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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Babylock Rachel vs Janome DC1500 ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Babylock Rachel vs Janome DC1500
I desperately need help with choosing
Jereislo
Jereislo  Friend of PR
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Subject: Babylock Rachel vs Janome DC5100 Date: 10/27/13 4:37 PM

Hi everyone :)

I want to start sewing and need a sewing machine. The last time I sewed was a good 25 years ago in middle school so I would consider myself a very green newbie. I don't really know for sure yet what I want to do. I know I want to be able to hem my pants and patch up my son's pants as they always end up with holes in them. I would like to maybe venture out to quilting and simple home stuff like making some pillowcases, etc. Yesterday I made the long trip into town to the sewing machine shop. They had in stock the Janome DC1500 and the Babylock Rachel. I have heard that Janome is a really good brand, but haven't read much on the Babylock. At first, we went over the Janome. It has 167 stitches and everything I would be looking for in a machine (except for a start/stop button). It was priced at $600 with a few extra feet and a hard case as a bonus they said. What I didn't like about it was the lighting. It was a yellow halogen and very dim IMO. I also felt that the interface was very confusing and I am not a fan of pink. Then we looked at the Babylock. It is priced at 500 dollars, and is a sale price. I was told the Rachel replaced the Grace. Well, I absolutely loved this machine at first glance. It is beautiful. The LED lighting is perfect for me, the interface was much easier to use IMO. I loved how the bobbin worked. But it only has 50 stitches and the shop told me that the motor isn't as good as a Janome. Does anyone know if this is true? Would I grow out of the babylock quicker than the Janome? I feel stuck with which one to go with. The Babylock that was user friendly and beautiful or the Janome that is built for heavy sewing but not as easy to see and not as visually pleasing? Can anyone help me? When I was perplexed at the store, they didn't help me at all which was very frustrating. They said their store was closing, to hurry up or come back another day. This is the only store available to me as I live in an isolated area of Alaska. Hoping you all can help me!! Thank you!
-- Edited on 10/30/13 6:25 PM --
-- Edited on 10/30/13 6:26 PM --

poorpigling

poorpigling
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In reply to Jereislo <<
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Date: 10/27/13 4:58 PM

Hello.. First off .. you need to actually sew on those machines when you visit the dealer. You might then be able to decide immediately..
Everyone has preferences due to a lot of different reasons.. so its not always a matter of this machine is better than the other.. Most of the time you will hear that most people never use all the decorative stitches that are on a machine. So. unless you are dying for a decorative stitch that looks like a rubber ducky.. I am sure you can do with fewer decor stitches..
600 is a lot of money.. course machines have all different price points.. but for that amount you have a lot of different machines you can choose from.. Read the reviews here on PR not only to learn about the two you have mentioned but others in or around that same price.. You can also then see what the members have paid for their models which gives you a good point to negotiate from.. and yes.. you can easily negotiate down the dealers asking price.. just like you would for a car.. In fact if the store is closing you should be able to get one heck of a deal.. ask them to throw in the extra feet and such ..
Motor strength can be found on the machine.. the more horsepower the better. but I am betting the motor strength is the same on those machines..
However since you love the babylock. .. you might always regret it if you bought the Janome.. I would not buy any machine .. janome or not.. if I didnt' like it any more than you liked that Janome.. So buy the Babylock or move on to another brand..
Not unusual sad to say.. to get bad customer service from a dealer..
You DO have other choices.. there are many dealers such as Kens etc on line that will gladly ship a machine to you.. I bought my Juki sight unseen from a dealer out of state who shipped it to me.. and I love my Juki.. There are many references to dealers who sell on line in our archive threads.. Good luck..

Jereislo
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Date: 10/27/13 5:49 PM

Hi Poorpigling,
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post! I forgot to mention that I did sew on both and didn't notice any difference in noise or fabric bunching. The stitches were perfect on both, to my novice eye. I did notice on the Janome, the buttonhole foot seemed loose, floppy when it was on the machine. It still produced a buttonhole perfectly though. Do you know offhand which other machines I could compare to in the 500-600 dollar range? I was just reading that someone mentioned Berninas, but the ones I have found on a quick ebay search are outside of my price range, by a long shot. Anyone have an opinion on Pfaff or Viking or which model to consider looking at pricewise? It is hard because the companies do not list their prices. I cant think of any other brands. I have read to stay away from Brother and Singer. Poorpigling, where did you purchase your Juki from?

ShantiSeamstressing
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In reply to Jereislo <<
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Date: 10/27/13 5:56 PM

Quote: Jereislo
It is hard because the companies do not list their prices.

I know. It's kind of like cars, more than like other merchandise. (Why it is, I don't know, or if it's always been this way since the first Singer....) But, that's where PR comes in so wonderfully! You can look up the models you're interested in on the sewing machines reviews pages. There will be some variance, of course, (just as there is when people buy even the same make/model vehicle, depending on dealership, part of the country, and other factors). but it is nice to get that general ballpark figure, and to get that range. I hope that helps somewhat!
poorpigling

poorpigling
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Date: 10/27/13 6:13 PM

I am not entirely up on the newest Bernina models.. my only advise there is do not confuse Bernettes with Berninas.. I will say that you get dollar for dollar less features in Berninas.. mostly you are paying for the name.. and the quality that name represents.. They have wonderful feet.. but oh.. so expensive.. However you just wait for a sale and collect them over time..
A nice thing about Janome is their feet feet all their models. so you can buy another janome down the road and your current janome feet will work with it.. Be a bit careful there.. nowadays all the old rules don't always apply. Now they have many different widths in stitching and so on.. If you really want to do decorative stitching you might want a machine that does 9mm instead of 5mm and so on..
I am a huge fan of older pfaffs.. but have not kept up with the new offerings.. I hate to advise on what I don't know..
I most likely bought my Juki from Kens sewing center.. If you do get a chance to read some of the Juki threads.. which you should do if you are considering one of their models.. then you might see other dealers mentioned.. Almost all of us who bought those jukis had them shipped to us as there are very few Juki dealers around.. Once upon a time lighting didn't mean a thing to me.. as I have gotten older its a major consideration.. Juki has good lighting..
There are lots of new in boxes machines on ebay.. you can buy thru ebay or in most cases buy directly from the dealers that list on ebay.. Just google up their home site for contact info .. In any case you can read a lot about the machines features off the ebay listing information. I normally wouldn't mention going to ebay on a thread such as this.. but... since you are in Alaska.. you might want those ebay sellers to ship you feet and all those items at a later date.. Sounds to me you are very limited in what you can buy locally..
Believe me.. you don't really want to see what the companies price their machines at.. as they sure don't sell them for that often.. There are sales.. and discounts and so on .. so negotiate any suggested price .. you can get a good idea of what to offer here on PR. You can also try finding prices on Overstock and Amazon..
Perhaps a member who has recently bought those models can chime in on what they paid for them and more pricing info..

poorpigling

poorpigling
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Date: 10/27/13 6:22 PM

One more thing I should advise.. since you are no where near a dealer for servicing etc.. the less on a machine the less there is that might go wrong.. Give consideration to a mechanical model also. But no matter what.. be sure and save the original packing /shipping boxes yours comes in.. If you get it from that dealer ask for those boxes.. you will need them to safely ship your machine to a tech if it needs repairs in the future.

Mufffet
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Date: 10/27/13 8:06 PM

Do you mean Janome DC1050 or the 5100? I have the 1050 machine in its Hancock's Fabric model Janome 8050. The feet slide in as opposed to snap-on. Is this right? I had the machine now known as the 5100. It was the Kenmore 19233 - excellent machine. Pretty too!

I think the Rachel has a nice stitch package and seems like a good machine, plus it has Babylock's reputation for good backup service on their machines. Are they at the same dealer? WOW...that makes it nice. Now here is something funny! Now that I looked up the Rachel on the Babylock site, I really think it is pretty as well, but also it has a really nice accessory package with it, and it looks like a sturdy machine. I like the metal shank and snap on feet. You will be able to get many feet for this machine. I would go Babylock. Rachel has a STOP/START button! That is nice. :)

But whatever you choose - these seem like two great choices! :)
-- Edited on 10/27/13 8:15 PM --

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Courtney Ostaff
Courtney Ostaff  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/27/13 8:58 PM

It really is as individualistic as buying a car. (Me personally, I pick which type of car I want, and try to buy the top-rated one from Consumer Reports for as little as possible. But then again, I'm kind of ... not in love with cars.)

However, I bought a Janome DC4030 (with automatic tensioning, which was a huge deal for me!) on sale for $359 from my local dealer. List was over $900 at the time. Definitely comparison shop for prices! My husband helped me with this, because I hate bargaining. I actually sent him into the dealer without to haggle!!

AminaHijabi
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Date: 10/27/13 11:43 PM

for me... of the two I would get the babylock because it has a nice stitch package that I wouldn't grow out of, I like the feet, and at $100 less I could easily afford to get the 1-2 I was missing, and I find a stop-start button to be pretty important. User interface is really important since you end up sewing in front of the machine for countless hours. If you find the Babylocks to be easier, I'd give up the stitches for a better interface.

As far as other brands, there is the Viking Opal 650, but I think that's closer to $700 (don't know for sure because nobody published prices)

Brotherlover
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In reply to poorpigling <<
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Date: 10/28/13 1:56 AM

I loved my babylock, if you really loved the babylock go for it. the guy probably wanted higher commision as they could get more money for the janome. Babylocks are built real well and I never had any problems with mine or my brother equivalents. You need to buy what feels right for you not someone else
-- Edited on 10/28/13 1:58 AM --

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