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|Janome:Memory Craft 6600 Professional (Sewing Machine)|
|Viewed 1271 time(s)|| |
48 more reviews for this machine
Review rated Very Helpful
by 13 people
|Reviewed by:||Butter Bean|
|About Butter Bean |
|Member since: 11/2/11 |
|Reviews written: 4|
|Sewing skills:Advanced Beginner|
|sewing machines reviewed: 4|
|Posted on:||2/1/13 11:16 PM|
|Approx price paid:||$1410|
|Had this machine for:||1 1/2 years|
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- Needle Threader
- Needle Up/Down Setting
- Embroidery Stitches
- One step buttonhole
- Drop-In bobbin
- Adjustable Stitch Length and Width
- Adjustable Presser Foot Pressure
- Adjustable Needle Position
- Auto Threading
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|What Butter Bean likes about this machine|
First of all when I first went looking for a new machine I was overwhelmed with how much things had changed including prices! I hadn't purchased a new sewing machine since 1997-98, we were stationed in Alaska and I had purchased a Kenmore 385-17124 because my old white had quit working. I still have my Kenmore and it still works great but I wanted a variety of button holes and more power and some modern features.
I started looking online to figure out what I wanted. I decided I wanted to purchase a Kenmore 385.19606 but I soon found out that that model was discontinued and that Sears was going to stop selling Kenmores all together. I was very disappointed about this because Kenmores are usually pretty nice machines for the money. I did manage to get one of the last 19110's and I gave to my daughter as a wedding present. I was looking for something with presser foot pressure which I quickly realized was on the more expensive machines. I went to all my dealers here locally and they really didn't have a lot of machines to actually test out, especially machines in the mid range I was interested in, even though I live near a big city. They all told me they would be glad to order me a machine,though. I didn't want to buy one I could'nt try out first. I did try the Elna Quilting Queen 7300 at a LQS they wanted $1700 which was way over my price range, then I checked out the Janomes. I test drove the Horizon 7700p priced at $2700, I LOVED it but I only had $1000 cash to spend. So I went back home and researched some more and found out that Janome made a machine very simliar to the Elna 7300. Called the Janome dealer back up and she said she would give me a good price on the Janome 6600p as they were having some kind of show special that week and she was going to get 6 more new ones in and would give me the show price 1299.99 plus 8.25% tax ($1410). They did not have the 6600p at the store to try when I was there the first time so I quess that's why I didn't know they had that model. The dealer told me it was a nice machine and that most people did not have problems with it. I asked her to save me one and then sold some broken jewelry to get the rest of the money. I was actually scared that day driving across town with that much money in my pocket. LOL
When I get ready to sew with this machine I can actually SEW. I don't have to fiddle or adjust anything and I LOVE that! It sews very smoothly and quietly to me. I think the straight stitch looks nice. The stitches are in a straight line, tight and even compared to other machines I've tested. The actual stitch looks a little slanted but it sews out in a straight line and even no stitches longer than others . No stitching where it sews 4 stitches and then one will be crooked or wonky (uneven and not in a straight line) It is very user friendly and just seems easy to navigate. (The Singer L-500 will stitch a few stitches in a straight line then the next stitch will be completely out of line. I do not like that.)
This machine has 404 Total stitches (all together) including block and script alphabets and 7 buttonholes. One of the buttonholes is a sensor one you can customize to the size you want. It has speed control and a start/stop button but you have to unplug the foot pedal to use it. It has an Automatic Thread cutter that WORKS everytime! Comes with a knee lifter ( not adjustable) and resin extension table that measures 23 1/2 x15 3/4 (it is not clear). When you use the knee lifter the feed dogs do not drop like they do on the Singer L-500. This machine has a 0.6 Amp motor and weighs about 26 lbs. It has adjustable presser foot pressure/ locking stitch/ needle up down that stays programmed to what you set it to unlike the Singer which constantly resets itself to up when you want it down. The foot control has a retractable cord and it does tend to travel on the floor so I put a square of rubber shelf liner under it to keep it from moving. It came with 13 feet ( zig zag, overedge, rolled hem, zipper, satin stitch, blind hem, cording, overcasting, auto buttonhole, darning P2, 1/4 O, open toe satin, dual feed AD). I purchased seperately a straight stitch plate and accufeed 1/4, stitch in the ditch and open toe and a tractor foot. It came with a plastic accessory box that fits all the feet,seam guide, quilt bar, screwdrivers and other accessories. I liked the fact that I didn't have to purchase a lot of extras it came with a lot of accessories included. YAY!
This machine has a harp space of 8.8W x 4.7H and sews 1000 stitches per minute (spm) when it is in a zig zag mode it sews 700 spm.
It has a feed balance dial. The pressure foot lifter is in the back of the machine and can go very high up and can stay at that high setting. I like that also.
You can adjust a lot of stitches (width and length) but some will not let you adjust them very much, but this is more adjustment then I've ever had on a machine. But for example the #04 overcast stitch in mode 3 is not very adjustable and also #05 right next to it is not adjustable except in length. This kinda disappointed me because I wanted it smaller in width when I was trying to use it. The straight stitch is more infinitely more adjustable. It doesn't seam to be picky about thread.I can still use my old coats and clark dual duty poly wrapped cotton thread. The best blanket stitch I have found is the #39 in mode 2 you can adjust it to suit and it doesn't take those 2 stitches in the length like some of them do.
This machine is a High Shank 7mm machine and does not have a free arm. (The Singer is a low shank 9mm machine and has a really nice and very small free arm that I like because it is small like the Berninas). The Janome is very solid and seems well made except for I the sewing bed finish since my pins were marking (crazing) it. I was afraid that eventually it would chip the paint thats why I covered it with clear removeable vinyl ( people in that past had trouble with the paint chipping on this model and the 6500p). It has a horizontal drop in bobbin and a separate motor for winding bobbins. It has enlongation, mirroring and a memory that can store up to 50 patterns. It also has 2 lights one above the harp and on over the needle the lights cast a yellow hue they are adequate but could be better. But then again this machine has been out for a while. this machine was Janome's TOL before the Horizon came out. It also has an external feed balancing dial but I really don't see what it does. I tried to use it to see how it helps the feed but it really wasn't apparent to me that it did anything. May be someone can shed some light on this function. I thought it was supposed to help with easing in fabrics...? The bobbin winds fast and more evenly than my previous machine. The Dimensions are 19.5W x 11.8H x 8.6D
My absolute FAVORITE thing about this machine is that you can set a resumptive setting. On Pg#28 of the manual it tells you how to do this. What it does is it remembers the last stitch and settings you had it on before you turned it off and returns to those settings when you turn it back on. So if your in the middle of a project and you need to turn it off then when you come back and turn it on your last settings will be there (the Singer does not have these two types of memory functions).
My other FAVORITE setting is the memory recall button #10 ( it has those arrows on it on the top part of the display). This will save a favorite stitch setting. For example you changed the width and length a button hole you press the recall button and when you go back to that stitch/ buttonhole it will bring up the settings you saved. I tweaked a bartack buttonhole and when I wanted to make another on a different project it remembered my settings and since I can't remember anything anymore this is a great help to me. I don't want another machine with out this kind of feature.
The Accufeed is a little tricky to screw on because there is this bar in the way on the left so I just attach accufeed foot then lower the presser foot down all the way and then screw it on and then raise it back up. It is a little bulky but I think it works very well and I tend to use it a lot! It has a nice smooth and quiet motion. Seems very powerful when it pierces something thick it will make a low deep thunking sound. It has a tendency to make those tiny stitches when it's getting ready to go over a thick seam (like a jean flat felled seam) using the right size needle increasing presser foot pressure and lengthing the stitch will help. This DOES bother me but the Singer does it too. I really don't know why it does this, is it the feed or the the design of the presser foot? If use the Accufeed foot it does better with this situation.
I haven't had any problems with it losing tension at all, this something I have constant trouble with the Singer ( the Janome has a manual tension the Singer is automatic). I have decided I do not like automatic tension because of that machine.
It seems to handle knits well. I haven't really created a knit garment but I have done a mock cover hem on it and it turned out pretty well. I set the pressure foot pressure to almost Zero I didn't get that waving so I was happy. I also played with the #6 lightning stitch and did get some waving but I think I forgot to reduce the presser but I did use a stretch needle for both applications.
I made my son- in - law a puffy pirate shirt for a halloween party( I always think of that Seinfeld episode about the puffy shirt) and it came out really nice. It looks very professional and the buttonholes looked great. I did have trouble on one of the buttonholes because it had a thickness change in the cuff that the other one didn't have and it didn't want to sew the buttonhole properly. I wound up redoing that cuff to "Make It Work", as Tim Gunn says. I do a lot of seam ripping when I sew.
I really don't know what a good machine made buttonhole is supposed to look like. I thought I liked the way the Singer's buttonholes looked but when I stitched out a practice one to put on the cuffs of the pirate shirt I did not like how they looked ( they looked rough almost like the satiny part was underneath not on top of the fabric, very weird but I have been having erradic tension problems with this machine. The Janome buttonhole was smooth and satiny. I wish someone would either explain or post pictures of what a good machine buttonhole needs to looks like. I don't want my things to look homemade. Please comment if you can describe how it needs to look.
I made my daughter a Bo-Peep costume for her class and her preschoolers were the sheep. On that costume I had to attach a bodice that was 2 layers with a very full gathered skirt that also had an overlining that was also gathered and install a zipper it and it did that without a problem ( I did use the accufeed attachment when I did this). I also appliqued 3 inch pink circles all around the skirt to look like polka dots. Next time I do that I will put the polka dots on first then sew the skirt together. ( you can always think of easier ways to do things after you've done it the hard way, LOL ). I had that whole skirt stuffed into the harp space I'm glad it was bigger 'cause I needed the room to manuever the appilque. My serger didn't like when I was trying to finished the seam where the bodice and skirt came together and almost quit on me right in the middle of it. LOL How do you finish all those thicknesses and make it look neat?
I have pieced on it but I used the Accufeed 1/4 foot and a straight stitch plate. I set the needle to 5.6 to 5.7 and seemed to give me the scant 1/4 inch. I verified it with the little yellow perkins ruler the ripstitcher told us about. When I pieced some triangles it did a few times try to eat the fabric even with the straight stitch plate on! I switched to the O2 1/4 foot with the straight stitch plate and it stopped doing that. It just doesn't seem as accurate for scant 1/4. It FMQ very nicely but I am am a novice at it. I only tried it on a sample size 10x10 with muslin top and backing with warm and natural batting, I haven't finished my quilt top yet (it's a kit). I'm a slow sewer plus it's my first quilt and has a little of each kind of technique.
It does not have a low bobbin indicator, but that doesn't really bother me yet maybe it will when I actually quilt my quilt. Who knows...
Anyway, I think this is a pretty nice machine for the money and to think I thought about selling it shortly after I got . I really didn't think I was going to like it. I thought the Singer was going to be a better fit for me but I really like the Janome a lot. I will update as I use it more.
What Butter Bean does not like about this machine
At first I didn't know if I liked the machine or not.
The knee lift seemed to far over to press for me. ( Janome just recently came out with an Adjustable Knee Lift and I bought it. It's much better now I don't have to sit in a weird position anymore to try and reach it.)
My pins were making craze marks on the bed of the machine kinda like what knives do to Corelle dishes. This upset me because I don't like my stuff to look bad. I was able to get it off with a magic eraser ( whoever invented those things is a GENIUS, I love 'em). Then I bought some clear vinyl measured it fit around the bed used an exacto knife to cut out where the needle plate is. Then used a hole punch to make hole to weave elastic thru and tied it around . Turned out really well and I don't have to worry about it getting scratched or paint chipping off and I can still get the needle plate on and off. And I can remove it easily and put it back on easily.
The Script lettering looks ugly to me. When you program in your name and it stitches out there is a big space between the first letter and second letter it looks weird and there isn't a way to get them close together except stitching the the first letter than move the fabric closer to the first letter before you stitch out the rest of the letters. (The Singer L-500 has really pretty script lettering and doesn't make that weird space. I love it and want to use it to label the quilt I am making).
When I was upset about these things a while later I purchased a refurbished Singer L-500 and have been comparing them. I found that I am constantly fiddling with Singer and it takes up a lot my sewing time, whereas the Janome never gives me any trouble. Except, I did have a problem with my Janome not stopping when I was sewing. It just kept sewing even though I had taken my foot off the pedal I didn't know what to do at first but then it dawned on me to just switched it off, LOL. I had to do a lot of seam ripping as that episode goofed up my project because the machine wouldn't stop and I couldn't think fast enough of what to do. I brought it in to my dealer they told me this was a known problem with runaway machines. They gave me a brand new foot pedal.
Anyway if I think of anything else I to add I'll let you all know but so far I am very pleased and impressed with this machine. I know my dealer has told me the price for this machine has gone up not down. She said it's about $1800 now. I wonder why the prices are going up not down especially since this machine has been around for a while anyway I'm glad I got it when I did because now I would not be able to afford my own machine. LOL Butter Bean
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