Friday, October 18, 2013

Sew Mama Sew: A Sewing Machine Review!

I have been following Sew Mama Sew for years and years!  There have been plenty of times when I needed find inspiration, figure out a process or gather information.  SMS blog is a great place for all of that.

They put out a request for sewing machine reviews.  What a great idea!  I thought I would give my two-cents worth.  Buying a sewing machine can be daunting and honestly, it's a huge investment.  I hope my review helps with the 'big' decision.

This is my machine: a Janome Memory Craft 6600.  My weapon of choice.  The best sewing machine ever!

 Janome Memory Craft 6600

These are a list of questions put together by Sew Mama Sew in hopes of making it easier to decide which machine may be right for you.  Let's begin!

What brand and model do you have?
I have a Janome Memory Craft 6600.
How long have you had it?
I have had my machine for 6 years.  I purchased it in 2007.
How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
Back in 2007, it cost $1400.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
My love is quilting, but I sew everything on this machine.  It can handle it.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
The past couple years I have been sewing practically every day!  There is no rest for the weary!  The only break would be those 'yearly' checkups.  (Because I use it all the time, I decided twice a year would be a good idea.)

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I honestly LOVE my machine!  It was the best investment I have ever made!  I had just become addicted to quilting when I purchased this machine. I have no name for my machine.
What features does your machine have that work well for you?
There are tons of features on this machine--way more than I thought I’d use.  When I bought this machine, I knew it was an investment.  I decided to go with a machine that was more than I needed at the time.  Something I could grow into.  
My favorite features are:  
  • AcuFeed System:  Talk about making quilting easy!  I machine quilt all my quilts… this feature makes it so easy. It’s a dual-feed system that’s built into the foot, so I don’t have to change out my usual piecing foot for a walking foot. I can just engage it when I need it.
  • Automatic thread cutter, needle threader, extension table, large throat, speed control, needle up/down button, snap-on presser feet, fast bobbin winder (with two spool pins so I don’t have to , and so much more.
  • This machine also has knee lift, start & stop feature and tons of decorative stitches.   

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
The only thing that drives me nuts is the quilting guide bar!  It doesn't stay put.  When I use it I usually have to tape it in place and hope it stays.
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
I highly recommend this machine.  It can keep up, it’s a work horse!  Everything you need is on this machine, and more.  It has exceeded my expectations.  Even after all these years, I'm still discovering new features that I can use!

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
  • Price: what is your budget?  
  • Use: how often will you be using it, and is the machine sturdy enough to withstand that level of use?
  • Features: what features do you need now based on what you like to sew? What might you want to sew in the future, and what features will you need then? Make sure you won’t outgrow your machine in a few years.

Do you have a dream machine?
This is my dream machine!  I do have a dream of having a 'back-up' machine though.  I shudder to think of a day without sewing!

It also doubles as a bulletin board!

I went back to work after six months of being unemployed just so I could buy a sewing machine.  My husband is a research fanatic!  He did all the leg work for me, I just had to go along for the ride!  

A few important reminders:
You should take your machine in for cleaning/service/check-up once a year.  In between service, clean inside the needle plate.  It’s amazing how much lint accumulates!  

I was having sewing machine demons a couple months ago!  My machine would keep sewing after I took my foot off the foot pedal or it wouldn't sew at all when I pressed the foot pedal.  Aggravating, irritating and perplexing!  I was ready to take it in, when we decided to take the foot pedal apart.  Maybe there was an obvious problem inside?  Turns out that over time, it can collect lint too!  The build up was interfering with the contacts and interfering with the connection.  Problem solved and a great piece of info to have.


  1. This is a fantastic article. I knew what brand I wanted when I bought my BabyLock, but I am up to knowing more about different brands and the experience people have had with them.

    1. Thank you! It is nice to see what else is out there. Its a big investment and others experiance really helps!

  2. I use the Elna 720 which is very much like your machine..some different features of course:) But totally agree with you..couldn't do without my "workhorse"!!!!

    1. Thank you for your comment! What would we do without our machines!


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