A common question that many sewists have about overlockers and cover stitch machines is what each is used for and whether or not they’re actually the same machine with two different names.

Both are very similar in what they do, but also very different at the same time.

Will one suffice, or do you need both an overlocker and coverstitch to make professional-looking clothing and accessories?

Learn here how machines like the Janome CoverPro 2000CPX work, and whether you actually need an overlock, too.

What Does An Overlocker Machine Do?

Overlockers or sergers are compact little machines that make the overlock stitch, an important stitch for making garments and anything else that needs a strong yet flexible seam.

Overlocking wraps threads around the raw edges of the fabric to enclose them in what is technically a knit stitch to produce a fray-proof seam with secure allowances.

These unique stitches can be made with as few as two and as many as five threads depending on the machine, which works with multiple loopers that create the different stitches.

Different overlocker machines may also be able to do other variations of seam stitches and decorative stitches like chain stitches plus are able to produce a beautiful rolled hem.

What Does A Coverstitch Machine Do?

Coverstitch machines look like tiny standard sewing machines and make hems as well as other similar stitching away from the edge of the fabric as opposed to making a seam that has the ends wrapped up with an overlock stitch.

They stitch with one, two, or three needles and threads as well as a single looper to produce a variety of hem stitches from a single chain stitch to a double or triple hem stitch for different garments.

On the back, a coverstitch hem can look similar to the overlock stitch; however, on the front there are straight lines of stitching that make a perfect hem.

Coverstitches are used to make any type of garment that requires a hem, including swimwear and other athletic wear, all of which have a lot of turned in edges that get stitched down like a hem.

They are also used to sew elastic into hems and work beautifully on stretchy knit fabrics like lycra and spandex.

How Do The Two Machines Differ?

The main difference between an overlocker machine and one like the Janome CoverPro 2000CPX is that the overlocker has a built-in knife blade to cut the seam fabric at a specific length just before the edges are wrapped up in the threads, while the coverstitch does not.

Overlockers finish fabric edges while coverstitches are used away from the raw edge.

Hems can be particularly challenging to get right with a standard sewing machine and a coverstitch machine can make getting a perfect hem a very easy task.

Do You Need A Coverstitch Machine?

Although many people confuse overlock machines and coverstitch machines and think they are one and the same, the two do have similar yet different elements.

Both are used to finish clothing and other items; however, the overlocker produces a precise, trimmed and wrapped seam that won’t fray while machines like the Janome CoverPro 2000CPX are used to create hems of all sorts on anything that requires one.

It should be easy to see which of these machines would be helpful if you sew a lot of clothing and don’t want to fight with the challenge of making hems on a standard sewing machine, consider whether both of these machines might fit into your budget!