Thursday, 8 March 2012

Coverstitcher Aggravation

Dear blog friends,
This is not an exciting blog entry. It is mostly about aggravation. The worst kind of aggravation, the 'my machine worked perfectly the last time I used it so why isn't it working perfectly now' aggravation. The culprit was my Janome Coverpro 1000 coverstitcher. Now let me tell you that when this machine is working it is just lovely. Hemming any knit is a dream. I use it often to shorten purchased T- shirts as well. The last time I'd made a knit dress I had hemmed it with no problems. Then I tried to hem a purchased T-shirt and encountered disaster. I knew the machine was clean and lubricated so that was not the problem. Yes I was using inexpensive - ok I'll admit it - rubbishy threads but that had not previously been a problem either. I tried my most expensive threads. Still terrible. Breakages, looping, uneven tension no matter what settings I tried.
I gave up and put the machine in the car to take it way across town to my favourite sewing machine man only to find he had shut up shop early on that day as business had been slow. I phoned and he said to leave it at the barber shop next door, then pick it up a few days later. I asked about the cost and was shocked at the amount he expected me to pay for what I was convinced would be a simple solution.
I packed it back to the car, in its plastic cover, through the rain feeling very sorry for myself.
Then I remembered there had been a Coverpro thread on Pattern Review. I searched and found that the salient points had been condensed into some very convenient trouble shooting articles by Nancy2001. Bless you girl, wherever you are. Coverpro guide Part 3 on PR Do you know what I had done? I had confused the stitch length knob ( the top one) with the differential feed knob (the lowest one) and thrown the differential feed out. Also the more I jiggled with the tensions the worse it became. It caused me some stress I can tell you. Then, with the right settings and good thread - problem solved. I finished my little red T- shirt made from my much used New Look 6735 pattern here, the cap sleeve version with the neck raised.

Just a note. A couple of months ago I bought a red  T-shirt from a chain store here, a cheapie for about $12 Australian. After a few washes it looked pretty ragged then it developed a hole. For about the same money I bought some medium weight cotton/lycra from Lincraft and made this. I know it will last.
I should have just made it to start with. Lesson learned.

That's why I sew. Happy blogging.


  1. Valerie,
    I'm glad I read your post today. I also have the CoverPro 1000CPX. I will refer to the thread on I think your top looks great. I also prefer to make my own tops. The RTW tops usually fall apart or look old after a few washings. I am so thankful that I too can sew.

  2. I hear your frustration. I first took up sewing a couple of years ago and purchased my Janome machine. The sewing lasted only a couple of weeks and after finishing covering my lounge I packed my machine away until last October when I brought it out again and when I tried sewing the thread kept bunching up. I tried everything with no solution.

    I packed it up and took it to a local repairer - a very humourless lady. She took one look at it and rolled her eyes and re-threaded the machine properly - ran a piece of material through it (no problem) and basically told me I was stupid - in not so many words... Luckily though - she didn't charge me.

    Good job on the T.

  3. Thank you ladies.
    BeeJay I hear you, lol. At least we get the last laugh!