Machine Review: Brothers 2340CV Cover Stitch

For the majority of my sewing life, I’ve had only a sewing machine and a serger.  A couple of years ago I decided to up my game and add a cover stitch to the arsenal.  At first it seemed like a frivolous purchase because it is a bit one-purposed.  I don’t mean to make “one-purposed” sound like a bad thing because it’s not.  My straight stitch sewing machine would also be called one-purposed as it only does a straight stitch and it is invaluable.

Brothers 2340CV

 

 

Show Me the Money

I bought my Brother’s 2340CV from Amazon.  I have Amazon Prime so I got free shipping.  It is currently $350 which is a lot if you considering I can purchase 140 lbs of fabric from the Michael Levine Loft instead. Michael Levine Loft I was really frustrated with twin needling or stretching a straight stitch on knits and having stitches break with wear.  I really wanted to have a durable and nice looking knit hem.  I researched for a long time and for the cost and benefits this was the best machine for me.  The other machine I considered was the Janome 1000CPX for the same stitch options but it was quite a bit more money.

 

 

Stitches

The Brothers 2340CV has 3 needles so it can produce 4 different stitch types.

All Stitches

Triple Stitch: This stitch uses all 3 needles and is the sportiest of the stitches.  I’ve seen this stitch more on RTW active wear.  Personally I’ve only used it once.

Triple Stitch

Twin Narrow (3mm):  This stitch uses two of the needles.  Either the left and middle or middle and right.  I use this stitch the most because it is the closest to RTW garments I have.

Twin Narrow
Twin wide (6mm): This stitch uses the left and right needles.  I use this stitch occasionally when I want a wider stitch for thicker fabric or I’m trying to get a particular look.

Twin Wide
Chain Stitch: The chain stitch uses 1 needle.  I’m not sure if it matters if it’s the left, middle or right needle.  The chain stitch can be used as a basting thread because it’s super quick to unpick.  You can undo a long row in literally seconds.

Chain Stitch

Threading

Threading this machine is really easy if you’re familiar with threading a serger.  Threading is color-coded and numbered.  The looper hook pops out so I don’t have to use a crochet hook like on my serger to thread it.  Most of the time, I simply knot the new and old threads together, zero the tension and pull it through.

Threading Diagram

 

 

Presser Feet

If you have the Brothers 1034D serger the location of the presser feet lift, on the right side, will be familiar to you.  All the sergers and sewing machines I’ve used have the presser feet lift behind the foot so that’s where I’m always reaching for it.  It takes a while for new muscle memory to kick in.  The cost of additional pressure feet is where I think they make back their money.  $80 for a foot?!  I’m not use to paying more than a few bucks for a foot so this was a bit of sticker shock.  So far I haven’t had use for anything other than the foot that comes with the machine.  Fingers crossed.

Presser Foot Lift

 

 

Tension

The tension release is a bit difficult.  On most machines when you raise the presser foot the tension is released so you can just pull your fabric out.  On this machine the tension is released by holding the little, plastic-y tabs near the tension dials over to one side.  So it takes a little finger gymnastics to hold 3 or 4 little plasticy things to the right to release the tension while pulling out the fabric with your other hand.  There are quite a few tutorials out there on how to get your fabric out using a little tool thingy to pull out the needle thread(s), cutting it and then pulling the fabric out.  Again, not easy but very doable.

Tension Release

 

 

Harp space

The harp space is small like a serger.  There is a cover stitch machine by Janome that has a harp space like a sewing machine.  On a few occasions I had to fiddle with the fabric a bit because of the lack of space.  It takes some pre-planning and rolling up the fabric but the tight space hasn’t stopped me yet.

Harp Space

 

 

Final thoughts

So far I’ve used the cover stitch on hems of all sorts:  shirt, sleeve, pants, skirts, dresses.  I’ve also used it to topstitch.  What else have you used a cover stitch for?  I’ve really enjoyed having this machine as I’ve been sewing almost exclusively knits these days.  With my ever fluctuating weight and desire for maximum comfort I’ve even resorted to sewing knits that look like wovens.  I’m so bad, I know.

Happy cover stitching,

Signature smallP.S. if you screw up, make sure you visit my unpicking a cover stitch post to see how I quickly unpick a cover stitch.  It’s magical.

PatternReview Winter Street Dress

Welcome to the second stop of the Winter Street Dress blog tour!!  If you missed the first stop at Sew Crafty Chemist, drop by and catch up with Nakisha.  Her Winter Street Dress is

fantastic Breaking Bad font

See that Breaking Bad thing I did with the “Ta” for tantalum.. cuz she’s a chemist.  No, I have too much time on my hands, there’s a website that does this graphic for me.  Breaking Bad generator.

A Dress for All Seasons

The Winter Street Dress is the cousin of the Summer Street Dress. Between these two dresses, you have all seasons covered.   The Winter Street dress is a great for winter but also as transitional dress with the different sleeve lengths.  The skirt has box pleats in the front and back giving it a tulip shape.  The skirt falls above the knee which is perfect wear with tall boots in the Winter.  Read more about it on the PatternReview Blog.  For my Winter Street, I made a California winter version.  It doesn’t get that cold here so I made the elbow length sleeve with the flounces that brings it to about 3/4 sleeve length.

PR Winter Street Dress

 

Indecisiveness for the Win

The pattern recommends a medium weight knit like ponte for a structured look.  For the flounce version, they recommend a fabric with drape.  I wanted the structured skirt and the soft flounce sleeve, so what’s a sewist to do?  I did both!!  I modified the bodice to have the sheer knit fabric on top and ponte de roma fabric on the bottom.  To do this I drew a horizontal-ish line at around underarm level, cut the front and back bodice along the line and added 3/8” seam allowance to each portion.

Contrast Bodice

I sewed the top and bottom piece of the bodice back together and proceeded as normal.  I’ve been seeing this contrast top look everywhere and really love it.

Bodice

I Need More Curves

Another slight modification I did was to make the skirt a bit more tulip shaped.  The skirt on the pattern is a straighter down the side seams.  I needed more shaping to hide the mostly shapeless body underneath.  It was really easy modification.  I took a hip curve ruler and drew a gentle curve starting at the hips and gradually tapering in towards the hem.  The taper should be about an 1” at the hem for a total of -4″ in hem circumference.  You can free hand this if you don’t have a hip curve ruler.

Tulip Skirt

Fit Modifications

Surprisingly I didn’t need too many modifications for fit.  The dress is drafted for a C-cup and I’m an A-cup.  I didn’t have a need for a SBA because the style is a looser fit.  I also didn’t have to make any shoulder slope or petite adjustment which is a first.

I did have to make adjustment to the front bodice and skirt piece.  The skirt pattern is the same for the front and the back.  I have a lot more junk in the trunk.  My earlier claims is a *mostly* shapeless body.  I ended up taking the front in by about 1” on each side seam for a total of -2”.  This caused the pleats to be too far out giving me that not-so-flattering winged look.  Simple fix, I moved the pleats in closer to the center front.

Front Pleats

The change in the front skirt also meant that I had to adjust the front bodice to match at the waist.  To do this I drew a line from the underarm sleeve and tapered in at the waist 1”.

More Eye Candy

Isn’t my dress beautiful and oh so stylish?!?  I really love the dress with the sleeves and contrast bodice.  Read more on my Pattern Review.

Sleeve

Contrast

Finished Winter Street Collage

Winter Street Dress Blog Tour Continues

The Winter Street Dress Blog tour has many more stops.  I can’t wait to see all the different versions.  Tomorrow’s stop is the brilliant Velosewer at  http://www.cleverthinking99.com/  Come join us for a lot more Winter Street fun.  Blog tour schedule is below.

  1. Sew Crafty Chemist    4/2/2014
  2. Detective Houndstooth  4/3/2014
  3. How good is that?  4/4/2014
  4. Trumbelina Sews   4/5/2014
  5. daniKate Designs  4/6/2014
  6. Sherril’s Sewing Saga  4/7/2014
  7. Sharon Sews  4/8/2014
  8. Stitchin’ in My Kitchen  4/9/2014
  9. sewing forward
  10. Hellou’s Handmades  4/11/2014
  11. Crafted by Carrie  4/12/2014
  12. Beyond the Basic Block   4/13/2014
  13. Jan Made  4/14/2014
  14. Julia Bobbin  4/15/2014

Happy Winter Dress Sewing,

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