Cover Stitch Vs. Serger Machine: Differences And Similarities

Cover Stitch Vs. Serger Machine: Differences And Similarities

When you are new to sewing, one of the first hurdles you might face is distinguishing between a serger and a cover stitch machine. Many people think these two machines are the same, but that’s usually a misconception.

Both machines look similar at first glance, but the way they work is hugely different. Although the serger and the cover stitch have commonalities, they can be more suitable for specific applications. This article aims to explore the serger and the cover stitch machines in-depth and helping a beginning sewer to make an informed choice regarding the accurate one.

Beginner sewer doesn’t always realize the difference between a cover stitch and a serger. Many beginners are wondering why it’s helpful when they hear the word “cover stitch.”

Therefore we will evaluate these machines in this cover stitch versus serger blog to find out how they operate and what job a sewist cannot do without an overlay machine.

What is Serger Machine?

A serger and an overlocker are two different names for the same machine. Americans generally call them sergers, and almost everyone else calls them overlockers. A serger carries out an overlocking stitch, which is more like knitting than cutting.

Overlocking or serging trims and binds the seams to prevent the material from splashing out. It polishes the insides of the clothing professionally. Sergers are occasionally used to embellish seams. The serger is quite different from a sewing machine and requires three or four threaded paths, including two loopers.

These loopers perform the knitting of the overlock stitch. A serger also has sort of knives that cut seam allowances when they are fastened.

What is a Cover stitch machine?

A Cover stitch is a particular sewing machine, most commonly used for hemming knit materials. Most Cover stitch machines employ one, two, or three needles plus a thread looper underneath the machine. The threads work together to create a stitch that can be extended and is excellent for knitting materials.

Yes, the machine appears quite similar to a serger, but it works somewhat differently. While a serger is used to build and finish seams, an overlay is utilized to achieve that professional look. The cover stitch machine produces a parallel line of stitches on the front and a chain section on the back that covers the raw edge of the textile.

Most cover stitch machines may also use three needles. Creating a triple line of parallel points can create a unique decorative aspect of your garment. You may even use different thread colors for an exciting twist in each needle.

Significant Differences between Serger vs. Coverstitch

  • An overlocker/serger is built to cut the borders and serge the edge of the textiles. It can thus do two tasks at a time. This dual-action is essential to saving time and represents a big difference between a serger and a cover machine.
  • A cover stitch machine requires a work area more prominent than the work area needed for a serger. There is a serger’s workstation on the left side of the sewing needle. The lateral cover is usually more minor, and the plate is more diminutive. However, many newer versions of sergers also demand significant areas of labor.
  • Cover stitch machines have a thread looper because only one bottom thread is enough to construct a cover. But sergers have two loopers, on the other hand. They can work with a looper, however, and only utilize two top and bottom threads.
  • The overlocker machine is meant to produce two lines of stitches that make the finish more noticeable on the threads. The machines are also able to sew materials similar to the classic sewing machine.
  • There is very little room between machine housing and the right-hand needle on a serger than covering stitching machines.
  • Although previous models only have one needle, most sergers typically have three needles; the cover stitch machine usually has three. However, there are newer serger versions that allow you to utilize 3 or 4 needles.
  • Serger machines contain two knives that are intended to cut while you stitch on uneven cloth edges. It establishes a level playing field for you. But cover stitch machines have none, on the other hand.

Significant Similarities between Serger/overlocker and Cover stitch

  • The cover stitch machine and the serger do not employ regular, universal needles, such as those used in home sewing machines. The types of needles required for these two machines be mentioned in the owner’s manual. However, it is also possible to install and utilize needles on standard home sewing machines.
  • Both cover stitch machines and sergers are ideal for delicate and robust threads with slender or smooth surfaces.
  • The free arm function is another common characteristic of both machines. This function makes working on small regions and sleeves easier for you. They also have an adjustable presser base that can accommodate several layers of fabric or even larger fabrics.
  • Both the machine and the serger include a control dial or knob to modify the differential feeding mechanism.
  • The machine and serger both feature a knob that can be used to change the stitch length.

Sewing Machine vs. Serger vs. Coverstitch

The machine includes one needle and an option for fitting one or two threads according to your task. It is used for stitching and cleaning seams. The virtual sewing machine may generate straight or cross-stitches for different lengths and widths.

A sewing machine is necessary if you want to do embroidery and a serger or cover stitch is optional. Of course, you will need machines occasionally, as they do most of the work. But a sewing machine will make it easy for you to cut up the piece and sew buttonholes, screwdrivers, etc.

Often referred to as the “Overlock,” the serger is an advanced sewing machine type. Depending on your expertise, it may cut and trim your seams as you stitch, making them both convenient.

In contrast, the cover stitch is a significant addition to the collection of your sewing machine. The machine may appear from the outside complex, but it fundamentally has one function. It stitches hems on extended garments.

Combo Machines

Combo serger/covert machines are offered for persons who have no room in their houses for several devices. There is a warning; a combo machine tends to be more complex, and it takes time to change the function.

Moving back and forth between machines in a project simplifies things and can save real-time. A combined machine may be a decent solution for more casual sewers. But it’s a compromise because the serger with covering does not have a free arm. It is also argued that a combo machine can’t achieve flawless overlock or coverage, but this is dubious.

Video Guide Link

You can watch the entire guide in this video


Serger vs. Coverstitch? You will make your creative life easier with unique sewing machines such as a serger or cover stitch. Both offer a wide range of stitching characteristics and functionality. Although many look identical, their finishing and decorative functions vary greatly.

Neither machine will replace your ordinary sewing machine. But both machines have distinct attributes and characteristics that will make your sewing tasks professional and easier.

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