Cover Hemming with the Ovation

December 29, 2014 in News, Tips & Tricks

Hello hello! We’re going to talk Cover Hem stitching today with the Baby Lock Ovation Serger (and you can follow this tutorial with the Baby Lock Evolution, as well)! It is super convenient to have the cover stitch available on your serger! I am going to show you how to set your machine up for the Cover/Chain stitch. It takes a little set up switching between the Overcasting and Cover/Chain settings, but, once you get it, it’s so fun and very professional looking! The more you do it, the faster you’ll become making the switch between the 2 machine settings! Set aside some time today and practice changing your machine back and forth between the 2 settings several times.

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First, go ahead and move your needles to the C2 and C3 positions (we’re setting up for a Right-Narrow Cover Stitch). Place 3 spools of Madeira Aerolock Premium Serger Thread in the place designated for C2, C3, and Chain Looper.



Then, open up all 3 of your doors on your machine. The picture below shows the left side machine door (and then, open the 2 on the front of your machine).

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Change your machine to Threading and turn your handwheel toward you until your looper tubes lock into place.

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Because you have the Evolution or Ovation, you can thread in any order you’d like. We will start with the Chain/Cover Looper. Take your thread up through the antenna guide and then, down to the metal bar (shown below) on the right side of your machine. Thread that bar from right to left, then, let the thread fall to the back of that bar.



Then, loop it under the “bar” and up, around and over the Cover/Chain Stitch Tension wheel.


And, place in the hook before pulling it down toward the Chain/Cover looper tube.


Pull about 20 to 30 inches of thread slack down. Place about 1″ of thread into the looper and “Push to Thread.”


You’ll see the thread pop out in this little box (shown below) next to the feed dogs underneath the machine cover on the left. Just leave that thread tucked in that box.


Here is a close up of the little box, next to the feed dogs. (You may see extra threads by the feed dogs in my picture below, but, that is from the needle threads that we are about to thread…the pink arrow is just showing the feed dogs location and the box next to it where your Cover/Chain Looper thread should appear).

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Let’s go ahead and thread your needles. You’ll run both threads up through the coordinating antenna guide and then hook each one into the appropriate guide in front of your thread spool, behind the “head” of your machine (shown below).

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Run them each down their appropriate guide and up and around the metal piece (shown below) and then, down to it’s appropriate needle (this step is much like threading a sewing machine). Make sure to catch the hook above and before the needle to keep it in place.


Thread your needles.


Make sure to pull this door off and…


Replace it with the table door.


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Turn the Upper Looper Selector knob (shown below) to the left for the “Down” position to disengage your upper looper.

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Lock your blade down. Adjust your stitch length as desired (mine is about 2.5). Your stitch width is not applicable.


Make sure your Chain Looper Tension (that knob on the upper right of your machine where we ran thread through) is on Cover. Want to get a PDF version of this blog post? Click here!


Now, the fun part (not that the threading part wasn’t fun, right?)!! Cover Stitching!! Whenever I hem something, I double the amount that I need to take up and mark a line with that measurement around the entire hem allowance. So, if I am taking up a hem allowance of 1″, I mark 2″ and then, I press my raw edge up to that 2″ mark, creating my 1″ hem. Hopefully that makes sense, but, it’s an easy way to see where you are ironing up to. For a Cover Hem, I typically like to hem up an inch of fabric.


You’ll want to stitch on the top side (unless you are going for an “overcasting stitch” look on the outside) and you’ll want to start your first stitch into fabric (the Cover Stitch doesn’t chain off like the Overcasting Stitches).


When you go all the way around, back to your beginning stitch, overlap your stitching (trying to stitch right on top of your beginning stitches). When completed, turn your handwheel once completely towards you and then, once completely away from you to unlock your stitch. Lift your foot and gently pull your project out. To finish off the ends so they don’t come undone, you can either, pull all threads to the back and knot, fray check the overlapped stitching, or just run it through the sewing machine (just over the overlapped stitches) and backstitch over the stitches several times to lock all thread ends.


If necessary, trim away any major excess hem allowance. And, you’re done! The Cover Stitch is especially nice on knits because it allows for stretch!


Want to get a PDF version of this blog post? Click here!

22 responses to Cover Hemming with the Ovation

  1. Hi Stephanie,

    I have an appointment tomorrow to see about purchasing an Ovation serger. I am so excited! I am doing my homework (research) on this machine before I get my hands on it. That way I am informed before I actually open the box! (I was like this in college too…I always bought the book before class so I could know what I was supposed to learn. Just me ;0)

    Your tutorial is very well written and easy to understand. The photos (and pink arrows) are so helpful. Thank you so much for your time and patience in putting this together. It is very much appreciated.


    • thank you for the very clear instructions. I have a pre-owned EVolve and have not tried this yet. now I feel I can.

      somewhat like the earlier poster – I too, in school, would go to the end of the book to see what it had to offer, then decided whether or not to sleep thru the class. lol. I always knew what was going to be taught next and was one step ahead. I have to know as much as possible about a project before I start. Your tutorial is great! that is how I would present something. Great Job! thank you i will give this a try tomorrow.

      • Thank you, thank you! So many sweet compliments! How did it go, Susie? Did you get a chance to try it out today?

  2. Hi Pamela! That is so exciting! Thank you for your sweet compliment; it is greatly appreciated (made my night)! I’m such a visual person and so I think it comes out in my visuals, as well! 🙂 I am so glad that is was helpful! The Ovation is an awesome machine; it has been like a dream getting to work with it! Be on the lookout for some fun serger tutorials coming on here and in the free Projects on our website, as April is National Serger Month!! 🙂

  3. Stephanie, Wonderful visuals. So easy to follow. Thank you for the work you put into this for us.

  4. This is an excellent tutorial! Pictures are wonderful and instructions clear. Thank you for taking the time to post this. I can’t believe you don’t have a million comments!

  5. I’m so glad I found you. Now I’m excited about my Ovation all over again. I have a wonderful, super-supportive dealer but I’m disabled and frequently in too much pain to get out to a class or a personal session with her so I’ve been experimenting on my own. This video is a God-send. I can’t thank you enough!!!

    • Oh yay! I am so glad it is helpful! I don’t know where you live, but, here in the STL, MO, it’s too freezing to even go outdoors anyway! 🙂 Let me know if there’s anything you have questions on or other tutorials you might like to see! I always love new ideas to write about that other people may be asking the same question about or could benefit from the information, as well! 🙂 Thank you so much for your comment!

  6. Thanks for those great instructions, that is so much clearer than trying to work it out from the book

  7. Thank you for the tutorial. I have the Evolution but haven’t tried the cover stitch as yet. I am familiar with it as my previous Pfaff had the cover stitch. I need to take these directions along side of my serger and try it.

    • Yes, it does take a little set up, doesn’t it? 🙂 I used to avoid using the cover hem because I would have to take the time referring back and forth to my manual and such, but, after practicing it several times, it got so much easier…I have to say though, it’s nice to have it documented now so that I, myself, can easily go back and refer to this when I can’t remember what settings I should be on and such, lol. 🙂 Thank you for your comment! Happy serging!!

  8. I have had my Evolve for several yrs and never got this or much else figured out so have never used it to it’s potential. Thank you, Thank you for teaching this old dog a new trick!

  9. If i want to change the thread color or go from narrow to wide? what is the best way to do that? how do I get the thread out and replace it either with a different color or in a different position? since you don’t ‘chain off’ using the coverstitch, not sure the best way? just cut the threads and pull with the foot up?

    • Hi Susie! Yep, that is the way that I do it, just clip in front of the needle and pull that thread through. Thanks for commenting! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  10. Great job, Stephanie! I have been to class 4 times at my dealer on using my Evolution and we learned the cover stitch twice. I took pictures with my cell phone before I unthreaded my serger to go bac kto a different stitch after doing the cover stitch and even drew arrows in a couple of places ON MY MACHINE! LOL. Now I can erase my arrows and print the pics in your tutorial. Thank you so much. Baby lock should let you draw diagrams for their manual bc the threading diagrams that come with the machine–although good quality–are much too small for some threading steps! I have even gotten out my magnifying glass to determine the thread path and I have excellent vision.

    • Thank you so much for the compliment, Jane! It means a lot! I am so glad it is helpful!! 🙂 Happy serging!

  11. Fantastic tutorial, Stephanie. My Ovation can do so many things so it is wonderful to see such a great refresher to the classes.

    • Hi Kirsten! They really are awesome machines! So glad this is helpful! Thanks for the comment; it means a lot to hear from readers! 🙂

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