Once you are comfortable with the basics of sewing and feel ready to branch out to more daring endeavors, what kinda sewing machine do you need? Hard to know, right? It's difficult to find reviews and prices online. Sew Mama Sew had a great idea for people to review their machines in order to help a consumer out! Here's my glowing review of Sassy, my Janome 6600:
What brand and model do you have? Janome Memory Craft 6600P
How long have you had it? December 2007
How much does that machine cost (approximately)? $1499
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)? I do a lot of quilting so that's what really sold me on this machine. I also dabble in clothing, bags, and home dec.
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? I use it on average 15 hours a week.
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? Oh, dear God, I love this machine. Her name is Sassy. And she is my angel. She is so, so easy to use and can handle anything.
What features does your machine have that work well for you? One of my favorite features is the Acufeed system that evenly pulls fabric through the machine which means no tugging or puckering. Sassy has a Memory button to program stitch combinations, a locking stitch button (no backstitching ever again), an automatic threader, an auto thread cutter button, and a gazillion decorative stitches.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? Nothing.
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 got this for Christmas one year (I know, I'm completely spoiled) and it was love at first sight. If my house was on fire, I would grab Sassy on my way out the door.
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? If you are a serious sewer, I would definitely recommend this machine. If you just like to play or make stuff once in a while and don't need a heavy duty machine, there are definitely more budget friendly options. I fully intend to keep Sassy forever and use her all the time, so it was a good investment for me. Sewing is a breeze and so much fun with the 6600.
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? Even though you may be able to get a machine for a bit cheaper online, don't do it. I'm serious. Don't do it. Find a local sewing shop that can offer one on one classes (which should be included with the cost of the machine) to show you the ins and outs of the machine. Those classes were invaluable to me.
Do you have a dream machine? Hmm... the Janome Memory Craft 11000 would totally rock my world. Yes, I just said that. Rock my world.