Sew Mama Sew has asked for readers to review their sewing machines for their Sewing Machine Master List (a great resource if you're shopping for a new machine), so here's my two cents about my much loved Janome!
What brand and model do you have?
How long have you had it?
Just celebrated our two year anniversary together!
How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
$299 - I purchased mine through Mr Vac & Mrs Sew because they had the best price at the time. (I also purchased my Arrow Olivia sewing table in pistachio - which I adore - and acrylic insert from them - great customer service!)
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
Quilts, clothing, home decor
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
Not enough! Between moves (i.e. the machine packed up not in use) and life getting in the way, I think I'd say the machine has averaged *gulp* an hour a week or so since I bought it? I need to improve that!
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
Love my machine. I grew up using my mom's Singer, and later her fancy Husqvarna and Bernina, but I really prefer my middle-of-the-road Janome to those.
What features does your machine have that work well for you?
A nice range of extra stitches - not too many, but plenty for what I do; easy to read/use digital display for stitches; automatic needle threader (I am just this past year as my reading prescription has gotten a tad stronger realizing how handy this feature is - wouldn't have shopped for it, but so glad I have it!); easy to change feet; and my personal favorite feature: locked needle down position.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
Finicky about thread - my machine hates 100% cotton thread and will jam and break frequently when I use it.
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Yes, definitely. Affordable, easy to learn, and some modest "extras."
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
Define what features you must have and find a machine that has them - it's worth paying a little more for features that will make sewing easier or more enjoyable for you (likewise, it's silly to buy a machine with a million features you won't use). And in that vein, price - if you're just starting out (like me!) then you want something that will last and let you grow into it a bit, but that you don't have to take out a loan for. There are many great machines at very reasonable prices, and plenty available second-hand for a bargain.
Do you have a dream machine?
Sewing machine? No. Long arm machine someday in the distant future? Oh heck yes! lol
Bonus: Do you have a great story to share about your machine? We want to hear it!
My story will probably get me in a lot of trouble if my mom ever reads it ; ) When I mentioned I was looking at buying a sewing machine, my mom instead promised to send me one of her sewing machines (an old Husqvarna Viking) that was sitting unused. A week later a brand new Janome arrived at my door. Confused, I called her and she explained that she and my dad figured why give me one that was so old and finicky (and still worth $500 resale - something she hadn't realized initially ; ) when I could just have a nice new one that wouldn't need as much servicing. I was thrilled for a new machine, but disappointed that it was a much more basic model than the ones I'd been looking at, and specifically that it had no needle down feature, which I knew I would use a lot. Not wanting to get blamed for looking a gift horse in the mouth, I quietly resold it and used their investment toward the next step up (and I don't think they ever noticed). Now that I've started appliqueing more frequently, I am so so glad I did - makes all the sharp corners that much faster to navigate!