Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hello, inspiration {and a request for advice}

Saturday morning reading
Saturday morning reading and cuppa - Frankie, Japanese Craft Book and Mixtape

I feel like something important has shifted in my head. Suddenly I feel like I have the capacity to create again. I have ideas brewing. I'm feeling inspired.

Maybe it was the craft show. Maybe it's that I feel like we've finally reached a point at work where things are moving along smoothly with not too many new surprises & challenges. Either way, I'm looking forward to what comes of this new mindset.

Saturday morning reading
Yay Mixtape magazine

It's also been a long time since I've felt like doing something crafty after hours at home. Making has very much felt like it's in the 'work' domain, which means I haven't really been able to do it purely for fun. I'd like to change that, and for starters I'm going to get a new sewing machine for home!

So... If anyone has any recommendations for sewing machines I'd love to hear them! My budget is around $500 (not much, I know) and I've been looking at this Janome that a couple of friends have recommended. I just want something simple that does what it does well and is easy to use.

Thanks in advance! xx


~ Kim ~ said...

If I lived in Melb I'd head straight to I bought my first Janome there and I still pester them for on-line help. Bob never declines! Prices are great esp. when they have sales. The sewing machine you listed seems really good. I wish mine had more stitch variety. Loving the clip on feet, removable arm and auto-buttonhole features. Ask for on-site demo's.

Cathy said...

Hi there Lara, I have that machine that you are looking at and so does Louise. This is my second machine in 20 years (first one was a Janome which lasted 18 years - still goes just doesn't do automatic buttonhole anymore). I have been happy this one - it does everything I need it to and for the price I think it is excellent value. If I had money though, I would go for a Bernina but I am perfectly happy with the Janome. Good luck with your choice.

yardage girl said...

I have used Janome's all of my life and they are so reliable! What I really like about them is how intuitive they are. The one you've chosen looks great, and good news is that Janome is having a sale, and if you've got an old machine you don't want, they'll give you $200 (worth nipping down the oppy to get one for a few bucks if you don't!). I can recommend Camberwell Sewing Centre ( I bought my Janome there last year and the service has been great. Good luck - exciting!

mon ami said...

I love my Janome. My model is more basic than the one you are looking at but it does the trick. Not too many bells and whistles to go wrong, strong like an ox and always reliable.

Go on - join the club!

Looking forward to seeing what is to come of your creative surge


gret said...

Hey Lara,

I have that exact model, and I'm really happy with it. The lady in the shop made me use several to see how they sewed, and this one was the smoothest and neatest within it's price range, which to me is more important than all the extra bits and pieces they might come with. It's a simple machine, but I love it. Best wishes for finding one you love.

Fer said...

From the experience of my friends I'd be inclined to not go for a Janome.

I will admit that I'm a very big Bernina fan and I think you'd find that buying even a secondhand one would be very satisfying. I've had an 830 for years (very hard to kill these!), and recently upgraded to a secondhand 1230 (from my local sewing repairer so they also chucked in a 6 month warranty). It was $600 and feel that it was money well spent. The other great thing about them is there's hardly any plastic, mostly metal which makes them heavy but very tough.

Good luck!

Unknown said...

i can highly reccomend Janome as a brand, i've had mine for nearly fifteen years! it's a very basic model but it's a sturdy wee thing and i've only ever needed to have it serviced once... :)


Margaret said...

I have an earlier version of this Janome and it has been fabulous. I get mine serviced at the Janome store in Coburg for a very reasonable price. I can highly recommend them! As for the creativity issue, I go through stages as well. Just give your self time to re-charge.

Caroline said...

Thanks for this post Lara. I was in need of a new sewing machine just recently as my little lightweight Brother packed it in. I actually traded it in for a Janome, and am going to pick it up and bring it home next week. I really found it difficult to get independent opinions on different brands, but the feedback here on Janomes is very encouraging. Nice one.

Michelle Engel Bencsko said...

What a nice thing to hear. I'm glad things have settled for you- having desire and energy to be creative is a nice payoff for all your hard work. I have a very basic Brother (XR-65). Does the job. Very affordable. No complaints- except for my own abilities and limitations.

leslie said...

hey buddy, i have this machine which is just one model above the one you're looking at. i think it retails at $799 but is regularly on sale for $499 or $599 and janome has a sale right before christmas every year. it's been a brilliant machine for me, tons of stitches, 4 auto button holes and fairly speedy. i've used it for everything, clothes to queen sized quilts and it never falters. you're welcome to come over and give it a test drive if you'd like!

Erin said...

I have a Janome DC3050, which is the model above the one you are looking at. I have been very happy with it - copes with alot of sewing easliy, and is simple to use.
The auto-button hole takes a little to get use to, but I now have the hang of it. Aside from that I've had no complaints.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the Sew Mama Sew Sewing machine month archives? All sorts of great info about all sorts of machines as well as tips on how to buy one, take a look:

smileykylie said...

Hey Lara, From experience I would say any Janome over 10 years old is fantastic, then they changed where they were made and the more recent ones don't live up to the old ones!

The Bernina is the one all the "crafty" people are buying at the moment, if I ever had to replace my old Janome it would be a Bernina.

Just my 5 cents!

renee anne said...

oh what a perfect little photo there! my favourite sorts of things!!

glad you have that spark back. it is hard, but when it sparks you just have to go for it!

And is that a little dish for your chocolate?!?! You are just like me. I get teased for doing that, but it makes the experience so much better!!


Kristen Doran said...

inspiration - yah!

Renae said...

I'm a Janome girl. My sister and I have a Memory Craft 3000 which is an older model (I think we've had it 12 years) but it's still aweseome. We recently purchased a second Janome which is the DC3018! If you can't afford an MC I definitely recommend the DC!

Jhoanna said...

I've got that machine too Lara and like most of the comments above, highly recommend it as a starting machine since it has a good range of stitches, is very versatile (I've used it on lots of different projects - softies, quilts, bags, etc), has a button hole function, and is just very sturdy and reliable. I've had it for over 3 years now and it hasn't let me down once!

Silkscreen and Scribble said...

Hi Lara, I so know what you mean about the problem of finding time to make things for fun once you make things for work (I've decided to try some non-fabric craftiness and enrolled in a silver work evening class yay!).

On the very important issue of sewing machines I would have to say I'm a big fan of the Bernina - particularly the old school 70s machines which are incredibly resilient and made from metal instead of flimsy plastic. I have a Bernina 830 and it happily puts up with a whole lot of use (and abuse) so if you can find a good shop which sells refurbed machines I reckon they are worth their weight in gold. On the new machine side of things I use a Janome overlocker and it seems pretty good for a not too expensive machine. Hope you find a great machine!