Finally, finally, I got my first ever brand-new sewing machine!
This year I am planning to make (not buy) my clothing and I decided to invest in a new machine: The Janome New Home DC5100 sewing machine. I’ve had it for a few months now and used it enough times to be able to give a review. The short version of this whole post: It’s a good machine! I really like it!
First Things First
Yes, I am keeping my old two-tone 1970s (1960s?) Singer Fashion Mate. I can never part with that sewing machine. I have too many memories, we are too bonded, and everyone knows I am a Stage 3 Clinger anyway. I bought that machine secondhand back when I was a teenager, and I think I paid $25 for it. I have carried it across the country and from house to house for decades. I love that machine.
So Why Get a New Sewing Machine?
The obvious reason: I wanted one!
I have only sewed on mechanical machines and I longed for a modern electronic machine with the doodads and whistles. On my list: A one-touch buttonholer, some (very light) embroidery-style decorative stitches, and a few electronic settings to try out. For example, I love being able to select the stitch length and width electronically. And the speed control is amazing! It’s a machine but it’s also a toy, let’s be honest. I love to play with the stitch settings and try new snap-on feet.
Oh, and the snap-on feet! My Singer doesn’t have those. I think you can buy a shank attachment that converts it to a snap-on situation, but I have been spending my whole life long screwing on shank attachments and I was excited to try out the brave new word of snap-on presser feet.
Most of all, I wanted a machine that could sew lighter-weight fabrics without eating them. Once you get past the fun, experimental phase of trying a new machine you pretty much only use a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch for everything. The biggest difference for me is the way machines handle the fabric. My Singer is a heavy duty metal-bodied workhorse and it prefers thick, sturdy fabrics. If you want to sew through six layers of upholstery fabric like nobody’s business, the Singer Fashion Mate is the one to use. But when making garments from lighter-weight fabrics, I had to use stabilizer or tissue paper underneath for every. single. seam. Anything lighter than a cotton interlock gets eaten and mangled without a stabilizer.
Also I Had To Stop Reading Reviews Eventually
I picked the Janome because it got good reviews and had a top-loading bobbin. I picked it out right away, and then I spent a few weeks descending into a wormhole of online reviews.
Reading reviews and deciding on a big purchase like this is super anxiety-producing!! Weirdly enough, the more reviews I read the more unsure I got about any purchase of any machine at all! I got tired of comparing and bought the one I liked best in the beginning. Plus it’s got pink accents.
The new Janome machine had a slight learning curve for me, the presser foot lifter is in a different spot and the machine has so many features, like a setting that automatically creates a lockstitch. The machine itself is heavy-ish, and feels very stable when you sew. The lightest little chiffon slips right through with nary a mangled edge. And it is SO QUIET! My old machine is fairly loud (I’m not complaining, I love the sound of a sewing machine) but this one just purrs.
The bottom line: It’s really nice. I like it A LOT. I found it at a good sale price back before Christmas and I used some of my Amazon gift credits to bring the number down, too, which made it feel like a value. Truthfully, I probably could have spent a little less and gotten a similar quality from a lower-tier Janome, or spent a little more and gotten a really badass Bernina. I’m not certain I would have mentally survived a few more weeks of review-reading, though, so I’m glad I just got over it and committed to a machine.
One day I hope to dip a toe in and buy my own serger but for now I’m super pleased with my machine choices. I still have a lot to learn on the new machine, and that makes me excited to get in there and sew. When I’m not sure what project to work on next (or on days when I only have an hour to spend at the sewing table) I can practice using the buttonhole foot or experiment with decorative stitches on scrap fabric.
Sew that’s all you need to know about my new machine! (Whoops. Sew many puns! Sew little time!)