Member since 5/12/10
Date: 7/10/12 7:33 PM
Hello all! This is my first post on pattern review though I've been here, lurking quietly many times before. There's some great information to be found here. I can't remember if my questions have been addressed before, so I'll apologize first in case they have.
I bought myself a new Janome 6600 just before Christmas, 2011, after much research online. I had narrowed it down to the Janome and the Juki f600, having decided that either one would be a good choice and not cost a fortune. Last year I was in Southern California visiting my sister and managed a trip to Sewing Machines Plus, where I was able to try out both. The Janome just felt better to me than the Juki. Since the machine I was replacing was an almost 35 year old Kenmore, I suppose I didn't know really what to look for and pay attention to.
Anyway, there are a few things about it that really bug me! When I stop sewing, either forward or backward, the machine takes an extra stitch. It doesn't stop when I tell it to stop! Do all computerized machines behave this way? Also, when I start a seam, very often the fabric gets pushed down into the needle plate hole. My Kenmore did that also sometimes, but I don't remember it being this bad. The third thing that really bugs me is the needle plate itself. I'm not a quilter and sew mostly garments and some craft things. The 5/8 seam allowance markings are not easy to follow. My Kenmore had a nice long line all the way down, which also helped me go around curves. I'm also having a difficult time edge stitching evenly like I could with my Kenmore! Honestly, there have been a number of times that I've just wanted to sell this Janome and go back to my old friend (which I still have).
I wonder if I just need to get used to it. I haven't used it extensively. One thing about it that I love is the needle up/down button! Awesome!
Any advise or consolation would be much appreciated!
British Columbia Canada
Member since 3/24/10
Date: 7/10/12 7:48 PM
Hi Allegro, I don't have a Janome 6600 but what I can say is, I do know what it's like to have a machine that is just a joy to use. I think having a machine that we can really bond with makes an enormous difference to whether or not we enjoy our sewing time. Life is way too short to be at all frustrated with a sewing machine. Even if you think the machine is a very good one, (they seem to be very popular) maybe it's just not the one for you. You will probably be better off looking for one you can really bond with. Also, (even though none of my machines are "fabric eaters") I keep a roll of stitch n ditch paper handy for starting difficult fabrics, top stitching arounds corners and whatnot
Member since 12/10/07
Date: 7/10/12 8:10 PM
Annette, I owned the 6600 for just shy of 2 years. It is a workhorse. Unfortunately, it will take an extra stitch or two when you take your foot off the pedal since it needs to complete the stitch cycle. There is nothing that can be done with that. I also had fabric getting pushed down into the hole at times. Try a sharp needle and see if that helps. For the 5/8" markings, try using a extra fine tip Sharpie and fill them in so they are easier for you to see. I'd sew on it for a while longer and if you still don't bond, sell it if you want. It really is a great machine.
Bernina 830E 💝 1150MDA
✝The Lord is my Light and my Salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1✝
Member since 11/14/11
Skill: Advanced Beginner
1 member likes this.
Subject: Im not bonding with my new Janome 6600! Date: 7/10/12 8:26 PM
Unfortunately, you're not going to get your initial investment back. That's just the price to pay of purchasing a new machine. However, if you're more concerned with bonding with the machine vs. the bottom line, then I'm sure you'll be able to either trade in (some places give a GREAT deal on this) or sell it privately to get some decent $$$ towards a machine you bond with better.
As for the bonding part... I have a few issues like that with my newer machine. The markings aren't quite where I'd like them. I just use a long piece of painter's tape or electrical tape to create my own 5/8" or 3/8" seam lines so I can really see them. I also have some issues with the fabric going down into the hole when you start. There are couple of things to do to fix this. Some machines have a different throat plate that you can buy that has only a small hole there. You can then buy a special presser foot and then there isn't that big space for the fabric to get sucked into. OR you can start your sewing really really slowly at the beginning & end of seams on really fine, difficult fabric. OR, you can use a stabilizer or something underneath that will allow you to just rip it away or pull it out when you're done stitching.
If, however, even with these fixes you're just not FEELING your machine, then I'd definitely get another one. It will enhance your sewing pleasure so much more to have a machine you really love to sit down at. Maybe it's the Juki!
Regardless, good luck and keep us posted! AND WELCOME TO PR!!!
Brother Innovis 1250D
Singer Curvy 8763
Member since 8/14/05
Date: 7/10/12 8:48 PM
Well, there's no way to tell how long you have been sewing or what your old Kenmore was, but if you like it better - have a good servicing and sell the Janome 6600 which I am sure would sell. No sense having it if you don't like it now. DId you want a computerized machine really? Many brands do the one more stitch thing, but some do not. It never bothers me at all - I guess i just get used to whatever machine I have if it works for me. I do know I don't like the 6600's Accufeed feet which are pretty klutzy. For feed you cannot beat a Pfaff. Have you looked at them, several models are quite reasonable and very sturdy without a lot of glitz, and some have the glitz. Likewise I believe the Berninas don't have the extra stitch.Good luck in whatever you do. No matter which machine you buy there are always some things you don't like as well as you might and some things you just really DO like. DO not get rid of your Kenmore because there is no need to, so you can sew on your old friend while you continue to look.
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
I have sewing machines
Member since 12/5/08
Date: 7/10/12 8:54 PM
How ironic, Annette, that I came upon your post as I am once again researching sewing machines in an effort to find one to replace the Janome 6600 that I purchased 3 years ago to replace my own beloved 1979 Kenmore 385.1249!
I can tell you that I haven't bonded with mine either, and I wonder if we just were super lucky in finding 'the one' so many years ago. My Kenmore has sewn everything for me with nary a visit to the shop for anything other than the regular maintanence visit. I have hauled my machine all over the country and sewn everything from fine heirloom garments to bulky horse blankets for both personal and professional purposes.
I can offer you a few remedies to ease your frustration with your 6600 as I have experienced several of the same issues.
--The 'fabric eating' at the beginning of a seam: Placing the needle down into a fabric scrap and begining the seam there, then feeding your 'real' fabric in directly behind the scrap helps. For quilters sewing multiple pieces together chain wise the 6600 is a dream; for garment sewers looking for super precision or handling fine fabric, I find its performance extremely disappointing.
--For the 'extra stitch', might you have a stitch chosen that actually is a 'locking stitch' and what you are seeing is the extra lock stitch?
--As for the needle plate markings: The 6600 was primarily designed for quilters, and for that reason has a larger/longer and wonderfully smooth bed (without a free arm) which is fabulous for free motion quilting, and the much used 1/4 inch seam allowance markings. I do know that there is another plate made for the 6600, but am not certain if the 5/8 inch is marked any better. I use several layers of blue painter's tape to mark my seams regardless of what they are. I am always annoyed that the tape covers the clear plastic that covers the bobbin area.
--Edge stitching: I wish I could help, but have the same problem and one that has driven me to the brink of insanity since I got the machine. I describe it as the feed dogs seem to kick the fabric out to the side with each revolution, therefore causing the needle to come down a little to the side of the last stitch - it is barely noticable unless one really looks, but I am used to - and certainly expect - a superbly perfect, evenly aligned stitch.
There are some amazing things about the 6600 that I do like, and have found most who own them are madly in love with them.
I, however, will continue searching for another 'beloved'. Until I find it, I'm happy still using my old workhorse Kenmore (bless its 12 stitch, all metal mechanical heart) and my trusty Featherweight, while my 6600 sits in its made-for-it table awaiting its next owner...
Hope this helps, Annette, and if anyone has any other remedies, I'd LOVE to hear them!
Janome MC6600P with more stitches that I'll ever use; Kenmore 385.1249, my 1st beloved workhorse; Lady Kenmore 89, the beauty of the group; Singer 185J, the darlin' lil green machine; Singer 66, so pretty with her domed case; Singer Featherweight, a cherished inheritance; 1920 Standard; 1915 Wheeler and Wilson treadle
Member since 4/15/07
1 member likes this.
Date: 7/10/12 9:00 PM
I am sorry to hear you are not bonding with your new machine. I have had mine since 2006 and it has been a true workhorse for me. I will agree with SewBusy. The machine does take extra stitches both forward and in reverse. I too have found it annoying, but eventually learned to adapt. I recommend slowing down your sewing just before that point you want to stop and take those last few stitches slowly. The machine will sew one stitch at a time if you go slow enough. This has been my work-around for wanting to stop precisely at the exact point. This does seem to be a function of many computerized machines but I know there are models which stop on demand.
I recommend sewing with microtex (sharp) needles. To prevent fabric from being stuffed into the neeedle plate, start sewing with the needle in the down position and butt the edge of the fabric at the needle when you begin to sew. I also hold the top thread when begining those first few stitches. As for marking the needle plate a piece of blue painters tape along the 5/8 mark will work quite well and will not leave adhesive behind when it's removed.
I think you will find the 6600 has great features that will out shine those you don't care for. Try the Acufeed on a finicky fabric and you will see what I mean!
I also highly recommend joining the Janome 6500/6600/7700 Yahoo Group
Janome MC6600 Bernina 240 Juki MO735 Singer 201-2 Singer 221-1
Member since 5/28/11
1 member likes this.
Date: 7/10/12 9:34 PM
Annette, I have a 35 yr old Kenmore and a new Janome 6600. I am loving the Janome-I think the power of the Janome reminds me of my old Kenmore. I can understand why you might not. My old Kenmore ate fabric alot but it seemed easier to deal with--of course it seems easier to pull it out of the Kenmore and keep going-the Janome makes a bad beep and tells me I have an error. I have to unscrew the plate instead of popping it off etc etc. I have had only 1 or 2 times when Janome ate the material. The feed dogs are wide and the feeding is powerful. I start with the needle down and the threads behind the foot. This is easy to do-if I use the thread cutter I pull the fabric out the back. That seems to help. I also try to set as much fabric as I can under the foot in front of the needle then use needle down. I was piecing today with the 1/4 foot and didn't have any trouble. There is another stitch plate with a single hole-that keeps the fabric from being eaten; of course, you can only sew a straight stitch with this plate. I don't have it yet but it is on my got to get list. I am not having trouble with it taking a stitch-I use the foot rather than the button and it seems to be pretty responsive. In fact today I wanted it to take one more stitch and it didn't as I kept stopping one stitch too soon. I don't know what to tell you about that as I don't know why mine doesn't take that extra stitch. The 5/8 in seam is difficult to see-can you put a piece of tape there or maybe nail polish so you know where it is?
I feel like this Janome has taken my top-stitching to a new level-if I don't try to maneuver the material the way I had to do with the Kenmore, I get a perfect line. If I try to take over the material, I will get it messed up ao I don't know if that could be your issue. I hardly ever use the Accufeed-I will eventually but haven't much yet. I did use it with some knit material I was sewing and that helped alot.
The more I use the Janome the more in love I am. I have been primarily a garment sewer but bought it with the intention of doing more quilting. I keep having family members asking for quilts as my mom was a quilter and I am the only one in the family who sews.
I certainly understand not bonding with a machine. I bought a Brother 420PC, had it for 2 months and then bought the Janome. I never bonded with the Brother.
I would say maybe try it some more. If you can't bond with it, find something that you can love. Life is too short and sewing too enjoyable to be stuck with something that doesn't give you joy when you use it.
Someone else mentioned the Pfaffs. I almost bought a Pfaff Ambition-some day I may buy one to compliment the Janome. They are very nice. Don't know if this helps or not. Hang in there
Oh I thought of something else that might help. I went back in to sew and got a fabric mess. I am piecing again. I looked at settings and realized I forgot to change the stitch length. This Janome default stitch length is 2.2-way too small in my opinion. I changed it to 2.5. For garments I have been using a 2.8 as I almost always have to rip something out and I like to see what I am ripping. At the default of 2.2 fabric hardly moves and is more likely to cause a problem. Try a longer stitch length and see if that helps.
-- Edited on 7/10/12 10:13 PM --
Member since 10/30/10
Skill: Advanced Beginner
Date: 7/11/12 1:27 AM
I learned on a mechanical Kenmore late 70's vintage. Nothing compares to it in my mind so I feel your pain.
Computerized machines are different and they do take some getting used to. Some things are better, some not so much. As others have said, just keep trying and it might get better once you get the feel for how your machine handles.
I am not 100% certain of this but it seems to me that you can buy a seam guide for the 6600 that is 5/8. I have a Pfaff and Pfaff makes a foot with an adjustable seam guide. I love mine. I can set it to any seam allowance I want. 4/8, 5/8 etc. It has a wide opening - sort of like an applique foot - so it makes it much easier to see and guide the material. Janome makes lots of really cool feet so maybe they have one like that too.
I have my QE4 just a year now (it's my second Pfaff) and am just now really starting to enjoy it. Both of my Pfaffs have "quirks"- like the reverse doesn't release when it should!! I can't tell you the number of times I have started a seam only to realize my machine is still in reverse!! Grrrrr... I think probably every machine has quirks. Eventually you learn workarounds or realize the machine is just not a good fit for you and the way you sew. The good news - if it doesn't work, you will sure know what to look for in your next machine.
I do hope it works out for you!
Canadian Jane, now Jjane, much shorter and easier to use.
Member since 10/14/03
5 members like this.
Subject: Im not bonding with my new Janome 6600! Date: 7/11/12 2:45 AM
I believe in love at first stitch, if the machine doesn't crank your handwheel and make you smile, get rid of it:) No regrets, it's a learning experience. Personally, I can't stand a machine that doesn't stop on a dime and if it dares suck down my fabric - it's going down the road:)
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