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Avoid Skipped Stitches and Troubleshoot your Coverstitch Machine

Skipped stitches, wonky tension and unravelling seams are common occurrences for many coverstitch users. Sometimes it’s the machine, but often it’s the setup that is faulty. In this video coverstitch tutorial I share my top 10 troubleshooting tips for coverstitching – i.e. things I learned the hard way. Many coverstitching machines are moody buggers that needs very precise handling, at least on more challenging fabrics, and I think this is where it gets hairy for a lot of people, including me. That said, many problems can be avoided if you just set up the machine right and take no shortcuts, and in this video I explain how to do that. But of course, as I also say in the video, some coverstitch machines will perform better than others, and that’s just a fact.

My own experience with coverstitching

As for my own machine, Janome Coverpro 2000CPX, it’s appears to be one of those love/hate machines. Some people find it super fiddly and have problems with skipped stitches, while others have smooth sailing on most fabrics. As for me, I find that I have to work a fair bit with the settings in order to get good result on difficult fabrics and thick seams. But on regular cotton knits and other “easy” knit fabrics, it works very well without any meddling on my behalf and compared to my old Pfaff Cover/Serger combo machine, the Janome is way more reliable.

But as soon as I start to take shortcuts with the setup, I encounter problems and that is why I feel very passionate about spreading the word about this and what needs to be done in order to get the machine to work properly. I think a lot of people get their hopes dashed when they start using the coverstitch machine and realise that it doesn’t always work wonderfully straight out of the box. So this is what I want to help my fellow sewists with. Hopefully you’ll find this coverstitch tutorial useful.


Other coverstitch tutorials that I’ve done

The Ultimate Guide to Coverstitching (a coverstitch expert and myself share our best tips)

Review: The Janome Coverpro 2000CPX (my review of the Coverpro machine)

A beginner’s guide to coverstitch machines (a video introduction to the world of coverstitch machines)

Using a coverstitch machine | A step-by-step guide (a video tutorial on how to use the coverstitch machine properly)


Other great resources on coverstitching

The best resource out there, and especially if you have a Janome. Run by Hilde who has such a nice thorough teaching style.

Facebook group Coverstitch/Coverlock

Hilde’s Facebook group. If you own a coverstitch machine you need to be in this group. The amount of knowledge is mind blowing.

Melissa Fehr’s Coverstitch article for Seamwork

Melissa’s article is very through and is a must read if you are considering getting a coverstitch machine.

Sure Fit Design’s coverstitch videos (excellent video introduction to coverstitching)



  • Faye Lewis
    August 13, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Great video and very helpful. Now I need to dust my coverstitch machine off and try to get the stitching right.

    • Johanna
      August 14, 2017 at 11:03 am

      Thank you! I hope you will get it right this time, coverstitching can be challenging but the end result is pretty fantastic on most knits, plus great for decorative stitching too!

  • Summerflies
    August 14, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Thanks so much for this . I have just started to take charge of the coverstitch and your tips are very useful. I really appreciate the efforts in your videos.

    • Johanna
      August 14, 2017 at 11:05 am

      Thank you! I’m happy to hear you find them useful. I try to make videos about stuff I wish someone had told me when I began doing something. I struggled so much with coverstitching for instance, because there were not many resources out there when I bought my first in 2004 and I wasn’t aware how meticulous one has to be with the set-up!

    April 12, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Hi, my 2000 has some skipping stitches this morning. I used the regular thread for the knit fabrics and the line not looks nice. I don’t know who I may ask about that matter. Should I use the stretch threads instead of the regular one? The 2 lines are not flattering but emerging from the fabrics. I am not happy with that result. Please help me. All needles width , pressure, … are the same as you described in your review on YouTube. Thank you

    • Johanna
      April 18, 2019 at 11:25 am

      There can be so many factors wrong, but usually it’s the needles or the threading that should be checked first. Then I would experiment with stitch length and presser foot pressure. And experimenting with tension is a huge part of getting the line to look right, because the Janome is sensitive to different fabrics I find. Hope that helps

  • Janice
    March 14, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    Why are my stitches unraveling. I stitched the garment hem but now am tackling the neck and it unravels. I have rethreaded 3 times.

  • Shauna
    March 26, 2023 at 4:18 am

    Thanks for the tips. I am wondering if there is a special foot for the Janome 2000cpx that helps with uneven fabrics. I have done all the things in the video but my fabrics are textured with different thicknesses and it is continuing the skip. Thanks 🙂


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