Is It Worth Buying a Coverstitch Machine?

Two rows of stitches look great. It also stretches your garment to the full without unraveling or breaking the stitch. It is the magic you can achieve with a coverstitch machine. So, is a coverstitch machine worth it? Without a doubt, yes!

Even if you are a hobby sewer with occasional yet creative projects, a coverstitch machine will do you good. Buying a coverstitch machine for home use comes with many benefits. In a nutshell:

  • Compared to sewing machines, coverstitch machines are faster
  • They most definitely make your hems look a lot more professional
  • They also make your knit look professional and give it more stretch.
  • With coverstitch machines, you can make your stitch a lot stronger.

Maintain your sewing flow and invest in a coverstitch machine for home use. Here’s a coverstitch machine buying guide for at-home sewers.

Coverstitch Machine Buyer's Guide: Is It Worth Buying a Coverstitch Machine?
Coverstitch Machine Buyer’s Guide: Is It Worth Buying a Coverstitch Machine?

What Can a Coverstitch Machine Do?

A coverstitch is used for creating professional hems, but that’s not all. You can put your coverstitch machine to good use by taking up some cool sewing projects.

First up is swimwear; your coverstitch machine is a godsent for sewing stretchy swimwear and activewear. Coverstitch adds a fancy touch to your swimwear and retains the stretch of the fabric; this is something other than what a regular sewing machine can achieve.

Moreover, if you are a new mom or love upgrading children’s clothes, you can use your coverstitch machine to upcycle old clothes. For some quick projects, you can hem the sleeves, pants, and necklines of your old clothes that don’t fit right.

A coverstitch machine is also great for finishing garment edges professionally and mastering decorative chain stitching.

Sewing is a broad-spectrum hobby; you can do much with the right tools. Adding a coverstitch sewing machine to your sewing army is a brilliant way to expand your expertise.

When Do You Need a Coverstitch Machine?

Setting up your regular sewing machine and switching to overlock mode for hems and finishing takes time. It also breaks the workflow.

To maintain speed, it’s better to have a separate machine ready to use when you add hems and finishing touches to your clothes.

Compared to your regular sewing machine, the hems and finishing on knitwear and swimwear is beautiful and long-lasting with a coverstitch machine. If you want to expand your sewing to knitwear and stretchy fabrics, you will need a coverstitch machine sooner than later. Not only knitwear but investing in a coverstitch machine for swimwear will also help you expand your expertise.

If you hate doing hems on your garments, you need a coverstitch machine. Once you have your cover stitch machine all ready, you will forget how hems were the hardest part of your sewing. Especially if you sew a lot of activewear, adding decorative stitches to your activewear has never been easier.

Moreover, your coverstitch machine can also seamlessly add lace, elastic, or other decorative trim to any material or fabric.

Threading on a coverstitch machine is a breeze. As it has only one looper and no knives, you can keep your machine threaded and ready to go when needed. It makes workflow smoother than ever.

What is The Alternative to a Coverstitch Machine?

There are a few alternatives for a coverstitch that you can try on a regular sewing machine. But they are not the same quality, so expecting them to be as good as coverstitch may be an exaggeration.

A Regular Zig-Zag Stitch and a Twin Needle

Faking a coverstitch with a twin needle is easier than it seems. If you own a regular machine with twin needles, you can create a straight stitch with a zig-zag pattern at the back. Reverse the fabric while stitching, and your zig-zag pattern ends on top, more or less like a coverstitch.

Overlock Stitch

The second alternative is an overlock stitch that you can create with a regular sewing machine and make it look like a coverstitch. An overlock stitch is a combination of zig-zag and straight lines. It sews backward and forward in a straight line.

However, there is a break between each line, and between the lines, there is also a zig-zag pattern. This neat stitch can easily resemble serging or coverstitch if done right.

Pros of Using Alternate Stitches
  • If you master the lookalike alternate stitches, you might not need to buy a coverstitch machine. They are expensive and can make a dent in your wallet.
  • They look great and do the job well.
  • You can finish and hem your clothes as professionally as a coverstitch machine would with these alternate stitches.
Cons of Using Alternate Stitches
  • With a coverstitch machine, you can easily create strong and fancy stitches; there is no learning curve. But with alternatives, you need to practice the art of faking a coverstitch.
  • These stitches may look great, but they aren’t as strong as the coverstitch.
Coverstitch Machine Buyer's Guide: Is It Worth Buying a Coverstitch Machine?
Coverstitch Machine Buyer’s Guide

Is It Worth Buying a Coverstitch Machine?

Reasons To Get a Coverstitch Machine

Imagine changing the setting of your regular machine every time you want to hem or finish your garments. It’s tiresome and frustrating, not to mention the steep learning curve. Well, here is where your trusty sidekick will come in; investing in an affordable coverstitch machine will benefit you in the following ways,

  • They are faster, and you don’t need to change your regular sewing machine settings.
  • A small set-up in your sewing room with a coverstitch machine will help you become more efficient and productive.
  • A high-end coverstitch machine will make sure your hems are stronger and stretchier. You will master professional stitching in no time with a coverstitch machine handy.
  • Lastly, for both professional and hobby sewists, a coverstitch machine opens the door to creativity.

Reasons NOT to Get a Coverstitch Machine

Nothing comes without drawbacks; here are the drawbacks of getting a coverstitch machine.

  • Your coverstitch machine is more of a gifted horse that can’t be used in place of a regular machine.
  • Yes, it does help you with professional hemming, but for a hobby sewist, it might be an expensive investment.
  • There are alternatives available, so if you are working on fewer projects that require a coverstitch or a fancy hem, investing in a coverstitch machine may not be wise.

Is a Coverstitch Machine Worth It?

To answer this question, you should understand why you need a coverstitch machine. Whether you WANT one or NEED one, that’s the real question. A reliable coverstitch machine is great to add to your sewing arsenal. However, if you sew less than ten garments a year or if you are a seasonal sewist, we would suggest against buying one.

On the other hand, if you are thinking of turning sewing into a profitable profession, then yes! You will need a coverstitch machine to increase productivity, add a professional touch and make your sewing look great, not to mention the amount of time you will save with the help of a high-end coverstitch machine.

Now that you decide you’re going to get a coverstitch machine. The next question is, which type of coverstitch machine is most suitable for your project? Let’s find out!

How Many Needles Do I Need?

The type of coverstitch machine you want to invest in greatly depends on the projects you do. For example, people who aren’t keen on sewing activewear, swimwear, or lingerie can do with a 2-needle machine; they don’t need to invest unnecessarily in a 3-needle machine.

Here’s a quick overview of the type of machine according to the kind of project; for a full guide, please look into our Beginner’s Guide to Coverstitch Machines.

2-Needle Coverstitch Machine

With two needles, you can create a classic double needle coverstitch, the most common type of cover stitch. You might have seen this stitch on all types of ready-made garments like t-shirts, bathers, and baby clothes.

3-needle Coverstitch Machine

For more advanced garments and stretchy fabrics like lingerie, activewear, and swimwear, it’s best to use a 3-needle coverstitch machine. With a 3-needle, you can create a masterpiece of a stitch with three parallel lines that manifest on the right side of the garment.

If you have a three-needle machine, you can remove either the middle or right/left needle to create wide or narrow stitches. Narrow stitches are ideal for children’s clothing as they need lighter fabric. At the same time, a wider stitch is ideal for adult clothing.

Coverstitch-Only Machine versus Serger/Coverstitch Combo

Serger/Coverstitch Combo

Buying a coverstitch/serger combo seems like a stretch, but is it worth the cost? Well, for some, it’s the best thing because it will save time and space. However, such upgraded combo machines are on the pricier end. A serger/coverstitch combo can hem and accomplish knitting with dual loopers. It also has knives that can trim as you go.

Compared to a coverstitch-only machine, a dual-purpose machine is a dream come true. However, the learning curve is extensive with a dual-purpose machine.

Coverstitch-Only Machine

On the other hand, a dedicated coverstitch machine will hem your garments professionally but also take up space. It will save you time, as you don’t have to hassle with changing settings on a regular machine for hemming. Just switch places and resume work on an already set-up coverstitch machine.

But you will need a dedicated space for your dedicated coverstitch machine. It seems like an overkill for someone with occasional hemming or knitting projects.

A separate coverstitch machine isn’t as pricier as the combo; it’s also easy to set up and use. The learning curve on a separate coverstitch machine is fairly quick.

Since a coverstitch-only machine has one looper and no knives, the threading on this machine is a breeze. Do it once and let it be; you can start any project without hassling with the threading time and again.

Another advantage of a coverstitch-only machine is its versatility. You can customize the two or three-needle machine to make your stitches wider or narrower. A basic chainstitch is also achievable on all types of coverstitch machines. The chainstitch is both practical and fancy for all types of garments.

Both machines have their dedicated uses. To choose the best that suits you, here are some tips:

  • Understand how both machines work and what functions they offer. It will allow you to see which is the most beneficial for you.
  • Not all machines are easier to switch between serger and coverstitch. It is why most sewers prefer to have separate coverstitch machines.
  • However, some upgraded and professional machines like Babylock Accolade are easier to switch between serging, overlocking, and coverstitch, but they are expensive.

Keeping these points in mind, you can make the best decision for your sewing journey.

Buying a Coverstitch Machine: Used or New?

For a professional sewer, who is likely to expand their business and accelerate their sewing game, a new machine is worth all the trouble. However, for someone who sews less than ten garments a year, a used coverstitch machine will suffice. Apart from the expensive cost of buying a new coverstitch machine, there are no apparent cons. However, here are the many benefits of buying a new coverstitch machine.

  • Professional sewers can expand their sewing skills.
  • Hobby sewers can easily move towards professional sewing
  • Hemming and handling stretchy material will become a breeze
  • You will save money and hassle on repair and maintenance when you buy a new machine.

You can easily order a refurbished coverstitch machine on eBay. However, before buying a used coverstitch machine, consider the following tips:

  • Don’t compromise on the brand; seek a quality brand, even if you are buying a refurbished coverstitch machine.
  • Consider the age and make of the second-hand coverstitch machine.
  • Beware if the price is too good to be true. No one would sell their good coverstitch machine for scrap unless it’s a scam.

There are a few drawbacks to buying a used coverstitch machine.

  • You don’t know the condition until it arrives at your doorstep.
  • It may not give you enough mileage before dying out on you.
  • You might have to spend a considerable amount on repair and maintenance.
  • Apart from that, you might not have an upgraded version.

How Much is a Coverstitch Machine?

Coverstitch machines come in all shapes and sizes, some pricier than others. You can find affordable options as well. However, it will be hard to find anything under $500. Here are a few options that you can explore.

How Much is a Cover Stitch Machine

Entry-Level Coverstitch Machine

If you are looking for a domestic coverstitch machine that is capable of handling basic tasks, a basic, entry-level coverstitch machine costing less than $500 should suffice.

One of the cheapest coverstitch machines that you can find is Consew 14TU858. Despite being budget-friendly, this machine has all the required features for light-duty uses.

Mid-range Coverstitch Machine

If you’re an experienced sewer, you might want to consider mid-level machines, priced up to $1000. Examples of these include the Janome CoverPro 1000CPX and the Elna EasyCover. These machines offer a good balance between cost and performance. They are designed to handle more complex tasks and offer better reliability and durability than entry-level machines.

High-end Coverstitch Machine

For the professionals seeking the best quality coverstitch machines, high-end options priced between $1500 and $4000 are available. These machines are packed with state-of-the-art features such as air threading and programmable speed control and are designed for precision and consistency, making them perfect for all types of fabrics, active knitwear, and home décor projects as well.

At this price range, we suggest you check out Baby Lock Euphoria. This one has it all, from automatic thread delivery system to air threading loopers to built-in needle threaders. This beautiful machine also has a knee lift and a significant workspace.

Computerized Coverstitch Machine

Coverstitch Machine Buyer's Guide
Computerized Coverstitch Machine

For someone who wants it all, computerized coverstitch machines are perfect. These machines offer automated features such as thread tension settings, on-screen editing, and precision stitching but come with a hefty price tag (up to $8000).

One of the top-rated computerized models is the Bernina L 890. The machine comes with preloaded stitches already saved in memory. It’s a lot quieter than the other machines on the market. With Bernina L 890, not only can you stitch professionally, but you can also save up to 100 stitch designs in memory.

Combo Serger/Coverstitch Machine

Combo machines like the Bernette Funlock 48 offer both serger and coverstitch functions. While they might be a bit pricier than dedicated coverstitch machines, they offer excellent value for anyone in need of the two functions in one machine.

Tips for Buying a Coverstitch Machine

We understand you have your heart set on buying a coverstitch machine, but wait a minute. Here are some tips that may help you significantly before you empty your wallet on a new machine.

1. Test Drive

If you are a professional sewer, it might not take you much time to understand the basics of a coverstitch machine, but for new and hobby sewists, we suggest you do a test drive. Trying out a new machine will help you understand the feel of it and also help you come to a sane conclusion.

To try, you can either check in with a local dealer, or you can ask a favor from another sewer friend. It will help you know whether you’re happy with the workings of a coverstitch machine or not.

2. Invest in the Best Machine You Can Afford

Investing in the best coverstitch machine may dent your bank account, but it will be worth it in the end. The latest coverstitch machines aren’t only upgraded but are also computerized. They come with a memory full of fancy stitches that can put five stars to your sewing. There is a market for secondhand coverstitch machines, but if you are looking for a life-long partner, a new and upgraded coverstitch machine should be your first choice.

3. Compare Accessories and Attachments.

Any professional sewer will give you the same advice; know and compare all your attachments. With the machine, order the attachments you will need. It will make your sewist ten times easier and more fun.

4. Get Advice from Sewing Forums/Community and Youtube Channels

If you aren’t connected with a sewing community, seek help online. One of the best forums to seek sewing advice is the Pattern Review forum. This forum will be enough to help you get the best coverstitch machine for stretchy fabrics, and you will also be able to find reviews for good coverstitch machines. You can also check out Youtube for helpful videos on high-quality coverstitch machines.

5.   Pay Attention to the Return Policy

We hope you find the perfect machine to help you improve your sewing ten-folds, but in case things don’t go as planned, you may need to return the machine. So, read the return policy carefully.

Final Words

Coverstitch machines may seem like a novelty, but to any professional sewer, they are a must. For more information and a guide on buying the best cover stitch machine, read the Best Coverstitch Machines guide.

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