mm apart

shown as if for decorative top stitching

could be one, two or three threads

distance between lines of stitching will always be consistent

13 Double cover stitch

two straight lines 3mm apart

needles thread with Glide thread

looper thread with Glide thread to see if a slick thread worked as well as a fluffy thread

Stitch guide for the Coverpro 3000 CPX

Back of Fabric

Coverstitch stitch samples

My samples stitched in knit fabric, which is Wicklow Melange Jersey Fabric in Coral

I first tried a top cover stitch and used the Aeroflock on the top row – as you can see the top thread didn’t take right at the start – there’s a little bit of a knack for doing that which I need to practice! The second row is using a variegated King Tut. The best bit, which you can’t tell by the pictures, is that I can stretch the fabric to its limits and none of the stitches break – which is exactly why you use a coverstitch machine!

Should I buy a cover stitch machine?

The sample above shows the narrow cover stitch and the wide cover stitch at the top of the fabric. On the bottom row there is some tunnelling which is a slight ridge between the two lines of stitching and if you look at the back side you can see the hem line is caught up in the stitches and that has caused this issue.

To stop this happening you can ensure you are sewing fully on the two layers of fabric and then trim off the excess afterwards.

The row of stitching also has tunnelling for the same reason and the photo below shows this in clearer details:

Stitch issues on a coverstitch machine

So then I tried the triple cover stitch and made sure that I was stitching fully on both layers of the fabric (below). The seams were lovely and flat with no tunnelling – the wobbly lines were all me!!

Sewing machine reviews

I was then able to trim away the excess on the inside, which is a skill in itself! These duck billed applique scissors definitely helped.

Duck billed applique scissors

And lastly I changed threads to Glide and stitched out a chain stitch, cover stitch and triple cover stitch. All worked really well but just to note the chain stitch does not have anywhere near as much stretch on the knit fabric as the coverstitch does.

Sewing reviews

Highlights of the machine

Pull out light on a coverstitch machine

The overhead pull out light

This has been a total game changer for me on my domestic sewing machine, which is a Janome Memory Craft 9450 QCP, and so I was delighted to see this lighting also on this machine.

Needle threader

The built -in needle threader

I have had needle threader on a machine before but tend not to use them. However, the ease of needle threading is changing as I get older and my eye sight changes and so I gave this a go straight away – it works really well! Use with threads up to #30, use the handy needle threader when using thicker threads. Sometimes you will have three needles to thread and the fact that you can set it very easily and quickly for all three needle positions, left, middle and right, make it a very usable addition.

Markings on sewing machine foot

Markings on the feet

These markings are to helpline things up when you are sewing in the round. These and the inclusion of a clear plastic foot really help with the precision of the stitches.

Free arm on a coverstitch machine

Free arm

For ease of sewing when hemming a top, for armholes and the bottom of leggings.

Easy to use dials

Easy to use dials on the right hand side of the machine for stich length and differential feed. I have not had to adjust the differential feed yet because the samples and alterations I have done worked just fine with no tension adjustment. There is also a quick switch lever to move between standard fabric and fine fabric that once moved automatically changes all the tensions for the desired stetting – making for a quick and easy tension adjustment.

How I have used the machine so far

To do the samples

I have to say that it was lovely to use a new machine and take the time to learn how to use it properly – which isn’t always the case! It made a big difference to my learning curve that whilst I was making the samples I was constantly changing the settings and needles used which meant a LOT of threading up. I now feel very confident with threading up the machine and evaluating the stiches, which makes using the machine that much easier and less intimidating!

 

To do some alterations

I have been able to alter the length of several ready to wear t-shirts that I really like but were just too long. Previously I could have trimmed the length, overlocked the bottom and then hemmed the t-shirt with a twin needle. But did I ever both to do that?!

Having the coverstitch machine meant I bothered to make those alterations and I was surprised at the ease of use and how quick it was to do these alterations. It also isn’t as scary as using a overlocker because there is no blade and the stitch can come out really quickly if you have made a mistake.

So I literally decided how much shorter I wanted the t-shirt and then turned up that amount. I lightly ironed the fabric and then coverstitched it in the round.

Doing alterations with a Cover stitch machine

Once I was happy that the length was OK I was then able to tie off the ends of the thread and trim away the excess fabric, which I found rather difficult as you can see from the picture!

How to hem with a coverstitch machine

And then I was all done and really pleased with the new row of stitching on the outside of the t-shirt.

Clothing alterations

This t-shirt was quite heavy weight ribbed fabric but an alteration like this also worked well on my mum’s dress, which was a much finer, slippery knit fabric. Again no tension adjustments were required.

Other applications

You could also use the coverstitch machine for anywhere that you might want double or triple top stitching. Whilst you would have to weigh up the time of threading up the machine against stitching multiple lines your domestic sewing machine, what you will get is totally parallel lines – either 6mm apart, 3mm apart or use all three needles for a lovely triple top stitch. And with the use of different threads you could get some really lovely decorative effects.

The one use that it is very good for is to make athletic/activewear. With my limited use of knit fabrics, I thought I would get used to sewing more forgiving knits before jumping into activewear, but the way it can do the flat seam with the top cover stitch would give a great look. I have now got a leggings patterns printed out and ready to trace but I need to find the right fabric for leggings but that is for another day!

First garment

Garment made with a coverstitch machine
What a difference the CoverPro made to this project!  I really enjoyed making this top and being able to finish it professionally.  For the first item made with the coverstitch machine I think I did a really good job!  The time spent making all the samples really paid off because I found that it was easy to use and achieve that finish whilst making the top
 
Coverstitch hems

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, do you need a coverstitch machine? To be honest, no you don’t need one, but you will want one to achieve an easy professional finish!

I bought an overlocker many years ago now in order to achieve a nice finish inside garments that was also time efficient. I started sewing clothes again when I had two young girls so if it wasn’t quick and easy it didn’t tend to get done. Having a machine like this would make the process of dressmaking more streamlined and ultimately would give you a better finish.

Of course there are other considerations: How often do you make garments? If you only make a couple a year then it’s probably not required but if you make a good number, want to make garments to sell or do alterations for other people then this machine would be great.

Do you have space for it? If it is packed away in a cupboard in another room will you really get it out to sew those hems? It will be an investment of money and time and so would be a considered purchase.

Now, I am off to make a t-shirt – Keep an eye on my Instagram account to see how that goes. 

Follow Abigail on her blog and her Instagram account to find out how she continues to get on with the CoverPro 3000 Professional.

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