Coverstitch vs serger: what’s the difference?

| | ,

Coverstitch vs serger: what’s the difference between a coverstitch machine and a serger? This is a question that’s often asked by sewers who are not sure whether they should buy one machine over the other or whether they really need both.

It’s important to learn more about each machine and what makes them different, so that you can decide which one to buy. Things like threading, adjustments, tension and fabric type will help you decide which machine you need to use for a project.

Both machines are needed for different projects so if you have the budget and the space, I recommend investing in both machines.

Coverstitch vs Serger: What’s the difference?

When looking at coverstitch vs serger, it’s a good idea to look at what each machine does in terms of stitching and how it can be beneficial for you when working on a sewing project.

What is a coverstitch machine?

A coverstitch is a type of stitch used in sewing different fabrics together. It creates a strong seam that is flat on the right side and look like a woven fabric.

Coverstitching is great because it makes the item look neat and tidy, perfect for clothing garments, curtains and other home decor projects. You can also use it to finish seams that might otherwise fray over time.

When you coverstitch seams, you will also get the added benefit of having the seam allowance enclosed in the seam itself– exactly what we want when trying to seal our edges from fraying.

Coverstitching is commonly used on jeans because it’s strong, flat and leaves no bulky ridge on the outside of the garment. The coverstitch looks something like a zig-zag stitch, but it creates only one row of stitches, which are set closer together than regular zig-zag stitches.

What is a serger?

A serger is a machine used to sew the edges of fabric together for a finished look. It stitches in one step, allowing you to create clean, professional-looking seams.

Serging, also known as overlocking in most parts of the world, uses multiple threads and needles to stitch fabric together. They have a knife that trims the seam allowance as the edge is stitched, preventing fraying and creating a finished look.

A serger can be used for any project that you want to have professional-looking edges. It creates a stitch that is stretchy and can withstand the wear and tear of being pulled over your hips or shoulders without popping.

coverstitch vs serger

The difference between a serger and a coverstitch machine

A coverstitch machine has at least two needles and one looper to create the stitch. There are machines with one needle and two loopers; this is useful for decorative applications or for sewing on stretch fabrics.

A serger has multiple threads that form a chain-link style stitch on the outside of a garment.

The main difference between the two is that the coverstitch machine has two needles and makes a double row of stitches (a main row with two parallel rows) while the serger has just one needle but uses multiple threads to make an overlock stitch. A serger has a blade but a coverstitch machine does not.

It’s also much easier to thread a coverstitch machine than it is to thread a serger!

What sewing projects are best suited to each machine?

Sergers are great for sewing knits and stretch fabrics because they incorporate an interlock stitch designed specifically for this type of fabric. This stitch prevents the fabric from stretching out of shape while still allowing it to move freely with your body when worn or washed.

Coverstitch machines on the other hand, are great for hemming, finishing edges, and doing decorative topstitching. Coverstitch machines can also sew through multiple layers of fabric.

Can a coverstitch machine replace a serger?

Yes, you can get coverstitch machines that are combination of a coverstitch machine and a serger. But to switch from one function to the other you need to set up the machine differently. This is time consuming and can be difficult, so most people buy both machines so that they can easily move from one machine to another without having to change many settings or re-thread the machine.

Can you use a coverstitch for seams?

A coverstitch is for hemming and it cannot join seams like a serger does. So, when it comes to joining seams, you need a serger.

Do I really need a coverstitch machine?

If you’re going to be working on clothing projects, you really do need a coverstitch machine. They can be used for knits, making jeans, neckline finishes, attaching elastic and decorative seams.

When would you use both sergers and coverstitch machines for the same project?

If you’re working on a project that requires attaching a hem or other decorative edges to a garment, a coverstitch machine can do the job in one step. However, if you want to join pieces of fabric together with a seam and also apply a hem or decorative edge, both techniques are required.

If you’re going to use both, though, it depends on the project. If you’re hemming pants or shorts that are made from knit fabric, it would be better to use a coverstitch. Pants and shorts get a lot of wear and tear, so they need more reinforcement than just a serged seam.

A good example of when you would use both is when making leggings for a young child. You’ll start by cutting out two legs and sewing them together with a serger. Next, you’ll attach an elastic band to the top of the pants using your coverstitch machine.

Coverstitch vs serger: final thoughts

A coverstitch does a great job of hemming. It really holds its shape and is good for light duty items. It’s also much faster to sew as it only uses one thread. A serger machine sews knits without fail, but it is slower and more expensive. Overall, both machines offer similar functionality and can be used in a similar manner, and you may find yourself buying both machines.


11 Sewing Machine Stitch Problems & How To Fix Them

Clever tips for starting your own sewing business