Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Meet My friend, Janome

Meet my sewing machine.  Sew, Mama, Sew is having sewing machine month this month, and is collecting reviews from readers about their machines, so I decided to play along and introduce you to my dear friend.

What brand and model do you have?

She is a Janome 4623 LE Plus.

How long have you had it?

Since Christmas 2002 (wow, 7 years!)

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?

It is no longer available for sale new, but I found a new one on ebay for $300.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?

I mostly make clothing for my family, particularly my kiddos, but occasionally make a bag, apron or pillow.  I make pleated ring slings, for which she sews through 8-12 layers of broadcloth or 6-8 of twill.  I have also sewn leather and "pleather" with her and there is a tent in our garage that needs mending.  We'll get to that.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?

Every day, if possible!!  I probably average about an hour a day, but it is very variable.  Sometimes, only a few minutes.  Depends on the kids.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?

I LOVE my machine!  While she isn't perfect, I know all of her little bugs and we get along well.  She hasn't failed me yet!  She doesn't have a name, per se.  That is, I don't call her Beatrice or Claire, but I refer to her as "Janome", as in "Janome and I are due for some quality time."

What features does your machine have that work well for you?

I like the top loading bobbin with clear case, so I can see how much thread I have left.  She also has a needle position control, so I can set the needle to up or down, which is great for pivoting at corners. She came with all the feet you see here, and I love that they all store nicely in the machine.  There is also a little slot that fits a packet of needles.  She has variable speed control, which is especially useful when my small fry are underfoot (literally) and push down on the pedal.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?

She's a bit finicky about thread.  If I always use Metrosene, we are fine, but a few projects with cheap thread and she gums up and skips stitches.  Very annoying.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!

My machine was a Christmas present from my hubby for our second Christmas together.  He took my mother (who has been sewing for 30+ years, has a degree in textiles and in an Extension agent) to find her.  He and Mom combed the entire city of Houston, looking at machines, trying out machines, sewing on machines, until they found Janome at a sewing shop on the north side of town about an hour from our home.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?

Absolutely!  She is a great machine, particularly for a new sewer.  She has all the features that make sewing easy and while she isn't fancy, she is also not hard to use.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?

Features, obviously.  It has to do what you need it to do.  I think the brand track record is important as well as your comfort with the machine.  Always sew on a machine before you buy.  You want to get it's "feel".  

Do you have a dream machine?

While I do not have a brand or model specific, since I haven't done any research yet, I do very much want a machine with embroidery capability.  I'd also really love a serger.  I'm not sure which one is higher priority for me right now.  Either one would make me sublimely happy!

5 comments:

  1. My vote is for the serger, first!

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  2. I love my Janome too. Her name is Gnomey. I agree--I get WAY better results with Metrosene. Gutermann is okay too, but Gnomey turns her nose up rather rudely at C&C, so I usually use cheap thread only for basting.

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  3. I love my Janome. I got her from my sister, who received it from her mother-in-law. As she already had a rather beautiful Bernina, that meant that I inherited it. :) My Janome's unnamed, but that's because I don't have much experience with her. I've had no problem yet with cheap $1 or $0.50 bobbins from Walmart gumming up her insides, but I have had past issues with the machine pulling it too tight as it sewed. On the whole, a good sewing machine for beginner to intermediate sewers, and if it does what you need, great, but for the incredibly advanced sewer who sews everything all the time, maybe a slightly more advanced/higher quality (Not that this one is bad...) machine might be better.

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  4. I have this same machine! Mine is a trouper. I am not a careful type person and she has taken everything I have dished out for at least as long as yours - can't even remember what year!
    Occasionally I have a thread jam - usually if i put the bobbin in wrong. I have used all kinds of thread, done free motion embroidery. I worry that i never oil it (I have, but have never been sure I'm getting it in the right place.) I have a sewing project going all the time. (BTW I am also in Houston, of course it is a big place)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have this same machine! Mine is a trouper. I am not a careful type person and she has taken everything I have dished out for at least as long as yours - can't even remember what year!
    Occasionally I have a thread jam - usually if i put the bobbin in wrong. I have used all kinds of thread, done free motion embroidery. I worry that i never oil it (I have, but have never been sure I'm getting it in the right place.) I have a sewing project going all the time. (BTW I am also in Houston, of course it is a big place)

    ReplyDelete