Machine Reviews: Janome 1600P & Janome HD-1000
Well, it's been a few days now since I rounded out my sewing machine line up. I spent the long weekened sewing every single day, and after completing 5 different projects between the two machines, I'm feeling pretty good about doing a review of each machine.
This machine runs for around $1200 (but also sometimes goes on sale for about $999). In addition to the machine, I've invested in a selection of feet - which is something to really consider if you're thinking of changing machines.
- Walking Foot ($100) - Expensive, but really makes straight line quilting quick and easy
- Piping Foot ($15) - The piping feet on this machine are directional. I picked the one where your project needs to be to the right of the needle. I'm not sure what I was thinking. I went back and got the piping foot that keeps the project on the left side.
- Extension Table ($80) - Mine was actually included in the package I bought, but if it wasn't, I'd need to buy it, because it does make it easier to work on projects.
- Narrow Hem Foot ($15) - I ordered this one, but it's not here yet, but everyone tells me this one is even better than the zipper foot, so I'm going with blind faith.
- 1/4" foot ($15) - I took off the fabric guide on this, because it drives me crazy, and now i can use the edge of the foot as my scant 1/4" mark.
- Concealed Zipper Food ($20) - for all the invisible zippers
- Free Motion Quilting Foot Set ($50) - for free motion quilting (which I haven't tried yet).
I tested this machine out with The Weekender Bag. I've had this pattern for years, but I've always put it off because literally every single person I know who has made one has told me stories about what a difficult bag this is (because there are so many layers so it's challenging for most machines). That pretty much made it a perfect test subject for the 1600.
I spent 2 days doing everything from patchwork for the panels, to quilting (with the walking foot), attaching piping (with the piping foot), and sewing the entire bag together. I used a standard needle, and I didn't break a single needle! This machine is seriously fast, and it breezed through 2 layers of peltex + 8 layers of fabric without even hesitating. I really love the separate motor for winding bobbins, which meant I could keep sewing while I was winding a new bobbin.
I feel really good about what I was able to accomplish on this machine - I don't think it would have been as smooth of a process without the power behind the 1600.
The Janome HD-1000 was a little bit of an impulse purchase. I had planned to spend about $150 on a small machine, mostly just for buttonholes and zig zag stitches. I didn't feel like I needed much. When I saw this machine at the store, I was interested. I liked the look of the machine first, then when I tried it out, I realized the HD stood for Heavy Duty, and that this little machine can zip through leather, denim and tons of layers. At $300, it was a little more than I'd planned, but it seemed like I was definitely getting more for my money. So i bought it.
I decided to test it out by making the Traverse Bag by Noodlehead. This pattern doesn't have leather, but it definitely has several layers, of canvas and interfacing.
The biggest challenge with this machine is just remembering that it's not the 1600 - so I have to take it a little slower, and I have to remember to pull my threads out a bit after I finish a seam otherwise when I start sewing the machine comes unthreaded. After that little bit of adjusting, this little machine sews through everything and is smooth as butter. It's bare bones, but it does everything I want it to do super well.
After sewing with the HD-1000 all day, I am really glad I decided to splurge a bit on it. The machine is solid, sews smoothly and feels like it will be a real contributor to my sewing space for years to come.
I really love how these two machines play together in my sewing space. Of all the machines I could have picked, I think these two look cute together, and they're both powerful machines with different specialities.
If you live in Orange County and you're looking for a trustworty sewing machine shop, I've bought all my machines from Pal's Sewing & Vacuum, they're great to work with, and super nice too.