A couple of weeks ago SewMamaSew requested sewing machine reviews from bloggers. I've seen machine reviews posted on many websites, but this request was different. The request was for sewing machine reviews for any make or model regardless of age. So here goes, I'm reviewing my circa 1985 Janome Memory Craft 6000.
It's an oldie but a goodie, and it's served me well over the years, I bought it new and I paid around $1500.00 . So, in terms of todays dollars it would be $3260.00 based on the Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator. In it's day, this model was the top of the line, and the first generation of the computerized home sewing machine models. Today, it would hardly compare with the top of the line machine.
This machine has been a real workhorse for me. It's sewn everything from the finest of silk to leather and jeans. It's seen a miles of thread and many needles through the years. Although I don't sew as much as I used to, during the first 15 years of it's life it was operating for at least an hour a day 6 to 7 days a week. It has only seen the repair shop a few times for a tune up. Now having said that I'm a stickler for quality needles, quality thread and regular cleaning of the machine.
It features basic and utility stitches, buttonholer and some "embroidery" stitching. Novelty stitches include an airplane, alligator, penguin, parrot, butterfly, umbrella, numbers and 26 letters of the alphabet in script and block. The numbers 0-9 are also included. The size of these designs is quite limited when compared to today's machines, and programming is quite the exercise in a patience as each design is associated with a numeric value that needs to be entered followed by the M button, so to write SUE you would have to punch in 58M 60M 44M.
There is a wide variety of utility stiches which I have used over the years. The buttonhole quality is good and you can easily make a corded button hole using the button hole foot. One unique feature of this machine is it's overclock stitch and foot. Before I purchased a serger, I used this stitch a lot to finish seams. It doesn't cut the seam like an serger, but it does a good job of simulating an over lock stitch (considering it only has two threads to work with).
The machine comes with lots of feet that are neatly stored in the top of the machine, each foot has it's own special slot. I'm sure that saved me from losing them over the years, I still have all the original feet. The zipper foot is a bit unusual, but does the trick. The regular foot has a neat feature on it that allows you to sew over "fabric bumps" quite easily. Hemming jeans is a breeze with this machine. Over the years I've purchased a number of specialty feet from various suppliers and an ruffler attachment works well on this machine.
If someone is in the market for a machine and can find a well cared for Janome Memory Craft 6000, I'd recommend it. Definitely take it for a test drive, as machines of this vintage can vary greatly in condition.
I'm considering an upgrade to a new machine in the next year or so. Mostly to take advantage of the computerized embroidery capabilities in today's machines. Will I ditch the old work horse, absolutely not, I know it well and we've become good friends over the years.