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Hello From A New Member in NJ

GoodKarma | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

Hi All,

I found this web address in Free Consumer Reports which mentions this site (the only one they mention) as a good starting place for user opinions on sewing machines.  They’ve rated Janome Decor Excel 5124 as the top machine right now.  Does anyone have that machine or compared it to others when purchasing?

I’m 42, single, live in Englewood, NJ and work in mid-town Manhattan.  I don’t sew that often but not afraid to attempt more complicated projects (if only I had more time).  I have a hard time sticking with one craft (sewing, knitting, beading, ceramics).  It’s so tempting to just buy “it” instead of sew “it” with all of the shopping around me – but do you have the same reaction when you see the prices for the simpliest cotton dress?

I like making knot quilts with embroidered squares for my friend’s and family’s newborn babies.  I’m also into window treatments and have done roman blinds.  A long time ago I made an Ungaro suit from a Vogue pattern (it doesn’t fit anymore but I can’t bring myself to get rid of it).  The “therapy” you from sewing (or any handy craft) is amazing.

Ok – sorry for this long message.  Wishing everyone a very happy holiday if you celebrate.  Let me know what you think about the Janome 5124 if you can.

Regards . . . GdKarma


  1. User avater
    blondie2sew | | #1

    Welcome,Not only is this a great place to find out about others who have machines but this is a great place to learn...grow...and sew more!! We love to encourage..we love to share our ideas...we love to just share about our craft..As you will see if you haven't already...Some of us don't just sew!! So feel welcome and have the freedom to create..this is why I sew is to create..have something that I made..that accomplishment!! Check out all the creations in the photo gallery that will truly inspire you!! Check out the threads about "time to sew" and others get tid bits on when to find the time when you are a busy lady!!I have learned a lot and I know you will too...share your ideas with us and don't be afraid to post..there is no silly/dumb question..we have all levels around here!!Again Welcome...Glad that consumer Reports can advertise..but they didn't really capture the essence of this forum I don't think in my opinion!!Oh and I live on the other side of the country...WA!! but I have been to NJ..a few times..My girlfriend is station there at McGuire AFB

    1. GoodKarma | | #2

      Hi Blondie!

      Thanks so much for your message.  I've been clicking around and just love the positive vibe from everyone.  It seems to me that the nicest people in the world are people who create crafty things with their hands!  I visited Seattle a couple of years ago and loved it!  Climbed half way up Mt. Ranier - it was amazing. 

      Right now I'm knitting a little blanket for my boy friend's best friend's new baby.  Mostly - I knit on the bus on my commute into NYC in the AM (sometimes I pray for traffic - not so far fetched).  But the project is getting too big to carry back and forth.  Thanks for the tip on where I can look for ideas on finding some time for my sewing passion.  I'd like to do more.  Maybe someday go into business for myself.

      Do you live near wine making country there?

      Best regards . . . GdKarma


      1. User avater
        blondie2sew | | #3

        Yes as a matter of fact..we do have oodles and oodles of Wineries around in WA...I live on the Seattle Side so we have most of our wineries more up north past Seattle going toward the Canadian border..WE have a lot on the east side of the Mountains!! And I have been to some..I did this past January go up to Lynden which is almost to Canada..and we found a wonderful winery there..I got this Fruit Wine..new classification I guess It is a Raspberry wine..yumm yumm yumm...I am not kidding you it tastes like someone took a handful of raspberries in their hand and squeezed them right into the glass!! Amazing!!Ok back to sewing..Sorry I know we really try to keep in task but this is your thread and so this is how we get to know you a bit!!Our Mountain yes is wonderful ...did you get to see it on a clear day? Truly breath taking when it isn't surround by clouds!!I don't knit..my sister-in-law does and made my girls one year for Christmas a hat and scarf. They were wonderful..my grandma when she was living crochet!! I did learn some but couldn't tell you how at this time!! She was teaching my oldest daughter at one time..And when she passed she was bummed that she couldn't crochet with her Granny any more.Ok I got to let you know that when we finish our projects!! (well it is not really a rule but I just have to put my plug in) you need to take pictures of them before you give them away and then post it, in the photo gallery!! I am making another trip out your way again..at the end of the month on the 23rd..My girlfriend and her husband are moving back home he is retiring so they kept their house out here for that purpose. She wants to drive one of the cars back so they will only have one vehicle together driving back in June..So I am flying out there and then we are road tripping it back cross country..haven't done that...and It was just enough for me to be driving to Altus Ok which is in the middle) when we got station there some time ago!! I went stir crazy..but I haven't let my girlfriend know that one yet!! ha ha haAnyway I am excited because I will be able before the road trip to make it to NY one last time!! I love it there! But the two times I have been I haven't been able to do the fashion district so that is the main purpose!! I am excited!! We take the train..You must not live far if you take the bus!! There is even a thread about shopping in NY so I and my girlfriend have been plotting and researching where we want to go!! Great to have a plan of action.Smiles to you
        P.S Yes I am 41 and I have a wonderful Honey of 19 years and two wonderful girls...10 and 5!

        Edited 4/5/2007 2:05 pm by blondie2sew

        1. GoodKarma | | #4


          Wow - It's so refreshing to meet someone new.  I haven't had the same luck in love or family as you have.  I've always wanted to meet someone and have some kids but it just never worked out.  I think being in NYC doesn't help although you would think in a city of millions it would make the odds better.  It doesn't.  Everyone here is looking for perfection (the supermodel).  I live one mile west of the George Washington Bridge on the Jersey side.  The bus ride is about 30-45 minutes on a good day and I walk about 15 mins to work.

          How long will you and your friend be in NY?  I'll be on a huge family trip to Italy with my boyfriend for ten days and won't be back until the last week in April.  I noticed your thread about fabric shopping.  I've been to B&J's.  They are a little pricey but have more fabric selections then you've ever seen in one place.  If you like buttons there are some really cool button stores mixed in that same area.  Very close by along 6th Ave (Ave of the Americas) as you walk downtown on the east side of the street are stores that sell unstrung beads of every kind in case you like to make necklaces.  There's a small one I like in particular which I think is reasonable called "Genuine." 

          For your daughter . . . you should check out the LionBrand.com web site.  You can search by zip code and find a club nearby. I know I've seen kids knitting/crocheting clubs.  Might be a nice way for her to keep her grandma's tradition going.

          It was sunny and 80 degrees every day I was in Washington.  I lucked out.  The wines there are really good - also the ones in Oregon.  We're planning to go to Sonoma/Napa in September.  I surely will take a picture of the knitting project when I'm finished!  Maybe I'll take it with me to Italy and have my beau take a picture of me holding it up in St. Mark's Square in Venice!  We're very excited - I get to see the house where my grandpa grew up, the church where my great grandparents got married, and 30 people I've never met to whom I'm related.  I'm sure one of them sews!

          Ciao,   GdKarma

          1. User avater
            blondie2sew | | #6

            You mean it isn't like "Sex in the City" ha ha ha ha..or maybe too much like it!! Wow Venice!! I am jealous! Have a great and wonderful trip you must find some wonderful textile places there and get some wonderful fabrics!! This will totally motivate you!! Thanks for the insight about kids crocheting clubs I will have to check it out! Right now she is all about her sewing..given the chance actually she is all about the friends!! Which I say that with a huge smile!! Both of my girls are huge social bugs like their mom!! Yes how fun would your knitting project be with being photographed in another country!! Too funAnd I have to say it is really refreshing meeting wonderful people who love our passion!! Sewing and such!! You will feel right at home. Everyone can relate to you in that way!! I have friends but some who don't sew. I have one..that is the one in NJ she sews and I have been missing her!! She can relate to me..So this place is great!!We only plan on NY for a day!! so it is a quick trip...just fabric shopping...my girlfriend loves buttons so I will certainly relay this to her!! ThanksNow off to sewing my last thing for Easter!! gotta get this done..I will be posting it too..I just posted my other lil ones dresses I madeCiao..(I say that too!! too funny)Blondie

            Edited 4/5/2007 5:50 pm by blondie2sew

          2. GoodKarma | | #7

            Blondie . . . I hope you and your family have a very Happy Easter and safe and fun travels to you!  I'll look for your pictures! 

        2. GoodKarma | | #5

          I have a suggestion:  Try using CitySearch to find what you're looking for.  If you click on "Shopping" and then type in Fabric in the search box you'll come up with a whole list located in NYC with their addresses! (I think the URL below has NYC as the pre-selected city location).  I use this site all the time for restaurants and shopping.


          Let me know if you find any deals!

  2. spicegirl | | #8

    Welcome to the forum.  There are several members who will not hesitate to help or just offer suggestions any time you ask.  Happy sewing.

    1. GoodKarma | | #9

      Hi!  Love your "handle" as they used to say way back when my dad had a CB radio.  Ok now I'm dating myself!

      I was thinking of treating myself to a new sewing machine.  I noticed that the Janome Decor Excel 5124 is highly rated on the Consumer Report.  I've never heard of this brand. Not looking for anything too fancy but I'm thinking of upgrading to an electronic version.

      What do you use?

      Thanks for the welcome!  This is the best "community" site I've ever come across!

      Best regards . . . GdKarma

      1. spicegirl | | #10


        Forget that "dating yourself" business.......my oldest son is 43!!  Age is just a number.

        I know nothing about the Janome brands.  Someone is sure to get back with you on their experience, but I would audition the dealers and machines.  Also, PatternReview.com  has a segment on their website dedicated to sewing machine reviews. 

        When I was "growing up" there was only one name in sewing - Singer, or so it seemed.

        At age 10, I made my first sewing project on a Singer treadle.  My first electric machine was a portable Singer....wedding present from my husband grandmother.  Portable was the term used for machines not in cabinets, or consoles.  Second machine was a Singer Golden Touch n' Sew ....... thought I was in sewing heaven...beautiful machine in a beautiful cabinet, which I still have.

        T 'n Sew bit the dust and my husband bought a Bernina as a Christmas gift in the late '80s.  

        A couple of years ago I bought an Elna Quilter's Pro for the extra space it provided for quilting, then because I couldn't find a reasonably priced embroidery-only machine with the features I wanted, I traded in the Bernina and bought a Baby Lock Elegante.

        As far as I know....and you are sure to get a lot of responses on this...Singer bought Husqvarna/Viking and Pfaff last year, Baby Lock, Elna and Brother are the same company and Bernina is Bernina.   Janome probably fits in here somewhere and there are a lot of people who love their Janome.

        I happen to "love" my local sew & vac dealer, he also is the "service guy" and has been in the business over 35 years....I've been buying from him for over 20 of those years, but I still audition the product.

        Sorry to be so gabby.  Happy hunting!


  3. fabricholic | | #11

    Hi GoodKarma,I am so glad you joined our group. Like you, I have many hobbies. I just wish I had time to do some of them. I am sewing a little, right now. I like to knit, but can't do more than scarfs and hats. I wish you would post your Ungaro suit that you made. I think there is a Thread about your favorite garment you have sewn. Anyway, you might want to post a picture, since you still have it. I don't blame you. I would not get rid of it. Too much work and I consider them pieces of art. I would love to see a picture or the roman blinds, also. Hope you have fun in Italy.Marcy

  4. SewFit | | #12

    I have a New Home Excel 5024 (made by Janome) which I purchased to replace my beloved 21 year old Kenmore in 2005.  I got it at more than 50% off during a "Manager's Special" unadvertised sale at Hancock Fabrics.( $175.00) It looks identical to the Janome Excel 5124.  Has the accessory storage built in the top.  I love it....last year I purchased the Janome DC 3050 (electronic) on sale at the local Janome dealer. ($200 off the regular price)   Both are quiet running machines....I love the self-threading features.  I bought the Janome DC 3050 because it offers 3 styles of built in buttonholes (standard, round end and keyhole.) along with 47 additional built in stitches.   I sew mostly clothing and accessories.  Some home deco.  (the keyhole buttonhole worked great in my new shower curtain)  Both machines fit my needs well.  Accessories and feet are all interchangeable.  I have both set up in my sewing room along with my White Speedylock serger.  

    I learned to sew on my grandmother's hand down Montgomery Ward treadle machine when I was 8 years old.  In 1965, right out of school, I worked for a Singer dealer...Singer was a wonderful machine for years....but after a period in the late 60's early 70's when they were selling everything from furniture to typewriters (remember them) the quality of the product diminished.   However, I have not used a Singer in many, many years.   I can only offer advise on what I am familiar with and I highly recommend the Janome/New Home products.

    I am located in NC.

    Edited 4/11/2007 4:51 pm ET by SewFit

    1. GoodKarma | | #13


      Thanks so much for this info.  You were so very helpful!  I don't think we have Hancock's in my area but I'll google the machine and see if there's a dealer where I can test it out. 

      My Mom used to sew our clothing all of the time as a matter of economics.  We kids used to always hang out in the "sewing room" while she worked and I would look at the fabrics and patterns and think that she was a magician.  She had (and still does) an old reliable metal Kenmore with "cams" for the different style stiches.  When I turned 13 I decided to take on a clothing project.  Instead of walking me through it my Mom told me to start it on my own and come to her if I had any questions.  Well, that was it.  The last really cool thing I made was my nephew's Christening outfit out of this gorgeous dupioni white silk.  It was a jumpsuit with little white star buttons and I made a baret hat to go with it which of course he wouldn't tolerate wearing.  It was really fun to make and I was very proud to be the Godmother and the maker of his outfit.  I like to make clothing but lately have really only done home dec.  The last thing I made was a set of duvet, shams, and bed skirt because I didn't like any of the ones I saw for sale in various stores.  I bought the fabric on sale at JoAnn's.  My sister lives in Chapel Hill and I visit at least once a year.  She sews too but not clothing.  I have a Kenmore which was a birthday gift from my Grandmother when I was a teenager and it gets me through simple projects.  My small living space doesn't allow me to keep it set up or even have a dedicated space for my various crafts so everything is packed in various baskets or boxes and stored here and there.  My other Grandma had one of the older industrial black Singers that was and still is amazing - very fast.

      I'm ready to graduate to another machine.  My dream is to marry my boyfriend and move to a house where we can have kids and a room for my crafts and I can make clothing for them and pass the tradition down to my daughter.

      1. ctirish | | #14

        GoodKarma, Where is Englewood in NJ? I have a daughter who lives in Dayton, NJ. I head down there as often as possible. I have been to Fabricland near her somewhere that is interesting. I want to go into New York one of these days when I have room for more fabric. I have gone to a shop on the Stamford, Norwalk line in CT that has beautiful fabric. It is called Banksville Designer Fabrics and purchased irish linen and some boucle that I still have not used and some other little pieces. Do you know if there are any stores or schools that offer classes in the City?
        Thanks, jane

        1. GoodKarma | | #15

          Hi Jane,

          Sorry for the delay answering . . . I went to the dentist today and so a bit distracted.

          Englewood is in Bergen County up by the George Washington Bridge.  We have Calico Corners which has some beautiful fabrics, the Rag Shop, and one of my favorites - JoAnns.  I would say for schools in NYC the big one is the Fashion Institute of Technology which is one of the better schools for fashion design.  I'm sure there are other classes, etc. but I've never really looked into it.  I see plenty of local knitting clubs and classes around.  I'll keep my eyes open for sewing classes.  I've never heard of Fabricland or Banksville (that one sounds really nice - I'll have to try to visit it) - possibly those stores post or know of classes or instruction courses.  One idea I have is maybe the local community schools or adult education have pattern making, design and constuction courses.  There's a local college close by called Bergen Community College that may have something.

          I've worked in NYC since 1989 - sometimes it's hard to believe.  I often think I've had enough and it's time to move somewhere where my blood pressure won't be so affected and improve my quality of life.. . but then I've lived here so long that without the pace and opportunity to all of the different things here I might miss it terribly.

          Best wishes to you!  Liza

          1. ctirish | | #16

            Liza, don't worry about turnaround time here, we come here when we can fit it in.. We have classes here that are fine, I was just thinking it any of the Fashion School had something it might be worth the trip. My dd(dear daughter) took some cooking and baking classes at one of the Cooking Schools and I was amazed at what she learned in a short period of time.  I frequent the GW bridge on a regular basis, going to my daughters home. Banksville has a web site although you can't buy fabric from it, they want you to call and talk and actually talk to a person. That way they can make suggestions and tell you about exactly what is in stock. They get some end rolls from designers that come in almost daily so their stock always some new choices. I have to make myself drive by because if I stop I will buy way to much fabric and my stash is significant at this point.

            I wanted to tell you, a good place to check out sewing machines is PatternReview.com. The members at this site do reviews on sewing machines, patterns, books. fabric anything related to sewing. It really is amazing, you can find out about problems and work arounds or tips and techniques for dealing with a specific pattern, machine, notion. When a member uses a pattern to make something, they go to the site and do a review of the pattern and their experience creating their masterpiece.  Their machine reviews are done by members usually after they have used their machine for a while. You can also ask for a review if there isn't one listed.

            Have a great day, I need to do my taxes now, I can't ignore them any longer.   jane

        2. Char9 | | #18

          I know where Englewood, NJ is, but where is Dayton, NJ?  I live in Palmyra, NJ and I'm about 20 minutes from Philly's Fabric Row.


          1. sharon227 | | #19


               I'm new to this forum, and live in Trenton, which puts me conveniently between Philly's Fabric Row and Manhattan (okay, closer to Philly).  If you ever want to check out NYC's fabric stores, there are a lot of them on Eighth Avenue and on 39th St. between Seventh and Eighth Aves.  They're an easy walk from Penn Station, just go up the Eighth Ave. side; you'll start to spot them as you get to the upper 30's cross streets.  They have an amazing selection of fabrics that I haven't seen in Philly, and definitely aren't available at my local Rag Shop or Joann's.  And the prices are very reasonable (not at all what I expected).   I would go more often, but need to stop buying and start sewing, as the fabric stash is beginning to look like an obsession.

          2. Char9 | | #20

            Hey Sharon!  Welcome!  First of all, fabric obsessions are not flaws.  They are products of our amazing creativity.  At least this is how I justify any sewing related quirk.

            You'll like it here alot.  Tons of help from the other members who are always willing to share their experience. 

            Shortly after Keith and I were married, we took a trip to NYC.  Disaster!  We couldn't find anyone to tell us what subway to take to get to where we wanted to go.  And we were constantly accosted by very aggressive beggers.  We were so disgusted we came home without seeing a thing.  I'm sure NYC is great for those who know how to get around.  Sorry to all those who live in and love NYC.  I'm sure your city is wonderful.  But those beggers gotta go.


          3. sharon227 | | #22

            Hi, Char,

               Sorry your first trip to NYC was such a nightmare.  If it was a while back, it's improved tremendously (no, I'm not, never have been and am not likely to ever be a resident New Yorker).  Most of my wanderings have been in mid-town and the theater district, so maybe those areas "cleaned up" better.  I would suggest buying a subway map at your local Barnes and Noble, though, if you ever decide to venture there again.  And, most importantly, you don't need to use the subway to hit the mid-town fabric stores if you go in by train!

               Thanks for the welcome, and for reminding me that fabric buying is not a compulsion.  I can stop any time I want to.  I just don't want to.

          4. ctirish | | #21

            I will definitely be confused by the time we solve this puzzle. I believe Dayton is near So. Brunswick. I get off at Exit 8 but then I back track a little to Dayton. There is a Stop and Shop near where they live with a little strip mall with a pizza place, a Bank of America, a Chinese place and a package store. I wish I could remember the name of the street that I turn off of; their street is Sequoia Drive. if that helps. 

            She is between Philly and New York going through New Jersey. I am sure there are shorter ways to go straight from Philly to NYC.   jane

      2. MaryinColorado | | #17

        You sound like a lovely and talented young lady!  I hope all your dreams come true!  They will if you believe in them and more importantly in yourself. 

        Those dreams came true for me about thirty years ago and I am living them now.  We have two grown children and three grandchildren, all love to sew with the exception of my daughter!  Sometimes I forget how fortunate I am, thanks for reminding me. 

        The Christening outfit sounds adorable, what a wonderful heirloom for the child and family!  Bless You!  Mary

  5. purpleque | | #23

    Hi and welcome aboard.  This is a great place for sewers to gather and share.  You'll love it hear.


    Linda  - I'm in NC

  6. solosmocker | | #24

    Welcome aboard! You are going to love it here as there is so much inspiration and encouragement. Nice to meet you!solo

  7. jaeng | | #25

    Just want to say hi from West Orange, NJ.
    I can't help with Janome sewing machine- sounds great &
    very expensive to me.
    I use 2nd hand Juki that I bought from NYC, love it.

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