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I need a new "little" machine...Janome Gem Gold Plus?

I need a new "little" machine...Janome Gem Gold Plus?

Old 02-21-2014, 02:14 PM
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Kathy T.'s Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Tampa, FL USA
Posts: 3,115

I got the Janome Gem Gold (not the Plus) at Christmas and if I had it to do over, I would have bought a Janome but spent a little more. The things I don't have (like needle-down, ability to adjust the needle position slightly for scant 1/4 inch, having the take-up lever on the left, etc) are more important to me than I thought. It is lightweight, which is what I wanted so it will do for now, but I would suggest you make sure your new machine has the same features as the one you let go. You'll be happier!
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:41 PM
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Location: Sonoma County, CA
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Originally Posted by Silver Needle View Post
Get a Vintage Singer Featherweight and you'll never have to replace again. They take a lickin' and keep on tickin' as the Timex commercial used to say. Their stitch is the best you will ever find for piecing. They only weigh 11 lbs. The Singer 222 is a free arm version.
I have looked at Featherweights - they are adorable machines and I hear over and over how durable they are. BUT...I really would like a machine that can share bobbins and at least some of the feet I have for my Janome 6600 (which I love), so that's why I'm leaning towards another Janome. The machine I'm replacing (the little Brother) could share the more generic feet but not bobbins and that always drove me a little nuts.

I kind of want a Featherweight ANYWAY, if for no other reason than because they're works of art and I like the sense of history that antique machines have. But I think, for me, another small Janome with modern functions is a little more practical and I'd probably get more use out of it. I'm just not sure if this one, with the 'light serger" function is the right one.

Hm. Sounds like nobody here has one yet. Maybe it's really new? The reviews do sound pretty good. Sheesh, I don't know...hopefully the dealer will have one that I can play with!
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:29 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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I have that machine and I just love it. I'm tempted to buy another!
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:57 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 466

I have the Janome Platinum, & I love it. I bought it to take with me to quilting & to classes, but I use it a lot at home to. My sister had a Janome Gem , that was the same size as mine , as her only machine, & it did a lot of sewing. After she went to the nursing home it went to her grand daughter & it still works good.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:03 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Keno, oregon
Posts: 28

Check on overstock.com..I know they had some janomes..but don't recall the model #s....
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:35 AM
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I think I'm going to pass on this particular machine - I was thinking about what Kathy T said about the needle up-down, etc. and I probably would miss those features more than I'd use the serger function on this one. If/when I decide to take the plunge with learning how to make clothes, I'll just buy a real serger. That is probably the wiser course, I think.

So I'm still internet-shopping for a new little backup machine with a free-arm. Still have my sights set on a Janome...they almost have TOO MANY choices! I've seen 3-4 different machines I'd probably be happy with, just looking on Amazon.

Woke up sick this morning so not going to the dealer today, though. The kids gave me their cold, and I don't need to share it! Maybe next weekend...

I'll take a look at overstock - I am inclined to buy from the dealer (support my local businesses, and all that) but for a small machine like this, if it's a killer deal I'll buy online.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:32 AM
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Location: The Granite City, Scotland
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Have you looked at the Pfaff Passport? I'm a recent 'convert' having been a Janome girl. The Passport uses the same bobbins as my Janome, has needle up/down, a fair selection of stitches and - my main reason for conversion - the in-built walking foot (called IDT) here. I'd find it really difficult to go back to a machine without this feature now.
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:53 AM
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I have a Pfaff Passport with IDT and I use the bobbins from my Janome 6600 in it.

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Old 02-23-2014, 03:58 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Southeast Georgia, USA
Posts: 8,997

i am a janome fan, through and through.

however, when i went shopping for a take-along machine that had all my "must have" features i couldn't find one that fit into my budget right now. (yes ... i could save up but i wanted something now. instant gratification ... what can i say? LOL)

i decided to roll the dice on a Brother SQ9185 that i found at WalMart for $199 (before sales tax.) they have a very good return policy so i felt safe bringing it home for a test drive.
having become a bit of a machine snoot (not proud of that, but i "own" it ... LOL) i expected it to feel like a serious downgrade.

much to my surprise, i am very pleased and will definitely keep it.
i can't use my janome feet on it, but it came with every foot i'll ever need.
it does take the same bobbins i use in all my janomes. (yes. you heard that correctly. i have more than one. it's a sickness. LOL)

i did a little bit of test-stippling on a small sandwich yesterday, just for giggles.
all it took was one top tension adjustment, and it looked pretty darned good on both front and back.

the only feature it doesn't have that i miss is the push-button top/bottom thread cutter.
if you think you'd go nuts without that, consider the Brother PC420PRW. if you shop around you can find it online for about $350 (before shipping and taxes.) oddly, this model does not come with an extension table. you'd have to buy one separately.

so, if a janome that has all the features you can't live without is outside your budget - and since you are already familiar and comfortable with brother - those are two models to keep in mind as you weigh your options.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:18 AM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: South Texas
Posts: 4

All brands of sewing machines have some very good and useful qualities - I have 2 Janome's 6500 and 1600 P and I own a Vintage Featherweight Singer and a Designer SE (Viking). I use and love all of these and the only one that is light weight is the Featherweight. I would go to a Janome dealer and just try out all of the lighter weight ones and ask the dealer to recommend one. I would hope that the dealer is more interested in what you want it for rather than to just make a sale. Much success to you.
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