Monday, April 11, 2011

Schmetz JLX2 NM90 Size 14 Coverstitch needles

I'm posting this as a reminder so this never happens to me again!
Over the years I've come to realize that novice sewers are always impressed with some of the materials I choose to work with,  mainly lightweight and stretchy jerseys.  I think many novices are under the impression that certain fabrics are harder to work with than others.  I disagree to some level.
I personally find jersey to be the easiest type of fabric since it's so forgiving.  If I accidentally sew into a seam 1/8" more than I should it wont affect the fit.   But if you're working with a woven fabric you've just made your overall garment at least a 1/4" smaller. 
The difference is that I use the right tools!  And this is what makes working with these fabrics so easy.
It's amazing to me how much of a difference it makes to use the right needle.  My first experience with silk was a nightmare because I forgot to replace the ball point needle I'd used on a previous project.

For sewing jerseys I use three machines - and all of my machines are home sewing machines.  I don't like industrial machines because they're really loud.  I enjoy listening to music while I sew.  I own a vintage singer zig-zag industrial sewing machine and I've probably used it less than ten times in the four years I've owned it.

I use a 4 thread serger, a vintage zig-zag machine and a Bernina Coverstitch Machine.  I bought the bernina over a 5 thread serger with a cover-stitch option because I realized I sew so much it would be a pain to have to convert my machine everytime I did a coverstitch.
I hadn't had any problems until recently when I ran out of needles and couldn't find a replacement.  I never realized how important cover-stitch needles were.  I always figured if I couldn't find my regular needles I would just use ball point needles.  But when I tried this I realized my machine kept skipping stitches.  I tried about 10 different brands/types of needles before I finally found my regular ones.
I got my order this morning, I've been sewing jerseys all day and I haven't had a single skipped stitch!
These needles are pretty expensive in the world of sewing machine needles (about $15 per pack) but they're worth every penny.


  1. Patricia, I haven't had any success locating anyone who sells the JLx2 needles. W ould you please tell me from where you bought yours? I have a cover lock machine that hasn't been used for a long time due to my not being able to find those needles; (which I find frustrating) by now she might have forgotten how to sew.
    Thanks for posting the importance of using the correct needles.
    Kind regards, Lizzie

  2. I got mine directly from the Bernina store and I do remember that I had to wait for them to be special ordered. I would imagine that a shop that specializes in home sewing machine repair is going to be able to get these for you.
    Also, if you do a google search for "Schmetz JLx2" and click on the "shopping tab" you'll see a few options.
    After purchasing the JLx2 needles, I stopped having the skipped stitch problem until I started sewing a lot of rayon jersey fabric. Rayon and other lightweight stretchy fabrics can be a huge pain on a coverstitch machine. I've worked around it by using a rolled hem stitch or casing instead of cover-stitching in these types of garments.