Friday, April 25, 2014

Trying to Choose a Coverstich Machine

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I want a coverstitch machine. I like to sew knits for my kids, my husband and for myself. A coverstitch would help me to get the professional finish and in less time. But what would Dave Ramsey say?
Brother 2340CV Cover Stitch
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However, a coverstitch is what Alton Brown from the Food Network calls a "uni-tasker." While the coverstitch mostly is used for hemming, it is also used for decorative stitching on seams as well. It also can add binding and elastic.

I already have a serger, but a coverstitch maching is different. Some sergers also have a built in coverstitch, but from what I have read, I don't want to have to change my machine over when I want to switch from serging to coverstitch and back again.

There seems to be a tension release issue on the Brother, but reading on PatternReview.com, there are work
arounds. Those who have figured out this work around are very happy with their machine.  I have also been reading a lot about cover stitches on Stitches and Seams and her section on coversitch machines.

I've been looking at coverstitch machines online. The Babylock doesn't really give enough information for me to decide online. Based on reputation, I am sure it is a good machine, but my experience with my Viking dealer doesn't encourage me to run to a dealer.

I'm inclined to go with a Brother 2340CV (affiliate link) or Janome CoverPro 900CPX (affiliate link) . I have had both as inexpensive portable sewing machines and have found I like Brother as a company. I also love my Brother 1034D Serger (affiliate link). I am usually loyal to a company I like. Just look at our driveway with all of the Fords. We have a Ford truck, crossover, classic car and motor home engine with a Ford engine & I think chasis. Oldest Son had a Ford Ranger as his first car. My old minivan was a Ford and at one time I had a Ford Mustang. Mr. Toad also had a paid off Ford Ranger when we met. I thought the whole paid off thing was pretty attractive. We also used to have Ford stock until we decided to do some work on the house. We're loyal.

Janome CoverPro 900CPX Cover Hem Machine
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So I am really focusing on the Brother 2340CV Cover Stitch (affiliate link). The price is about $350 depending on when you order from Amazon. It is the same for AllBrands.com. Amazon has faster shipping, but All Brands seems to have a more consistent price. I've noticed that the price on Amazon seems to change frequently. Yes, I have been looking a lot lately.

Now, because I want the speed and consistency the machine can offer, I think I would want the accessory package. AllBrands.com has the machine and accessories for $699 with shipping. This includes all six feet, 100 needles, serger thread and more. Amazon only sells the feet individually and they are the same price.

You may have noticed that in my opening paragraph that I asked "What would Dave Ramsey say?" That is because we are Financial Peace University (FPU) graduates and have been group leaders for Financial Peace University. That means we pay cash. No credit and we need to budget this. Mr. Toad has not said no, but I am thinking that this may be something I need more time to decide and save a little each month.

So, I think I will be buying my coverstitch, but it may have to wait at least a few months.

I am also going to seek more opinions. If you have experience with a coverstich machine, any make or model, please help me out by commenting. Let me know your experience and your recommendations, whether it is what accessories to buy or not buy, machine issues or delights, or if I should even bother buying one at all. Any and all information would be appreciated.


*this post has affiliate links with both Amazon.com and with AllBrands.com. If you clink  and purchase through them, I earn a commission.

16 comments:

  1. I am also looking at the Brother.

    My orthodontic work is going to come in about $1000 under budget. I plan to save up those would-have-been $200/mo payments to buy that and the Janome Magnolia. I am also anti-credit.

    Will be looking forward to what you decide.

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    1. Hey, Nakisha. How exciting to have something come in UNDER budget! It sends my mind swirling thinking of what I could buy. If you get yours first, I would love to see how you like it since we seem to have some similar taste and sewing.

      I just had to get new glasses and they are taking up most of my cover stitch savings.

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  2. I agree with being anti-debt!! We are actively paying down our debt using Dave Ramsey's debt snowball, and so I have been slowly saving for the Brother coverstitch machine as well. While I dislike waiting to buy a big purchase by saving, I LOVE the feeling of finally buying the item and owning it outright, with no monthly payments! Woo Hoo! Leslie at 3 Stitch Studio has a Babylock coverstitch that she loves, and has written a review for it regarding her experience. Her knits always look lovely. I think you should get one, though. It sounds like you would make good use of it!

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    1. Thanks for the referral to Leslie, Vanessa. I will definitely have to check it out.
      We need to make a budget. We have money sitting doing nothing--you understand what that means as a Dave Ramsey follower. Hubby said if I get the budget made, I can probably get the cover stitch, but I know we need to save. I'm the Nerd and he is the Free Spirit! I'm considering reducing my fabric allowance or maybe selling something. I know if I buy it, I will want to go with all of the attachments. I think it would be best for my situation with my hands.

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  3. Hi Annette, I have the Brother 2340CV. I really like it but I haven't used any other machine to compare it too. I wrote up a review on it recently. http://www.detectivehoundstooth.com/brothers-2340cv/ If you look on Craigslist or sewitsforsale, they sometimes come up for sale (barely) used. Good luck.

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    1. Oh, Nhi, I read your review. I couldn't remember where I read it! You did a great review. In fact, I was looking for people who did not like it, but I couldn't. Thank you so much to your review. You show the stitches, the threading and tension. Mr. Toad appreciated your review and that is why he agrees that we should start saving for it. Another reason for me to thank you!

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  4. I have Janome CoverPro 1000CPX. I haven't used it much since I bought it a year ago because I'm not sewing much. However, it's a great machine, got great reviews and I love how it handles all types of fabrics. You will never regret buying a coverstitch machine. I bought mine from a dealer (about $600), charged it and paid it off when the bill came.

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    1. Thanks, Robin. The Janome is one I'm considering. I'm sure I wouldn't regret buying one. The price and space might bother me for a couple hours.

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  5. I bought a used Brother 2340cv on ebay a month or so ago. It came with 4 of the 6 attachments and with shipping it was all about $300. Not saying that kind of deal will come up again, but it's worth watching!

    I also considered the Janome but was unable to find a dealer anywhere near me that had one to try. I have the Brother 1034d and I definitely think that my familiarity with that machine helped me jump right in with the 2340cv. They're very similar.

    My husband and I use a cash envelope system and general Dave Ramsey principles. I don't have and have never had a credit card. For the 2340cv I slowly saved money that would normally go to fabric purchases and the rest was filled in as a birthday present. Good for you to take it slowly and save up, too many people don't know how to live that way!

    And as far as it being worth it'll.yeah, it definitely is :) I'm still learning but I already love mine!

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    1. Oh! One other thing. If you go to the website camelcamelcamel.com and put in an Amazon link, it will show you the pricing history of that item for the last few years. Then you can see when prices dropped in the past :)

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    2. Thankd, Beth. I have been looking on ebay and craigslist. I guess I missed the one you bought. I do watch Amazon. It looks like the price is creeping up. All Brands seems to be more steady. I'm just putting the money in an envelope.

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  6. I love your post. I didn't know the difference between a coverstitch and a serger. I'm yet to buy myself a serger, and I'm considering the Brother 1034D so I'm glad to hear that you love yours.

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    1. I didn't know much about sergers and coverstich machines until I investigated segers. I didn't think I would use a serger very often, but it opened up a whole new world of sewing. It really isn't necessary, but it is nice to have.

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  7. I don't have a coverstitch, so can't advise on them at all - I do know that when I looked at the price of them, I found it hard to justify - I wouldn't use it enough. It makes sense to sleep on the decision and save on the side.

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    1. SarahLiz, you do so many knits so well. I do work around, but I find yself postponing when I know I will need to hem. Actually, I don't like hemming. I have a couple items in my UFO pile that just need hems. I have a bunch of knit projects coming up. I'll see how that goes. I might change my mind.

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  8. I'm a bit late to comment and you may have already made your decision. I have a Brother 2340CV. I bought it for reasons you mention yourself, having a good experience with other Brother machines. I have loved my Serger 1034D for years and haven't even opened the box on an expensive one that I won.
    Anyway, I bought it because of the fact that hemming a fitted knit can't really be done right with twin needle stitching. It looks the same on top and the bobbin thread does look like a zig zag stitch which would ordinarily stretch. (expand) However, the two rows of straight stitching on the top really prevent much stretching to occur. Logic rules on this one - I have had many people insist that it stretches because of that zig zag arrangement of the bobbin thread but if you compare it to a real cover stitch it is nothing like it.
    Anyway, I bought all the accessories as well because i wanted to be able to do neat binding.
    I have mixed feelings about the machine. It does hem things for me and that is good. It is almost impossible to get the fabric and the thread out of the machine when you are done with a row of stitching. The "work arounds" are almost extreme and are absolutely necessary. You have press and hold the tension knobs for the top threads, take your tiny screwdriver and slide it behind the top threads from just under the presser foot and pull them out and away from the machine in a loop, then you snip them, release the tension knobs and in one swift, decisive motion pull the fabric out from under the presser foot. Then you cut the bobbin thread and you're finally free. You eventually get accustomed to doing it but it is odd that there is no mention of it in the book. The directions for using the machine are minimal. There is no mention of the fact that it seems impossible to get the fabric out from under the presser foot after finishing the stitching.
    Secondly, the attachments do not work very well. I am generally one who will work with something long enough and master it - in true perfectionist form. However, no matter how many times I played with the binding attachments i got inconsistent results. ( at best - a more accurate word would be lousy)
    I still use the machine for hemming fitted knit garments and around necklines of knits. I have a love hate relationship with it. If I could afford to buy something else I would do so. I hate to say it but I am disappointed in the machine. ,

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