25 July 2015

Sewing Machine Review - Janome Coverpro 1000CP

Here is the final member of my sewing machine family, a Janome coverstitch machine.

What brand and model do you have? This machine is a Janome Coverpro 1000CP

How long have you had it? I have owned this machine since December 2013, so as of writing this review I have had it for 18 months or so.

As with a few of my other sewing machines, there's another story as to how I got this one. At the time that I was trying to get my Pfaff overlocker working properly again, I took it to my father while visiting him one Christmas to have him service it, and when he went to turn it on, it wouldn't even do that. That's when I said goodbye to my Pfaff.

Now, my father had a couple of Coverpro machines, still in boxes, that he kept on hand after he closed up shop selling sewing machines. As I was leaving to go home after Christmas, he offered me one of the machines. After a bit of rearranging the car, we fit it in, and took it home! This machine was used as a demonstrator, but apart from that brief bit of use, was as new when I got it, although the manufacture date is pre-2010.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)? This machine retails for around $600, but as mentioned above, it was a gift from my father.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)? I use this machine to do the hems on my knit sewing - tops, dresses etc.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? I pretty much only use this for hemming knit dresses and tops. There's also the occasional neckline too! So, this machine would be the least used of my (modern) machines. My four main machines all have places on the tops of my sewing desks, so I just move around the room depending on which machine I need to use. As I only have 4 places on desks for machines though, I don't have any desk space left for machine number five. Combine this with the fact that it doesn't see as much use, and the result is that it lives in a cupboard. Lucky for me, when we built my studio, we put in cupboards next to each desk to store the machines. It didn't take much effort to rearrange the contents of one cupboard so I could easily store this machine!

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? I love that I can do coverstitched hems, but this machine does tend to be a bit temperamental. More on this below.

What features does your machine have that work well for you? Well, being a coverstitch machine, it doesn't have many features. It can do a single chainstitch (that I haven't had the need to try out yet), a double stitched hem, (narrow or wide), and a triple stitched hem.

Hem prepped with vliesofix to keep in place prior to stitching
I generally go for the wide double stitched hem, and use a stitch guide (which I had to borrow from one of my other machines) to line up the edge of the fabric.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? Just a couple of things. My first gripe is about how the needle thread stays wrapped under the looper thread guide at the end of stitching. The instruction book tells you to pull the needle threads above the eye of the needle first if you are removing your fabric in the middle of stitching, and then pull the fabric loose. Unlike the pictures in the manual where you just pull it free however, this is what it looks like with multiple threads attached. You just have to be careful which thread you cut, as it is just a long continuous loop that you then pull free. 

My next issue is skipping stitches. My red example below is a rather extreme example of what it has done for me in the past. It generally sews really well, but especially when it is sewing over seams or bulky fabric, it will skip stitches. I tried changing needles, changing threads, and playing with the tension of the loopers and needle threads, but I think I have only ever sewn one or two things on it that haven't had this problem at all.

Before I wrote this review, a friend recommended to me to read up on this machine on the Pattern Review website. I had a look in the forums and read a few discussions on others who have had issues with skipped stitches. At least I'm not alone! As a result of this, I have played with my tension knob on the top of the machine (silly me, I always forget that there is one of those!), and all my settings. You know what worked for me though? Changing to the right needles. It uses EL705. I did know this, after all, it's written right there on the machine, but for some reason, hadn't been using the right ones. I changed to the correct needle in Size 90, as there had been some recommendations to change to the largest size needles if you have issues with skipped stitches. I'm lucky my dad doesn't read this blog, as he would scold me for not having done that first. I honestly thought that I had the right needles in it, but I didn't. When I get a chance to make something else that needs to use this machine, I'll write up an explanation of what I did to get the machine working properly (assuming that it does the right thing for me that is).

The machine features a removable extension plate so you can do free arm sewing, for example when hemming sleeves. I don't find this to be very helpful though. The gap does not extend all the way under the needle, so you can't get your garment all the way under the needles, and then if you try and pull it to the right position, you end up with your line of stitches not quite lining up anymore. Instead, I keep the sleeve inside out so I'm turning the sleeve around in a circle towards my face. Does that make sense? I'll add photos next time I do this.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? Possibly not. I have heard other bloggers raving about their overlockers that have coverstitch functions, and they don't seem to have problems with how they work. If I had a machine like that, I'd probably recommend that, but for one that for me at least seems to have issues, I would probably recommend trying out machines before you buy something. I hadn't even tried this before I took it home!

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? Get something within your budget, that does what you need it to do. I know that's not a very original sentiment, but you really need to try out machines and find what suits you best. In case you hadn't noticed, I'm a big fan of Janome machines, and will always recommend a Janome to others. Will it be the best machine for everyone? Perhaps not, which is why you have to do your own homework, and try out different machines. If possible, go to a sewing machine dealer first with your wishlist of functions, and try out different brands and types of machines.

Do you have a dream machine? One that works and does what you want. Need I say more?

Catch up on my other sewing machine reviews:

Janome 1600P
Janome Memory Craft 4800QC 
Pfaff Hobbylock 4870 (now  no longer with me)
Janome Memory Craft 300E Embroidery Machine
Janome Mylock 634D Overlocker


  1. I've just enjoyed reading all your reviews. Yes, this machine uses a different system of needle, I did know that. I used not to know things like that - it never interested me, until I was told that the needle I was using on my Bernina 217N wouldn't work because it was the wrong shank length - they were old needles I had from an old machine! My husband has just bought me a CoverPro, so I am going to find out how unco-operative they are soon.

  2. I'm glad you've enjoyed reading my reviews Sarah Liz. Most overlockers use EL705 needles, but I had received some different needles once when I ordered some overlocker needles over the phone. Don't be fooled by anyone else who thinks they know what is best, EL705 are the only ones you should use. Good luck with your new CoverPro, hopefully you won't have any of the issues that I have encountered.

  3. I have just found your blog off Tany's blog roll. I have a Brother coverstitch that I bought second hand and after 18 months have just started really using. I have some trouble with the thread for the middle needle breaking and also the same problem (I think) when finishing and cutting the threads. It seems such a clunky and archaic way to do it... for some reason before I had one I figure it would be a much more refined thread finish if you get what I'm trying to say. How lucky to get a gift machine! I'll read your other reviews now. Thanks.

  4. Oh I've got to come over and show you all the tricks that takes a while to find on all the blogs. It is a great machine and using embroidery variegated thread in the looper you have some great looking sports outfits.

    1. Variegated embroidery thread in the loopers? Now you're getting fancy. I'll have to think up something suitably impressive to try that on!