Serger sewing machines are useful for creating flexible, durable serged seam edges. Because they operate using multiple needles and built-in cutting knives to automatically trim seam allowances, they can be a bit daunting to some. Sergers also have a few limitations that might make them less desirable as well.
So are there other options available as a sort of "in-between" unit? You might want to consider a coverstitch machine such as the Janome 900CPX. These Janome sewing machines can be used many times in place of a serger and do much more.
Sergers Or Coverstitch Machine Comparison
Sergers create overlocked, trimmed, and finished seams in one effort, making it possible for home sewers to achieve the same results as factory made garments. The knives trim the seam allowance and the dual needles make a variety of stitches to enclose it. This creates a trimmed, finished looking seam edge where all rough edges are carefully contained.
Unfortunately, the one thing a serger cannot do is make a nice folded hem. Sergers automatically trim away the allowance and enclose the entire edge of the fabric with an overlock stitch.
While coverstitch sewing machines may not offer exactly the same options for seam finishing, they can be a less expensive and easier to use replacement for a serger much of the time. Coverstitches do not trim the seam allowance to create an enclosed overlocked fabric edge; however, they can make attractive and flexible hems with secure chain stitches. They can be used to make folded hems with attractive topstitching, which is something sergers cannot do.
Using Coverstitch Machines
In comparison to sergers, coverstitch machines like the Janome 900CPX are simpler to use and offer a number of functions. Janome sewing machines with their three needles produce four different stitch types:
- Single stitch with one needle
- Thin double stitch with two needles
- Wide double stitch with two needles
- Triple stitch with all three needles
They all make a secure chain stitch that works similarly to an overlock, with more options. Coverstitching is useful for fabric edge hems as well as decorative topstitching, as it does not involve sewing over the very edge of the fabric. Best of all, even though they use three needles and four types of thread, they are actually much easier to thread and set up.
Do You Really Need The Knives?
Although a serger definitely makes producing a finished, flexible, and enclosed seam easier, using cutting knives are not really necessary. By using an overlock setting, overlock foot, or even a zigzag setting after precisely trimming the seam allowance, a very similar effect is possible on a regular sewing machine. The other simple option for creating an attractive finished seam is by using a coverstitch machine, which is actually much more versatile than a serger.
Making the choice between a serger and coverstitch sewing machine like the Janome 900CPX will depend upon what types of garments are being create as well as what seams and hems are desired. For those who can do without the automatic trimming feature of serger Janome sewing machines, a coverstitch can be a perfectly suitable option!