Friday, March 22, 2013

Cover Stitch Machines

Goodness, this was a frustrating day.  I spent most of it on line looking up information about Cover Stitch Machines.  You really can't find EVERYTHING on line.  Companies that make sewing machines seem to be very secretive about prices.  I guess they don't want any other company beating their price, or maybe all the companies have to charge the same thing. 

And, I can hear my friends asking, "Don't you already HAVE a machine like that?"

No, I don't.  This is the kind of machine that does the hems of garments like the industry does.  You know that chain stitch that comes completely unwound if you pull one thread?  It does that.  It does the hems on knit tops like Ready-To-Wear and on jeans and on everything.  They haven't been available that many years. 

After hours of research and checking reviews, I decided I wanted a Babylock Cover Stitch Machine.  Well, wouldn't you know, it is the MOST expensive one on the market.  There is not a single one for sale anywhere in the world except from the stores.  I tried Ebay and Craigslist and just googling it.  The people who buy this machine must keep it forever.  I guess that's why the high price.

I decided to come down the ladder a bit and go for a pretty good machine called Janome 1000 CP.  I found out that there are at least 6 dealers that sell this machine in this area.  Guess how many had one????  None of them.  I asked if they had any other models.  Nope.  Did they have any coming in?  They didn't know.  I kid you NOT! 

I called a Janome dealer in Guthrie.  I asked if they had any Janome cover stitch machines. 

The girl said, "I don't know." 

I said, "Could you find out?"

She said, "What is it?"

I told her it was a cover stitch machine -- hence my saying, "Do you have a cover stitch machine?"

She said, "Can you call back later when the owner comes in?"


And the entire morning continued just like that.  Nobody had one.  I talked to a girl in one store who I later learned was the owner's daughter, and I thought she was going to fall asleep on the phone!!!  She wanted to know if she should "go look for one". 

Finally, I found a lady at another store who sounded like she was working with a full deck, and she told me she would have one brought to her store from another location so I could come try it out.  ALRIGHT!  It was about time!  It is an Elna 434 which is an EXACT COPY of the Janome 1000 CP.  What's with that?  I don't know.  I decided it was worth a look though.

It looks exactly like the one above, but someone decided to paint that ugly dark blue stripe all over the front of it!  It has that cute little extension table.  Well, it doesn't "have the table", but you can BUY the table for a mere $100 more.

Turned out her location was right next door to Johnnie's.  Johnnie's is the place Phylly and I went to eat the first day we met at the quilt shop down the street, so I called Phylly and asked if she wanted to meet me there.  Yep, she did.  So we met for lunch.  After lunch, Phylly decided to come with me into the sewing machine store to see the machine I was going to try out. 

Phylly and I saw the machine on a table in the back of the store, and we wandered back to look at it.  It looked okay except it had no thread on it, and some parts were missing.  The lady that was going to SHOW me what to do -- her name is Emma -- had never used the machine before, and she didn't know anymore than Phylly and I did.  Phylly decided it was a dead end road, and she left.  I sat down at the table and commenced to try to thread the thing.  I was there for about an hour before I gave up and left also.  Emma was very nice, and I actually knew her from American Sewing Guild years ago when I use to attend. 

As of now, I don't know what I'm going to do.  The blue-stripe machine is still there, and Emma was able to get it to sew properly late today.  She called me back to let me know I could return tomorrow to sew on it again.  She also let me know that Sleepy -- the bosses' daughter -- will be there in the morning, and she supposedly knows more about it.  I also asked if they would order me a brand new one -- but the Janome so it will be all white -- for the same price, and they agreed to do that.   

I'm sure this is totally thrilling for you all to read.  Sorry about that.  At least, I'll have a record of this for future reference.

Hugs, Joy


  1. Pattern Review has reviews on these machines. I have the Brother and it's fine. Debbie Cook has a review of Babylock here.

    She also has some great tutorials on her blog site. I highly recommend them.

  2. Joy,
    I finally got a comment thru on your post for March 16, regarding the Baby Lock Serger. Had such a hard time getting into this site.

    My daughter has the Baby Lock Evolution and it is fabulous to sew on. The best part is your threading is so much easier. Took me a year, and I now have the Baby Lock. The Evolution does everything , and I am so fortunate to have a dealer within 10 miles of my home. She really worked with me as I had some feet that my daughter was giving me, and so we switched out something else. The Dealer choice.

    Joan Florida

  3. Joy, I too tried to leave a message the other day only to fail. Hope this one goes thru. I have the BabyLock Evolution and agree that it is fabulous... I love it. And the way I understand it...they last forever! Good luck with your dealings.

  4. Joy, I had a sewing biz at one time, but with 4 young children had to stop sewing. I have a like new Babylock coverstitch I'm getting ready to sell, which is how I found your blog and this post. I bought it from a dealer brand new and it has been kept under cover since I stopped the biz. I just can't justify keeping it:( Email me if you are interested.

    1. I am sure someone would LOVE to buy your machine. How old is it? How much do you want for it?
      Hugs, Joy

    2. Hello- I would be VERY interested in buying the Babylock coverstitch machine if it is still available! They are hard to find! please contact me
      Thank you! Wendy

    3. Joy, I too am in the market for a BLCS, I found a 2009 model used for sale but I don't know what would be considered a fair price for it. If Joy or anyone posting has an idea please reply, the woman wants $800. for it. IS that too much? It is very clean and runs well.

  5. Just read through your post about how/why Elna's and Janome's look the same and remembered a post I had recently read about sewing machine companies and ownership. Although it is an epic read, I was very educated by the end! The link is below but essentially, Janome own Elna.

  6. I purchased a Babylock Imagine after going through a queen sized sheet and still not figuring out the tensions. Went to the other stores just as many of you did with poor results. The expense was not that much less or more if it had a cover stitch. Also, they told me Babylock did not make the cover stitch machine anymore also. So, back then I could no afford the cover stitch option. Now I have grandchildren my children's age when I purchased my Babylock Imagine (love it love it) and my husband said get the Ovation! So I did, and do not regret the extra monies one bit. It was worth it to save and purchase what I needed for me. Both the Babylocks sew so well, no tension problems, threading problems, and easy to learn. I guess I will have to part with my Imagine now, but boy is it a great machine. Good luck with your decision.


TO COMMENT: Scroll down a bit and find the word "comments". It may have a number in front of it. Click on it, and you will be able to leave a somment. I realize you have to choose Google, Facebook or Anonymous or ? to post a comment. If you choose "Anonymous", you will be able to post a comment, but please leave your first name in your comment so I know you aren't a machine.

I do enjoy receiving comments, especially, when they are to answer my questions!

Hugs, Joy