Need to buy a new sewing machine?

"Which sewing machine should I buy" is a question I get asked here at Haby G a lot.  So I went straight to the manufacturers and asked for their opinion.
First up is Janome, I spoke with Geraldine Gilleen from Janome's Victorian office and asked her a range of questions regarding purchasing a sewing machine if you are a beginner.

Top tips for purchasing your first sewing machine.

  • First what kind of sewing are you doing, look for a machine that has the stitches you need for your projects. For example if you love appliqué look for a machine that has a blanket stitch. This means you will be able to do appliqué with a blanket stitch or a satin stitch (zig zag)
  • If you are a dressmaker/Tailor you may require a variety of buttonholes e.g. button holes for Jackets shirts, heirloom or even stretch fabric buttonholes. Buy a machine that sews a one step buttonhole they are fantastic.
  • For me an important factor is to have the ability to adjust the width and length of a stitch.This way the needle can be moved while in straight mode all the way to the left and right.
  • Needle up down, this is a great option to have on a machine. This allows you to choose if the machine stops with the needle up or down in your work great when doing appliqué or turning corners.
Other words of wisdom.
  • Recommended Needle life of machine needle  = 8 hours pedal down time. Always change regularly
  • Keep machine clean and serviced regularly  12-18 moths  for service.
  • Always use the correct needle for the fabric
  • Use the correct foot for the project you are sewing, and always use a good quality thread when sewing.
  • Cheap thread is not always a bargain, it can be hairy and leaves fluff in the tension discs
  • which in the long term is not good for your machine.
  • Above all have fun and enjoy the experience, it’s the best way to spend any free time.
Three recommendations for machines under $600 (AUD) for beginner sewers.

Remember as with most things in life the more you spend the more you get. The MW3018 Is $399.00 has 18 stitches and a one step buttonhole.

I can personally recommend this machine as I've used one for years!

The DC3040 is currently on special for $599 and it includes a free pair of scissors, walking foot (a must have) and a 1/4" foot attachment as well.

Décor Computer 2101LE has 6 types of one-step buttonhole just with the press of a button. For the quilter it has the blanket stitch for applique.
These two are computerized machines both have 30 stitches very user friendly and have pretty much all of the features that are great to have in a machine including a speed control and built in needle threader a must have.

You can visit the Janome website at for a list of retailers in your area.


Maryanne said...

Hi Jodie, What a great idea for a series! It is a question I often get asked too and now I will be able to say "Have a look at Jodie's blog". Thank you!!
From my perspective, I would say keep it simple. I have never used the vast majority of fancy stitiches on my machine. In reality I could make 90% of what I do with a straight stitch and a zigzag. My absolute essentials are one step button hole and being able to move the needle by altering the stitch width.
A computerised machine has the advantage of logical default positions for stitch width and length, which can be useful for absolute beginners. However I find if you are willing to read your sewing machine manual (!) even beginners can work this out for themselves very quickly.
Thanks again!

Jodie said...

Thank you for adding these great tips Maryanne. I agree that reading the manual is the best place to start :)

Maria said...

I have the Décor Computer 2101LE it is just Fantastic!!! Before i bought this machines I had only owned old second hand machines although they had sentimental value they didn't do what i wanted them to so I looked around went for this machine as it was in my price range. I just love it would recommend it to anyone

Odette said...

This is the machine I want as an upgrade from my beginners machine which is starting to struggle a bit with the workload. I wish I could stretch to a professional Janome but not yet. Having read loads of reviews this seems to to be a very good choice, great to read your thoughts ladies.