Coverstitch - skipped stitches on gauze

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Coverstitch - skipped stitches on gauze

New postby kaitlinnegan on Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:33 pm

Hi all! I could use your advice on a coverstitching problem I recently had. I finally got around to finishing a crinkle gauze top I had started about a year ago. I decided to finish the neckline and sleeves with picot elastic, and to do the hem on my coverstitch machine. After I wore the top the first time, I realized there were a few skipped stitches in the hem. On the wrong side, it looks like the bottom loops were not caught by the needle threads and were hanging loose. Since it looked like the hem could unravel at those points, I redid that portion -- same thing!

As far a troubleshooting, I was using brand new 12/80 universal needles, and couldn't find any issues with the threading. The problem was intermittent and occurred once or twice over about an 8 inch span. I finally loosened the needle tensions slightly, and that at least produced a result without skipped stitches. Since I had cut out the top a long time ago, I didn't have any extra fabric around to test on. So I'm not sure if I actually fixed the issue or if I just got lucky on that run. I'm guessing the problem had to do with the loose weave of the fabric, but I'm wondering if you guys have any ideas?

Good to be back to sewing! I'll try to snap a picture of the top next time I wear it.

-Kaitlin
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Re: Coverstitch - skipped stitches on gauze

New postby Skye on Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:21 pm

really anoying whe the stitches skip.
My immediate thoughts are
needlles - my Janome CP needs EL needles.
thread needs to be good quality not serger thread - well in the needles anyway.
foot pressure so that the fabric feeds without any help from you
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Re: Coverstitch - skipped stitches on gauze

New postby kaitlinnegan on Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:28 pm

Thanks Skye -- my Brother CS machine takes regular home sewing machine needles, not the EL ones. I use Organ brand mostly, and these were new so I don't think there's a problem there.

Needle threads were coats and clark, I think. An older spool, but it was working fine in my regular machine. The needle threads didn't break, just didn't catch the looper thread.

Foot pressure I don't think I've ever adjusted -- I'd have to look up how, if it is possible. But the fabric was feeding fine. The neckline and sleeves required a little more monkeying, but strangely I didn't run into any problems there -- only on the hem did I skip stitches.
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Re: Coverstitch - skipped stitches on gauze

New postby sewingmom on Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:13 pm

Kaitlin, my cover pro does the same thing on light weight knits with lycra. I even drove to Kens Sewing Center in Muscle Shoals and had a class. The consensus was that you monkey with the tensions and presser foot pressure till it works. Also using the attachable table on the coverpro, to support the fabric was supposed to help with the skipped stitches. Since I haven't sewn any for 18 months, that's all I remember.
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Re: Coverstitch - skipped stitches on gauze

New postby MartySews2 on Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:49 pm

With your serger, it's best to use ELX-705 needles which have a little bit longer scarf and sharper point than a universal needle. While you might not need one for basic serger stitches, it does make a difference when doing a coverstitch. Also, because gauze is such a lightweight fabric, a little embroidery stabilizer like Wet-N-Gone helps to have a smooth hem. I always use ELX-705 needles when doing a coverstitch. Hope that this helps.
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Re: Coverstitch - skipped stitches on gauze

New postby kaitlinnegan on Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:12 pm

Thanks guys -- this is a Brother 2340 CV, and it specifically says in the manual to use regular home sewing machine needles (recommended is Schmetz 130/705H, which are size 90/14 home sewing machine needles), not the ELX kind.

Belinda - I will have to check on my presser foot pressure -- otherwise I guess maybe I monkeyed with the tensions enough? When I get a bit more time I'm going to dig up some lightweight fabric and test out various settings. Glad to hear about Ronnie's progress, and I hope your life will allow a little leisure time soon.

Marty - I was thinking the same thing about using some stabilizer. I think I have some water soluble and some tear away stabilizer somewhere. This gauze was not super thin -- it's the crinkle gauze you can get at Joann's or Hancock. But maybe it was just thin enough to cause a problem? I've never had any issues with skipped stitches on the thinner jersey/ITY knits I've been sewing on, although I have sometimes had trouble getting the tension right, and some stabilizer has helped at times.
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Re: Coverstitch - skipped stitches on gauze

New postby LeapFrog Libby on Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:20 pm

My Janome 900 cautions against using anything except EL705 needles in my machine. and also says 12 and 14's only.. I bought a package at Hobby Lobby the other day and they are marked with all the right info, but contain 10's in addition to the 12 and 14 sizes. I will probably just use them in my MC 4000 or my serger and not risk going against what the manual says. I'm a chicken about something that expensive which I cannot afford to replace. LOL. The machine, not the needles. LOL
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Re: Coverstitch - skipped stitches on gauze

New postby sewingrandma on Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:00 pm

As you all know I have the Brother CS machine also. Book definitely states to use schmetz 130/705H needles but it also says to used #90 only. When I purchased mine it was shipped with Organ needles 15x1sp size 14. It is all I have ever used on it and I'm sure you all remember the problems I had with my serger on this super soft knit. My CS stitched it beautifully with out any skipped stitches, puckers or any problem what so ever. On my sewing machine I had to use a #10 in order to get good stitching and my serger still isn't happy with it. Haven't tried the stabilizer yet-summer activities are getting in the way. Try a #14 needle if you have the scrap fabric to work with Kaitlin and see what happens then. I rarely have to change my tensions and I use Maxi lock thread, Sure lock (coats & clark) and super lock that came with the machine all without problems. Don't know if I've just been lucky but I'm going to keep doing it.
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Re: Coverstitch - skipped stitches on gauze

New postby sewingrandma on Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:35 pm

Kaitlinn, did you ever find out what made your coverstitch machine skip stitches. Mine has just recently started and I've changed needles, rethreaded and played with tensions. It doesn't happen often but it makes me very unhappy when it happens as I either have to rip out that stitching or go over it with my regular machine. I'm using the same type of knits as I was previously before the skipping started. I'm just hoping the timing is out of whack. A while back both needles exploded when they hit the throat plate (at least I think it was the plate). I don't have a clue as to why the needles broke either as I always let my fabric feed itself. The only thing I can think of is a pin got hung up on the table and cause the fabric not to feed. Anybody have any other suggestions not listed in this thread? Thanks.
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Re: Coverstitch - skipped stitches on gauze

New postby LeapFrog Libby on Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:01 pm

I have not had a problem like that. I checked and I only have Schnetz needles marked 'for coverstitch machines' in the tool box that goes to my CS machine. I have never put a regular needle in mine. I make sure I have needles marked for whatever machine they go with.
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