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Shopping for new machine; presently own Janome MC3500
ssrfinesewing
ssrfinesewing
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MD
Member since 8/5/13
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Date: 8/5/13 5:55 PM

I've been sewing on my Janome Memory Craft 3500 for past decade+ and need to purchase a new machine; I need any feedback/advice please! I do both garment and home décor sewing, so I need a computerized machine that can handle a wide range of fabrics, does great buttonholes and has consistent stitch quality. I've had many problems with my current machine needing to "warm up" first, due to a grinding noise (step motor error) but then it will perform fairly well. The Janome machines on the high end receive good ratings, but I'm leery of the brand because of my present problems. I love many features of this brand though. 2 friends who also sew well rave about their Berninas , but I don't want to spend that amount. I'm not interested in embroidery or monograms, etc. Like to keep price under 2K. Recommendations anyone?

Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
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In reply to ssrfinesewing <<
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Date: 8/5/13 6:02 PM

I have a Janome 6600 and love it. Did your machine always perform this way? My guess is that it is just worn out and 10+ years is a long time for modern machines to last IMO. People are raving about the new Pfaffs but I think they are over that 2K budget. There are a couple of Babylocks and Brothers that might work for you too. I think you should just go and check out the Elnas, Janomes and other brands to find out what you might like. I looked for a year before deciding on the 6600. It was the best decision for me and I have had it for a year now with no problems. It should be about 15-1600 now the Elna version is a little more than that.

beauturbo
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In reply to ssrfinesewing <<
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Date: 8/5/13 6:51 PM

If you want to make sure your feed dog stepping motor can never ever fail, in any length of time, I think you do need a machine without one. Not all would even have one. But if the machine can sew straight or zig zag continuous more horizontal by the feed dogs jogging sideways, or if it can sew fancy feed dog up stitches actually wider than the stitch plate slot by side ways or catty corner feed dog movement, or it can even make extra long basting stitches, where the feed dogs go around several revolutions while needle just hanging out above in the air waiting to come down at the right time, or it even has hooped machine embroidery with it at all, then if it has any of those things, I think they all do have feed dog stepping motors for that.

ssrfinesewing
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In reply to Marie367 <<


Date: 8/5/13 10:03 PM

Thanks for your reply marie367. Consumer Reports rated the 6600 in their top 3 picks, but it was the most expensive. I'm willing to pay for quality; guess I'm nervous about a Janome because I may have just purchased a lemon. I purchased it at a premier fabric store in MD suburbs, and soon after purchase, they stopped carrying Janome and now only carry top-line Berninas. Had the step motor issue for some time now; I didn't want to put more $ into it. Guess I'm lucky it lasted this long, though it really slowed me down. I don't need most of the decorative/embroidery features of high-end machines; just want high quality and reliability. Yes, have also heard Pfaff love, and I wanted to narrow down my search - I need machine ASAP! Thanks for your input; I'll start at a local Janome dealer tomorrow!

SandiMacD
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Date: 8/6/13 6:12 AM

Make sure you love it! Janome, Brother, Elna and Babylock usually get very user friendly and satisfied reviews. They put out very low end no-name brands but once you step into that 1K+ threshold you should find a dependable machine that you can bond with.

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sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

Karlyn M.
Karlyn M.  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/6/13 1:59 PM

I am so sorry that you had bad luck with your Janome machine. Usually, they are sturdy, reliable, and so easy to use. I have a Memorycraft 4000, a Janome 4800, a Janome 4900, and several Kenmores made by Janome, and they have been workhorses for me. I have heard great things about the 6300, the 6600, and the Horizons. I wish you good luck in picking out a new machine. Take your time, and you will find the perfect one for you.

Aixoise
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Aixoise  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/6/13 2:09 PM

Though I'm primarily a Pfaffie, I've read many glowing reviews of the Juki 600. Check out the reviews here. I think it's in line with your budget and would be good for your home decor work as well as your garment sewing.

Mufffet
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Date: 8/6/13 2:25 PM

Well, I would hardly call your issues "bad luck with a Janome." You have had it over ten years!! Have you have it serviced a couple of times? Has it been in for a repair? That would be all in the usual train of events. I would think your machine has given you many good years! :)

Before you buy, read the reviews here for many of today's machines. Get a feel for the brands, and then go look around. If you ask the perennial "what should I buy" here, you will be told that some people love Bernina, some love Babylock, some love Pfaff and some love Janome, and some love Brother. Plus no doubt other brands out there. I have sewn on nice Janomes, Pfaffs, a Viking and even a Bernina. Today's TOL sewing Janomes like the 8900 are wonderful machines, but pricey, and so are the other brands. TOL has always been pricey.

I would say that you should make this odyssey fun and start looking at machines at dealers, online and reading reviews. Then get the machine that you feel best sitting at and it really won't matter the brand.

HAPPY HUNTING! :)
-- Edited on 8/6/13 2:27 PM --

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"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
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