You might recall that a few months ago I was in the market for a new sewing machine, as mine was very basic and did not have a lot of features.
I spent SO much time researching, because the type of sewing machine I wanted was not cheap, and I’m not one to throw money around willy-nilly. So many weeks were spent reading reviews, watching Youtube videos, and generally trying to get as much information as possible before taking the plunge and buying my new machine.
My new sewing machine is a Janome 3160QDC. I ended up settling on this one after visiting a specialty sewing machine store and seeing it in action. I purchased in in December 2014 (so it’s still pretty new for me!), and thought I’d write a little review about it, because in all my researching, I found very few reviews / information about this machine. So here goes …
Janome 3160QDC Sewing Machine
- Price – Approximately $999 AUD (I purchased on sale for $750, so I suggest doing some research before buying!)
- Digital screen
- 60 in built stitches
- Needle Up / Down
- Automatic thread cutter
- Built in needle threader
- Speed control slider
To begin, I would definitely recommend this sewing machine to any beginner or experienced quilter / sewer. Whilst I’d say this sewing machine is aimed at those who quilt and are a little more experienced, this sewing machine can definitely be used by anyone who is only just learning.
Here are some summary points of what I love about this sewing machine;
I know you can purchase after market ones for all kinds of machines, but I love the fact that the extension table is included when you get this machine out of the box. It makes sewing quilts and cushion covers so much easier – I’ll never go back to not having an extension table on my machine.
Presser Foot Adjustment
There is a dial to adjust the pressure foot on this machine which is so helpful to me whilst appliqueing. 6 is the highest, and 1 is the lowest. I have it set on about 3 when I’m appliqueing, which makes it a little easier to make minor curves whilst I’m sewing.
Speed Control Slider
This was one thing that was a non-negotiable for me on my new sewing machine. The speed control slider is great on this machine – the slow really is quite slow, and the fast is very very fast. I set mine to about mid usually (unless winding a bobbin and then it’s speed demon all the way!). The foot pedal is very well done, as it picks up on minor changes very easily.
Automatic Thread Cutter
The little scissor icon on the right is the thread cutter button. It’s not automatic in that it will cut a thread once you stop sewing, but when you press the button both threads are cut quite close to your piece. I think this is a great little feature, because I don’t have to go through and clip the thread later once I’ve finished piecing.
Needle Up / Down
A must for quilters in my mind, and another non-negotiable for me when I was researching sewing machines. A needle up / down function is so handy when turning corners for quilting, or appliqueing. You don’t lost your spot, and your fabric layers are kept together and supported. The function on this machine is remembered, so if you press it to down position, the needle will always finish down. One thing to remember is this function might mean you take an extra stitch – if you take your foot off the pedal and the needle would be up, it will automatically take another stitch.
The button on the left of the controls photo is the locking stitch, which is a great feature. It takes 3 small stitches in place of a backstitch to lock the stitches and ensure they don’t unravel – very helpful for any decorative stitches.
There are 50 in-built stitches, with various widths and length options available. I particularly love stitch 17 which I use for appliqueing. The decorative stitches are great, and I’ve used stitched 36 for quilting before – it’s a very fun stitch for a baby or childrens quilt.
I was really impressed by the feet that came with this sewing machine in the box, particularly the fact it came with a walking foot. A zipper foot, buttonhole, walking foot, overedge foot, 1/4″ foot are all included. For me, the 1/4″ and walking feet being included was awesome. I use these ones so often that it’s nice to know the ones I’m using a genuine Janome parts, that fit my machine. There’s no unnecessary bouncing around whilst I’m stitching which is great.
I find the digital display easy to read and use, which is perfect for me. It’s easy to change the stitch type, length and width with just a few button pushes.
Some aspects that I don’t like;
No Memory for Stitch Selection
I’d love if this machine would remember the last stitch picked. When I turn it off, it goes back to the default stitch which you can see in the digital display photo. I’ve been caught out a couple of time when I’ve taken a break, turned off my machine, gone to applique something with a blanket stitch and then realised it’s switch back to a straight stitch by default.
Location of Stop/ Start Button
This machine has a stop / start button which means you don’t need a presser foot. It takes a couple of slow stitches when starting, then goes to whatever speed you’ve selected with the slider, and then take slow stitches when stop is selected. I imagine this feature would be great for large amounts of quilting, but I find the button is in an awkward location. I’m constantly having to track where it’s located, so I take my eyes off my piece which has resulted in some wonky stitches right at the end. I’m also personally inclined to use the foot pedal, because I can regulate the speed really easily.
There’s a little overview of the Janome 3160QDC sewing machine – I hope it helps you if you’re considering buying one!
When I was researching, I came across some other reviews / guides. I’ve provided links below so you can do some more research before taking the plunge – it’s not a small amount of money by any means, but it’s so worth it I think.
I meant to do this little write up a few months ago, but I’m glad I waited. I’ve had 4 months to use it for all sorts of projects, so I know that I 100% love this machine.