How to Use a Coverstitch Machine

How to use a coverstitch machine

Coverstitch machine (a flatlock sewing machine) is most used for sewing clothing made of knit jersey fabrics. Here you find a short guide how to use this sewing machine and some tips and techniques for using a cover stitch sewing machine.
If you need to sew t-shirts or children's clothes of knitted fabrics you need have the coverstitch machine. It is a very useful sewing machine for sewing such fabrics. Cover stitches are special sewing seams that are most often used for attaching a hem of t-shirt. Cover stitch machines are used also for flat seaming where raw edges can be finished in same operation as forming a seam.

Differences between overlock and coverstitch machine

Cover stitch machine has one looper

This machine is like a serger, but visually only. Cover stitches are formed by special way. Every cover stitch machine has two or more needles and only one looper. Every serger has two loopers. This is the main difference between an overlock and a coverstitch machine. Industrial flatlock sewing machines can have two loopers and more than ten needles. But in this article we will not consider these machines.

Coverstitch machine has four threads

Coverstitch machine has four or five threads

Coverstitch machine designed for house uses four or five threads.

Scheme for threading a coverstitch machine

On this sticker you see a scheme how to thread the coverstitch sewing machine (model Merrylock 009).

Three needles of coverstitch machine

Coverstitch machine Merrylock 009 has three needles.
Needle form parallel three rows of straight stitches, while the looper with thread cross they under needle plate and catch threads of needles. So is formed a flat cover seam.

Knobs for control a coverstitch machine work

Knob for stretch or gather the fabric

With this knob you can stretch or gather fabric during sewing. What is it for? Knitted fabrics are very stretchable and therefore you need to adjust this option before sewing.
Lever position N - Normal stretching.

How to increase pressure of the presser foot

If you need to increase pressure of the presser foot on the fabric use this handle.
Lever position N - Normal pressure.

This knob is used for adjusting stitch length

This knob is used for adjusting stitch length. The larger number, the longer stitch is.

Flywheel of cover stitch machines

Note: Flywheel of overlocks and cover stitch sewing machines must to rotate in opposite side from you. But some models of coverstitch machines are rotated to you, like a regular sewing machine.

Types of coverstitch machine stitches

Types of stitches of coverstitch machine

This photo shows main types of stitches that perform in household coverstitch machines.
Note: Every needle can be disabled (do not threaded).
With two threads a coverstitch machine will make chain stitches (one needle and looper). Such a seam is used for sewing any fabrics with straight stitches like an usual sewing machine.

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