For ages and ages I’ve wanted a coverstitch machine and lusted over many a blog post and You Tube video in my dreamy state. Throughout this period of wanting (I’m well into my second year) I’ve read so many reviews and watched umpteen You Tube videos. The ones of lucky owners opening the boxes of their new machines nearly has me wetting my pants with excitement! I’ve even downloaded and read several coverstitch machine manuals.
And then this happened a couple of weeks ago (just to set the scene we were going to be going away for the weekend for my birthday, but MIL was still in hosptial).
HUBBY: Maybe we shouldn’t go away this weekend with my mum still being in hospital…?
ME: That’s fine lovey, at least we’ll be able to go the golf club dinner on Saturday night.
HUBBY: Yea, and with the money we’d have spent you can have that machine thing that you’ve been wanting for ages.
ME: AAAAARRRRRHHHHHHHH!!! ….Yes!! ….Please!!! …..Thankyou!!!!
So you get the picture, I’m a bit excited to say the least.
Before I carry on my ramblings, maybe I should enlighten those of you who aren’t sure what a coverstitch machine is or what it does.
It’s basically a twin or triple sewing machine which stitches hems on knit garments. On the top there can be 1, 2 or 3 rows of stitches and underneath it looks like an overlocker stitch, except that the stitch “covers” the raw edge and encloses it. If you’re wearing a stretch RTW top, check out the hem – that’s what it looks like.
It can also give a decorative finish too when the fabric is stitched upside down, i.e. the stitch that looks like an overlock stitch is on top – this is seen a lot in RTW active wear garments and is often in a contrasting thread.
Some machines are just purely a coverstitch machine, but there’s also overlocking machines which convert to a coverstitch machine.
Just a word of warning, this post might come across as being a bit disjointed. My brain is a bit frazzled at the minute with looking at so many machines and websites. And I’ve just finishing my run of nights this morning.
Also, just to mention, for the links to the machines, some of them are to Sew Essential as I’ve met Lucy at Sewbrum and knows she looks after her customers, and offers competitive prices. I wouldn’t want to direct you to someone I couldn’t vouch for. You can also go there and have a demonstration of the machines. These aren’t affiliated links, and I’m not receiving anything for them being there.
So after hours and hours looking into which cover stitch would make my life complete, here’s a few of my findings.
If money was no object this would be my machine of choice – The Baby Lock Ovation.
But after reading the instruction manual (yes, I’m weird) it is worth every penny with it’s combination of 87 stitches!! It threads with gusts of air which forces the threads through each looper, so no panicking when you need to change stitch or thread.
Everything about it just oozes ease of use, so if you’ve got the money and a cover stitch is what you’re after (with extras), there’s no need to read on!
But for me, our cancelled weekend away was in the Lake District, and not somewhere exotic, so my budget is £500 and doesn’t quite stretch to my dream machine. I’m not complaining though, I know I’m lucky to have that budget at all!
For those of you who subscribe to the Seamwork magazine there’s a great Guide to coverstitch machines HERE written by Melissa of Fehr Trade – The Queen of Lycra! I’m not sure if you’ll be able to view it if you’re not a subscriber to the magazine.
If you’d like to subscribe and follow my link HERE you will receive 1/2 off your first months subscription. (and I get a free month!) As well as reading the magazine you also receive credits each month to download patterns – past and present.
The main piece of advice I took away from Melissa was that unless you can afford a really good combination machine then just buy a stand alone Coverstitch machine.
Apparently a lot of combination machines are difficult to change from overlock to coverlock, and also the quality of the stitch can suffer. This I’ve read elsewhere, not just from Melissa.
For a stand alone machine there was more choice than I anticipated. I started looking at a well known brands that I was familiar with – Janome.
Meet the Janome Cover Pro 2000CPX. It’s in my price range at £479, it’s had lots of positive reviews (and so has it’s predecessors), and there’s so much help on You Tube and within the blogasphere that if I did get stuck I’d find help in no time.
This machine has a free arm for sewing sleeves and the like, which isn’t standard on most coverlock machines.
Then I read up on The Elna Easycover, priced at £499
I’ve not had anything to do with Elna previously but as it’s a Swiss machine I thought it would be worth investigating. The Elna Easycover also has a free arm and had something called Tension Level Control which help it deal with changing from thick to thin fabric easily.
I’ve struggled to find any reviews on it, and on You Tube the only video which might be helpful would require me learning a new language, though I’m not quite sure which one! So I never pursued this machine any further.
My search for a stand alone machine came to an abrupt halt when I discovered the Eastman Tailor CL501 priced at £499 at Sew2Go – a shop in Huddersfield only 25 minutes from where I live. It’s a combined overlock and coverlock machine.
I’d never heard of the brand and was surprised to find a combination machine at that price. As the company that supply this machine is only 10 miles away I thought I’d have a drive over and investigate further, as it did seem a lot of machine for the money.
I was a little bit disappointed at first. Although this company has been about for over 100 years they have specialised in industrial machines and supplying sewing equipment to the industry. They’ve only recently opened a shop to the which is open to the public and there was no one about who could demonstrate the machine to me there and then!
Obviously I was gutted. It was my birthday and I had my hubby with his wallet in tow. I had imagined this machine could be the answer to my prayers!
The staff were lovely and I arranged to go back a couple of days later when there would be an engineer there to show me the machine in more detail.
I went back and the chap showed me how to change it from overlock to coverstitch and I was able to have a play with it. It was all a bit complicated, but then looking back, I thought that 24 years ago when I got an overlocker.
I sat and had a play with it. I read through a lot of the instruction manual. I came away with the promise of a 15% discount and I really really wanted this machine.
The sales assistant was great and not at all pushy. I’m still undecided and am going to go back on Wednesday and have another ‘play’.
Looking into this machine has made me want a machine that does do more than just a cover stitch and hem. Which has lead me to look at the Pfaff 3.0, which is out of my price range at £879. But I’m thinking a few days overtime, plus my birthday money and golf winnings, and it could be mine.
So that’s where I’m at.
- Wanting a Babylock Ovation but knowing unless I win the lottery it’s a no-go.
- Knowing that a Janome 2000 CPX would do the job just fine for most of my sewing with stretch needs.
- Been enticed by an unknown (to me!) brand that there’s no online reviews of, but a lot support if I needed it in person going back to where I bought it.
- Wondering if I should just pay the extra money and buy the Pfaff 3.0 which I know I would love.
- If I bought the Janome and wanted to upgrade I feel confident it would sell at a reasonable price. Whereas would the Eastman Tailor with it being a lesser known brand?
What to do…..?
I have my hubby’s credit card and could just go crazy and buy whatever. I could blame the moment of madness on lack of sleep and stress after working 3 crazy night shifts, which what I’ve dealt with this weekend makes the London Ambulance program on TV at the minute look tame!
But I won’t. I’ll sleep on it and have a game of golf tomorrow, then I’ll go and have another play on Wednesday at Sew2Go. After all, if this wanting’s gone on for nearly 2 years, what’s another few days!?
Have you got a cover stitch machine? I’d love to hear what you think, or if there’s any reviews which you could recommend and direct me too, I’m sure I couldn’t possible have read them all!! 🙂