Oliver + S

Bernina 1008 vs. Janome 6600: discuss!

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)
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    wendy @wendyls

    I’ve been searching for a new machine and somehow it’s come down to these two:



    If anyone has anything to say about either of these then I’m all ears. I’ve heard great things about both, but I’m not sure I need all the bling that the computerized Janome offers.Do all of the features of a computerized machine really enhance ones sewing? Are they mainly for quilters? Is resisting a computerized sewing machine backwards?


    Tamara @justsewit

    I am just going to give a half reply to this for the moment as I haven’t really read your post properly and I’m on my way out the door….

    If it has a stop start button this will enhance your sewing especially if you are doing tricky corners parts that need precise stopping positions. The down side is that you need to take the pedal out of your machine to do so.

    I’ll reply properly when I come back and have a good look at both links. I advocate computerised machines – I have one and it is brilliant!

    Nicole @motherof5

    I don’t know either machine here so I am not much help with that question.

    As for preferences…..you asked,I had better duck from the rotten eggs.

    Personally,I wouldn’t touch a computerised sewing machine with a barge pole.

    I like a machine that I can clean down and look after myself. I never ever used the decorative stitches bar a nice stretch stitch.

    I do not quilt at all,so really I need a work horse for clothes sewing and living in the country means I need to able to fix problems with a little help over the phone from my lovely machine servicer/guru.

    That said,if you do buy a computerised one I would highly recommend a course or DVD so you know how to use all those flash features well.

    I purchased an very expensive computerised overlocker/cover-stitch machine 2 years ago and it is a great white nellie taking up space and only being used to hem the occasional knit item and to be frank,the items of clothing my friends hem with a twin needle and walking foot look just as good.

    How exciting though,good luck with your shopping.


    Ohhowsweet @Ohhowsweet

    I’m a Bernina girl through and through. But, that being said, I don’t think these machines really compare. I think you’re going to get a lot more for your $ with the Janome, and I believe you have a good bit more sewing space to the right of the needle. It doesn’t look like the Bernina has a needle up/down position, and to me, that’s one of the most important features of any modern day sewing machine. The catalogue mentions needle positions, but I don’t know how far to the right/left the needle goes. I love that it has a small freearm for tiny cuffs, etc, but I wonder if you’ll miss some of the features of the Janome? Have you considered the Bernina 330/350? Do you quilt or sew things besides children’s clothing? The Janome may make those tasks a bit easier.

    I think it all comes down to what you’re ultimately wanting – Bells and whistles, or simplicity and durability? You’re considering two great machines – good luck choosing!!

    needlewoman @needlewoman

    I have a Janome Master Craft 3500 which has enuf extra features and computerisation, and it’s served me very well for abt 6 years. At the time of purchase, MC6600 was very expensive, and the one I bought was about $500 by the time I traded stuff in etc. I did buy a new Even Feed Foot with Quilting Guide to go withe the new machine, and I use it a lot. By now, the new computerised machines are likely to have “differential feed” built in, and the Even Feed foot maybe included in the package. I’ve always been wary of too many extra features – more things to go wrong! And unless you’re into a lot of embroidery or very sophisticated dressmaking, the MC3500 does everything required. The manual is also easy to read.

    I was very nervous abt a computerised machine at the beginning but as the dealer explained, computerisation gives you extra “grunt”. As time has gone by, I really enjoy that I can go slowly eg when topstitching, without the machine making that terrible growling noise because the non-computerised motor doesn’t like not going quickly. Even after all this time, I still haven’t tried all the features the machine has; I keep meaning to try it all out, and expand my skills, but you know it is – too much sewing to do now!

    Hope this helps.

    Tamara @justsewit

    I’m baaaack!

    Just have to let you know that I am very biased and Janome is my brand of choice. I had a quick look at the Bernina and while they seem like good workhorses and have a great reputation, I fear boredom may set in with this one.

    Now the Janome on the other hand will take you places and will allow you to sew lots of different things. Knee lifts for example are great for really tricky items that require both hands on the wheel. Stop start button like I mentioned before is excellent but the thing that I love about this machine because my Janome Horizon has one is the Accufeed! Imagine no more eating of fabric when you are feeding it through? Bliss!

    It also seems to have a larger throat which is ideal if you happen to quilt or like a bit of extra space on the right hand side as some people do. The lighting looks good also.

    One point I have to make is that my first machine wasn’t computerised and was ok but would grumble and groan and make a horrible gasping noise everytime I lifted my foot off the pedal. Every machine since that one has been computerised and I have never really had problems with them (if you don’t count a dodgy sales person who swore black and blue she serviced your machine when it came home exactly the same as before it went).

    They only may be temperamental with certain needles and thread but other than that provided it is services and well cared for you shouldn’t have issues. You don’t have to oil them like manual ones which is great and access to areas to clean is easy. I live in a place where power outages are very common especially in summer and where electrical appliances are likely to die as a result. I just simply have a surge protector where my machines are and they go on just fine – even with the generator change over from summer storms.

    I advise test driving and when you do ask the sales persons what they offer in the way of classes for you to get to know your machine. My dealer offers such classes and I was lucky enough to be given a free tutorial one to one so that I could work out how to do things that I didn’t already know how to do (like work the accufeed). Then once you’ve done that go away and make a pro con list of what you found to be the most important comfortable and not so wonderful things about each and this will help you make your decision.

    It is primarily all about your sewing needs and how you want to evolve in the future.

    Hope this helps


    theknittinganxiety @theknittinganxiety

    It seems to me that this two machines are quite different, the Bernina seems like a very simple machine and the Janone more complex.

    I’m not a experience sewer but I bought a machine a few months ago and I did a lot a research before, and my advice is for you to think, or make a list, of what you realy do and need your sewing machine to do, for example, do you quilt? (that is a very important question).

    I think like Nicole, I wanted a simple good machine to sew children clothes and that was it, so for me it was important to have the overlock stitch, because I don’t have a serger and I wanted a good stitch to finish the seam allowances, the Zig Zag stitch with different widths, to do button holes (I chose one that does that in 4 steps but there are machines that do that automatically).

    Also important is a machine that sews well bulky fabrics, because when we are sewing several layers of fabric, and the fabric is denin for example it gets harder, I took that in consideration also. And my machine has a free arm, I can remove a part and it is great to sew the leg hems in my daughter pants for example.

    I ended with to machines, one had just a few more things and cost much more, so I bought the cheapest machine, and it is realy the cheapest machine for that brand, and I could not be happier, just suits my needs perfectly. Now I just order some extra foots that are compatible with my machine, the zipper foot and the blindstitch foot to sew hems.

    I hope I helped you.

    isewstuff @isewstuff

    I’ve never sewn with a Janome, so I can’t give helpful feedback on that one.

    I own a computerized Bernina and LOVE it. If I personally had to shop for a machine all over again, I’d definitely go with a Bernina.

    I’m not sure if I’d do computerized again though. For my husband, who loves all things geeky, computerized was a major selling point. But I only use a small fraction of the stiches on my machine, so it seems sort of a waste to have hundreds of stitches loaded on it, and I only use 4 or 5. I feel like I paid a lot of money for extras that I’ll never use. Also, when there were problems with the computerized portion of my machine it couldn’t be fixed locally. It had to be sent out of state. I’m not sure if my dealer just didn’t have a properly trained technicion or what the real problem was. Having said that, I’ve had my machine for 13 years with very few problems.

    I love the precision stitches and love my dealer who services when I have a problem or need maintenance. I love my needle positions (helps my edgestitching look so much better) , needle up and down position, walking foot, and hands free presser foot lift. And the buttonholes are so much better looking and easier to use than my previous 2 machines; a Viking and a Brother.

    Hope that helps!


    wendy @wendyls

    Thanks for your thoughts, they’re much appreciated.

    I agree that these machines are pretty different. I’d decided to save my pennies for the Bernina and then noticed a lightly used Janome and couldn’t help but consider it. My sewing needs are pretty simple and the Bernina meets them all (excepting the 6 step buttonhole feature, I’m used to a 1 step). I like the idea of a really solid mechanical machine, no frills. But at the same time the frills are kind of enticing and I’m wondering if all of the features that I’ve never used (needle up/down, stop/start etc) actually make sewing easier or are just unnecessary given that I get along pretty well without them.

    Right now I’m sitting squarely on the fence. I think I’d be leaning toward the Bernina if it were not for the fact that the Janome comes fully loaded with the presser feet that I need, whereas I’ll have to gradually collect the Bernina feet (they’re not cheap). So from a certain perspective I’d be paying more for ‘less’ of a machine, but I might not really need the machine with ‘more’.

    I thought shopping for new sewing machine would be fun! I’m actually pretty stressed about this. Don’t like fence sitting. Need to get off the fence.

    Thanks for the shop talk! I’m still muddled but it’s great to hear what you all have to say.

    Liesl Gibson

    I haven’t read through all the replies here but am just quickly popping in to say that we sew on a 6600 at the studio and love it. I’ve had it since I started Oliver + S and have been so happy with it. I really like the drop-in bobbin on the Janome machines, and I love the buttonhole options, the lock stitch, and thread cutting mechanism. It doesn’t have a free arm, but that’s never been a problem for me. I don’t use a lot of the stitches on it, but that’s mostly because I haven’t had time to mess around. Maybe when I’m retired…

    cybele727 @cybele727

    I have a Janome Magnolia 7330. Before that I had a Kenmore. My Magnolia has slightly less features than did my Kenmore (a store brand for you Aussies) 🙂 in terms of stitches, but it was mechanical, whereas the Magnolia is computerized. In every sewing machine I have ever had, it is the mechanics that break down.

    I regularly use about 1/2 of the 30 stitches. There aren’t too many decorative stitches, and I need to practice/figure out how to do the blind hem stitch. There are some features that I really like about it such as the needle threading, as my eyes are getting a bit older, the easy reverse button, the easy little knot button. The button holer on the Janome is a dream compared to my button holer on the Kenmore.

    While computerized CAN be a pain to get fixed, mechanical is likely to break down more. Moving parts mean friction and breakage.

    Overall, I like my Janome.

    Robin @Robin

    I think it really comes down to the dealer. Is there one close by? Do you like the staff? Are there lessons with your machine? Will they service it on site? Any perks with service – loaner machine, one day service, free service for a year, etc. My guy does house calls.

    with love Heidi @with love Heidi

    I think for me, if one came with all the feet I wanted and I wasn’t having to buy them more expensivly later that would be the positive tipping point to that machine.

    Also as someone with an RSI injury the needle up/down I used on a friends machine recently was great, and really made me consider a new machine. The other thing is How long do you plan to have this machine? In 15 years are you going to curse not having some of thoes extra features.

    I also prefer to having the extras, even if I would use them infrequently, because when you want them they are at your finger tips (even if it’s only a coulpe of times a year).

    Just my thoughts.

    wendy @wendyls

    Well it looks as if it’ll be the Janome 6600 for me. I’m pretty surprised actually. I was certain that I wanted a bare bones mechanical machine but I’m actually getting pretty excited about some of the fancy pants features of the Janome. I feel like a computerized machine is a bit of a leap of faith for me but after I get to know it I’ll likely look back and feel silly about having resisted. I think I’d be happy with either, really.

    And now that the agonizing decision making is over the anticipation begins! I am so, so excited!

    Tamara @justsewit

    Good decision Wendyls. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by what you can do with this machine when you need to do it. I think it will allow you to stretch and grow your skills easily without the outlay of any extra expense – because it is already there.

    Janome machines are great! so I’m sure you will be very happy with your new machine.

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