Double Needle Mock Cover Stitch for Knits


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T-shirts, sportswear and other commercial garments made from knit fabrics are generally finished using a cover stitch machine. While you can purchase a cover stitch machine for home use, Holly Willis shows you how to achieve the same finished look using a standard sewing machine.

Cover stitch

A cover stitch is a double line of stitching on the right side and on the wrong side it looks like several zig-zags. This stitch stretches slightly, making it the ideal finish for knit fabrics. A cover stitch, rather than a straight stitch, is used on any area of a garment that will be stretched or stressed, as a straight stitch will most likely break. It is good to have knowledge of knit vs woven fabric in order to know what kind of seam finishes are best to use.

Twin Needle

Having proper sewing needle knowledge and knowing about the different types of sewing needles available can help make sewing projects easier. Holly demonstrates how to achieve the look of a cover stitch using a twin needle on a conventional machine. A twin needle, sometimes referred to as a double needle, is two needles attached on one shank. Twin needles come in various sizes, much like single needles, and are labeled on the needle package. There will be several sizes indicated, one is the needle size and one is the distance between the two needles. Twin needles can be spaced anywhere from 2 to 6 mm apart. When using a twin needle, ensure both the presser foot and throat plate of the machine have a large enough opening for the twin needle.


When using a twin needle to create a mock cover stitch, two spools of thread will be needed. Holly shows you how to thread your machine for using a twin needle and gives you tips on how to ensure the thread does not become tangled or twisted.


Once the machine has been set up and threaded, Holly shows how easy it is to create the look of a cover stitch. She shows how to measure and fold under the edge to be stitched and how to line the raw edge up along the center of the twin needle. She then demonstrates how to ensure your fabric stays lined up while stitching.

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12 Responses to “Double Needle Mock Cover Stitch for Knits”
    • National Sewing Circle

      Hi Cherie.
      Yes, the mock cover stitch stretches slightly with the fabric.
      Hope this helps!

  1. Diane Casey

    It would be helpful to mention which stitch type to use – you won’t get the back zigzag with just a conventional stitch. Not every machine is computerized as well…so you can’t just imput “mock cover stitch” and have at it.

    • National Sewing Circle

      Hi Diane. Thank you for your feedback. Your comments are important to us and we will forward your comments on to the proper department.

  2. Nancy

    Did you use the bobbin thread to thread the needle? Which sides of the needle go with which thread?

    • National Sewing Circle

      Hi Nancy. When you are using a double needle you will be sewing with two spools of thread on the top. No changes need to be made to the bobbin. Thread both threads through your machine just as you would if you were only using one, then at the needle, thread one through the right side needle and one through the left.

      Hope this helps!

    • National Sewing Circle

      Hi Elizabeth. The great thing about using a double needle for this technique is that it creates a stitch that can stretch with the fabric without having to make any modifications to the type of stitch you are doing.

  3. Laurie

    I watched this twice because the fabric being sewn seems to be thicker than the piece it was cut from as well as white on the back. Is there a iron on backing for support? I sometimes use an iron on stretch jersey on flimsy knits.

    • Customer Service

      Hi, Laurie. The fabric that she is showing when she first explains what stitch she will be teaching is not the fabric that the piece she sews is cut from, rather it is a t-shirt that she is using to show what the stitch will look like. The piece of fabric that she demonstrates the stitch on does not have any kind of backing. It is a sweater knit, sometimes called ‘sweatshirt fabric’ at some fabric stores, which is why the back is a lighter color.

  4. Carol

    So cool! Thank you so much for this! I have been doing two rows of loose stitches. I always wondered how to use a double needle. Can’t wait to try it!

  5. Laurie

    Hi, a different Laurie. When I got my first Pfaff, I was trying all the new stitches, including the double mock coverstitch. I was so disappointed when it came out with a tight stitch that had a pintuck, instead of lying flat. I realized I would have to loosen the bobbin tension and didn’t want to mess with my new machine that much. I got over it though. Still have that 1471 Pfaff and still use it. I am thinking of getting a new coverstitch machine, could live without it, another sewing machine, but would be handy. Good video. I do use an interfacing that was referred to me as “iron on jersey” it goes by other names. It has a shiny knit with a light stretch and has many uses for me besides this, but I use a 1inch wide strip all the way around on the raw edge, helps tame those pesky knits especially the super light ones. Also makes it easier to sew a nice looking hem. I always practice on my husbands discarded work T-shirts just to be sure whatever new technique for knits I find before I work on a customer item. Also now you can get narrow double sided tape which might help. I just prefer the quality of my hems when using iron on jersey.


Tags: cover stitch, double needle, Free Videos, needle, twin needle