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Janome purchase advice needed

ehoover146 | Posted in General Discussion on

My husband bought me a Janome 415 sewing machine for Christmas, with the option to trade it for a Janome Jem – newest model. I need help deciding which would be better.

I was attracted to the Janome Jem because of its simplicity and light weight.
Can it be used for all kinds of projects?

The 415 has more stitch options, but the stitch selection seems more complicated and the machine is heavier and larger.

I used to sew a good deal but haven’t done so in years. I want something easy to use that will be smooth running and reliable.

does anyone have experience with the 415? the Janome Jem?
What can you tell me about them?

I would be very grateful for your advice!


  1. Elisabeth | | #1

    Just a thought about the weight of the machine. A light weight machine will be easy to carry but it will be more likely to move around while sewing. The vibration of the machine running can make a light weight one "walk" around the table a little but maybe that is lower on your priorities list than portability.

    I suggest spending some time test sewing on both machines, see what feels right to you after you get familiar with the controls.

    There are some good reviews at http://www.patternreview.com in the sewing machine section that will give you some input.

  2. fittingtips | | #2

    Ellen, I have a Janome Gem Gold.  It is a back up and travel machine.  You are right it is simple to use and light to carry.  I don't find vibration to be a problem.  It has a nice stitch quality, although options are limited.  I think it will depend on what you want to sew, which machine will work best for you.


    1. ehoover146 | | #3

      Thanks Loretta.
      I traded the 415 for the Gem Gold and so far I like it better. The stitching is fine, though not as versatile as the 415. Its light weight is much better for me since I don't have a permanent place for it.

  3. louise | | #4

    I have the 415 and I love it. It is a third addition to my sewing room, having a serger and an industrial Singer. I like that it is heavy. It stays put even though I do not have a case or permanent place for it at the moment. I have also successfully used twin needles and wing tip needles in it. It did some nice work for me after the Threads article about wing tip needle embroidery on facings etc. The only twin needle it won't take is the one with the widest separation between the twin needles (sorry, can't give you the measurement, because the needles and packaging are long gone).

    I don't know the Gem/Jem, but my vote would be to stay with the 415. The versatility will inspire you to do more and the weight of the machine lends a satisfying substantial feeling while you are working with it. I don't know if the Gem/Jem has a free arm, but it earned its weight in gold when I recently made a pair of jeans, complete with all the top stitching.

    I bought my 415 primarily for the lingerie stitch ( multi-stitch zig-zag?); being a-died-in-the-wool, adamant, old fashioned seam finish addict AND I WASN'T GOING TO CHANGE FOR ANYONE THANK YOU VERY MUCH (huff huff) because one cannot make bra's on an industrial or a serger but I find I turn to my 415 more and more. Stitch-wise it compares to the industrial which has taken everything I have thrown at it from jeans to finest silks, always generating an even balanced stitch.

    So I guess you'd have to say my vote is for the 415.
    I hope this helps

    Edited 1/16/2005 9:29 pm ET by Louise

    Edited 1/16/2005 9:32 pm ET by Louise

  4. louise | | #5

    me again.

    I forgot to mention, the stitch selection does seem complicated at first, but just match the stitch picture colour to the same colour on the stitch length adjustment bar and you will be fine. The instructions are brief but if you follow them you will be fine. There are no mystery (read missing) steps which assume that one is an experienced sewer and would know something that is not in the instructions. (Confused?) The instructions work. I am the get sewing type who reads instructions only when all else fails, but because they were so organized and brief I actually read them first and followed through with test pieces, which all worked.

    Regards again

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