I used my Janome 3160QDC (my baby) during my last bag making session. It worked well with a Jeans needle, but there was an “oh oh” moment when my machine was going through a few particularly thick layers of fabric and fleece and it made a strange “whirring” noise. I backed off, stopped pushing it so much, took it easy and never heard the noise again. Just to be safe I dropped it off today with the sewing machine repair mechanic for a cleaning and a check up. I have in the past opened up machines to see how they work (or clean and fix them) but I don’t feel comfortable opening up a computerized machine.
For about a month now, I have been hunting for a mechanical sewing machine that was not fancy and could take all the layers I could throw at it. Something reliable. I asked on a few Facebook bag making sites and was told the Juki TL series was a good choice. Unfortunately, they are ridiculously priced for my budget! Someone else suggested industrial machines. Those in my price range lacked features.
Another recommendation was the Janome HD5000 or HD3000. More in my budget!
I found some short reviews of these machines on line, but nothing detailed enough to convince me! I did find this chart though that showed me that, although there is a $40.00 price difference, the only difference in features between an HD3000 and an HD5000 is a .5 mm stitch width!
When I was last in Vancouver, my sister and I checked out the Janome HD3000 and HD5000. I was smitten by their performance. The sales lady was pleased with my enthusiasm. My smart sister with her widening eyes, wild hand gestures and harsh whispers spent her time trying to convince me not to buy right away but think about it. Besides I would have had to drag it home the next day, walking on and off the ferry with a boxed up sewing machine – one with a cast aluminum body! That was the only thing that stopped me!
Imagine my surprise when I found it for sale on Amazon by the same store! Then there was the additional thrill of finding out that my “free shipping” hadn’t expired yet! A sewing machine of my dreams with free shipping!!!
So let me show you what I like about it … A handy understandable stitch chart with “how to” instructions.
Tidy storage for sewing feet.
A perfectly wound bobbin.
A seven piece feed dog to feed those heavy layers through easily.
An extra high presser foot lifter, for all those heavy layers.
Built-in thread cutter (not shown) and a built-in needle threader. This one is slower. It doesn’t snap out like the one on my Janome 3160QDC – which sometimes snaps out so quickly it leaves the needle unthreaded!
18 stitches – about 15 more than I needed! They all worked fine. I should have paid more attention to the stitch instructions though. I made a few of them too long! Meh! I was in a hurry.
Eight layers of denim and then eight layers of denim and Peltex. Easy! I’ll have to try MORE next time!
Four layers of vinyl and four layers of cork with my Teflon foot from my other Janome. Of course all Janome feet are interchangeable, including my walking foot, which will come in handy!
What do I NOT like? Can you see the tiny red dot above the stitch number 13? It would indicate that I was using stitch number 13, if I could see the darn thing without my glasses!
Last of all, another “like”. You can keep the lid down and no thread is exposed for the cats to play with! BONUS! CAT PROOF!!
What’s your best, favourite, most loved sewing machine and why? Post your review here!
STASH BUSTING WITH THIS PROJECT? Nothing! More sewing next week – my top is almost finished and I have been sewing it on my Janome HD3000. Still 130.2 metres left in my fabric stash.
(By the way, these opinions are my own. I have no connection to Janome.)