I’m writing another book!

- Coverstitch, Life of Johanna

As I alluded to last year I have several more book ideas mulling in my head, and the common thread (!) is that they all cover topics that I think are underserved among the current roster of sewing books. And the topic I have decided to dive into first is…taadaa…COVERSTITCHING.

Yes, I will write an entire book about how to master coverstitching. I already have plenty of information in my book Sewing Activewear about coverstitching, but there is so much more information I want to share. Plus I know there is a need since we all struggle with this moody machine from time to time!

 

The outline will be similar to my first book, ie the first half will be dedicated to seams, tools, techniques and skill learning. And the second half will contain illustrated step-by-step tutorials for different projects that you can do with a coverstitch machine, both for knits and wovens.

I just got started, and only have done a preliminary outline and written one small chapter so far, but I don’t believe in being mysterious about my projects. I think it is way more beneficial for me as a writer to talk about the process, as it allows me to get valuable feedback and ideas from you guys! So if you have any topics that you would love to be addressed in a book about coverstitching, I am all ears!

 

Also, I kickstarted the research process last Friday when I visited the garment factory that is part of Sweden’s Textile University. I wanted to begin with the experts and was able to meet with two wonderful ladies who both have worked in the garment industry for over 30 years. So I picked their brains like crazy and also got to try a few of the industrial coverstitch machines myself.

 

Plus, take comfort in the fact that coverstitch machines are the trickiest to handle even for those who are professionals. Both ladies said that coverstitch machines are the worst and that once you have nailed a set-up you don’t want to tamper with the machine again! Hence why they have seven different machines in the factory that basically only do one thing each. But they also gave me some fantastic tips that I will share in the book.

 

   

 

I have no idea when this book will be done, but a year from now sounds feasible. But then again, my last book took even longer, so who knows? I’m self-publishing again, so there are many moving parts that I will have master myself, plus a full-time job and all that. Hence why it will take some time. So I would love to hear what you think about this project and any suggestions are more than welcome!

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Sue Anfang
    April 19, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    As someone who bought a coverstitch machine last year (and formerly had a convertable coverstitch/serger) and struggles with it….I think that’s a great idea for a book! I will definitely buy a copy!

    • Reply
      Johanna
      April 19, 2018 at 6:42 pm

      Thank you for believing in my book idea! And you are not alone in your struggles, we all have them. But there are a lot of tips on how to improve the result and I will talk in depth about them all

  • Reply
    Angela
    April 19, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    Fantastic! I have a coverstitch machine, but would love to be able to master it. I will absolutely buy a copy!

    • Reply
      Johanna
      April 19, 2018 at 6:43 pm

      Thank you! I will make sure the book is super through and really helpful when it comes to improve our coverstitch skills!

  • Reply
    Carey
    April 19, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    Yay! I have long felt the manufacturers just leave us out there on our own when it comes to these machines, and it has been up to the sewing community to try and help each other out. Your videos, tutorial, and activewear sewing book have been most helpful, so it is terrific you are going to devote a book just to coverstitching!

    • Reply
      Johanna
      April 19, 2018 at 6:45 pm

      Totally! The manuals are usually sub-par too, I was so upset for a long time about the lack of information which is why I have made it my mission to share my coverstitch knowledge, and I will interview a bunch of professionals too for the book

  • Reply
    Leila
    April 19, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    My advice is to research as many brands of home cover stitch machines as you can so the information in your book will be helpful to people with all brands of machines. For example, the method of releasing the fabric at the end of the seam varies from machine to machine. Here is my blog post about my struggles with my Brother 2340CV, in case it gives you any ideas: https://growyourownclothes.com/2017/07/27/brother-2340cv-cover-stitch-machine-survival-guide/

    • Reply
      Johanna
      April 20, 2018 at 7:19 am

      That is an excellent idea! I would love to be as specific as I can, but due to lack of availability (some brands are not even sold in Sweden) I might not be able to get model specific, but I will definitely try to give an overview of the specifics of the common coverstitch brands

  • Reply
    Summerflies
    April 20, 2018 at 12:16 am

    Johanna I would buy your next book too. Your book is fantastic, very professional and you have the most professional samples I have seen in any modern book. Your attention to all detail is exceptional and I appreciate your efforts.

    • Reply
      Johanna
      April 20, 2018 at 7:23 am

      Oh, thank you so much! I have such great, somewhat, older sewing books made by sewing experts with fantastic samples that was my inspiration, so that makes me very happy to hear!

  • Reply
    COREY
    April 20, 2018 at 12:16 am

    Your book needs to be comprehensive.
    1. The basic, what is it, why do you need it
    2. What machines are available. I have an older Janome 888 which does 2 thread top coverstitch narrow and wide. It is not the easiest to setup to use. I can’t chain off and have to pull threads to the back. The new babylock triumph at an 7-8K price is wonderful but for the cost, it is a far stretch. Other options Janome, Brother, Bernina/Juki. For the money I think Juki is good. Brother offers a top cover stitch, but complaints about the presser foot lift height, and other issues make me think twice about it. Also the combo serger/cover stitch machines.
    3. Big area to cover, threading, setup, conversion
    4. The basic stitches, when and where to use them, how to do it when you can see the underside and need to trim
    5. Creativity. … sadly lacking in all serger books /courses and materials .. the same for cover stitching… how to embellish fabric etc for creative home dec and garments.
    Good luck with this project

    • Reply
      Johanna
      April 20, 2018 at 7:28 am

      Great suggestions! I will try to give a thorough brand overview and a buyer’s guide but I will probably not be able to give specific recommendations since that would require me being able to test them all myself! Plus each mechanic/professional is affiliated with certain brands, so I can’t trust them 100% either! But I will try my best to cover this topic. And 100% agree about point 5, I will devote a large section to that in the book!

  • Reply
    Pencil Girl
    April 20, 2018 at 4:21 am

    I would love it if you could talk about how to save the tension when you Coverstitch over bulky side seams. My tension gets very loose for a few stitches when going over the extra thickness. Thanks for taking on this topic!

    • Reply
      Johanna
      April 20, 2018 at 7:31 am

      Great topic and something I will address for sure, bulk and coverstitch machines are not the best of friends and in the factory, I visited they had a coverstitch machine dedicated to just stitch over bulky seams since it requires specific settings!

  • Reply
    Mary Nanna
    April 20, 2018 at 5:53 am

    I love the idea of a book about coverstich. I own a babylock coverstitch which is the top of the range coversticher here in NZ. Unlike the babylock overlocker it does not have automatic tension – I find I am spending ages trying to get the stiches to sit flat on the underside as the tension always seems too loose. I am so surprised how temperamental the machine seems to be – at the moment I have it set up with black threads and it is running smoothly – so I am only sewing dark things because I’m too scared to change the threads! I look forward to your book coming out and I will definitely buy it.

    • Reply
      Johanna
      April 20, 2018 at 7:34 am

      Yes, coverstitch machines are so sensitive they can drive us all crazy, even the best ones like BL and apparently it is the same in the garment industry. I will go deep into this topic as I think tension (and skipped stitches) are the main issues that we sewists struggle with when it comes to coverstitching.

  • Reply
    Jan Brown
    April 20, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Hi Johanna, I have the same coverstitch machine as you and learned a lot from your previous videos on the subject. I also have the Craftsy Class by Gail Yellen and she gave out lots of tips. I especially learned how to use the single needle for sewing up a muslin – so easy to rip out the chain stitch. She may be a good resource for you. Classes have their use but a book with good pictures is easier to use when you’re at the machine and can refer to it as you work. Good luck with the project and keep us all posted.

    • Reply
      Summerflies
      April 22, 2018 at 3:35 am

      That’s a great tip for sewing a muslin. I only found the chain stitch when I was sewing something and the other thread jumped out without me noticing.

  • Reply
    Adrianne
    April 20, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    The struggle is real! My coverstitch machine is my number one nemesis and I know I am not alone. Good luck with the book, I’ll be standing in the virtual line to purchase it as soon as it is ready!

  • Reply
    Jane
    April 20, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Well this may just encourage me to give my hated coverstitch machine one last go, with the help of your book-to-be! It’s reassuring to know that even the professional machines with professional users can be temperamental. At the moment I have given up on the machine and use a twin needle with wooly nylon in the bobbin for knit hems. Like you say the manuals can be very little help. The manual for mine mostly seems to talk about using it on woven fabrics… it’s like they don’t even know why they manufactured the machine!

  • Reply
    Jan
    April 20, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    Thank you Johanna… yay what a great idea it’s about time someone took this baby by the horns so to speak. I have the same machine as you and have definately learnt from your tutorials but… it’s still a tricky beast to tame. I thought it was just me, so pleased to hear others have encountered the same problems. Looking forward to the book release already. Keep up the good work.

  • Reply
    Laura
    April 21, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    What wonderful news!! Looking forward to its release

  • Reply
    Mary smith
    April 23, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Good luck with the book! I am so happy to hear you are writing this book. There is a lack of information regarding coverstitch machines and your research and book will definitely be welcomed.

  • Reply
    Cecilia Nilsson
    April 24, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    Would love a book like that, just got a coverstitch machine (Brother 3550) am very happy with it and it doesn’t hate me nearly as much as my serger does…. still some more creative ideas on what to use it for would be very welcome! So far I’ve used it for hemming and seams in double sided quilted fabric where I couldn’t line and it worked fantastic. This weekend I also got your Actiwear book so am trying to source some decent fabrics (not so easy in the NL where I live) to try out all the techniques!

  • Reply
    Marianne
    April 27, 2018 at 7:28 am

    Hi I just found you. My coverpro is bunching the fabric up under the foot. ie not allowing free flow. I think it is the pressure foot adjustment but can’t find any information covering this. It would be a possible topic for your book. Which I would love to be able to buy now as you totally seem to understand how frustrating these machines can be.
    Thank you
    M

  • Reply
    Linda
    May 2, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Fantastic idea, Johanna! The manuals are practically useless – if not for your videos, I couldn’t have used mine at all. Looking forward to the book!

  • Reply
    Conny
    June 6, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Can’t wait to get your book! I have the same model you do and your video’s are so usefull. Thank you very much.

    • Reply
      Johanna
      June 9, 2018 at 11:53 am

      You are welcome! I’m so glad to hear that my info has been helpful 😊

  • Reply
    Rhonda L Russell
    August 7, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    I would love, love, love a book dedicated to cover stitching! I just recently went searching for one and only found that this information is added onto books about sergers. Since I already have a book about sergers, I don’t need this information again. I also want a coverstitch book so that when I want information about coverstitching, I know exactly where to go. Waiting impatiently for your next book… 🙂

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