Saturday, April 2, 2016

Which coverstitch machine should I buy?

I have one sewing machine, a vintage Singer 15-91, which only does a straight stitch. I really like sewing knits now and I want to up my game and have a professional looking end result. From looking online, it seems like it will be about 400 dollars, which is a lot, but I will have it forever so it is an investment.

From online research, I have found:

Janome CoverPro 900CX

  • It has really good reviews and can use regular spools of thread instead of serger cones. 


Brother 2340CV CoverStitch

  • Some people say releasing the thread is really difficult. It does do a triple thread, while the Janome only does a double. Is that even something I would use, though?


I am leaning towards the Janome... Do any of you have either of these and some advice?

(Last time I went to JoAnn, I wanted to see the display machines and they didn't have either to view AND they had rearranged the whole fabric section and eliminated at least 2-3 rows of fabric. Ugh)

20 comments:

  1. Hi! I've had a Brother for a year, and I posted about it here: https://craftingarainbow.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/lessons-learned-from-my-coverstitch-machine/

    I haven't found releasing the thread hard - I mean, it's odd the first time, but then it works exactly the same each time after! I've also used normal spools of thread on it. I'm sure you'd be happy with either machine, so don't stress it too much! :)

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    1. Good to know! You gave a lot of helpful detail!

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  2. I have the Brother too.. .bought 2nd hand for a couple hundred (Australian) dollars... I don't use it much (Gillian's post is really great) but I've talked to some sewing shops and they often say the Janome is better/easier to use... I plan to tame my coverstitch beast and my fear of it! Soon....

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    1. Maybe I should look for an independent sewing shop?

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    2. Oh you know, I think $400 is cheap (here in Oz they are about $6-700 new I think). Someone below mentioned the 'driving' and it reminded me that the Brother has a delay response - it's not as responsive as a sewing machine. I don't know about the Janome, but overall I think the Janome would be better.... although I think I would buy an overlocker before I bought a coverstitch... I think you have to hem a lot of knits to get your money's worth... still you'll have it forever. I went to a sewing shop a few months ago and the woman there said she had a brother one, but had traded it in on the Janome and she loved it... I don't think it was sales talk either. Is there somewhere you can go and check them both out... you should be able to test run them. Here there are dealers that have both brands and so it's easy. I look forward to seeing what you do.

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  3. I have the janome 1000cp and it's awesome especially with the clear foot to see your stitching line better on binding areas (tight and round areas). It's used rarely as I'm not garment sewing right now. I picked it because it had a big harp (area for big garments to be in on the right of the needle. I get a lot of use out of my serger - bernina 1150. I chose not to get a combination machine because of the harp issue. Bought serger new, janome coverpro used on ebay. I think what is important is sewing machine service in your area. If the knife breaks on the serger or whatever, how can you get these items fixed locally? How quickly would you be back up and running?

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    1. That's a good point. There is a sewing repair shop just 10 blocks from my house, but my Singer has never broken, so I have not used their services...

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  4. Hi if you only have your vintage Singer (I'm a 201 girl) I would skip the coverstitch and go for an overlocker (serger) instead. If you already have an overlocker I would recommend the Janome. I have had my 1000cpx for 3 years and am very satisfied. I would buy the clear foot (or the centre guide foot which is also clear and you can remove the centre bar so you get 2 feet for the price of one). All my other attachments are overpriced and pretty useless. This machine is simple to use and just works well. I bought it after struggling for years converting my 5 thread overlocker. I always urge sewers to buy separate machines for overlock and coverstitch. Good luck with your purchase.

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    1. I really want it for the professional looking hems; the Singer does a good job on all the inside seams. That's a good tip about a clear foot!!

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  5. Oh and the older 900cp model only did a wide/narrow double coverstitch. The newer models all do double wide/narrow and triple. This is definitely not a deal breaker though - I rarely use my triple.

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    1. I don't know if I would ever even use a triple. I can't ever remember seeing a triple hem on a store bought shirt and wanting to copy that.

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  6. Oh and the older 900cp model only did a wide/narrow double coverstitch. The newer models all do double wide/narrow and triple. This is definitely not a deal breaker though - I rarely use my triple.

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  7. I have the brother and I use it 3x a week at least but I hate it! I wish I had gone with the Janome. I plan to get rid of the brother as soon as it's in my budget and go with the Janome. I would suggest the Janome :)

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    1. What do you hate about it? I like that the Janome has an arm more like a sewing machine.

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  8. I own the Brother, which I bought because of the triple stitch. I have had it for about nine months and I kind of wish I had saved up and bought the pricier Janome (I think it's the 1000CPX or something like that) - then I would have had the triple stitch and more room between the needles and the machine.
    I think that Janome also has a free arm which would be useful (but not entirely necessary, I have found) for coverstitching sleeves, especially on children's garments.

    I haven't had the issues with releasing thread tension that seemed to be most people's pet peeve (you just hold the tension buttons with your right hand and pull your work with your left), but I feel like the machine is kind of plasticky and dinky-feeling and sometimes I have stitch evenness issues. I also own the Brother 1034D serger and love it - the coverstitch seems dinkier to me than the serger does.

    However, I have only used the triple stitch once in all this time and in the end I feel like it was not the best reason to get the Brother over the Janome - honestly I think I would be fine with the Janome900 or whatever it's called. All this said, I have never tried or even seen the Janome coverstitch so it's possible I wouldn't like it as much. But I do wish I had bought it instead.

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  9. I'm with CBerry, if you are going to sew knits or want easy edge finishes for wovens, I'd get a serger before a coverstitch without question. The main reason I got a coverstitch was to hem knits, prior to that I was using a zigzag blind hem or a straight stitch for very stable knits.I still just use my regular machine for wovens most of the time and vintage Kenmore for jean hems.
    I got my Brother back when they first came out for $300, the Janome was too much. I didn't like how the Brother 'drove' at first, not as smooth acceleration as my older serger, but I learned. I saw a tutorial on the best way to release the threads online and after that it's been smooth sailing. I've used the triple stitch a couple of times, but I wanted a 4 threader so I could do the wide hem and not just a narrow one. Today, I'd love the new Janome 2000 cpx, mainly because it has a larger bed and the new tension feature sounds cool, but it's still not in the budget. The Brother does the job.

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  10. Hello there,

    Triple stitch is mostly used in activewear so unless you are planning to make your own activewear in the future, I would go for the Janome :)

    I own the first coverstitch released by Janome and I love it!

    I know you can use aftermarket industrial binding attachments on the Janome but not sure about the Brother machine.

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Thanks for your thoughts and feedback!