Tuesday 3 September 2013

New Machine

I thought I'd tell you a bit more about my new machine.  It's a JL (John Lewis) 330 - essentially a Janome and takes Janome parts.  As an exercise in getting to know know it I've finished off the crazy patchwork piece I started at the Stitch Gathering. I am now quite smitten with this technique as well as the new machine.

Apart from the price, which was in the right bracket, it has a few features I was especially looking for.  One is the ability to press a button and start or end sewing with the needle in the up or down position - no more cranking the wheel, and easy pivoting turning when changing direction on a corner.  It also has an automatic thread lock button, so you can sew a few stitches when starting or ending a line, which will save me a huge amount of faffing around pulling through threads and tieing them off.  If you set the thread lock button when using a decorative stitch the machine waits until it has completed a stitch before tying off - clever.  Add to this a sensitive food pedal which allows you to crawl along almost stitch by stitch, and a speed over-ride dial which means you can set the top speed you want to go at.  Perfect.

It has a bewildering array of button holes which I am unlikely to ever use, but I like the blanket stitch for applique.  I also love the fact that the bobbin is located under a clear hatch so you can see how full it is.

Yes, you will have to excuse the laundry drying in the background.

I also tried out some of the decorative stitches - you can see here a scallop, feather, and bobble (can't remember its name:-)) stitch and you can just make out in the smaller cream triangle that there are some little star stitches.  These can be sewed in a row, but using auto thread lock meant I was able to do one at a time and use it as a tying stitch.

I tried a bit of quarter inch quilting on the cream silk, and on the slippery wine-coloured lining fabric and it sews a lovely line - this might sound odd, but it was a revelation to me because my old sewing machine used to throw in the odd wobbly stitch, I don't know why.

So anyway, I have tested it, and have finished something!  Weyhey! I really loved making this, though hand-stitching any of it, as we did at the Gathering, doesn't work for me as I seem to be incapable of stitching in a straight line without introducing puckers.  I would probably use a foundation cloth too, especially with a fine fabric like Liberty, and an all Liberty crazy patchwork project is what I'm on to next.


  1. It sounds like love at first stitch! Yay.

  2. Lovely - now you will be addicted to crazy patchwork no doubt? I am interested to hear about the quilting part as that is something my old machine baulks at. Must go and check that machine out methinks!

  3. Great use of all the different stitches! I really should be more adventurous with mine...

  4. I love the block you've made. I've got a Janome Sewist. and when I bought it I didn't want a computerised machine because I thought it would be more expensive to repair but, now I'm more a quilter than a dressmaker, I'm quite envious of your needle up/down settings and stitches. I think you've made an excellent choice :)

  5. Oh I love that feather stitch. That looks like a lovely machine, and i like your patchwork piece.

  6. Looks like you are having fun with your new machine!

  7. I think the most interesting feature is the "sensitive food pedal". Mmmm... now I want a machine with a food pedal :)

    Sorry, I couldn't help it. The machine looks great. Even though I've owned a sewing machine for 4 or 5 years now, I still consider myself new to sewing (it's far from an every day event for me). I wouldn't know what to do with a machine like this, I would probably still stick to the two main stitches I use now :) You've done a great job experimenting.

  8. So glad you love your new machine! I had similar revelations when I got given the MemoryCraft - needle down and the sensitivity of the foot pedal having the biggest impact. Last night I even sewed my first button hole (and it has a nifty foot that you put the button in and it automatically works out the size of the hole, how neat!!). And I really need to try crazy patchwork, your block looks so cool.

  9. Yipeee for a new machine!! The crazy patchwork is beautiful too!

  10. My there are a lot of buttons... the decorative stiches and your piece are both lovely. Fun for me to see what a 'real' sewing machine can do - mine is both ancient and basic.


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