Choosing a new sewing machine – your opinion?

Brother BM2600 and Janome DC2050. Images sourced from here and here.

Hi, sewing folks! I’m just about ready to upgrade my machine and I would love your input :).

My clunky little Brother BM 2600 machine has been okay so far, but it’s probably seven years old now and coming to the end of its life; it’s rather bottom-of-the-range and I’m really starting to notice its limitations.

I want to invest in a better quality machine for dressmaking that will last longer and continue to produce good results, but I don’t want to spend a killing. I’m aiming for around $350 – $450 AUD.

Things I want:

  • Accurate basic stitches.
  • Fast stitching.
  • Quiet.
  • Able to handle multiple layers.
  • Accurate throat plate (!)
  • Availability of different feet.
  • Reputable brand and good service.
  • Quality of construction.

Things I don’t particularly care about and would not pay more for these features alone:

  • Computerised – can anyone explain why this is useful/necessary? Not really interested in quilting.
  • A billion stitch options – I pretty much only ever use straight, zig-zag, elastic zig-zag, buttonhole and blind hem. Again, not really interested in quilting (or embroidery).

So far I’m leaning towards the Janome DC2050 (yes it’s computerised, but seems a similar price to other mechanical machines with similar features). Does anyone have this machine and can rave about it for me?

What machine do you use? Any other suggestions?

Katy xx

11 thoughts on “Choosing a new sewing machine – your opinion?

  1. Hello Katy. I bought my Janome a couple of years ago and I’m really pleased with it. I chose it because I’d used the same machine at a couple of sewing classes I’d been to so was already familiar with it. It is a CXL301 – there’s a photo of it here ….
    The one you are looking at is probably fancier because it has a lot more stitches to choose from but to be honest I don’t use the majority of mine – I’m not even sure what some of them are! The buttonhole function is good and it works well with knits. It is not so good with very heavy fabrics like denim but that might be because I’m not using the right needle. There are plenty of different feet available, although I’ve only bought a concealed zipper foot and a darning foot (for machinery embroidery which I’ve never actually tried!). Good luck!

    1. Hi Jane! Thanks for your reply. I just looked up your machine and it actually looks really good. I wouldn’t use any of those extra stitches either! Unfortunately I don’t think that specific model is available in Australia… Do you find that having a computerised machine makes things any easier?

      1. By comparison with the very basic Singer machine I had before it is much easier! It is very quick to change settings and also to see exactly what you have selected. My machine also has a setting for fast and slow stitching which I find ideal when I’m sewing something tricky because it stops me being tempted to go too quickly and mess it up!

  2. One thing I love about my machine (a limited edition Janome) is the little up/down needle button. I couldn’t live without it! You must get one with that!

    1. Thanks, Beth! Yes I have seen a few people rave about that function and I think I’m sold on it, seems like it would be really useful. The number of times I’ve had to turn the wheel back half a stitch and cause all sorts of knots…

  3. Hey Katy, Guess what? I finally bought a sewing machine after our last discussion ages ago…
    When you have time, do you think you could show me a few basics? ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Hey Ruby, that’s awesome! Congrats haha! I would love to, but I don’t live in Brisbane anymore so that may be kinda difficult… I can recommend some fantastic online resources though! You can learn absolutely everything online ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I started sewing on a BM2600, of course I soon started quilting and needed to upgrade. So I bought a Janome Memory Craft 6500 for my 18th birthday. I’ve had it for nearly five years now and it’s never skipped a beat.

    The real benefits I find (aka stuff I couldn’t live without) are the needle up down button, thread cutter and the knee lift. It was all stuff I didn’t think I’d need when I bought my machine (I was after throat space) however I wouldn’t buy another machine without it.

    Like you I rarely use any fancy stitches. Straight, zig zag, and three step zig zag are my main one. I do have an alphabet which comes in handy sometimes but not what you’d buy a machine for specifically.

    I’m currently lusting after a bernina. But their basic machines start in the thousands of dollars so I’ll just keep lusting after it ๐Ÿ™‚
    Good luck with your purchase!

  5. I have the Janome 525s it isn’t computerised and has all the stitches you listed that you wanted (the only one I don’t know if it has is the blind hem) it is a highly recommended model and is the one alot of classes in the UK use. It is about ยฃ250 in the UK so should be withing your budget in AUSD. I haven’t used it much for deessmaking yet but I have used it for alot of home projects and it does handle lots of layers well.

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