Inspired to take up sewing? A guide to buying your first machine, or upgrading to a mid range machine

As a sewing teacher i’m asked all the time to recommend sewing machines.  For the entry level and Mid-range machines, you really can’t go wrong with a Janome who have a machine for all budgets and are considered market  leaders in product development.

Janome has an extensive range of sewing machines from standard mechanical models to very sophisticated and powerful computerised models packed with lots of easy to use features. Sound advice is always to buy the best model you can afford at the time. There have been many advances in sewing machines over recent times making sewing easier. A modern machine can offer ease of use and help you achieve a more professional finish.

Product quality is essential, you don’t want to spend time struggling with machinery, you want to be sewing! All Janome machines are built with either a metal body or a metal internal frame to give you many years of good service. I have 7! and they’re not all the same.

If you have a budget of less than £100, I would look for a vintage machine from a dealer that offers a warrenty. That way you’ll get a lot of  good functions for less cash. Please don’t buy one from e bay unless it has a warrenty! You just don’t know if the machine works

I’ve been chatting to the experts at Janome UK and have asked them to suggest some sewing machines for different types of stitchers, here’s part one of my interview on basic and mid range sewing machines

Inspired to take up sewing? A guide to buying your first machine, or upgrading to a mid range machine

Q1- What entry level machine would you advice for a first time buyer, looking to do some simple craft, dressmaking or altering their clothes, who isn’t sure about whether they will keep up their new hobby and is on a restricted budget?

At the moment there are spring deals available across Janome dealers in the UK, and you can buy the Janome 2032 for £99 until May 31st. It’s a fantastic starter machine. Click here to find a dealer in your area

Janome 2032

Janome model J324 is top of the J3 series range and offers the facility of variable stitch width & stitch length adjustment allowing maximum benefit from the 16 utility & 8 decorative stitches. A hard cover provides great protection when not in use. This machine will start you sewing and is suitable for dressmaking, crafting and making home furnishings.

janome j3-24Model J3-24 Currently Retails at £169.00 till may 31st!


If you can stretch the budget it’s well worth purchasing a model with a top loading  jam proof bobbin mechanism such as the Janome Model 525S, the machine used recently on TV. It’s is a lightweight machine with a convertible free-arm for circular sewing. The top loading bobbin mechanism makes all the difference when learning to sew. The 525S features 24 stitches plus a fully automatic one-step buttonhole and a built in needle threader. It offers both stitch width and length adjustment and a drop feed facility for freehand embroidery and free motion quilting. The 525S also has an auto-declutch bobbin winder and is supplied with a two speed foot controller and a hard cover. This machine has previously been Voted BEST BUY by the UK’s leading consumer magazine.

janome 525s

Model 525S Retails at aprox £229.00 until May 31st


Inspired to take up sewing? A guide to buying your first machine, or upgrading to a mid range machine

Q2- Which machine would you recommend to a stitcher that is looking to upgrade from a basic or old machine, who’d like more usability and functions but is still a keen home sewer not a professional, making clothes, curtains and stuff for their family and home


A computerised sewing machine will give you extra needle penetration and there are great features such as the lock stitch facility to finish off your thread ends, a needle/up down facility for pivoting on corners and some models even have an under bed cutter. Also there is no need to struggle with stitch settings as the machine will default to the correct settings for the stitch chosen with options to personalise the setting should you so wish.

Model CXL301 is a very popular model with classes as it is so easy to use. Retails at £269.00 till May 31st

janome CXl 301

For those with a little more cash to spend Model QXL605 will give additional stitch options and refinements with an under bed cutter which is especially fabulous when quilting. Retails at £449.00

Janome QXL 605

Model DKS30 is probably one of the easiest to use machines ever and yet it’s packed full of great features. Every stitch has its’ individual illuminated key and there’s a NEW Easy Set bobbin system and a NEW auto bobbin thread cutter and comes with a vibrant Orange fascia to brighten your sewing mood. Retails at £499.00


Visit to see the full range of Janome sewing machines or to find your local Janome retailer.


Happy Stitching




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  • Anna Jones

    12.06.2016 at 18:10

    I have just purchased online from Hobbycraft the 4400 as I am a relative beginner (did some sewing in my late teens but now 74). I am concerned that as this machine was made specifically for Hobbycraft I may have problems getting any spare parts should the need rise in future. Am I right to be concerned?

    • The Thrifty Stitcher

      13.06.2016 at 11:30

      Sadly I have no experience with hobby craft machines, so i can’t really help. I know that many big brand machines, ikea included mean that you can’t get additional feet as an add on.
      I’d suggest talking to customer service at Hobbycraft

      best wishes:)

  • Tracy Reed

    23.05.2016 at 21:38

    I am looking at buying a janome QXL605, however the reviews I can find so far say there is a problem with the needle catching the bobbin. These reviews are from 2010/11. Does anyone know if this problem has been resolved please?

  • Leighanne Donald

    23.05.2016 at 13:23

    Can you review the Janone SMD500 SEWING MACHINR?

  • revati

    19.05.2016 at 08:04

    Its really good information,I personally feel that janome 4400 sewing machine will be the best among all ,its has many advantages when compare to other models,Thanks for sharing this blog,keep updating more threads, Embroidery sewing machine in chennai

  • Marie Alexander

    15.05.2016 at 09:14

    I have a Janome 4400 and would like a more heavy duty machine. I have started making bags and it struggles with top stitching – I am only able to use quilting cotton otherwise it struggles with all the layers. I read great reviews on the Janome HD 3000 but can’t find it for sale in the UK . What Janome machine would you recommend that is easy to buy in UK? Thank you

  • Sarah

    08.05.2013 at 11:04

    Hello, I’m trying to find a machine to replace my New Home My Excel 15S. It needs fixing again. I think making lots of fleece hats finished it off! I use straight stitch, zig zag and over edge. I’d like 1 step button hole. Auto tension would help me too but only seems to be on expensive machines. Others have recommended the 423S. Is the 525S a better or newer model? Also where does the 2522LE come in? Why does it cost so much more? I’d like a good machine but I don’t wish to pay for features I won’t use. I make my own craft projects, curtains and want to start on clothes again. Got The GB Sewing Bee book for my birthday.
    Thanks for any advice you can give.

  • Karen

    28.04.2013 at 20:54

    I’m an absolute beginner and have never touched a sewing machine! I love to cross stitch though. I’ve been inspired by the sewing bee like many others but don’t know where to start. It’s my birthday soon and my husband has kindly offered to buy me a machine but which one?

    • The Thrifty Stitcher

      06.05.2013 at 15:16


      Sorry for slow reply, your message got buried in spam.
      Choice of sewing machine really does depend on budget. A bit like choosing a computer, you buy to the top of your budget at the time, as you won’t be buying regularly.
      Try this as an entry level machine
      This as a mid range
      And this if your hubby wants to really spoil you!
      I’ve had a very good personal experience with the dealer i’ve linked too, but there are plenty of other dealers.

      Personally i can’t recommend Janome enough. Great value at all price ranges

      happy stitching:)

  • Alana

    18.04.2013 at 17:32

    Hey chicky,
    Good timing – I’m upgrading my machine this week. I went with the SMD 3000 which from what I’ve read is the same as a Janome 8077. It arrives tomorrow… Very excited!

    • The Thrifty Stitcher

      19.04.2013 at 00:13

      The SMD Range are very good, what a great choice!
      I tried to keep my suggestions to models available to all dealers, whereas SMD are only available from one! Do let me know how you get on with your machine, need a new machine for my theatre work

      Happy Sewing! :)

  • Sewin princess

    18.04.2013 at 16:09

    Could you tell me why top loading bobbin is better? I had it on my vintage singer but now have a front loading on my bernina.

    • The Thrifty Stitcher

      19.04.2013 at 00:15


      Top loading bobbins are better for beginners, as they are easier to insert and get used to. At your level of sewing however, it doesn’t matter where your bobbin goes, and the bernina is fabulous luxury machine! Enjoy :)