on 16 June 2014
I am going to say the same things that most other reviewers have said, but to put it into context, I am eighty years old, with all the usual accompaniments of poor sight, poor memory and mushy brain which go with the territory. I learned to sew on my grandmother's ancient black and gold machine - you had to turn the handle manually - no such refinement as what in those days was called a treadle which you worked with your foot. I decided to buy the Janome to replace my own old machine, which I must have had for about twenty years. I had given up using it because threading it up reduced me to a nervous wreck, it wasn't sewing well and the manual had been destroyed in the flood of 2007.
The Janome arrived within 24 hours of my ordering it, and was beautifully packed, without being as difficult to extricate as such things can sometimes be. I read the manual, which is clear and detailed, with excellent illustrations. I began to thread up very apprehensively, but found that it was all really easy. In addition to the manual, there are diagrams on the machine which make it clear. The needle-threader is amazing; like another reviewer, I can't see how it works, but it does, and it is a life-saver to me. Changing the stitch, the length and the width of the stitch proved to be simplicity itself.
I had a sewing job all ready - three new cotton jersey T-shirt nighties which had arrived with flimsy scalloped edges, which wouldn't lie flat, instead of hems. I wanted to replace them with straight-edge hems. My sewing improved with each one, particularly when I discovered stitch 2, which sews very close to the edge. In fact, I undid my first effort in order to improve it, as it was such fun to do. I found that I was winding bobbins and threading up without having to consult the manual.
I have one or two reservations, although none of them is enough to make me reduce my five stars. I think that, for the price, one ought to get a more substantial cover for the machine. Only a polythene dust-cover is supplied, and although it is reasonably well made, I can't imagine it would last for ever. I bought a brilliant bag from "sewing-online" (via Amazon). Maybe Janome feel that customers have varied requirements for a cover. The super needle-threader looks a bit flimsy; I shall treat it with great respect. I think the manual could give more detail about the uses for the various stitches. I subsequently bought a book about machine sewing, and found that a zig-zag stitch might have been more suitable for my hems than the straight stitch I used. But the new hems look fine, and lie flat.
So if you are nervous about using a sewing-machine, this is the one for you. I think perhaps I could have made do with a cheaper, simpler model, but it's such fun to explore that perhaps I shall be turning out corded button-holes in no time at all.
on 15 August 2014
Engineering seems excellent but I tried to sew jeans and it was not keen on the thick hems! It has a 15 sec cut out so at least I am reassured that I have not damaged it! 'Normal' sewing, especially using a 'jersey needle' combined with an invaluable 'walking foot' has been very successful. The ability to shift the needle quite a distance in position, from left to right or vice versa from the mid-point, is a real bonus and rather unexpected. Okay, so I am getting on a bit! I have an Elna top of the range machine from the '90's and an Elna overlocker but, for considerably less than I paid for each machine, I feel as if I had advanced into the future! My enthusiasm for sewing is very much increased after using this machine for a few days and the instruction book is really excellent and comprehensive!
This was bought as a retirement birthday present for my wife, a returner dress maker having not followed this interest during her rather busy working life.
She already had a sewing machine that was several steps up from entry level and which she had inherited from her mother who was good at dress making skills. That machine had proved to be a considerable encouragement to her and that was reinforced by her interest in the 'Sewing Bee' programme on TV as well as the skills of our elder daughter who regularly makes clothes for herself and her family.
Bearing all that in mind, the need was to find a machine that would develop further interest by being advanced enough to be a further help and encouragement compared to the other machine but not so advanced as to be a problem to solve.
This was the machine that I was advised to buy by a very helpful on-line supplier which he recommended would fit those criteria.
It has been a total success in all of those respects and the house is now rarely experienced without the gentle whirr of the machine or other related activities. My wife is absolutely delighted and has enjoyed making clothes and wearing them in remarkably short periods of time.
Furthermore, my wife has found the instruction manual to be both helpful and easy to follow. She has also found the Janome telephone help-line to be very helpful on the one occasion when she felt the need for such assistance.
The machine itself is well-built and sturdy. The metallic parts of the carcase add strength and rigidity which adds to its constructional advantage over other lighter and more plastic-constructed machines.
As a result of all of these experiences I would suggest that this machine would be a strong contender for anyone looking for an easy way back or forward with a sewing machine where much has been made easier and nothing has been too difficult for a non-professional to cope with and without undue hassle,
Highly recommended for consideration.
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on 29 May 2013
Having done quite a bit of research I plumped for this machine and am delighted. As a (lapsed) sewer, who had previously used a Singer from the 1950s, I wanted something straightforward to use for dressmaking and craft, but not so complicated that I would need a degree to operate it.
Well, what a treat. The on/off button negates the need for the foot pedal, which was a priority for me as a wheelchair user. The speed dial and range of stitiches has let me run up a blouse and repair my son'd school trousers with ease. Recommended as a good everyday and hobby sewing machine, very straightforward.
on 22 February 2015
I have had this machine since August last year. Speedy delivery, of course by Amazon! Being used to sewing with industrial machines, I was a little worried by a domestic machine, but this one is a beast, although a little slow for my liking, this machine has handled everything I have thrown at it so far, thick fabrics, layers of fabrics, have not tried jeans, but I am confident it will handle them too. Needle up and down, is important to me and easily threaded with the needle threader. Also drop feed allows free motion sewing for the avid quilter, although you will have to buy a free motion foot. I would recommend this machine.
on 15 June 2014
Have been using this machine for a few weeks now and very pleased with it. I have made two large sets of curtains and linings, cushions and done various repairs using different thicknesses of fabric and it has been faultless. I have tried the embroidery stitches and find these very easy to do. I am looking for a project for them. Great service from supplier would definitely use them again.