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What is a cover stitch machine?

How to use a cover stitch machine

What is a cover stitch machine and do you need one? We get the lowdown from Janome to find out all about cover stitch machines and what they are best used for. 

A cover stitch machine is usually the next step to compliment your sewing machine and overlocker in looking to perfect your work. A Janome cover stitch machine is a natural progression and will help you enjoy professional style results for your hemlines with beautiful double and triple cover stitches, as well as chain stitching for practical construction or decorative stitching.

The Janome CP3000P and CoverPro 2000CPX are dedicated cover stitch machines, perfect for achieving a high-quality, professional finish.  Read our review of the Janome CoverPro 3000 Professional CPX.

What can I sew with a cover stitch machine?
Janome Cover Pro 3000P

What is a cover stitch machine? How does it differ from an overlocker?

Like overlockers cover stitch machines are particularly good for working with stretch or specialist fabrics. An overlocker seals, neatens and trims raw seam edges in a single action, whilst the cover stitch machine mainly allows you to neaten hems. You can create double or triple rows of parallel stitching at 3mm or 6mm apart. This can also be used for stitching detail on woven fabrics, and you can also sew a chain stitch to construct knit fabrics.

Hemming with a cover stitch machine
Triple cover them with variegated thread

What are cover stitch machines commonly used for?

Finishing hems on stretch fabrics, you will often see t-shirts with cover stitched hem details. They can be used on fine, standard, and heavy weight fabrics. Both stretch and woven fabrics and are perfect for top stitching and decorative stitching using a cover stitch machine.

How to do decorative stitches with a cover stitch machine
Decorative chain stitch

What should people consider when they are looking to buy a cover stitch machine?

Build quality of the machine and the ease of use such as colour coded easy threading. The machine stability, and noise level, the machine should be smooth running and quiet. A differential feed to aid sewing stretch fabrics and a vertical needle drop for good needle penetration. Both the Janome CP3000P (see our review here) and the 20000CPX have a free arm configuration for sewing around sleeves and trouser legs.

It is important that you choose a machine that will give you many years of good service. All Janome machines are built with either a metal body or a metal internal frame. Without either of these, stitch quality is likely to suffer after a period of use. Janome cover stitch machines come with a 2 year parts and labour warranty. This can be extended to 5 years on payment of a small additional fee.

How to use a Cover stitch machine UK
Janome Cover Pro 2000CPX

What type of projects to do people sew with a cover stitch machine?

A cover stitch machine is mostly used for professional finishing, to create double or triple rows of parallel stitching at 3mm or 6mm apart. You can also sew a chain stitch to stitch knitwear and to create unique decorative finishes. Commonly used on projects such as:

Sportswear/loungewear, lingerie, dancewear, and swimwear.

Best way to finish t-shirts when sewing
Top stitch detail using variegated thread

What stitches can you do with the cover stitch machines and what are they best used for?

Top cover stitch as often seen on sportswear for added seam strength and decoration:

Triple (5 thread), Wide (6mm) (4 thread) & Narrow (3mm) (4 thread)

Cover stitch as often seen in parallel rows of straight stitching on t-shirt hems:

 Triple (4 thread), Wide 6mm (3 thread) & Narrow 3mm (3 thread).

Chain stitch: (2 thread). Perfect for stitching knitwear or for decorative stitching

How to do triple stitch on jersey fabrics
Double and triple cover stitch

What are the key differences between the CoverPro 2000CPX and CoverPro 3000 Professional?

Both the Janome 2000CPX and CP3000P are excellent strong cover stitch models.

The CP3000CPX has the following additional features:

3mm & 6mm Top cover stitch with built-in Top Cover Stitch Guide. An industry first! The built in stitch guide swings easily into place, providing you with a triple or double top cover stitch for a professional finish.

3- position needle threader. Whether you are using one, two or all three needles it’s easy to thread the needle and get started.

The CP3000P is equipped with a main shaft that uses ball bearings, there is even less vibration and has the power to sew through heavier weight fabrics.

Retractable LED lamp over the sewing area, plus additional LED lighting

Clear foot as standard, optional on 2000CPX

The CP3000P has further enhanced tension lever control. The Fine mode switching mechanism helps eliminate puckering on fine fabrics. With just the switch of a lever you can change from stitching heavy to sheer knit fabrics, this lever changes the timing and stroke range of the take up lever, which softens the needle thread tension.

Thread chain off is easy and fast. You can sew off the end of the fabric and the machine will continue to chain stitch.

A great selection of accessorises designed to help you get the most from your machine are available for both models.  Read our review of the CP3000P here.

If you are considering a combined overlocker and cover hem machine to save space it is worth taking a look at the Janome 12000D combined overlocker and coverstitch model.

Find your local Janome authorised retailer here.

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