When I was shopping around for my sewing machine, I discovered an amazing resource – the sewing machine review list at Sew Mama Sew. I don’t know if I am going to be able to add my review to this list, but I have done it in that format just in case! But no matter what kind of machine you are looking for, make sure you check it out!
Anyway, let me tell you a bit about Bobbie the Janome…
What brand and model do you have? As the title says, it’s a Janome DC 2101 in Australia and NZ. It’s called a Magnolia 7330 in the US – it has different decals on the front but otherwise is the same machine!
How long have you had it? About four months now.
How much does that machine cost (approximately)? It’s RRP is $699, I got mine for $599 though. But after checking the website of the dealer I got mine from I have seen they sometimes go down to $499! (don’t you hate that!?)
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)? The bulk of my sewing projects are clothing but I do occasionally do quilts.
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? I usually sew at least once a week but it all depends on what projects I have on the go. It hasn’t shown any signs of wear and tear yet (touch wood), and it seems a good sturdy machine , even though I do move it around a fair bit.
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? I do love Bobbie! She is great and is yet to do anything too naughty. Honestly, it’s a great machine and I think the majority of sewers would enjoy using her!
What features does your machine have that work well for you? It’s got a good variety of stitches, most of the time I don’t move off the classic #1 straight stitch, but I like having the extra functional and decorative stitches. It’s the perfect amount – not over the top, and not limiting.
I really like how the machine is sturdy and isn’t one that bounces around when you use it – but it’s not too heavy either, and it doesn’t make a huge racket when sewing so you can still have a comfortable conversation.
Another great feature is the reliability, it doesn’t jam and I am yet to have to fiddle with tension (and I have been sewing with a big range of fabrics). It’s a low maintenance machine which lets you do what you want to do.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? Nothing drives me nuts, but there are two small things I’d change if i had the opportunity – firstly the position of the reverse, lock stitch, start/stop and needle up/down buttons. They are great features but their potion on the machine – above the needle – is slightly frustrating, because you bump them when manipulating your fabric. But that’s just nit picking, nothing that would stop me from buying it again.
The other problem is that Janome is a bit stingy when it comes to feet – it comes with zigzag, zipper, automatic buttonhole and satin stitch feet but I would have liked a few more. Luckily you can buy extras pretty cheaply as this machine has standard snap-on feet so you are not limited to buying only pricey genuine Janome accessories.
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! I am a very careful shopper and I do spend a lot of time doing my research before making a big purchase. We’re talking months of research! Luckily my ex-sewing teacher helped me a lot and gave me heaps of advice. I very nearly bought a new Bernina Activa 210 on Trade Me (the kiwi version of Amazon), but I’m so happy I didn’t buy it in the end, it went for $900 and doesn’t even have all the features that Bobbie does – I’m pleased I stopped thinking that Bernina was the only way to go and checked out Janome.
I think Janome is a good value brand considering they are very high quality.
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? Yes! It’s a great machine and she has made my sewing so fun and easy. No more stress (ahem, 20 year-old second hand brother that never, ever worked how it was meant to)! And i’m not the only one. My sewing teacher loves them too and has got 4!
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? Think of what you are really going to use it for and buy accordingly, maybe a model up from what you really need so you can grow into the machine.
Seek out advice from others you know, as whilst internet reviews are great (and that’s why i’m writing one right now!), nothing beats a personal recommendation from someone you trust.
There are lots of great guides to buying a sewing machine, but personally I think Colleterie has hit the nail on the head with not one but two great guides. They have some interesting tips you may not have heard before too! (One of them has been written about buying a BERNINA machine but it can be transferred to any brand) You can read them here and here.
Do you have a dream machine? I am very very happy with Bobbie at the moment and I am not even considering replacing her, but I guess if I could have ANY machine (for free!) I’d have to go for a top of the line Janome or BERNINA. Greedy!!