Monday, January 1, 2001

Coverstitch: How To End A Coverstitch

Thank you to Bryden S. for sharing this method with me. I hope everyone finds it as useful and timesaving as I do!

I use a stand-alone Babylock Coverstitch machine. You should be able to follow along with different brands, but some of the steps may be different (releasing tension, for example). Belinda has put together an excellent tutorial for ending the coverstitch on the Brother 2340CV, here.

Let's begin:

1. Stop stitching with the needles in the highest position, or turn the handwheel to raise them if needed. Next, raise the presser foot and release needle tension. (On the Babylock, raising the presser foot releases tension at the same time.)

2. With a long, skinny tool (I use the needle allen wrench which came with my machine), sweep under the presser foot and behind the needles, "hooking" the needle threads.

3. Continue sweeping forward until the needle threads are pulled out in front of the presser foot.

4. Continue pulling the needle threads until you have a thread loop about 4" long.

5. Snip the thread loop in the center so both needle threads are cut at the same time. (I usually snip while the skinny tool is still pulling the threads out, but I couldn't balance the tool, the scissors and the camera all at the same time.)

6. After the needle threads are cut, pull the fabric straight back.

7. Continue pulling straight back until the needle threads are pulled to the underside (this will happen as you pull the fabric back), and stop when you have about 5-6 inches of needle thread.

(In this photo, you see the needle threads that were cut from the needles laying on top of the fabric. The needle threads in the stitches have just disappeared to the underside by my pulling the fabric.)

8. Turn the fabric over and there are your needle threads on the underside!

9. Cut the looper thread, leaving a 4-5 inch tail at the machine for your next project.

10. Needle and looper thread tails ready for next project.

11. Underside. These stitches will not pull out. Try it! You can finish the tails by threading them under the looper stitches with a wide-eyed blunt needle, tying a knot, or applying Fray Block.

(If you are hemming or stitching in the round, you will need to manually pull the needles threads at the beginning of your stitching to the back before you get to the end so you don't stitch over exposed thread tails. I usually stop hemming right before I get to the end to do that, and then I continue the last few inches, stitch over the existing stitches for 2-3 stitches and then use the method above to pull the ending needle threads to the back.)


  1. This is incredibly helpful. Thank you

  2. THANK YOU so much for this tip! Awesomely easy!!

  3. I also have the BL standalone coverstitch machine and haven't gotten a lot of assistance from my local sewing center. They just don't use the coverstitch function very often. Finding your tips and tutorials have saved me, especially this on on how to end a coverstitch. I've shared this technique with numerous serger friends (including the staff at the sewing center). It is a hit with everyone. I always give the credit to you and point them to your web site. THANKS SO MUCH for all of your very helpful postings!

  4. Thank you for this wonderful tutorial! I have the Janome coverstitch 1000cpx. When I pull the fabric to the back, the looper thread is very very difficult to pull and often breaks. Have I forgotten something? Thanks again,

  5. I just got a coverlock/serger (Baby Lock Evolution) and came to your site first to find out how to end a coverstitch without it ripping all out. GREAT tutorial! Thanks!

  6. How do you finish off the beginning of the stitch?? Mine just all come undone because the threads at the beginning are still on top..

  7. Ooh- Debbie, please weigh in on the Janome model. I'm planning on purchasing a CP1000 later this month. This issue is the only negative comment I've come across re: coverstitch machines. Thanks so much for all your advice.

  8. I actually have a hard time ending the coverstitch even after following your directions to a T.

    once i cut the top 2 threads after pulling them forward with a little screw, i then pull the fabric back like you showed in the pictures and even push on the tension release button on top of the tension circle thing (with numbers) and it still seems to either break the thread or makes the stitches all puffy and is impossible to pull out even long enough to cut.. it seems STUCK... i know that it was threaded the right way i checked about a million times lol so at this point i'm so disappointed and have no idea what to do... what number should i be on when it comes to the looper thread tension.. maybe i am doing something wrong there...

    1. I know this is old, but did you ever figure it out? I'm terribly stuck in the same place.

  9. Wonderful tip and great pics. Thank you!

  10. I am very thankful as I have just bought the BLCS2 and find no assistance.
    Thank you again.

  11. Such great information on coverstitch machines.
    Thank you for this.
    Does your babylock have any problems going over the seam hump when sewing a hem in the round?

  12. I've just found this and it's saved my coverhem, I had been doing what the Janome book that came with my machine said and sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. So far this has worked every time and it's so much easier! If I find it starts catching I'll probably add their way to yours which should fix it too.

  13. As I cruise this topic on the internet, waiting for the UPS person to bring me my CoverPro, I thank you for your extra notes on this (the sewing in the round bit). The choir dresses will thank you in a month (I gave myself a month to learn)

  14. Great instructions. Worked perfectly with my Pfaff 4862 serger+coverstitch. Many, many thanks!

  15. Thank you so much for this information. Brilliant.


Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

To help keep spam comments under control, any comments to blog posts that are more than 30 days old are moderated and will not show up immediately.