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New Machines

TrishyBob | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Last year I decided I needed to replace my 30 yr. old Pfaff. It had paid for itself many times and I dreaded the thought of getting a new one, but decided the time was right. I searched the internet and could not believe the prices on some of the machines. I decided to go with a Janome MC4400 mainly due to price. I ordered the machine from the Internet and had no problem there. When I unpacked the machine and looked at it I was awed with all the stuff on it.

I started using the machine and disappointment set in real quick. The backstitch, needle up & down, and one other button are almost under the machine and very difficult to see. I have to lean back to see them. The light is more to the back of the machine and makes seeing the needle very difficult. The buttonhole attachment leaves a lot to be desired. I don’t think I have ever made two buttonholes the same size, even though this is supposed to be accurate with the attachment on. I do not care for this machine very much and plan to replace it after Christmas.

This machine cost enough to be much better engineered than it is. It is sad that I could not find complaints on this machine while doing my research. I think one of the problems is me as I was used to a fantastic Pfaff and expected much more than I got from the Janome.


  1. Betakin | | #1

    I'm sorry your don't like your Janome. I don't have a local Janome dealer but I have owned several Janome products and cannot complain about them.

    One of my 4 machines is a discontinued Janome made Kenmore model 19365 much the same as your Janome. I do know that the Janome brand name does cost much more than my Kenmore did. I think feet purchased from Sears cost less than if purchased at a Janome dealer.

    I have owned my machine for several years and really have not had the same problems that you have described with yours. Though our machines have basically the same features the design is a bit different. I think the screen on yours might be in the center of the head where the screen on mine is on the right and buttons might be in different postions. On mine the reverse, needle up/down and auto lock buttons are on the head over the needle. I do think that the needle and arm are rather far to the back of the machine compared to my other three brands and I prefer the needle up front like on my Viking with the accessory case in the back.

    My Kenmore does make nice buttonholes of several styles but I usually make the linen type buttonholes with my mechanical Pfaff because I dislike the big one step BH foot on the Kenmore when it comes to placing the buttonhole. I also prefer the foot and method of my computerized Viking for BH's over the Kenmore.

    Maybe you will come to like your machine more over time. I think my Kenmore machine is the quietest of all of my machines and I love the stitch quality and many wide stitches and the alphabets, especially the pretty Script. I use the deco stitches and combine them to decorate many house hold items like towels, sheets and pillow cases and baby items.

    Did you check the reviews on line for your 4400. I think there are several by owners on PatternReview. I know it is not much fun sewing on machine that your don't care for. Hopefully you will come to like it more or trade it in for one you enjoy.



    1. TrishyBob | | #3

      Thanks for your words of encouragement.  I do like the Janome better than I did when I first got it, but still find it to be trying at times. It is adequate for most sewing and would suffice for many sewers for many years. I was spoiled by my first machine, a Pfaff, and  I look for the same ease of use and don't find it in the Janome.

      The biggest problem with the Janome that I have found, is poor design. The needle and light are to far to the back. The buttons are to hard to see and you have to stop and look for them. The quality of the stitching is very good. The feed system does not have a built in "walking foot" and causes many short seams. I was surprised that it is not more user friendly and if it were, it would be hard to beat.

      1. Betakin | | #7

        I have to agree with you about the needle area being so far back on the machine. I love that my Viking has the needle up front and on my Pfaff and other brand machines it does not seem to be as far back as on my Janome made machine.

        As for the seams not being even, does your machine have a pressure adjustment for the foot? My pressure adjustment for my Janome made Kenmore has the adjustment inside the face place. I do have a walking foot for my machine but have not needed it when sewing on this machine because I just adjust the pressure. I also use my Pfaff with the IDT for fussy fabrics but I really have not had any feeding complaints with my Kenmore. In fact it is my Viking that I need to adjust the most for different fabrics.

        Each company makes different models and most of Janomes are made in Taiwan. I would think that your dealer could exchange this machine for another Janome model you prefer. Not all models are the same even if made by the same company. For instance Janome has made machines and sergers for other companies for years including the Sears Kenmores plus many other brands. Elna machines and sergers have been made for years by Janome  and Janome is now the head of Elna USA. Janome also makes machines for Pfaff and Viking. They make the Pfaff Grand Quilter and Viking Mega Quilter. Janome used to make the previous Viking Huskystar models but the newer models are now made in China by several different companies I have been told.

        My point is that it is really hard to know who makes what anymore being that Singer's holding company now owns Pfaff/Viking plus there are so many different models and models of different quality no matter what the brand. I do hope you find a good machine you are happy to use.

  2. Pattiann42 | | #2

    So sorry you are not pleased with the new machine.  Sometimes it takes a period of adjustment and sometimes it just does not work out.

    Before you made a decision to purchase a new machine, did you read the machine reviews at http://patternreview.com ?   I have seen some reviews at PR that were very vague and some where I doubted the experience of the owner.  Your review there would be helpful, as you do have the experience.

    With so many models coming out each year, I believe a test run at a sewing machine dealer is necessary, especially for the serious sewer.  You might want to check before the end of the year as there may be end of the year sales at some dealers


    1. TrishyBob | | #4

      Hey Spicegirl1:

      Yes, I did check out the reviews and that was what made me go with the Janome. I did not find anything that was bad or so troublesome that I wanted to go elsewhere.  One of the problems with critiques is that they are sometimes made by people who don't have much  sewing experience and it is quite possible, don't look for the same thing as an experienced person would. I did not know anyone who had a Janome so I was totally dependent on what I found online.

      I did go to a dealer and found the experience very negative. The sales woman kept referring to the Janome as "that cheap Japanese made thing" and insisting that I get a more expensive machine. She had some nice Vikings for only $5000 to $7000.  I left and have not been back to the store. However I may have to go back since we don't have any other dealers around but I sure won't spend the $5000.

      1. Pattiann42 | | #5

        I don't care for dealers like that and travel the extra distance to avoid them.

      2. jjgg | | #6

        Perhaps that dealer had a point, I have a Viking and love it, I don't know anyone who doesn't like their Viking - any model. Did you test drive this model of Janome? I wouldn't buy a machine without a test drive.

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