Coverstitch refers to a specific type of stitching used on hems. It is more durable than the standard sewing machine stitch, and also produces a neater reverse.
It is possible to use a sewing machine to sew a zig-zag stitch, which produces the stronger, neater stitches required in hemming. However, many sewists prefer to have a separate machine, particularly if they have a high volume workload, or need a professional finish.
A coverstitch machine allows you to create a greater range of hems and finishes.
Coverstitch machines are considered a “speciality” sewing item, and do have quite a steep learning curve. Patience, and a willingness to engage, are definite musts if you intend to purchase and use a coverstitch machine.
However, once you have welcomed a coverstitch machine into your home, you won’t look back. It offers you the flexibility to create a wider variety of items, using a broader scope of patterns, and produces a professional, durable hem. Unlike serger machines, which we’ll cover later, coverstitch machines don’t cut the fabric as they sew. This makes them much more forgiving, as you can unpick any mistakes, and start again. This isn’t so easy when you use a serger which has helpfully trimmed your fabric for you!
If you’ve decided a coverstitch machine is for you, have a look at our handy reviews to ensure you select the best machine for your needs.
Coverstitch Machine Reviews
Janome Cover Pro
The Janome Cover Pro 1000CPX blends industrial functionality with domestic design. It includes a range of accessories, and feels just like a sewing machine.
It is fast, and capable of managing high volume work loads and thick fabrics.
It’s only drawback is that it can be difficult to thread, but, as with all sewing, patience will prevail. Keep calm, and carry on!
The Brother 2340CV Cover Stitch comes with a wide range of accessories, some for utility, others purely to enhance your decorative work. It has chain stitch capability, meaning it can be used to create simple as well as more professional-standard hems. Chain stitching is ideal for sewists wanting to create a deliberately unfinished look. It is commonly seen in the “Boho” fashion trend. (“Boho” is short for “Bohemian”, and the style is characterized by loose, simple designs and thin fabric, with very basic stitch work.)
The main drawback of the 2340CV is that it is difficult to remove the fabric. This is not ideal if you have a high volume workload, but may not be such an issue to the occasional sewist.
The Yamata Portable Seam/Blind Hem Machine (ASIN: B006PJKHNK )is one of the highest quality basic coverstitch machines on the market.
It is easy to set up, and beginner-friendly, although there is some debate about just how “portable” it is. You could certainly put it in your trunk easily enough, but it’s not “throw in the bag” portable.
Finally, the Janome 5812, with its heavy duty motor, can handle hemming denim with no problems, making it an ideal purchase for parents interested in just how many kids a single pair of good quality pants will serve!
Unlike many coverstitch machines, the 5812has a free arm function, making it easy to sew on sleeves and cuffs, as well as hems.
If you are interested in making your own stylish, durable clothes, the 5812 might just be the coverstitch machine you’ve been looking for.
If you are a beginner, it is worth noting that the 5812 doesn’t offer an automatic needle threader – you have to do it the old-fashioned way – and has a limited range of adjustment options. The lack of an automatic needle threader would suggest that this machine is not ideal for those with poor motor skills, or impaired vision.
Before You Buy
Remember, a coverstitch machine is not a sewing machine. It is a single-function operation. It only does hemming – but it does it very, very well.
If you intend to make most, or all, of your own clothes, and want them to last, it is definitely worth investing in a coverstitch machine. Likewise if you are selling your products, and want a professional finish.
If you are just doing basic home sewing, however, you could probably manage fine with a standard sewing machine. Don’t let that stop you buying a coverstitch machine if you want one, though – it’s always good to have options!