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Janome 9700 – shall I buy

ChristineAnn | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I have an old Singer machine, its about 23 years old, and its my birthday soon, and I am wondering whether to try and get the Janome 9700.  I usually just do patchwork and quilting, but like the idea of having pretty embroidery on cards, on pillowcases, and things I can make for gifts.  The Janome 9700 is £1499 – which is a lot of money…. I am worried that I will not get enough value from it, although if it lasts as long as my Singer is will cost £65 a year! 

Does anyone have the Janome 9700 – and what do you think of it?


  1. Crazy K | | #1

    I have a Janome 9000 and it's a great machine.  I bought it thinking I would do embroidery.  The cards with the designs are very expensive.  I bought an Amazing Box.  Didn't like that much so I bought a machine that uses floppy disks.....and the software that goes with the machine.  I am now a Happy Stitcher!  I still have the 9000 but do not use it for embroidery.

    If you are doing sewing and not much embroidery (the bug will bite, trust me!) the Janome machines are great.  The think the newest model uses a 'jump drive' or direct hookup to a computer.

    I started with a lower end Janome and loved that, too.  They're great little machines.  And, the 9700 is computerized which is a good thing.  The computerized machines are great and give good stitch quality, etc.  I just bought a Sew Precise for a granddaughter and she loves that, too.  It is the least expensive of the computerized machines, I think.

    Hope this helps........


    1. ChristineAnn | | #2


      Hi Crazy K

      What was the Amazing Box and when you found you did not like it what machine did you buy that used floppy disks.

      I think the top of the range Janome is between £3000 and £4000  thats about 6-8000 USD! so I am pretty sure that there is no way my husband would agree to it and even I think it would be madness.

      If you were going to buy a new machine, would you get the Janome 9700?  Its a lot of money... but I fancy one that does everything, and if I buy a lesser model, I would not be able to buy a more expensive machine later - it could be a costly mistake to get a machine that does less.....

      Although I say I want to do embroidery, I dont really know what I would make yet, what do you all make?  I thought it would be nice to do some greeting cards, book marks, and embroider towels and pillowcases. 

      1. Crazy K | | #3

        The Amazing Box was the 'thing' that I used to convert formats when I purchased designs off the internet.  Internet designs (Embroidery Library is my all time fav!) are much less expensive because often you can buy the design you want......not a whole collection.  The bought the Janome 9000 thinking I could use the cards but found that to be a huge waste.  I am very blessed and fortunate to have the financial ability to buy a model with all the bells and whistles and a husband who is all in favor of my hobby.  I bought a Designer SE and the computer software and love it.  I can use a floppy disk, hook directly to a computer (but I don't because my computer is way too far away) or use a jump drive.  It is so much more convenient and I have tons of designs now and probably only the cost of two design cards!!  Many of my designs are purchased on sale and I often pay only pennies per design! 

        I have done snowflakes (freestanding lace) at Christmas time, I embroidery designs on bibs for my daughter's daycare and for gifts, designs on t-shirts for grand kids, oven mitts, potholders, kitchen towels, I made a tote bag with bird designs,  wildlife on shirts for my hubby, patriotic things on shirts for my military son, grandson and son-in-law.  We have 9 children and 22 grands so I can find all sorts of things to do.  I've embellished shirts for fundraisers and for family.  Granddaughters love to have their name on their flannel pants and monograms on their hoodies, etc.

        The funny thing is that when I bought my Janome I really didn't think I would embroider much at all..........just an occasional monogram or something.  I'm still too busy to do as much as I would like but I sneak in a project whenever I can!  That is my only hobby.  I know.........I am spoiled but I'm having a ball!  Life is short.....I'm retired now so I'm playing!

        To answer your other question.........if you plan on sewing, I am sure you would be happy with the Janome.  I am not familiar with the 9700 but it probably is a step up from the 9000 and that machine is great..............it is just the ease of embroidery that I did not like.  Maybe others have different opinions.............

        1. ChristineAnn | | #6

          Thanks Crazy K - that was handy reading your message, as I just posted to ask where to get designs from!  I should have checked before hand that there were no more replies in box!  Gosh - you have a lot of people to sew for!  Lucky you!  However, my daughter hopes to have a baby in the not too distant future so maybe I will have a grandchild to sew for one day! 

          So - you did not use your Janome for embroidery as it was too expensive for the patterns - is that right?  and instead you bought the Designer SE - I will check on the internet about the Designer SE - as you may now realise I know very little about these machines, and I only know about the Janome ones as someone I knew in the UK had the Janome 9000 and loves it.  I am hoping that everything will be easier to understand once I go to a shop for a demonstration.

          1. user-217847 | | #7

            hi there ChrristineAnn,

            I started my Janome journey with the 8000, then the 9000,10000 and now I have the 11000. I would highly recomend Janome Sewing Machines to anyone. There are so many truely amazing digitizers out there, you don't have to buy janome I don't, way way too expensive. the amazing ladies that look after me, told me Janome have started to release discs with 6-8 designs of the one flavour, for Aus.$45.00 I saw the butterflies all one size they were beautiful. I use a lot of Sue Box Designs I do have most of them.http://www.suebox.com she is aussie. Once you start machine embroidering, the creative juices don't stop.

            Google machine embroidery in. Australia, South Africa, England etc, don't buy complete sets unless you like ALL the designs.Have fun.


          2. Cherrypops | | #29

            Hey Wombat,

            Well Mothers day is just around the corner and i am so excited about shopping for my Janome 350e. I would have loved the Designer SE but hubby has done the costs and we can only afford the 350e at present. Add her to my sewer and overlocker. The 350e is a start, I haven't done any embroidery before. Isn't Sue Box great. I have one of her collections plus many more.

            Have you joined any online embroidery groups to get free designs?

            I'd love to come visit you one weekend. Hubby does the driving because I haven't learnt. Working on that one!

            Hope you are keeping well.


          3. user-217847 | | #31

             Hi there CherryPops,

            congratulations, what a great gift, I usually have to buy my own. I have a friend who has a machine (embroidery only), not sure which one but it is a janome she loves it. I took a sticky beek on the janome site., if you can add a mega hoop, it need not be straight away, there should'nt be any thing you can't tackle it's a magical world and you will have a ball. Please be very selective when it comes to janome emb . discs they are very expensive and you won't use all the designs. My back up staff are great nothing is ever a problem, only moi, they did tell me that janome has started a collection theme type stuff maybe 8 designs I've seen the butterflies, beautiful, can't remember though if they are limited to certain machines. I have most of Sue Box's designs and yes they are terrific. Don't skimp on thread, use the best it pays for itself in the end. If you like "pretty" check out http://www.jennyhaskins.com I subscribe to 6 Oz. mags one in particular Machine Embroidery and Textile Art, theres always plenty of sites to visit we have some great sites we are up there with the best. Most places offer freebies so you can see how the designs stitch out, once again take care. Have you considered what software you will run? Have a look see, http://www.sewinfings.com.au http://www.hatchedinafrica.com http://www.ABC-embroidery-designs.com for a start. you will never be sorry. Eye sight off due to out of control blood sugars, playing about with insulins to get back on track. What type of machine does Mum in Law sew with? Will hubby make you wait for the day or will you have it early?

            love wombat

          4. Crazy K | | #8

            HI.......I bought the Designer I (Viking) first and the 3d software for the computer and that came to just over $5,000 (US) I believe.  Shortly after the Designer SE came out so I traded up but didn't have to buy the software again.  I now have two SE's (you see, I really AM spoiled!), my Janome 9000 and have accumulated 4 sergers over the years........my first was an Elna 745DEX; then a Janome 234; a Janome Compulock and most recent is a Babylock Evolve.  I do quite a lot of sewing on knits for the grands so the sergers are probably the most important equipment I own.  The embroidery machines also do a wonderful job of stitching and have oodles of decorative and utility stitches built in.  The Designer series is upgradable via the internet once your register your machine so that is nice also.

            I do not use the Janome for embroidery because the cards cost $85.00 to over $100.00 per card and have 'collections' of 10 to 20 designs each.  Unfortunately, I usually only wanted one or two of the designs on a card which makes them VERY expensive.  At Embroidery Library they sell designs in packs or individually and you can download them to a disk or get them via email.  Their most expensive individual design is about $8.00.  You can see why I prefer getting my designs that way!  The little amazing box took the place of the software but was not at all user friendly and I fought with it each time I tried to use it.  I don't know that I was ever able to get it to work with a design purchased over the internet!!  I think it was just me because they are a popular device but I had a horrible time and I was new to the embroidery thing and it was so frustrating!  I am having fun now..........

            This is WAAAY too much info but I hope it helps.  If you're going to sew.......get a good lower priced computerized sewing machine (no embroidery) and if you're going to embroider, do your homework and find a dealer that will give you instruction on whichever brand and model you choose.......you will not regret that.

          5. ChristineAnn | | #9

            Ahhh - you are lucky - all those machines!!  I have just had a look on the internet and see that the Designer SE is a Husqvarna Viking Designer SE. I did not realise it was a Husqvarnia.  So, you do not use your Janome for embroidery because the designs are too expensive, instead you use the Husqvarna as the designs are cheaper for it.  I am concerned that you say you have a problem when you download designs from the internet - as I would want to do that.  Gosh - it is all very complicated!  I am going to look at the Janome when I get to England (unfortunately it will be too late to get the free special offer of a flatbed iron) but I will have a look anyway, and maybe I will see if there is a specialist show here in Belgium, although it is difficult here as I do not speak very much French.

            I do not know what a serger is - is it an overlocker machine?


          6. Crazy K | | #10

            Oh yes, I live in the US and we call them sergers......you call them overlockers.  They are one in the same.

            You can get designs for the Janome over the Internet but to make them work you need the software for your computer.........the dealer I went through said I didn't need that.  i think they just wanted to sell their expensive design cards and I was naive and didn't know any better.  I do now!  An expensive lesson.

            I hope all this gibberish has made some sense to you.


          7. ChristineAnn | | #11

            You have been a great help!  I know so little about it, and you have so many machines.  I think that maybe I just need to go ahead and get one, and then learn from that....  It gets to the point where you have to just jump in, and stop worrying about the money otherwise you just will not do it.  I will be in England the week after next - so...maybe I will get one - mind you, I could wait a tiny bit longer to see if they have a new special offer on in April, as I will be flying over this month so wont be able to bring it back on the plane.  In April we are driving - so maybe I could pick one up then.  Its very exciting!  I think I would get the software as well, although I have not seen a price anywhere for that yet.

          8. ChristineAnn | | #12

            Well - I have looked at machines again and am now thinking of getting the Janome 6600P and the 350E.  Only problem is - should I buy from England or Belgium.  The guarantee is only valid in country you buy from!  Not sure what to do as in Belgium for a couple of years then maybe back in England!

          9. Crazy K | | #13

            Hi!  You do have a problem.  I'm so fortunate to live in a metro area and have dealers so close.  The dealer for my Designer SE is about 2 miles away from home.  Very convenient when I have questions or need supplies.  That is one reason I chose the SE over some of the other brands.  There is a Janome dealer fairly close but not nearly as convenient.  I have never had to deal with warranty issues from country to country.

          10. ChristineAnn | | #14

            Well - I think I will take a risk and buy the machine in Belgium.  If we go back to England next year I will just have to hope I do not have a problem with the machine.  The other problem is that I do not speak French, so I hope they can show me how to use the machine and that we do not have to rely on a lot of speaking!  I hope I can manage the machine ok - but we will have to see.  How difficult can it be........ 

          11. Crazy K | | #15

            I think if you need help learning when you go back to England, a reputable dealer would help you with that.  Maybe classes even........although you may have to pay to take them.  It still would be worthwhile.  I took embroidery/software classes and it helped a lot.  I had figured much of it out but the classes helped me understand it all better.  I am not a computer geek so that was that is the area I needed the most help.  Ask the dealer (whichever country) about software and obtaining designs off the internet.  That was my problem with my Janome.........they sold the machine and said I didn't need anything else but the little design cards!  Well, those design cards are incredibly expensive and I won't pay that.  I think I mentioned that in an earlier post.  The software is what helps you get things online and convert them to your machine format so you can use them.  I'm not sure what system the 350e uses.......you may need the amazing box or some such thing to 'write' the designs to the little cards that the machine uses.  I hope I'm not confusing you too much.  I just hate to see people spend money (the way I did!) and go home thinking they have everything they need and finding out later that isn't the case.  The dealer I went to is a reputable dealer but I don't think she understood what I wanted..........and I really had no idea myself since I had never done any of that before!!!  I think she failed by not asking me more questions.  Had she done that, she would have known that I had absolutely no idea of what I was doing!!!!  ha ha  I've learned much since then!  I still have far to travel in the learning journey............

          12. ChristineAnn | | #16

            Yes, you did tell me that the designs are expensive, and I have been concerned about that, so although I might use the machine for a little while without the software, I realise that it is an essential to get the most out of the machine.  I would not wish to spend £65 on a disk with just a few designs on.  My intention is to get the digitizer software, so that all designs can be converted to use on the 350E.  I do not know very much about embroidery, or the software, but I know that I can get a day lesson on the software in the UK, and I might do that after I have bought it and had a go so that I can work out which bits are difficult (or when I find out I have no idea what to do with it!).  The 350E has a USB port and that has helped me to decide as I do not want to bother with flashcards.

          13. Crazy K | | #17

            I did not realize that the 350e uses a USB port.  That's what the SE has and it's great.  I have an external floppy drive hooked up for the designs that I have on floppies and then can use the Jump drive (flash drive) for others.  Works for me!  Sounds like you have done some research.......I did not and should have.  I think Janome now has software that possibly was not available.......at least not the newer one.  They may have had something called 'customizing'  but I had no idea what that was and the gal at the store sounded as though I didn't need that..........sooooo, I learned.  Expensive lesson but I still have a great sewing machine.  I must admit I use my Designers much more because of some of the features.........automatic thread cutter, automatic presser foot, etc.  I have gotten lazy!  I have a walking foot for the Janome and it makes great buttonholes and has great stitches so I'm not willing to give that up just yet!

            Good luck to you and enjoy your new venture.  Trust me, once you start embroidery, you will embroider everything you can get your hands on!!!

          14. fabricholic | | #23

            Hi ChristineAnn,I hope you get all of your manuals in English instead of French. Just a thought.Marcy

          15. ChristineAnn | | #24

            I have my machines!  We picked up the 350e on my birthday - and the shop delivered the 6600 last night.  I was over two hours in the shop for the 350e while they went over everything and I bought my threads, and last night they were here 2 hours while we set up the 6600.  It probably took extra time because of the language problem! 

            I do not have the manuals in English yet.... they have ordered them for me, but they have loaned me a copy of the 6500 manual which they had in English.  I have the French manual for the 6600 until the English one arrives.  The 350e came with a disc to show how to thread the machine, the bobbin and use the frames etc, but the manual should arrive next week.

            The shop has an embroidery group that meets up at a shop once every couple of months - I need to take my embroidery machine with me and some fabric the size of a place setting mat as we are going to do an embroidery pattern on it and some embroidery lines!  It seems they have a Belgian lady who attends who speaks good English as she spits her time between Belgium and America.  They say she will not mind translating for me so that will be very useful.  Its all very exciting!

            I dont know when I am going to get the housework or the gardening done... It is going to take me a while to get used to the machines - they can do sooo much.  The buttonholes on the 6600 were completed in seconds.  The embroidery machine just works on its own - well - almost!

            I would like to make cards, but so far I have only found small cards for sale here with the apertures in and I think I wll need bigger ones.  Does anyone else reading this make cards?  Do you make your own apertures? I have found that card here, but it would have been easier if I had found the ready made aperture ones!  Right - must get ready to start sewing!


          16. Cherrypops | | #25

            Hi Christine,

            Congratulations on getting your machines. I will buy the 350e soon. I am looking forward to using this machine. I have some software and designs loaded into my computer already, and have a lot of machine embroidery websites bookmarked for free designs and extra help. It would be great to keep in touch with you and your work on the 350e.

            CherryPops (australia)

          17. ChristineAnn | | #26

            Yes - it will be good to keep in touch.  I am still on my first embroidery - the lady from the shop gave me a boat design that I wanted to use for a card for a friend - I am halfway though, the design takes about 110 miniutes!  I had to stop yesterday as it went a bit wrong, but now sorted out so need to get it finished. I dont think I will be able to make it into a card though as I have not managed to get big enough aperture cards although maybe I can make something later. 

            I have not bought the digitiser software yet, as I thought I would just get used to both machines first.  The time just goes - so much to do!  Hopefully I will be ready for the software in a few weeks.

          18. Cherrypops | | #27

            Hi ChristineAnn


            Did you also get the Clothsetter, Gigahoop and FreeArm hoop?

            I chose the 350e because I can't see myself waiting 110minutes to sew the garment. I need to be sewing while it embroiders.

            I have the Janome Customiser 10 000 Plus and Buzz Tools software (xmas presents). And lots of .jef designs. The buzz software allows me to change/convert the format of most design. Embird http://embird.com/ when you are ready for it, has trial downloads of the software, and i have read it is easier to use than buzz tools. There are enough designs on the machine to keep me occupied for a while.

            Enjoy your first 'boat' design. Maybe post a photo of it for me to show how lovely it turned out.

            Happy embroidering and sewing,




          19. ChristineAnn | | #28


            No - I did not buy the extra hoops!  But I am sure that I will in the future - I am just using the two provided at the moment.  The machine did come with some software but I havent quite worked out what to do with it yet, apart from loading it onto my computer.  It has some designs, templates etc, but as yet I have only got as far as having a quick look.  So much to take it at first, especially  with getting two machines.  I have not even had a go of the 6600 yet this morning although I am preparing something to sew.  I am trying to plan the day to just do 2 hours sewing, then 2 hours of studying (started an Open Unversity Degree but now wondering whether to stop as just want to do hobby stuff) and a tiny bit of gardening and a mountain of ironing!  All I want to do is play!

            Cant wait til you get your machine, I am sure we will be able to help each other.  I have the class to go to on 28 April, so it will be interesting to see what I learn there.  Shame it will be in French (I need to learn more of that as well) but they have promised that a lady will be there who speaks good English. 


          20. fabricholic | | #30

            Hi Christine,How exciting! I know how you feel about wanting to play. I don't understand about the cards. Is it the little diskettes or memory cards for your machine? I am glad you are joining a group to embroider. Groups are a lot of fun. Everyone has different ideas and suggestions and the best part, they all love to sew. Have fun and I am so happy for you!Marcy

          21. ChristineAnn | | #32

            You can put a USB stick in the 350e - just like using a disc but so much smaller.  So if you have any designs on your computer you can stick the USB in the computer, save the designs on it, and then put the USB in the sewing machine.  Its great!  It has been a bit scary using the machine - but I am getting there.  I had to go out today so did not finish the embroidery - but I am nearly there now.  One little error where I ran out of bobbin thread - but I will improve with experience.  It is so magical watching it embroider!


          22. fabricholic | | #33

            I have the USB stick on my Designer SE, also. They are wonderful. Marcy

          23. ChristineAnn | | #34

            <!----><!---->Here is a picture of my first machine embroidery! After I finished it, I cut up a piece of card to set it in for a friends birthday.  <!---->

          24. fabricholic | | #35

            Christine Ann,You did it! That is so pretty and what a great idea for a card. Isn't it fun? Enjoy.Marcy

          25. Cherrypops | | #36

            Well Done Christine!

            One Step at A Time, Looks Excellent!


  2. WandaJ | | #4

    Your proposed 9700 model is models later than mine, which is a 9000. I really, really like this machine; however, I do not use the embroidery component and don't know how to use it. I have the manual that came with the machine, and I was able to get a dealer to order me the accompanying workbook. I have downloaded information from Janome's site, and guess what? I still do not know how to use the embroidery component. Oh, I forgot to add that I have 2 grocery bags with accessories that are mainly for the computer component associated with the embroidery process sitting with my fabric stash, where it's been for years.

    So, why did I get the machine with all the bells and whistles? At the time, I wanted to create embroidered fabric, mostly silk for my garments, and I got a fantastic deal on the purchase price from a dealer's instructor who was upgrading to a 10000. Along with all of the above items, I was guaranteed 1 year's free store warranty and instructions (which obviously I need).

    I could not engage in receiving the instructions because my personal life changed dramatically and very quickly, and I eventually changed cities.

    Unlike me, now you may be able to concentrate more time to not only creating but learning how to operate your new embroidery machine since you are retired; however please  make sure that your dealer supports their product, especially through training.

    Presently, I have 2 Janome's one of which is a standard workhorse. Additionally, over the years I've sewed with Kenmore, Singer, and Husquavarna machines. It is only the later machine which was one that was made so long ago that it's casing was/is not plastic and my Janomes that I got my best stitching from.

    I have concluded that if I was buying a machine today given what I now know, I would buy the Janome workhorse and forego the machine with the bells and whistles (9000). The other thing I would keep in mind is that if you move the original seller/dealer's guarantee of 1 year's instruction is not transferable with your machine, and dealers in your new locale that you did not purchase from are not willing to give up shop space for you/me in lieu of their existing purchasing customers.

    Whew.....maybe too much information? I do hope this information helps sewers who are interested in buying a machine regardless of its brand/maker.

    Edited 3/15/2007 6:34 pm ET by WandaJ

    1. ChristineAnn | | #5

      Thanks Wanda, very useful advice.  If I buy the machine, I will buy it from England, and I live in Belgium, so I would have to check that the shop would provide me with information over a period of time as it is not often I go back to the UK.  Also, you are right, it will be difficult to learn how to use a more technical machine, and I do worry about that as I would hate to waste the money - I think you should have another go with yours, so that you can tell us that it is possible.  Its a shame you do not have a friend who has one that can help you work out how to use it.  I have a friend in England who has a 9000 and she makes lots of greeting cards on hers for her mother-in-law to sell at a craft market.  She also embroiders towels for her to sell as well. She just seems to set the machine up and off it goes! 

      When I go to the UK in a couple of weeks time and am going to ask for a demonstration to see how easy it is to use and then I will probably give it some more thought.  I have been thinking about it for a couple of years now!

      I have heard that it is expensive to get disks with the embroidery patterns - and although it says you can design your own on the PC, I am not sure how easy that would be.  I do not want to spend a fortune on extra items, does anyone know if you can get cheaper embroidery patterns?


  3. victoria0001 | | #18

    Hope you don't mind me popping in at this late date.  I have a Janome 9700 and really like it.  It has a free arm.  It will sew without a foot pedal.  It is incredibly user friendly.  I've been sewing for eons and treated myself and am very happy that I decided on that particular machine.  It also has a touch screen and is very easy to change stitches, etc.  It is an investment but not nearly as expensive as some others.  It does basic sewing to embroidery.

    1. ChristineAnn | | #19

      Lovely to hear from you Victoria, and very pleased to hear that you are very pleased with the 9700!  I have finally decided to buy a normal sewing machine, the 6600 and the 350e embroidery machine, as I really like the large quilting area that the 6600 gives you. I also like that fact that the 350e uses a USB port. It has been difficult deciding though! However, I made a rag quilt not long ago and it kept falling off the machine area it was so heavy so I think that has finally decided me!  I am getting my machine either tomorrow or next week, I am quite excited!  I will probably get the 6600 first, then the 350e. 

      Everyone has been so helpful, thank you all very much. I would love to see photos of your embroideries and anything else that you have all made - is there any way that we can do that?


      1. Cherrypops | | #20

        The janome 350e uses the same embroidery mechanisms as the 9500 or the 9700 (can't remember which one). It is quite a good machine.

      2. victoria0001 | | #21

        You will love your machines!!  I don't do quilting so my 9700 does everything else for me.  I'm presently sewing a robe for my husband and botched up the shoulder topstitching.  With my handy-dandy 9700 I am now embroidering a simple pattern on the seams and they look great.  Amazing what one can do with these machines today.

        1. ChristineAnn | | #22

          I cant wait to get them!  Over the last couple of years I have dabbled with quilting, but after reading some of the posts here, I am wondering whether to start sewing!  Send pics of the robe you are making if you can - it is so interesting seeing what people can make.  I have just been looking at an Easter Dress that someone made, full of smocking - its amazing!

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