Coverstitch Makes Six

A few months ago I gave up on my five year old Kenmore sewing machine. The tension was always wonky and I couldn’t reliably get a nice stitch from it. I’ve been sewing on my vintage green 3/4 Kenmore (Kenny) for the last three months or so. In that time, I bought a new (to me) serger, new (to me) blind hemmer and now a brand new coverstitch. Why?

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I realized after conversations with two sewing friends that I have perfectly serviceable and reliable mostly metal sewing machines (this Kenmore 1040, my Singer Featherweight and my pink Morse). Those machines deserve to be sewn on. I realized I wanted to up my sewing game and have my clothes look as Ready-to-Wear as possible. I believe in having one machine that does one thing well. Rather than a machine that does a couple of things ‘fine’. I was ready to spend $$$ on one new machine. But, decided it was better spent filling out my machine arsenal.

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Enter, the Pacesetter, the Brother 2340CV. I despise the twin needle sewing on a machine for hemming. I hate the tunneling. I hate finding two spools of matching thread. I find on elastic, the stitches still pop out. And, I’m just about hardly ever satisfied with how it looks. The coverstitch allows me to do a nice, sturdy, RTW looking hem in minutes.  When my CS came in, I finished the hems of three dresses. I fixed two tops where the stitching had popped. Minutes it took!

So, yes. I am exploding with machines. But, this is the beauty of living by yourself and not really needing a dining room table.  I have the space 🙂   I now have three vintage sewing machines, a serger, blind hem and now a coverstitch. I thought about the BabyLock coverstitch since I kind of want to marry my BL serger. But, I couldn’t plunk down the $1300 they were asking for an ancillary machine. For less than half that, I got the Brother will all the offered attachments.

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I decided to make my boyfriend some new boxer shorts from a Jalie pattern so I could play with my serger and the coverstitch.  These sew up so fast! And, are always appreciated.

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I remember being in Montreal and the founders of Jalie told me I *needed* a CS.  I barely knew what one did at the time! Previously on these boxers, I had to sew three rows of zig zag at the waistband. With my Pacesetter, I just went around once and have three rows of stitches with a nicely finished inside.  My leg hems are ALMOST perfect. But, of course I didn’t take a photo of that.

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For the leg, I removed one needle, changed  the thread colors to grey and stuck with white for the looper (easy peasy).

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And, in more awesome news. I think all these industrial binders I bought in China (FOR TWO DOLLARS EACH) three years ago will work just fine with the coverstitch and some putty. I’m going to get hemmers (I hope!!) when I go back to China this September.

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Yes. I’ll be back in Shanghai and Xiamen next month.  Anyone in Shanghai the first two weeks of September? My plan is to save photos of the hemmers on my phone and show them around in the Xiamen garment district.


And, on a sad note. Thank you for your prayers and good wishes for granny. That’s her with my mom and uncle as a child back in Carriacou, Grenada. My grandmother passed away on Wednesday night– two weeks after her 90th birthday. I’m so so happy we were able to celebrate her as a family while she was still alive. I’m really sad for my mom, aunts and uncles. Granny was my last living grandparent and the one I knew best. I’m happy to know she and I will always have sewing in common and that part of our family history lives on in me.

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  1. Yippee for your new Coverstitch machine! You will wonder how you managed to sew without it for all these years on knits! Quite clever of you to whip up some underpants for the man in your life!

    • I wonder now! I seriously never hem knots because I despise it twin needle sewing. I love binding but am not loving it with my sewing machine. So this will do a lot for me I think.

      Sent from my iPad

  2. I love my Brother 2340 CV and can’t believe that I waited that long to buy one. I’m really sorry to hear about your Grandmother. I’ll pray for your Mom.

  3. I’m so glad you got to spend some of the last days with your grandma, that is super important. I’m so jealous of your new machines, I’ve wanted both of those things for quite a while, but my checking account just didn’t understand. 😉

  4. I’m really sorry for your loss, but it is so wonderful that the legacy of creating lives on in your family through you!

    Are those boxer briefs self-drafted? Or is there a particular pattern you used?

  5. I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother…they hold such special places in our lives!

    Glad you’re enjoying your bevy of machines!!!

  6. Oh, I’m jealous, I’m stuck with twin needles for now. Sorry to hear about your loss but I’m glad she got to celebrate her birthday with all your family 🙂

  7. I’m so sorry to hear about your Grandma, there’s no relationship quite like that of a grandparent and grandchild. They’re all very special. ((((hugs))))

    I have just ordered a CS machine, and in my house that makes four. Sewing machine, Overlocker (serger), Embroidery machine and now the Coverstitch. Mine are all Janome. I did look at the Babylock, however here in Australia they cost $2295. The Janome is a third that cost. Can’t wait until it arrives!

    Is this the same boxer style? The 2327 isn’t available as a download, but this one is.

    • Thanks, Mel. I think that design has the fly opening. The current 3242 is the same men’s boxer. When I looked at the video, it has updated (and better) construction techniques too.

      I am seriously digging my CS and can’t wait to start binding! I love my BL serger. But, those prices are crack worthy.

  8. lamento mucho la perdida de tu abuela, pero recuerda que nos consuela que nos volveremos a ver con nuestros seres queridos en el paraiso. cuidate mucho y que dios te bendiga

  9. A Brother coverstitch is on my list for down the road. I have always had good luck with Brother machines. Was great to see what you have done with it on the boxers. My honeyman would love it if I made him some of those. Right now I am neck deep in sewing as a job again, back working in a interior design studio sewing drapes and well you name it… Never thought I would be doing this again :O). Never say never. Actually I am enjoying it very much. I am getting a chance to learn upholstery as well! This has me very excited!

    I was just given a really nice commercial Brother machine. Needless to say I am beside my self thrilled over this. I spent time getting her going, cleaning, filling the oil pan, hunting the correct bobbin. Getting commercial needles…. and now she sews wonderful. I had to squeeze her into my sewing room as she is in a table like most commercial machines, with a gooseneck light. The motor is built into the table that runs the machine. etc… Have always wanted one of these :O).

    Pretty sure there is no such thing as to many machines!! I agree with you on getting machines that are very good at what they do and not one machine that attempts to do everything….

    I am very sorry for the loss of your Grandma. 90 years old. So glad you all and she got to celebrate her 90th BDay :O)….

  10. Welcome to the world of coverstitching!! I love my Janome Coverpro. They shorten stitching time and makes your garments look so ready to wear. When I finally got one, I couldn’t believe what I had been missing. My condolences on your grandmother’s passing. I’m sure they’ll be many sewing moments filled with memories of her.

  11. CoNdolences To You And Family On The Passing Of your grandmother, Im SUre She Will Be Greatly MisSed But Remembered Very Fondly..
    P/s: The Coverstich Machine Looks Great! I Want One Too! 🙂

  12. Aw, Renee – I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother’s passing. It is so hard to lose them – and it always makes us feel older and more alone. But you are right; the sewing lives on in you and perhaps you will be able to pass on her skills to someone else so she will live on in them too. 🙂

  13. I remember that Montreal coverstitch conversation! Almost, you persuade me to get one. But not yet.
    I’m so sorry for your loss. Your Grandmother sounds like an amazing person. I’m lucky enough to have known my granmothers well, and try to carry on their skills, too.

  14. I’m so sorry for your loss. Prayers and condolences to you and your family. Thanks for sharing the beautiful picture of her and your mom and uncle with us.

  15. Oh man, I just got my new (to me) blind hemmer today, already know I’m going to love it despite needing to get used to it, and now you go and get a cover stitch!? Are you trying to bankrupt me? I think I may be able to resist for a while, though, since I’m not so into rtw knits and really like using vintage finishing techniques – just with fewer hand sewn blind hems from now on, woohoo!

    My condolences about your grandmother. However, it’s wonderful that you had her for so long and congrats to her for making it to that age. My maternal grandmother is also my last grandparent, and by far the one with whom I am closest (the others died when I was either not yet born or quite young). She turned 90 last August, we really figure from then on (even before) every day we still have her is a gift. Though I’ve made a deal with her that she’s not allowed to die until after she’s attended the convocation for my PhD. So I’m forcing her to stick around for another couple years, lol.

    • Oh, yay! I’m glad you got one. It can also be used on knits too. So, for the occassional one, you can just use it. I’ve been going back and re-doing hems of dresses I was never quite satisfied with. I swear I’m done with buying machines for at least a year! I can’t afford it 🙂

  16. I’m sorry for your loss of your beloved grandmother. But I love that she will always live on through the love of sewing that you shared and that will be carried on in her family, especially with you.

  17. So sorry for the loss of your grandma. My deep condolences to your family. My thoughts are with you. Take care you xxx

  18. So sad about your grandmother! 😦 That picture of your mom as a child is so sweet.

    I’m glad to hear the Brother is working well for you- I also just bought this machine a week ago, and I’m just starting to put it to use but so far it seems really awesome. We also just moved, so it’s been fun trying to jump start sewing projects and unpack boxes, I can never find anything when I need it!

  19. I am so sorry to hear of your Grandmother’s passing. I have liked seeing photos of her and I know this will be the end of an era, as it is with the passing of all our elders. Best to celebrate her life than to be sorrowful, sew up a storm! Congrats on the new machines, wise choices I think.

  20. I am sorry for your loss but glad that you were blessed with knowing her for so long and sharing so much. All those machines! I am so jealous, but if I ever get to your level of expertise, I will certainly do the same. I don’t know how your sewing can get any better, seriously.

  21. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    I envy you your coverstitch machine. I always suspected that home sewing machines didn’t cut it.

  22. So sorry about your grandmother, it’s hard to say goodbye to someone who has loved you your whole life. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  23. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandma– you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. It really is neat that you shared the sewing connection with her– that’s so special!

  24. Very sorry to read of your Grandma’s passing Cidell. My condolences to you and your family.

  25. I’m so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family. How wonderful that you had a chance to celebrate her birthday with your relatives. Peace to you.

  26. Sorry to hear about your grandmother. So happy you had a chance to celebrate and that you continue to do so in your sewing!

  27. You have me thinking of getting a coverstitch now and I only just got a Brother serger 2 months ago! You also have me thinking about my 3 year old Kenmore that is giving me problems. Argh. I need an extra job for this sewing hobby.:-/.
    I’m really sorry to hear about your grandma. My condolences to you and your family. I will send a prayers up for you all.

  28. I’m sorry for your loss and its wonderful you had that Time with her. That coverstitch is on list also. I’m also at my wits end with double needle stitching.

  29. My condolences on your loss. It’s been fourteen years since I lost my grandma, and I still miss her and wish for her regularly.

  30. Sorry to hear about your grandmother, my sympathy goes out to you and your family.

  31. My condolences to you and your family. The picture of you and your grandmother is beautiful.

    You will love having a CS machine! Finishes everything so nicely.

    Will you be going to China for work or for play? My daughter studies Mandarin in school. We need to schedule a visit to China one of these days!

  32. I have been reading your blog for years and want to send my condolences to you and your family. However I am happy you were able to celebrate her recent b-day

  33. I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother. I felt very close to my maternal grandmother and i understand what you mean about that connection through an activity. I don’t look like her at all but I am told I laugh like her and every time we throw a great party and I get compliments on my food, it makes me think of her. My grandparents would through a party at the drop of an ice cube. 😉

    I was really drawn in by that pictuer of her and your mom and uncle. How serious they all look! Your grandmother has some real pride in her family showing in her eyes.

  34. I just got a Brother cover stitch for Christmas and have been playing with it. I searched for this post since I remembered that you had one. Do you find that it is very difficult to pull the fabric out of the machine after you are done stitching? I am pressing the thread tension release buttons to the right, the needles are in the highest position and the presser foot is up. I have to pull so hard that I feel like I’m going to break something! The stitching is nice and the tension looks good, it is just so dang hard to pull the fabric out of the machine! Thank you for your input.
    My condolences about your grandma and now your mother. May God give you peace and comfort at your time of loss.

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