2340CV Turning Corners

My 2340CV, like each new machine, requires a span of learning. IOW you will be seeing a few posts that duplicate earlier information  but are specific to my learning the 3-needle 2340CV.  This week, I continued to work on removing the work from the machine and also stitching angled turns.

Read some place that disengaging the looper made it easier to remove the work from the machine. That takes several extra steps: open door, reach into the dark left, feel around for the knob and pull it to release. Fortunately there are no vicious animals within because I did a bit of fumbling and even pulled on the wrong thing. Any animal would have attacked my hand. Removing the sewing like this still requires pulling a little thread above the tension guides and holding down 3 tension buttons while scooping and pulling the threads underneath the foot. Oh and then when that’s done, I’ve still got to close the looper, close the door and lower the pressure foot before I start sewing the next time.  Guess who forgot one of more of those steps?

While this procedure  worked, there has to be some easier way.  (Why doesn’t lifting the pressure foot release the tension?  Is that really such an expensive add on?  I’m hoping it gets easier to pull the threads through the tension guides. They did on my Brother serger but who’s to say it’s the same thing for the cover stitch. I have to keep working at this because currently when I remove the work I’m either unthreading the machine or unintentionally causing raveling of the hem

I opted to use the 2340 to top stitch the pockets on my last pair of shorts. I should have rounded the sharp corner but then I would have missed this experience:

I stitched all the way up to the turn. Rotated the needles to their highest point; lifted the pressure foot; and pulled a little slack in the thread by using a small screw driver to swoop under the foot and capture the threads.  Did not pull much, I swear. Just wanted enough so that when  turned the work, well it would turn. Nope. Got long strings.

Had 2 pockets so tried something different the 2nd time.

This time, I rotated the needles to their highest point and then brought them about half way down. Lifted the pressure foot and turned the work.  A little better, but not nice and sharp.

I tried to secure the pocket and hopefully improve the appearance of the corners by over stitching at the sewing machine.

Again, improved; probably no one will notice because the fabric and thread blends very well.

TBH, I wasn’t always successful with the 900CPX either. The easiest thing will be cutting the pocket without  any angled turns. There are times when that is exactly what I want.

I was kind of frustrated.  Even thought of setting the 900CPX back up and keeping the the 2340CV for only those times I really want 3 needle work. But then I thought, the 900CPX wasn’t all that easy for me either.  For months I stitched nothing but hems and I found the unraveling issue with it as well. I’ve had the 2340 less than a month and already I’m pushing it to do something difficult.  I will keep at it but I also note that there really are some advantages to the 900CPX chief of those being the ease of removing the work from the machine. When I bought the 2340, I didn’t think about threading a 3rd needle. That means threading 3 needles at the CV, 2 at the serger and 1 at the sewing machine.  That’s a lot of needles and a lot of thread cones/spools.




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Qualifying my comments

I inspired a number of comments with my post yesterday. Love the comments but feel like maybe I was too negative?

I nearly always improve my opinion of anything once I gain greater knowledge of it and in the case of machines, develop good procedures.  Please don’t take my opinions without a good grain of salt, because I’m probably already changing. For example, I’ve been working more at removing the work from the machine. And it’s gotten easier. I still don’t have a solution that makes me 100% happy and will keep trying. My initial disappointment with the size of the throat has lessened. I found I can roll up enough fabric to get anywhere within in a blouse which is usually where I’d like to place decorative pin tucks. And I’ve found another plus: The lines on the bed are perfect for most of the hem widths that I use. My Janome didn’t have any markings.  Just saying, give the 2340cv a break; a little lee-way. I’m still learning and I really am glad to have both the 2-ndle and 3-ndle cover stitch machines. It’s a luxury I never dreamed possible.

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About the new 2340CV..

…so that happened when I was stitching drapes. I was using the cover stitch make a double row of stitching on all those long seams — side, hem, top channel. Long seams. Forever, long seams. One day, umm evening, I was just about at a quitting point when I realized the left needle had quit forming stitches. It was a very humid day and even in the basement, I was sweaty and hot; now frustrated.  I did try a few things but quickly decided this long day needed to end.  I put things away and went upstairs. The few minutes I spent trying to fix the 900CPX convinced me it was broken. After dinner and while watching TV, I started checking the Internet to see what was available and the cost range.  Well, Allbrands had the Brother 2340CV for $320. That was astonishing. When I bought my 900CPX 5 years ago for over $500, it was the cheapest machine on the market. But I didn’t pull the trigger on the 2340.  Nope I went back downstairs the next day and, having had time to calm down along with thinking a bit and developing a Plan B, I was ready.  I solved the 900CPX’s problem in about 5 minutes. The left needle was slightly bent. Not enough I could see it, but enough that stitches were not forming.

I finished the drapes. Went onto other projects, but thoughts of the 2340CV kept percolating in my thoughts. After several years of working with the 900 and discovering so many things it could do, I was beginning to wish I had purchased the 3-needle version. Not enough to check prices, you understand, but enough that now seeing a 3-needle CS for so low a price, I wanted itAllbrands had it to me in about 3 days.

I’ve been playing with it just enough now to share some early opinions.

First off, yes indeed the 3-needle hem is lovely; and fortunately I didn’t experience the issues that a lot of people on the net talked about.  Perhaps it was because of my previous experience with the 900; maybe it’s because I didn’t read about their issues until after I worked with my 2340cv. Whatever, sews nicely; fairly quiet IMO, not much problem threading (see removing from the machine later). Lovely machine.

Now for the downside:

I will echo that the Owner’s Manual is hardly worth the paper printed on but then that is typical of so many. Usually you get 50 pages with 2 pages for each language each tell you to use common sense.   You have to buy a TOL to get a good manual. (My Brother Dream came with a fantastic manual; all in one language.)

Pulling/removing the work from the machine is a pain.  I am right-handed. I cannot both press down on the 4 tension release buttons on the machine and swoop a tool underneath the foot.  I finally convinced my left hand it could hold the tension buttons down. So to release the work from the machine, I cross my arms in front of me and then twist to one side to make sure my tool is sweeping beneath the foot.  I do hope in time I will discover an easier way. Surely, what I did is not the easiest way but you know what, that’s exactly what I saw on the Internet.

The placement of the Brother pressure foot lifter bothers me.

It is on the right hand side. Same as the Brother serger I use exclusively for rolled hems.  I thought I would adapt to its position. But I’ve had the rolled hem serger for almost 2 years and I am still fumbling when I want to lift the foot. I wonder why they made this change.  My TOL Brother Dream, has the lift in the traditional place–right where my left hand fingers are trained to flip it up; as did my Viking Ruby and the now deceased Huskylock S25.  IOW, I do not like this no matter how logical it may seem to anyone else.

I was terribly disappointed in the size of the throat.

Any hem wider than 1.5″ is going to be a struggle. Most of the decorative stitching I do and for which I wanted the 2340, is impossible or at least very, very limited.

I also was disappointed to realize there is no place to attach accessories.  I know that a big expensive package of accessories especially for this machine is available. Not sure they were worth the cost or how they would attach, I started searching the net. What I found was thumbs down almost across the world on buying that package. Either the accessories are ineffective or the prep work takes longer than just doing it at the sewing machine; and so expensive.  My gosh I could buy all the generics I wanted and have a couple hundred dollars still in my bank account for fabric.  The inability to attach accessories is doubly disappointing because I’m used to quickly screwing on the 900’s attachments and zipping through hems and belt loops. ( Although I do some prep on the hems. I press and affix Steam-A-Seam)  Some users have successfully taped generic accessories to their CV.  I am wondering if it would be possible to have holes drilled in the bed?  Holes like my 900 has to hold the plate and some accessories?  Anybody know?

Well, I do like how it stitches. And even though I won’t be able to use the decorative stitches as much as I wanted, I do like the 3 needle and the options to have either 3mm or 6mm wide stitching. Definitely am keeping this–Love Allbrands  but they have  a very severe return policy that includes penalties and restocking fees.  So I am keeping this CS AND I am keeping the 900CPX.  Currently considering what size table to buy and more importantly where to put it. I think, like the rolled hem serger, having the 900CPX permanently set up and easy to access will mean that I use it frequently. Thinking the 900CPX will be my permanent belt-loop maker. Until I want pin tucks.


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Circular Lace Insets/Applique

Although it’s been over a year since I posted to this blog, I use my cover stitch machine frequently.  I consider this blog a roaring success because I went from using my cover stitch every 3 or 4 months to nearly every project.  I’ve found it the perfect near-perfect substitute for any twin needle application.  This latest project, the Slinky TRT, produced a new use: applying circular lace inserts.

I love my embroidery machine too.  I started this project with an inspiration or two

hunted through my personal collection of embroidery files until I found elements

that would combine nicely into my desired circular lace patch/applique/inset

Click the pic for more detail on my embroidery process

Once my patches were ready, I set up the cover stitch machine with black serger thread in both needles and the looper.  Thinking it would be easier to go around the curves, I set the stitch length to 2 and differential to 1. No other CS devices are needed i.e. the plate isn’t necessary or anything that fits to it.

I marked both my sleeve and lace with cross hairs using chalk.  I spritzed the back of the lace with a little stencil glue, aligned the cross hairs and hand pressed the lace into place on my sleeve. Although the glue is pretty secure, I slipped a couple of pins in to hold it in place just in case I became a little over zealous and managed to knock things about.

I repeated the alignment process for the other sleeve and went back to the cover stitch. I stitched at the CS aligning my lace edge with the foot edge

This is the first time I’ve used my CS in this fashion and I goofed. I had the right needle dropping just to the outside of the lace. Worked beautifully until I was ready to trim away the fabric beneath when I discovered that not only were the lace appliques secured with only 1 thread, but the edge was bouncing up almost 1/4″.  I didn’t remove the first round of stitching.  Umm, I’m too lazy for that.  I simply stitched around each applique a second  making sure that the right needle dropped inside of the lace. Consequently when looking at the back of the project, there’s a lot of thread.

I didn’t let that slow me down. I separated the applique and the fabric just enough so I could snip the fabric

And then trimmed all the excess

Repeat on 2nd sleeve before finishing the garment.

I was hoping that my lace appliques/patches/inserts would show up a little more than they did

I’m not unhappy but next time I will make the appliques large enough to be easily seen.

There’s a lot of thread on the backside. Partially from CS’ing twice around the applique but also my settings are not optimal. The stitches aren’t as beautifully formed as usual. My fault for not having made a test applique sample.  It’s something I will work on the next time.


What’s in the CookBook

Instruction Page

Need to collect samples next time.

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Lapped Seams

ETA 20171103 to replace Photobucket Hosting.

Lapped seams are discussed in nearly every sewing manual and are often mentioned in blog posts.  A search will provide many good examples and instructions. Essentially instead of sewing right sides together or wrong sides together, the seam allowances are over lapped a pre-determined amount and then top stitched.  The top stitching is placed just before the edge of the seam allowances and then repeated so that the unseen edge is also secured.  You end up with two lines of  top stitching and one visible edge.  I suppose, one line of stitching would be sufficient, but I’ve never seen lapped seams with only one line of stitching.  An alternative to making two separate lines of top stitching, is the twin needle or if 3 lines were desired a drilling needle.  Any time a twin needle is an option, the cover stitch is an option.

I’m still working on the sweater knit shown in the Faux Ribbing post. I wanted to give this typical T-shirt shape in a plain knit (albeit the slightly heavier sweater knit)  a little something extra.  I opted to cut apart the front, back and sleeves into horizontally.  I’m using the purl side of the fabric as the public side for the upper portions and the knit side public for the  lower portions.  It is color blocking at its simplest. No color-coordinating fabrics needed.  The stitch structure and available light create the color blocked effect.  A similar result can be obtained with corduroy, velvet and most napped fabrics.  I opted for Lapped Seams to joint the upper and lower portions. Firstly, just to do something different but also I wanted the seams to be as flat as possible.  I anticipated these seams might chafe because of their location.  A flat seam rubs less than a lumpy one.

First step for a lapped seam is marking where the seam should be.  My sweater knit wouldn’t hold chalk and ignored disappearing ink.  I was grasping at straws when I spied the masking tape.  I keep several widths because masking tape is handy in different widths at different times.  For this seam treatment I’m using 1/4″ masking tape.  I placed my clear quilter’s ruler over and 1/2″ down from what would be the top of the lower bodice.  I aligned my masking tape along the edge of my quilting ruler.  I was a little late taking pics, so here you see the seam already under the needle, but with upper SA lifted out-of-the-way so that the masking tape and under SA are clearly visible.


I arranged the upper layer to just meet the masking tape and then pinned profusely. Not kidding, the pins were about 1/2″ apart and doubled dipped (two pin bites instead of the usual single) when I sat down at the CS. Pins are not the only option for securing the two layers. Use your favorite method.  I used normal settings i.e. serger thread in both needles and the looper, stitch length 3 mm, Differential in neutral; and stitched away:


I removed pins as the foot approached them but didn’t remove the tape until the seam was complete.  I liked using the tape as a guide for my foot during the stitching.

The public stitching is practically invisible. I’m hoping that with time, the fabric edge will curl adding a little more emphasis to the seam. Side note, the masking tape was stickier than anticipated and required careful removal.

The back side is a little more obvious

My garment received lots of handling. Much more than I expected and the edges were stretch and loopy.  I made a second pass of the CS trying to really nail the seam into place. I’m hoping that the garment will last a few years. Regardless, the double stitched seam does look slightly different.  Private side:

and the front has an interesting welt/ribbing effect:

I think either single or double stitched are neat and could be even more interesting with contrasting thread.


Using a twin needle at the SM would give greater flexibility in the width of the top stitching. Twin needles are available (I think) between .8 and 5mm wide. I most often use the 4mm so the CS which is easiest to thread and adjust, would most often be my choice.  My second most often used twin needle is the 2.0 and maybe 2.5.  I have the others, but seldom use them. Whereas my 4mm and 2.0 have had to be replaced due to wear and I’ve purchased both ball point and sharp twin needles.  In retrospect, the 3-needle CS might have been a better choice for me. But I would use 3 needles or even the 2.0 spacing so seldom that I don’t get excited and have no plans to trade my 900CPX.


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^What’s in the CookBook:


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Faux Ribbing

I’m adapting this technique from an old Threads article. A quick search shows that the Sewing Divas also made a blog post. In the original Threads article, the author uses various twin needles to create the look of ribbing by using multiple rows of pin-tucks. Why would you go to all this trouble?  Ribbings have a purpose beyond simple appearance. Historically sweater knits have been protection from the elements particularly bitter cold and wind. People looked for ways to cinch the knitting close to wrists, necks and waists to keep the wind and cold from sneaking in through those openings. Ribbing, simple knit 1 purl 1 stitch, is a classic way to cinch those openings.  Many different ribbing patterns have been developed ranging from simple stitch combinations  to complex cable patterns.  Today, I mostly appreciate the fact that ribbing snugs knit fabrics close to my body creating a more visually balanced and attractive silhouette.

As has happened all too often this year, I have a light weight knit fabric but no ribbing.  My fabric is an emerald marl of acrylic fiber.  It’s a plain knit ie. knit on one side purl on the reverse. It is one of the few sweater knits I purchased this year that is not sheer but is light enough to wear inside or under other garments. There are options other than eibbing for finishing the edges. Some will even snug the garment to my body. But I really want and have decided to create my own ribbing using the information from the Threads article and my cover stitch machine, the CPX900.

I’ve shared pin tucking and reverse pin tucks with the cover stitch machine before. So this is not new information, but information used in a new way and using our cover stitch machines in an unusual way: Faux Ribbing for sweater knits. Faux Ribbing can be used and will produce a similar effect on any knit fabric from sheer knits to bulky knits.  If you have a 3-needle  machine, you have the option of 2 different pin tuck widths. However, for sweater knits, I really recommend the widest width(i.e. take out the middle needle).  I opted immediately for the longest stitch length. I can’t imagine using less than 3mm except with the thinnest of knits. I did not engage my differential. The CPX900 works really well for the fabrics I use. It was a machine designed for the things I sew.   In fact, I mostly adjust stitch length and as I’m doing today, and changing threads.

For the first round of testing I used serger thread in the needles and wooly nylon in the looper.  I’m calling it wooly nylon ’cause that’s the term I learned eons ago.  My cone is polyester not nylon; named “Stretch”; and  manufactured by  Maxi Lock.  I’m slowly acquiring one cone of each color Wawak sells. (I especially like this thread for rolled hems.)

I stitched 5 rows,  one foot-width apart. Wooly nylon type thread makes low but distinguishable ribbing. I didn’t have a color-matching “Stretch” and opted to use black which shows up pretty clearly there on the right side of the pic.  My sample didn’t seem to lose any stretch but the spaces between the pin tucks do the stretching and can become transparent when stretched far enough.  I have loose threads because I didn’t make a concerted effort to clean it up. OTOH the threads pretty much stayed like they should and didn’t make much of a mess to clean up.   I would prefer that the pin tucks were closer together for this particular sweater knit and stitch configuration. I actually like the reverse side better than the typical front side.

The sample with the lettering “Wooly Nylon” was done on a cotton woven for the purpose of testing the stitch i.e. did I get thread in all the guides that were supposed to have thread.

My 2nd test has the same settings including serger thread in the needles but uses elastic thread in the looper.  As far as I know, elastic thread comes in black or white. Period. Black was fine.

Again, the sample with lettering was just a test to see if I had correctly threaded the machine and in particular the looper.  On the front, the pin-tucks stand up nicely and draw in the fabric so that it looks more like a ‘real’ ribbing. The elastic thread practically disappears on the back side. Additionally, while the wooly nylon sample tended to stay flat, the elastic thread is gathering ever so slightly.  I’m planning pin tucks at least 13″ long  and can see the gathering could be a problem on work longer than my 3″ long samples. The back side is more messy. The elastic thread was a bit wild and seemed to ummm retain an opinion of its own.  In order to assure the elastic did not ‘snap back’  both unraveling from the fabric and unthreading the machine, at the end of each row I opened the front cover and pulled 6-8″ of elastic thread down into the that area:


This is annoying.  It has to be done at the end of every row. But I would do it if it produced the desired end result.

One important note, neither of these samples have been pressed,,,  YET.

I preferred working with the wooly nylon and performed a 3rd sample.  I kicked up the looper tension to 8.  this produced a satisfactory ‘ribbing’ for this project



^^^^^^^^^^^Whats in the Cook book?

3 Pages with all samples.  I consider none ‘wrong’ rather each would be useful for different projects.


Additionally, be sure to consider using both sides, matching thread and pin tucking the purl side for use as the right side.



Posted in Embellishments, Faux Ribbing | 1 Comment

CS Project: Lined Drapes

I’ve decided to start adding and linking Projects to this blog because most people don’t understand how useful a cover stitch machine can be.  It rather reminds me of when sergers where new.  People put their new in-the-box serger under a bed because they didn’t know when to use it after it was out of the box. My dealer tells me the #1 question they get about sergers is “What do I do with it?”.  I know this is also true of cover stitch machines because even as sparse as my posts have been, I continually receive thanks and something to the effect  someone is getting their box out and using their cover stitch  because of this blog. Onto this post’s topic:



I’m not going to teach you drapery. The basics are still

  • Determine the type drapery desired
  • Measure width and depth of the window
  • Calculate yardage and accessories needed
  • Buy it all
  • Cut
  • Sew Long Seams.

Constructing drapes and curtains is essentially sewing many long seams. So many that boredom sets in. I choose to use the cover stitching because

  • It sews really fast, much faster than my SM
  • Like the SM, the CS isn’t restricted to the edge which a serger is
  • The differential is built-in. i.e. no need to worry about creeping seams — a real hazard when stitching long seams.
  • There are accessories to help with turning and stitching hems. (Yes there are some for the SM too but I never mastered them.)

I made lined drapes at my DS request for light blocking drapes. He measured the windows. We determined that they wanted a plain drapery. No pleats, no rings. Just the standard 2 row header. I bought fabric and a good quality light blocking lining but no accessories. I could have added tapes to the sides, hems and header but didn’t. They are living in a rental and I’m not sure how long they plan to be there.  They need something in the living room to block the evening sun while they watch TV.  Naturally as a young couple, money is short and mom loves to help.

I didn’t cut so much as measure, snip and rip sections of fabric and lining to a predetermined  length. (That’s all in those calculations you’ll have to learn on a different blog).

I pressed 1″ side hems into place and then measured the width.  Theoretically, I could have taken the width of the fabric and subtracted  2″. For some unknown reason that never quite  works for me. I’m always off.  Once I knew the finished width of the individual drape, I ripped the lining into lengths and a width 1/4″ less than the width of the finished drape. I’m fortunate to have a large cutting table.  I placed the drape wrong side up on my table, then smoothed and arranged my lining wrong sides together on the drape.  I folded and pinned the side hems into place.

The CPX900 hemming guide

has the capability to fold the hem down and under but it hasn’t been totally reliable for me. I tend to use it  as a simple guide and press my hems into place. I used it on all 6 side-hems making the typical  two needle hem which secured the side hems and the lining in place.

The header and bottom hem needed a slightly different tactic. The guide would not switch to 2″ or 3″ width. Not to be defeated, I used *Glo-Line Tape.  I measured from the left needle to 2 and then 3 inches. Made a mark with a pen and then affixed my Glo-Line Tape.

I like the hemming guide a little better because it helps keep the fabric flowing smoothing in a straight line. I just kind of push the fabric towards the guide until I feel resistance. With the tape I had to man-handle the fabric and over-see the delicate operation of feeding straight into the machine at the same time.  For just a little extra help, instead of pinning the hem and header into place, I pressed up the desired depth and then fused with *Steam A Seam before again using the standard 2 needle stitch to secure these two into place.

I wanted a single line of stitching 1″ from the top of the header (drape).  I removed one needle and cone of thread for that stitching.

Finished Drape

Above I’ve shown the finished drape.  There is one unexplained line of stitching on the “inside”.  Just below what will be the top edge of the drape and stitched before the header was turned and secured.  That line of hemming secures the lining to the drape while they (DS and girlfriend)  try to insert the rod. It may not have been needed but at the CS it takes only a minute so why not?

Because I used the cover stitch machine, I  finished all 3 panels in about 6 hours. That includes at least a full hour of weaving in the ends, Frey-Check-ing them and pressing the panels.  I’ve made drapes at the sewing machine. I can assure you it takes a lot longer at the sewing machine.


Nothing added to the CookBook.  This project makes use of techniques previously posted.

*I’m in the US.  I find the named products either on Nancysnotions.com or Amazon.com

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