We have offered 3 posts about sewing with knit fabrics during the last 3-4 weeks. We thought it would be good to tell you more about our COVER STITCH machine seeing as we have referred to it a lot lately. (LizT…..now over to Linda P)
My most favourite accessory is our CoverPro, coverstitch machine. I call it an accessory because it helps to complete my projects and make them look professional and compliments my sewing machine.
Knits are so popular both in ready to wear and in fabric stores. To shorten knit tops or pants, the CoverPro is necessary to recreate that professional looking hem. And when you make your own, professional looking is what we all strive for!
1. Start with the correct needles.
Sharp for woven fabric and ball point for light to medium weight knit. Universal for medium to heavy weight knits. For knits Schmetz EL needles are recommended. These needles are especially crafted to prevent skipped stitches. They have a long groove for the thread path on BOTH sides of the needle, whereas regular machine needles have a groove only in the front. The two grooves on the EL needles help to make the stitches more taut and form consistently. If you use regular needles, loose stitches may occur. To make the stitches taut manually, it would be necessary to increase the upper tensions possibly causing the threads to break.
Info from SchmetzNeedles.com
The ELX705 needle system is specially designed for cover stitch machines. This needle has a long grove on both the front and back as well as a slightly larger scarf and a medium ball point. The chrome finish (CF) reduces heat and wear and aids in slipping through the fabric.
2. Put in new needles
Think how fast and how many times the needles go in and out of the fabric. If its not sharp enough, the needles can’t get through the fabric in time to connect with the looper, resulting in skipped stitches. Be sure the needles are inserted up as far as they will go, before tightening the screws. Use another sewing machine needle placed into the eye of the needle you are attaching, to hold it in place while you tighten the screws. And yes the needles are not meant to be all at the same level!
3. Still getting skipped stitches
1. Thread is too thick for the grooves in the needle. Switch to a larger needle or finer thread. 2. Increase the stitch length. 3. When you stop to regroup, take out pins, folding the hem under, make sure the needles are down in the lowest position in the fabric. Turn the handwheel, if necessary, always towards you. In doing this, the looper is hooked into the needle threads, in case there is any shifting. 4. ‘Stitch’ at even speed. Not too fast and not too slow. 5. When approaching a seam, I’ll bet your first reaction is to slow down. Try to stay at a consistent medium speed. I liken it to going over train tracks with your car. If you go slow, the car and you feel every bump. When you go faster, it’s less bumpy.
Let us know if you have any other questions about your CoverPro and we will share with our readers.
Happy stitching, Linda P.