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Janome Coverpro CP1000 Review

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I finally did it. I caved into my urge and bought a cover stitch machine. I’m so good at saying no to donuts, soda and fried food, but when it comes to sewing, I just can’t!

This was a spontaneous purchase. I have lusted for a cover stitch machine for a while, but I didn’t intend to purchase until I researched and tested a few models at my local dealer, Steve’s Sewing Center, like the good sewist I always am (*wink wink*). My search began on Bra Making Forum, which is my go-to for everything handmade lingerie. You should join if you’re not already a member! Just a side note and a little self promotion. Back to my cover stitch story – I asked the ladies for their advice on brand and models. Many recommended the Janome 1000CP, and the stars aligned when a woman offered to sell me her barely used one. Knowing very little about the machine, I gave her a price. It could have been a mistake or a real steal. The longer I have it, the more I realize that it was the latter. Now that I’ve added this machine to my arsenal, I think I’m locked, loaded and ready to sew some lingerie, don’t you think!? Watch out or I’ll shoot your eye out!

What is a Cover Stitch?

First off, what is a cover stitch machine? The best thing since duck-billed scissors. Real technology at play here, sewing peeps. A cover stitch machine is a bobbin-less sewing machine used for hemming knits and topstitching seams that need stretch. It can also bind and attach elastic. While the top side of the stitch forms one, two or three rows of parallel straight stitches, the back side forms a ladder stitch configuration. There aren’t a lot of cover stitch machines on the market for home sewists and that’s because it offers a limited, specialty stitch. Most cover stitch machines are industrial grade and used mainly in factories. I do most of my personal sewing at home (I use Madalynne Studios for teaching and photographing) and at 550 square feet, an industrial machine just ain’t gonna fit. It also wouldn’t go with my décor. Priorities. There are sergers that have a cover stitch option, but I’ve read reviews that switching between a cover stitch and a serge is tedious and burdensome. Basically, totally not worth it.

It’s been just a few weeks since it arrived and I’m slowly learning more about the machine and its capabilities. Okay, I haven’t even threaded it yet. Here’s what I’ve read about the machine so far.

  • Capable of one, two or three needles and up to four spools of thread. The three stitch options are:
    • 1 needle, 2 thread chain stitch
    • 2 needle, 3 thread cover stitch
    • 3 needle, 4 thread triple cover stitch
    • Much easier to thread than a serger, especially the sergers that have cover stitch options. Overall, a user friendly machine.
    • Differential feed and stitch length settings.
    • A hybrid between a regular sewing machine and a serger – it has four thread spindles with extension rods to accommodate thread cones and tension dials, but it has a free arm and extra large working space (4”x5.5”). The added space makes it super easy to work in a middle of a garment rather than at the top/bottom. This isn’t much of a perk for me,  since I’ll be sewing lingerie exclusively.
    • The CP model is no longer in production – it was replaced by the CPX. The only additions to the newer model are an easy thread diagram and the brand’s exclusive Seam Tightening System, a system that uses a spring rather than the looper tension dial to eliminate excessive looper thread looseness, which helps get a flat, tight stitch on thick fabrics such as denim.

How I Intend to Use it

I intend to use the machine to attach elastic bands like this and lace bindings like this. In my opinion, lace binding (as opposed to elastic) are much more comfortable to wear. It doesn’t dig into your skin. I’m still developing the pattern for this stappy bralette, and what’s been slowing me down the most is the band construction. For the wearable muslin pictured, I enclosed the elastic in a tube except for the portion that is attached to the cups. Once I turned the tubing right side out, I serge the band and cups together at that portion only and the zig zag the same allowances down. However, most ready to wear intimates do this entire operation using a cover stitch, which I now have!

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Presser Feet

The woman who sold me the machine only had than the standard presser foot. There are many available and they each have a pretty steep price tag. I have eye on two – the center seam foot, which makes it easy to straddle a seam evenly, and the elastic gathering attachment. I don’t gather or shirr fabric when attaching elastic, so I’m not sure how useful it would be.

I have a lot to learn, so I’d love to hear what you know about this machine and cover stitching. Do you have any tutorials on how to apply elastic bands using a cover stitch? Do you have a resource for purchasing presser feet on the cheap? Let me know!

And some other sewists who have this machine include Lauren Dahl of Baste & Gather, Alyson Clair, Andrea of Four Square Walls.

Resources:

Sewing Insight: Janome Coverpro CP1000X (this is for the newer model)
Four Square Walls: Janome Coverpro CP1000
Stitches and Seams: Coverstitch: All The Stuff 
Fashion Incubator – Flat Locking Compared To Cover Stitching and Over Locking
Pattern Review: Coverpro Guide Part Two: Supplies, Feet, Binders
Fehr Trade: Coverstitch Binder Attachment Tips & Tricks
Seamwork: A Guide to Coverstitch Machines

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14 Comments

  1. Reply

    sewsweetness

    I have the CPX and I love it. It’s so nice being able to hem or finish necklines so neatly. I still need to learn how to better sew over thick areas, like seams. I sew patterns sometimes in a different order so I can use the coverstitch to sew an area in the flat (i.e. instead of sewing both shoulder seams, I’ll only sew the one and leave the other unsewn until I attach the neckline so I can sew it flat). I read up on the machines a lot on Pattern Review before I bought mine. I got the clear guide foot and the table (little plastic attachment) when I got the machine. It was quite a bit extra to buy the two add-ons but I figured all the ladies on PR did that research for a reason so I just went with it. 🙂

    • Reply

      maddiemadalynne

      I hope I’m as happy with my CP as you are with your CPX

  2. Reply

    Jade

    So excited to see what you do with this! All your posts are so lovely.

    • Reply

      maddiemadalynne

      I’m excited too! First up though is threading the damn thing!

  3. Reply

    Lauren

    This reminds me that I really need to write a review of mine soon! Thanks for the shout out! 🙂

    • Reply

      maddiemadalynne

      Of course! I’ll be on the lookout for your review.

  4. Reply

    Mai T

    I myself also have some experience in choosing such kinds of products. For your interest, I want to share my favorite list of brands with you. Hope it may help: http://thesmartsewist.com/6-leading-brands-that-make-you-sew-better/

  5. Reply

    PsychicKathleen

    I have the S25 Serger by Husqvarna which switches between a serger & coverstitch BUT like you mention in your article switching between the 2 is truly a JOB so I hardly ever do it. I’m sorry actually I didn’t just buy a serger and a separate coverstitch however on the other hand I don’t know where I would put all these machines! I love this S25 for lots of other reasons however so I’m not sorry I bought it. I just have to suck it up and stop being such a baby about the threading!

    • Reply

      maddiemadalynne

      I completely understand about the space issue. I have to remove my serger from the table in order to fit the cover stitch. There ain’t no such thing as a perfect (sewing) world.

  6. Reply

    melchap

    I have the 900 CPX. I wish I had the 1000CPX, but I did receive mine as a gift so I can’t complain.

    There is some guy on ebay who sells off brand accessories for the coverpro machines for cheaper. I haven’t purchased from him but I’ve thought about it.

    I love my machine. Sewing over bulk can be hard. You have to go very slow and stop to lift the presser foot to allow the bulk passage.

    I use the chain stitch a lot to top stitch when I want the stitching to have stretch or for double under turned necklines. A lot of sports wear has looper stitching on both the right and wrong side of a garment to smooth out bulk of seams. I use the coverpro to mimic this by sewing over a already serged seam twice, once one the right side and again on the wrong side so looper stitch encases the seam from both sides.

    I purchased the clear/shorter presser foot. That’s all I use. I have the small elastic attachment. But it’s the one that attaches the elastic to the top of the fabric. I really have no idea how to use it. I really want the bias binder attachment. But it is sooooo expensive. The ebay guy sells it with the extra plate needed for about $100. I sew a lot of tshirts and baby onsies and kid envelope neckline tshirts. For now I add the binding by first serging it to garment then folding it over and coverstitching it down. So it’s an extra step to serge the binding first. One day I’ll get the binder!

    • Reply

      Michelle

      Congrats on your purchase. I have the 1000cpx. It’s a great machine once you get over the learning curve. I’m thinking of assembling a how to with tension guides for some of the different uses i.e. bindings using industrial binders.

      I’ve had mine for about 5 years now. It’s a great machine and well worth the money but it’s a huge learning curve. The attachments are expensive, the the clear foot is what i use most. I also bought the generic industrial binders off of ebay. I did not buy the plate as i thought this was way overpriced (it comes with a 1/4″ double fold (B) binder and the plate and screws to adhere it which costs around 200$for). It’s nice to have if you have the extra money but I just use mac tac to adhere mine to the extension table. When i purchased mine from my dealer i was able to get an amazing deal with a lot of the attachments. If you are handy with tools a simple wood base that you can adhere to the work surface and then attach to the binder to using mac tac would work as well.

      here’s my set up
      http://sewchicmama.blogspot.ca/2011/09/coverstitching-using-generic-industrial.html

  7. Reply

    Cecelia

    The clear presser foot is a must. You can see immediately when you have completed a hem and make those couple of extra overlapping stitches. I’m not sure I’ll bother with the other attachments.

  8. Reply

    Deb Cameron

    I Have the 1000CPX and I absolutely live mine for finishing knits, so much so that I couldn’t imagine living without it now

  9. Reply

    Mary

    Any updates on how you like your cover pro machine?

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