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Forum > Sewing Machines > Janome Sewist 500 or Babylock Molly? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Janome Sewist 500 or Babylock Molly?
Which to choose?
Sandicomm
Sandicomm
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Date: 8/18/13 3:43 PM

Hi friends,

I last wrote asking about the Bernette 46, which I was thankfully dissuaded from! I am going to be starting fashion school in a week and was looking to replace my old, unfortunately defective Janome 11574. After much research, I've settled on either the Babylock Molly or the Janome Sewist 500. They seem like the similar machines, it's just that the Molly is more expensive.

I already know I like the Janome interface and I was very pleased with my machine when the backstitch didn't jam. I've been looking at reviews of both the Molly and the Sewist. On Amazon, it seems like some people got some Sewist lemons so I'm a bit weary of that. However, a professional seamstress friend told me that she finds her shop's Molly is finicky and she prefers to use her Sewist at home. The only real Janome and Babylock dealers in NYC are down the street from each other and an hour away from me. The Babylock dealer would let me trade-in my Janome for a credit, so the price for the Sewist and the Babylock would be the same too!

I guess my real question is, am I more likely to get a Janome lemon or a Babylock lemon? And what do most people on the board prefer before I drag my old machine out to Queens for that trade-in?

karen149
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Date: 8/18/13 4:10 PM

They are the same. I just got a Sewist 500 and it's fine. I noticed that the needle can be moved to the left only, which is kind of weird but most of the time I move the fabric anyway. It has a nice, no-nonsense way of sewing, which is pretty standard for a mechanical machine. It comes down to what color you want to look at.

bestgrammy
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In reply to Sandicomm <<


Date: 8/18/13 4:30 PM

Hello Sandicomm Nice to meet you.

Got a few questions...sorry...just need more info.

What is defective about your "old" Janome 11574...and how "old" is it? Seems that particular sm with the red accents hasn't been available for very many years.

You like the Janome interface...as in computer interface? The Sewist 500 is all mechanical...not even anything electronic on it.

I have not even seen a Sewist 500 in person...all the same...I venture to say that IMHO it is probably not much different in functions that your Janome 11574. The outer design is different and one has sliding adjustments and the other has knobs...but they are like comparing apples to apples...although different apples they are very similar.

As for the Baby Lock Molly...that is also a sm I have not seen in person...but will also venture to say that it is very much like comparing an apple from the same branch as a Sewist 500.

What does the Baby Lock dealer say the difference is about the Molly compared to a Sewist 500...have you dared to ask?

Of course...it would be expected for the dealer's answer to favor the Molly...but it would be interesting to hear what he/she says.

Have you test sewn on a Molly and a Sewist 500 to maybe feel/hear/experience a difference of your own perception?

You mentioned being very pleased when your machine didn't jam during backstitch...was that a Sewist that you test sewed? If so...was that using the dealer's test swatches...or something you brought to sew on? Did your professional seamstress friend have you sew on her Sewist 500 at her home? Maybe she will or has let you sew on her shop's Molly.

Is backstitch jamming the defective issue with your 11574? Or what else is it doing? What is happening...sewing with what thread, needle and material...when it's being defective?

Sorry for all the inquiries...but they are important needed info.




-- Edited on 8/18/13 4:32 PM --

Marie367
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In reply to Sandicomm <<
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Date: 8/18/13 4:56 PM

I am a big Janome fan but I have not sewn on either so take my advice for what it is worth. I think both are pretty similar. Keep in mind that there can be alot of user error and people will blame the machine so you have to take reviews for what they are-people's opinions. I tend to trust reviews on here as people seem to be pretty honest and knowledgeable. Your friend seems to be pretty knowledgeable and has sewn on both. Are you sure your old Janome can't be fixed and made to work for awhile? I think once you get to school you may have a different idea about what you want and if you could wait it might be to your advantage. Anyway, you should sew on both of them and see which once you like.

karen149
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Date: 8/18/13 5:08 PM

One good thing about the Sewist/Molly is that the pressure of the presser foot can be adjusted.

JTink
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Date: 8/18/13 5:14 PM

I have the Janome 11574. But I got it at Sears as a Kenmore 18221. I also have the earlier version, 16221. Both are identical machines, just different colors. I love mine. I'm not using either at this point because I've gone "computer"(Babylock Tempo). I see where they are still selling them on the Janome site but are asking about $400 for them. Yours might be worth fixing as Marie suggested.

I've seen Molly at my Baby lock dealer. I've not tried her, so can't vouch for her abilities. In my opinion, your 11574 is a better machine.
-- Edited on 8/18/13 5:19 PM --

Sandicomm
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Date: 8/18/13 5:59 PM

bestgrammy and everyone else,

Thanks, these are great questions. I bought my Janome 11574 refurbished from overstock.com five years ago. It was fine for the first few months but it suddenly started making a loud grinding noise and the fabric would jam in the feed dogs and the back stitch would not work. I got it repaired and it was fine for maybe four months until the machine jammed again. This pattern of repairing and jamming kept happening and the space of time between repairs and jams would get shorter and shorter. Me and another seamstress friend of mine opened up my machine and everything seemed fine. I don't know how the repair guy fixed it, but whatever it was is a short term fix. At this point I've probably paid for the machine twice over and repairs and I'm done with it. I've seen other reviews for the same machine that said the same thing, except the problems started a month or two after they bought it. It was a great machine when it worked, but I can't have an unreliable machine that will a) break down at a moment's notice and b) be in the shop for a week or more. I think this machine had always been defective but since I was a light sewer until I graduated from college the defects weren't noticeable until this past year when I did a bunch of projects on it.

I like the way that the machine is laid out with knobs and sliders. It looks like the Sewist 500 is the same, and I think I would be more comfortable with that.

As for the dealers, I'm probably going to test drive the Sewist 500 tomorrow at a sewing studio in the city that is graciously allowing me to come in in between their sewing classes. They also happen to sell the Sewist 500 on their website but they are NOT dealers. If I really love the Sewist I'll probably buy it on the spot and just sell my finicky 11574. But it might be worth waiting until later in the week when I have the time to go to Queens. Thanks for the suggestions. I just wanted to see what others thought before I take the Sewist for a twirl.

sew2006
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In reply to Sandicomm <<
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Date: 8/18/13 7:19 PM

Go to the Babylock website and Janome website under specifications you can down load the PDF's of the manual.

------
Janome10001, Babylock ESG3, Brother ULT 2001, White 634D serger, Pfaff 1472, Singer featherweight, Singer 14T957Dc, Bernina FunLock 009DCC coverlock, Brother PQ1500S, Janome CP900.

AminaHijabi
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Date: 8/18/13 8:47 PM

They are the same machine. Get whichever one is cheaper and/or comes with more feet. Either one is a good choice :)

Marie367
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In reply to Sandicomm <<
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Date: 8/18/13 8:51 PM

Sandicomm, I didn't realize when I posted before (until JTink mentioned it) that the 11574 is the same as the Kenmore 18221-I have that machine and it is a great machine. I don't use it much now as I have a Janome 6600. Wow, I am surprised that you had trouble with it. You said you bought refurbished. I thought refurbished machines were repaired/fixed to be like factory new. All the trouble you had with yours makes me think that it wasn't right to start with and should not have been refurbished. I think you if buy a new machine from a dealer you will be fine. I would sell you my 18221 because I don't use it much but I can't bear to part with it
Let us know what you end up doing.

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