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Janome 6500/6600
no free arm
kate1950
kate1950
Member since 10/23/06
Posts: 25
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Date: 12/12/06 6:58 PM

I am thinking of purchasing a Janome 6500 or 6600. However, being mainly a garment sewer, along with home dec. and professional costume work, I am concerned about buying a machine that does not have a free arm. Either of these machines has great, professional features, but I'd hate to make such a major purchase and then be frustrated every time I need to sew a cuff or pants hem. I think the 660 has a built in walking foot as well.

Any advice from owners of these machines?

Thanks.

FranW
FranW
Intermediate
Member since 12/12/06
Posts: 5
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In reply to kate1950


Date: 12/12/06 7:07 PM

Hi. I own a Janome 6500 and I love it! I sew a lot of quilts, so the lack of a free arm is not a big deal to me, but I have done quite a few hems and it really wasn't bad. Hope this helps. FranW

kate1950
kate1950
Member since 10/23/06
Posts: 25
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In reply to FranW


Date: 12/12/06 7:12 PM

Thanks for the input. I'm going to test drive them tomorrow. I'm trying to make an intelligent choice now that I've decided to upgrade to a computerized machine. I suppose I could always switch machine to do cuffs, etc., but that seems to be kind of a pain.

sheep29
sheep29
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Kansas USA
Member since 1/31/04
Posts: 49
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In reply to kate1950


Date: 12/12/06 8:04 PM

I first bought the 6500, but upgraded to the 6600 because of the accufeed foot (which is terrifc) and the 7 piece feed dog vs. the 5 pc. feed dog on the 6500. To me, the difference was worth the extra bucks. Also, the 6600 foot lifts up a lot higher than the 6500 if you sew thicker items. I mainly quilt so the free arm doesn't affect me, but I can't say enough about the quality feel of these machines. I plan to do a review soon on mine. I test drove Bernina, Pfaff, and Viking and none of them felt as substantial as the Janome. Good luck in the search!

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sheep29

Portia Hirschman

Portia Hirschman  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Maryland USA
Member since 5/22/04
Posts: 501
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Date: 12/12/06 10:01 PM

I tested the Janome 6600 at the Sew Expo. I tested buttonholes and they couldn't get it to work properly. Every buttonhole came out a little different even when they were supposed to be exactly the same (try the key hole). They (the sales persons) were definitely oriented toward quilters and not the garment sewers. I spent over an hour there trying the machine with various stitch combinations, etc. I asked about the free arm and was told it was no big deal. Then I went to Bernina and then to Pfaff and back again. I ended up with a Pfaff 2048. Just goes to show falling in love with a machine is an individual thing.. Although the 6600 was a "bigger" machine physically, I was more impressed by the Pfaff's quality of stitches and it felt more solid to me than the Janome. Good luck in your search!

kate1950
kate1950
Member since 10/23/06
Posts: 25
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In reply to Portia Hirschman


Date: 12/12/06 10:38 PM

Thanks Portia and Sheep. I plan on trying the Berninas and Pfaffs as well, but I was intrigued by all the features the Janome includes. I will definitely give the buttonholes a good test run.

AnneM
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AnneM  Friend of PR
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Member since 7/30/02
Posts: 7143
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Date: 12/13/06 9:08 AM

I'm a BRAND NEW 6600 owner (a few weeks).

I am becoming very fond of the built-in walking foot. It is very useful on certain troublesome fabrics, like the slinky T's I've been making.

As for no free-arm: I kept my old machine in case that bothered me. I sew primarily garments. As I said, I've just gotten the machine. So far I've made 3 T-shirts, a couple of gift bags, and am working on some placemats for a Christmas gift (my one home-dec venture). I did not have any difficulty hemming the sleeves of the t-shirts. It is similar to what you do when hemming a baby's shirt on a free-arm machine, since those sleeves are too small for the free-arm anyway. Yes, the free-arm can be easier sometimes, but I did not mind using the flat bed.

One of the stitches I am very impressed with is the knit-stitch (#6, I think). It is kind of like a narrow zig-zag, but not really. It looks more like how you draw a bolt of lightening. It has a good amount of stretch, without so much thread that it stretches out the fabric (which was a problem with the stretch stitches on my previous machine). It doesn't say you can in the manual, but I use that stitch with the walking foot without any problem.

As you can see from my list of garments to-date on this machine, I haven't made any that use buttonholes yet. But the buttonholes are one of the reasons I bought this machine. I have done some tests on scraps and they came out well. Perhaps I am less fussy, or perhaps I am lucky.

------
With a great wardrobe that's still in the flat-fabric stage.



Member since 12/31/69
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In reply to kate1950


Date: 12/13/06 9:11 AM

Quote: kate1950
Thanks Portia and Sheep. I plan on trying the Berninas and Pfaffs as well, but I was intrigued by all the features the Janome includes. I will definitely give the buttonholes a good test run.

Try out those buttonholes on the Berninas and Pfaffs too before making your decision. I have owned Berninas and a Pfaff and presently have a Kenmore/Janome. The Bernina machines made beautiful buttonholes while the Pfaff did not. Pfaff has a history of problematic BHs so it will pay to check them out before buying one. I liked my Pfaff 1475CD very much and used it for eight years before selling it, but if you do lots of garment sewing with BHs then you will want a machine that makes good ones. Good luck and happy SM hunting!
kate1950
kate1950
Member since 10/23/06
Posts: 25
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Date: 12/13/06 6:39 PM

Interesting buttonhole input. I'll watch out for that when I look at Pfaffs. I tried the Janome 6600 today and it's buttonhole was very nice. Also, the walking foot seemed to work well, albeit the fact that it's in two parts and the detachable part is kind of large. Attaching that piece is a bit akward. I appreciate the feedback from Anne M regarding her experience sewing garments with her 6600.

I'm checking out the Vikings and Pfaffs tomorrow. Bernina has always been my ideal, but they are sooo expensive. I can probalby afford a pre-owned 165, a 1630 or something like that.

Dealers in my area are heavily weighted towards quilters, so they stock low-end entry models, very expensive embroidery machines and then maybe a couple of machines specifically geared towards quilters, which the Janome 6500/6600 seem perfect for. It really is a very nice machine.

Thanks again.

Patzee

Patzee
Beginner
Washington USA
Member since 2/9/05
Posts: 89
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In reply to kate1950


Date: 12/14/06 1:22 AM

Can you check back into this forum and let us know how the button holes compare??? I just purchased a Janome 6600P and I think the button holes are fine, but would sure like to know if other machines do a better job -- and just how much better they are. Thanks!

Pat

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Patzee

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