My Magic

I enjoy showing you my sewing projects, but here’s a look behind the scenes at the magic machine that makes it all possible – my wonderful, invaluable sewing machine: Janome HD3000.

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Photo credit: SewVacDirect

I first learned to sew on my mom’s 30+ year old Singer. It was a good little machine, but time had taken its toll. When looking for a replacement, I made the mistake of buying a cheapo less than $100 machine from Target, which lasted less than a year before going kaput. For my next buy I knew I needed to do a lot of research before investing my money. While researching online, it was difficult to find reviews for machines that someone had had for a while. The reviews were all right out of the box. I wanted to know how machines stood up to frequent use over the years. So, for any of you looking for a new machine, here is my review of my Janome HD3000, going 3 years strong.

  • I wanted a heavy duty machine because I work with a range of material weights and don’t want to have to worry about breaking the machine. I have never had trouble with different materials, no skipped stitches. (Note: using a sharp needle of the right size is also a must to prevent skipped stitches and broken needles.)
  • As a lover of all things minimalist and efficient, this machine is organized beautifully. The top compartment hides the thread and bobbin winder, and has a place for needles and presser feet that come with the machine. There’s a bottom compartment that holds everything else.
  • I love the diagram in top compartment is a quick reference for the type of stitch, foot needed, and stitch length/width setting. It’s nice to have it handy and not have to think about it, or pull out my manual every time.
  • It has 18 stitches, though, honestly, I don’t use most of them. The stretch stitches come in handy for working with knits. I love the overedge stitch (#18) – it gives raw edges a finished look.
  • The drop feed option is great to have available for doing free motion quilting.
  • It has a free arm option that’s handy for working with smaller areas.
  • It does have an automatic needle threader, though I don’t use it. I tried it a few times, and it worked most of the time, but it seems more of a hassle than it’s worth.
  • I like the top load bobbin on this machine; I prefer it to a side load – from my experience it just causes less problems.
  • I’ve never had any tension problems.It makes beautiful stitches.
  • It did take me a little while to get the hang of the automatic buttonhole, but once I fixed my user errors, it works great.

I honestly have not had any complaints with this machine at all. If it were to get destroyed by some natural catastrophe today, I’d replace it with the exact same machine. If you’re looking for a new machine, I highly recommend you check out this one. It is an excellent buy, and it doesn’t require selling your first born.

Whether you’re looking for a new machine, or already have one, one tip I’d like to leave for you: clean out your lint! Make sure to clean every nook and cranny you can get to after every project, or more often for large projects, like quilts. I’ve talked with friends that have been sewing for years and say they still see experienced seamstresses overlook cleaning. Lint build-up can cause all kinds of problems with the inside of your machine. It’s not fun, especially when I’m in a groove and want to just keep sewing, but it’s worth it as cleaning will keep my machine in tip-top shape for years to come.

Now I am interested in getting a serger, so if you have one you love, please feel free to leave your recommendations!

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3 thoughts on “My Magic

  1. Hello! I found your blog via the Etsy Blog Team 🙂 Just wondering, what was the brand of the Target machine you bought that ended up breaking? Just trying to figure out what to avoid, I’m more of a sewing amateur but I do like to sew here and there and I think I’d do it more if I had a good machine. I’m on a tight budget so it probably won’t be anything fancy like your Janome, just wondering if you have opinions on any other brands 🙂

    Thanks!
    Karolina
    http://theforestdoor.blogspot.com

    • Hi Karolina! Thanks for stopping by. The machine I bought from Target was a Singer Simple. The tension on it was always fussy, and eventually it got to where the motor would grind and try to run but the nothing would move. A machine shop took one look at it and said it wasn’t worth fixing. This was my second Singer machine, both with problems, and I try to steer clear of them now. You might find a good Singer if you were willing to pay for it, but I’ve found from my research that Janome is the best quality machine on a budget. And they do have all kinds of machines out there for different budgets. If you don’t need anything fancy, they have some very simple machines starting at $64. Of course, the more you’re willing to spend, the better it will be. You’ll need to figure out what kind of stitches you absolutely need, what you can do without. If you just sew every now and then, you could just get something very basic. Take a look at machines here: http://www.sewvacdirect.com/non-computerized-machines-1/?sort=pricedesc I can’t comment on how any of these work, but I have a lot of faith in the Janome brand 😀 Hope that helps!

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