Creative articles about sewing

Sew seams with the combo stitch on the L 890

Sew seams with the combo stitch on the L 890. You’re probably wondering what the combo stitch is. After reading this blogpost, you will know all about it.

I will show you how the machine sews a combo stitch, one needle in the cover area makes a chain stitch, and an other needle in the overlock area makes the overlock stitch, together with the loopers:


First thoughts:

  • You will sew and cut in the same time. Only use this for exactly fitting patterns. Once you’ve cut while overlocking the seam, you can’t redo it. By the way it’s always very important to check patterns to your own body measurements. Many sewists think the size will automatically fit when they take their usual garment size. Some patterns are ‘loose fit’, others are ‘slim fit’ and only a small amount of persons have the exact same sizes all over the body (shoulder width, back length, breast width, hip width), not even speaking of body length. Don’t forget to check if the breast point is not too high or too low (with good underwear).


  • Do you know how many variations you can create with one good fitting pattern for a garment? A different collar, longer or short sleeves, waist darts or elastic, zipper or buttons, longer or shorter, V-neck or curved neck. It makes a different look as soon as you take different fabric. You will save lots of time when re-using and hacking patterns.


  • Try the seam on a leftover piece of fabric before starting to sew. How wide do you like the finished seam allowance to be? If you cut the pattern with a 1 cm seam allowance, check how much to cut of to sew on the right place. Think of the left or right needle position to sew. Consider a wide or narrow overlock stitch.


The seam allowance in different size:

Seam allowances can vary in size, depending on which needle position you choose for the straight stitch (chain stitch).

Far right position with wide overlock on the left makes a 17 mm seam allowance (set to 9) and narrow overlock stitch on the right (set to 5) makes a 13 mm seam allowance:

The needle set in the middle position for the cover area makes a seam allowance in between 14 and 11 mm.

And the needle in the far right position for the cover area makes a 11mm to 8 mm seam allowance:


What do you need?

  • A combo machine overlock/coverlock with combo stitch, that is the BERNINA L 890
  • The cut out pattern parts for a garment or project.
  • A good quality thread, like Mettler Seralon sewing thread
Image of BERNINA L 890.


The L 890 is perfectly suited for working with all types of fabrics, including knits as well as wovens. With One-Step BERNINA Air Threader ✓ Intuitive operation via touch screen ✓ Fast, precise & quiet ✓ Manufactured by BERNINA ✓ 100% designed and engineered in Switzerland ✓ 

Learn more

This is how you get started for the combo stitch and in the end of the video, you will get an impression of sewing it:


Various functions in the combo machine.

You can sew an overlock stitch, a coverstitch, a combo stitch (straight stitch and overlock in one line).

To use each of these functions, you are supposed to convert the machines. The needle placement is different for overlock as for coverlock, for combo stitch or for single straight stitch.

Animation videos help you to convert easily, it only takes me 6 to 8 minutes to change from one function to the other.

While working with this machine and sewing garments, I found a very useful trick to convert less. I’ll show it to you in a next blogpost.

Sew seams with the combo stitch on the L 890, it saves lots of time.

Difficulty level: Beginner
Time to Complete: Evening
Used Material: Mettler Seralon sewing thread
Used Products:
Clear Overlock/Combostitch Foot #C27
Clear Overlock/Combostitch Foot #C27

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