…. that I didn’t share until I had occasion to use. I have fallen in love with my 900CPX Cover Stitch machine. But as expected, it is not used in every project. That was the greatest reason for buy the combination serger/cover-stitch machine (Viking S21) last August (I think). At the time my thought had been, ” This is not a stitch I will use on every or even most projects. It doesn’t seem a good expenditure of funds to buy a separate machine for a stitch that’s seldom used. (Besides where would I put it?)”.
However after my first experiences in using the cover-stitch functions of the S21, I realized I wanted the stand alone machine. I purchased the 900cpx, found a small table that could be wedged into my sewing room and began using the cover-stitch in earnest. To my surprise, having the cover-stitch set up and ready to use resulted in using the stitch more and more often. I even started considering decorative/embellishment possibilities.
But I also quickly realized that I had some control issues. Oh the machine stitches beautifully and easily. I quickly adapted their ending procedure to something that worked as well and was definitely quicker. Threading is a breeze. Really, much much easier than any serger. My control issue was seeing where the stitching was occurring so that could place it exactly where I wanted. This became especially important to me as I cover-stitch circularly for hems. I came close but could never exactly line up my stitching because, this was always in the way:
The standard foot which comes with every cover-stitch machine is a nice solid metal which undoubtedly assures the perfect stitch but gives you no opportunity to fine tune the placement. I came close but never could place my ending stitches on top of my beginning stitches. Well that just wouldn’t do. Every cheap RTW T-shirt is perfectly joined. I expect to be able to do better at home not worse, not almost. Fortunately there are several references out there (on the Inet). It didn’t take long to find a vendor but the solution was pricey. Most vendors want $50 plus shipping to solve my issue. I was pleased to find that my long time vendor Ken’s Sewing Center had not only what I wanted, but shipped it to me free, plus on Black Friday, dropped the price to $40. The solution, a clear foot
I wanted the center guide (the black arm) because there are times when stitch-in-the-ditch is the only way to sew. It’s removable, which I think is probably the way I will use this foot the most. I also understand, but not yet experienced, I need the clear foot for attaching binding. I used this foot for the first time today (project to follow in tomorrows blog post) and can tell you it is exactly what I needed. As the fabric feeds though to the first stitches I slow down. When the beginning stitch pops into the open square beneath the needles, I stop align, the fabric and then continue to sew until I’ve overlapped at least the first 3 stitches.
Were you curious about my revised ending procedure? After I’ve overlapped the ending and beginning stitches I stop, manually raise the needles to their highest position and then lift the presser foot. I use an awl (but several other tools are possible) inserted beneath the foot but on the top of the fabric (Janome has you sweep beneath the fabric). Sweeping forward captures the threads from the needles. I bring the threads towards me until they are about 9″ long before clipping. I grasp the fabric slightly behind and to the side of the foot with my left hand and pull sharply backwards. It’s kind of a gentle yank. That pulls the threads to the bottom side. I’ve been clipping all 3 threads (two needle threads and 1 looper thread) close to the fabric. I’ve not had any issues with this but a little Frey Check could solve any other problems. I’m sure I read about a similar procedure on the net someplace (Debbie Cook possibly) except it seems to me that every place I’ve seen says to insert the tool beneath the fabric. I don’t want to steal anyone’s thunder. Maybe I misunderstood someone else’s directions. At any rate, this is what works for me.