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Sewing with a coverstitch machine – a step-by-step guide

In this video I show a step-by-step guide to ensure that your seams on the coverstitch machine will be successful. I cover everything from choosing and inserting needles to the best threading practice and how to secure the seams.  Because sometimes sewing with a coverstitch machine can be tricky. And if your machine is a little troublesome or not of the best quality – it can be even more frustrating. I know, because for the first 12 year of my coverstitching career I owned a budget/mid price Pfaff coverstitch/serger combo machine that really demanded a very exact approach in order to work well. And if one tiny little thing was off, the seams instantly got wonky. So I learned the hard way how to use the best practices in order to minimize the risk for issues.

I tried to compile all the basic info I wish that someone had told me when I first begun, because you really have to meticulous to be successful with coverstitching. at least if your machine isn’t top of the line. And even with my new better Janome Coverpro, I still have issues sometimes on challenging fabrics and the methods I show in the video applies to most machines. Though some say that the Babylock Coverstitch machines are a breeze to work with, but I have yet to test one of those.

Other coverstitch machine tutorials I’ve done

The Ultimate Guide to Coverstitching (where me and a coverstitch expert 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)


  • Lorna
    January 29, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    Hi! I have the same machine the Janome Coverstitch CPX2000. You don’t have to secure the finished threads if you just, when finished sewing, raise the presser foot to release tension, slide a narrow instrument (I use my hemming gauge tool) between the feed dogs and pressed foot and pull gently forward to draw the thread out, I then cut the two lower threads near to the foot and give a tug towards the back and pull, this takes the threads to the underside iof the fabric and locks them, you then need to cut the looper thread only and trim your threads as you want them! The stitches are locked. Hope this helps! Thankfully my machine is a dream and rarely needs adjusting 😀

    • Johanna
      January 30, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      What an excellent tip! I hadn’t heard that one before and they sure don’t talk about in the manuals of the machines that I have owned. Will try this ASAP. Thank you for sharing!

      • Lorna
        January 30, 2017 at 8:22 pm

        Hi again! If you watch Glenda’s YouTube vlog under Sure Fit Designs I think that’s where I first saw this method! It could save you a lot of time!!😀

  • Juliet
    April 10, 2017 at 5:41 am

    Hi Johanna! I’m having trouble when it comes to regulate the threads and how to make the stitch to strech. It comes out rigid. Can you make a tutorial on how to adjust the settings for a few different fabrics? Specialy lycra is the one giving me issues. Thank you!!!

    • Johanna
      April 11, 2017 at 2:18 pm

      Here are the basic settings to solve for that issue: Lever on Soft. Diff feed around 1.2–1.3 and stitch length 3. Hope that helps!

  • sewing slowly
    June 1, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Ooh, my first tip. When changing or removing a needle, be very careful to make sure the screw does not loosen fully, then drop into your needle plate or onto the floor.
    Thanks for your inspiration and practicality!


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