What is a coverstitch machine? | So sew easily

Have you ever wondered how your clothes can stretch without ripping? Or how do fabric edges stay so smooth and crisp? A special sewing machine called a coverstitch machine is behind all this magic!

This specialized sewing machine, characterized by its multiple needles and loopers and designed to create sturdy, stretchy hems and seams, is a crucial asset for amateur and professional seamstresses. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the rich history of the coverstitch machine, elucidate techniques for its optimal use, and examine the projects that truly allow this remarkable device to demonstrate its full capabilities.

History of the coverstitch machine

Let's dive into the interesting history of this amazing tool.

The beginnings: a machine for large factories

A long time ago, around the mid-1900s, large factories that made clothing needed a way to sew very quickly and well. They began using coverstitch machines to make clothing like swimsuits and socks. These machines ensured that clothes did not tear when you moved or stretched. Thus, they have become very popular in factories!

From large factories to your home: a machine for everyone

For a long time, these cool machines were only available in big factories because they were too expensive and too big for people to have in their homes. But guess what? Companies found that many people who sew at home wanted them too. So they made smaller, cheaper versions. Now anyone who loves to sew can use a coverstitch machine to make their projects look super professional!

New tips and uses: a machine that keeps getting better

Today's coverstitch machines are even cooler because they can do more things and are easier to use. Some have screens to help you choose stitches, and some can even thread themselves! People don't just use them for clothes anymore. They use them for all kinds of things, like pillows, curtains, and even things like bandages!

Thanks to the coverstitch machine, all kinds of clothes have improved. Consider stretchy sportswear for playing soccer or comfy leggings for going out. Plus, people can now start their own small business making and selling clothing, all thanks to this awesome machine.

How to use a coverstitch machine

Before we dive into the “how,” let’s talk about the “what.” A coverstitch machine is a special type of sewing machine. It has two or three needles and one or two loopers. Unlike a regular sewing machine, a coverstitch machine can sew stretchy fabrics without breaking the stitches. It's like the superhero of sewing machines!

Gather your supplies

First, you'll need a few things:

  • Your coverstitch machine (obviously)
  • Use colors to match your fabric
  • The fabric you are working on
  • A pair of fabric scissors
  • Pins or clips to hold the fabric in place

Thread the machine

Putting it on can be tricky, but don't worry, you've got it! Your machine will come with a manual that shows you exactly how to put it on. Follow the steps and you will soon be a threading pro.

It's time to embroider: step by step

Step 1: Choose your stitch

Most coverstitch machines offer options for a double or triple needle stitch. Double is ideal for most basic hems, while triple gives extra strength. Choose the one that best suits your project!

Step 2: Test Your Settings

Before you begin your project, collect a piece of the fabric you will use. Adjust the tension dials on the machine and test a few spots. This way you will know you have the right settings.

Step 3: Position your fabric

Slide your fabric under the presser foot. Make sure it is smooth and even. Use these pins or clips to hold everything in place.

Step 4: Lower the Presser Foot

Use the lever on the side of the machine to lower the presser foot onto the fabric. This keeps your fabric stable while you sew.

Step 5: Sew, Sew, Sew!

Step on the pedal and start sewing! Keep your hands on the fabric to guide it, but don't pull it. Let the machine do the work.

Step 6: Finish Your Stitch

When you reach the end of your fabric, you will need to “lock” the stitch so it doesn't come undone. To do this, turn the steering wheel manually several times to create additional points. Next, lift the presser foot and carefully remove your fabric. Cut the wires and that's it, that's it!

Pro Tips for Using Your Coverstitch Machine

  1. Always test first: Different fabrics behave differently. Always test on a scrap part before working on your main project.
  2. Watch your speed: Don't go too fast or too slow. Find a nice, consistent speed for the most consistent points.
  3. Clean your machine: After a big project, be sure to clean out any lint or loose threads to keep your machine running smoothly.

Unleash Your Creativity: Best Projects for a Coverstitch Machine

Before we get to the fun part, let's remember why a coverstitch machine is so awesome. It can handle stretchy fabrics like a champ and gives your projects crisp, clean edges. This is a must-have for anyone seriously interested in sewing.

Clothes, clothes, clothes!

A coverstitch machine is a game-changer when it comes to making clothes, especially anything that needs to stretch.


Who doesn't love a good t-shirt? You can create custom t-shirts with fun fabrics, and coverstitch will give you super durable hems that won't tear when you wear them.

Leggings and sportswear

Do you like yoga or jogging? Make your own leggings or joggers! Stretch fabric is no problem for a coverstitch machine. In addition, the seams will be comfortable and durable.

Dresses and skirts

If you love fashion design, making your own dresses and skirts is child's play with a coverstitch machine. You'll get that premium finish without the premium price.

Interior decoration to die for


Add a pop of color to your bedroom with custom pillows. The cover stitch will ensure that these edges are crisp and clean.


Yes, you can even make your own curtains! Choose a fabric that matches your piece and let the coverstitch machine work its magic on those extra long edges.

Gifts and souvenirs

Personalized Tote Bags

Need a nice gift idea? How about a personalized tote bag? You can add pockets, zippers, and all sorts of personalized touches.

Baby clothes

Do you know someone who is having a baby? Baby clothes are small, quick and very rewarding to make. The coverstitch will ensure they are also soft and durable for active little children.

Clever creations

You can even use a coverstitch machine for unique craft projects like:


Yes, quilts! With a coverstitch machine, you can add special touches to your quilting projects, like strong edges that can hold up to lots of hugs.

Pet Accessories

Do you have a four-legged friend? Make them a personalized leash, a bandana or even a small pet jacket for the winter.

Professional Level Upgrades

Once you're familiar with your coverstitch machine, you can start adding even more professional-level details to your projects, such as:

Decorative stitching

This is where you can get really creative. Use contrasting thread colors to add decorative lines to your projects.

Tuck and fold

A coverstitch machine can handle multiple layers of fabric, so don't be afraid to experiment with tucks, tucks, and even pleats.

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