May 17, 2013

Lucky Me

Happy Summer Everyone! Ok, well maybe not all of you are experiencing summer like I am (its already hot and tottie here!) but Happy Summer anyway. I know its been pretty silent around here. I've been pretty bogged down with other things and blogging got pushed to the side for a bit. The shop has been hopping (yay!) and I've been teaching quite a bit and crazy enough I've been sewing a crap load too. Just haven't had time to say much about it. Sometimes that's the way things get around here and that's good, but I start missing out on showing you fun techniques and sewing projects and all that jazz.

In addition to all the craziness that's been going on around here, I decided to purchase a coverstitch machine. I've had my eye on procuring one for quite some time and I was finally able to treat myself to one and goodness gracious, let me tell you - I'm a convert. If you are unaware, this machine's main function is for hemming knitwear. It does that whole double needle thing with what looks like a serged edge on the other side. It does more than just hemming, but yes, this is the sole purpose for why I really wanted one.

I had my eye on the Brother coverstitch machine - I was totally swayed by Elizabeth's love for her coverstitch - and the Janome Coverpro. After reading Andrea's take on the Janome, I opted to go for this little machine. The free arm and "Wow, it actually looks like a sewing machine, look at all that room on the right hand side of the machine" thing is what finally sealed the deal. I purchased the lower end newer version of the one Andrea has (the 900CPX rather than the 1000CP) and I'm totally thrilled with it. Mine is only capable of a double needle function (the Janome 1000CP and CPX have a triple needle function, but after much thought I didn't really think this was something I would use) and I'm not able to move the needle for narrower or wider needle widths. I'm totally fine with this.

I decided not to go into a full-on review of this machine since I think Andrea did a first rate job of that here and if you were ever interested in purchasing a coverstitch machine, you should definitely hop on over to her blog and have a gander at what she has to say. Like Andrea, I didn't want to spend a lot of money for one of the higher end models, but I still feel like I got a great deal for the money I did spend.

Additionally, I would like to state that I think coverstitch machines are a good investment only if you a) work with knits quite a bit and b) are completely dissatisfied with the hemming methods that your sewing machine can do. The more and more that I've come to work with knits, the more and more dissatisfied I was becoming with the hemming methods that work around not having a coverstitch, ie: twin needle hemming (mine always tunnels something awful and I always end up breaking the bobbin thread when I put the garment on, uggh!), blind hem stitching (one that I've become more attached to, but was still somewhat dissatisfied with) and finally self fabric or rib knit bands (my favorite of the three, but this method doesn't translate to every style very well). I think its also worth stating that this machine doesn't just magically work and not everything you do turns out perfectly. Like any other machine, it takes some getting used to and you'll still have to invest in a few extra pieces for it to be able to do certain things better. Also, there are sergers out there that have a coverstitch function. I thought about going this route too, but ultimately, I LOATHE entirely changing settings and feet and needle plates and blah blah blah on my serger as it is and would rather smother myself with a pillow just have a separate coverstitch machine - though I know that not everyone feels this way so just do your homework if you ever plan to invest in one (PS ~ from what I've read, coverstitch machines are MUCH easier to thread than sergers, my own coverstitch being a complete cinch to thread).

Thoughts on coverstitch machines? Thoughts on hemming methods for knitwear?
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