Review of the Janome TXL607
I bought this machine because I wanted something really easy to use but that had a good range of stitches so I wouldn’t outgrow the machine after a year or so. I was also taken in by the time saving features like the needle threader, lock stitch, thread cutter too. I will admit I am a lazy sewist, anything that makes life easy or saves me time I love!
Firstly, I have to say it was very easy to set up, I had it out of the box, threaded and up and running within a few minutes. It comes with a very comprehensive instruction manual (plus a dvd which I haven’t looked at yet) which talks you through the threading and winding the bobbin and what you need to do to set the machine up.
The bobbin was incredibly easy to wind and even easier to install. I love that you can see the bobbin the whole time so you can see when it’s running out, or if it’s jammed. It is a drop in bobbin, you just drop it in and pull the thread through a couple of notches on the bobbin case, much simplier than the one on my old machine.
I’ve never used a computerised machine before; my last machine was a mechanical Pfaff Select 3. I was amazed at how easy this machine is to use. The machine comes with a card which attaches to the top of the machine showing you all the different stitches, along with which mode and stitch number you need to select that stitch. You just select the mode you need on the machine (the stitches are grouped by modes on the card) and then enter the stitch number.
The LED screen shows you a picture of the stitch you have selected so you can make sure you’ve got the right one before you start stitching. It also shows you the stitch width and length (easily adjusted by the buttons to the right of the screen) plus it tells you which foot to use which is really useful if you are not quite sure which feet to use when.
The buttons under the screen from left to right are the needle up and down button, cut thread button and twin needle button. The slider adjusts the speed of the machine. With this and the stop start button which is located closer to the needle (so you can reach it easily whilst holding the fabric) you don’t have to use a foot pedal if you don’t want to. You do get a foot pedal with the machine of course but I haven’t even unpacked mine, I much prefer sewing without it.
The machine was so easy to use that after watching me for a few minutes my 4 year old son sat on my lap and produced the embroidered sample below. I was very impressed! All I did was place the fabric and put the presser foot down, he did all the rest.
I haven’t had chance to use all the different stitches yet (given that there are over 400 I think it will take me quite some time!) but I am loving being able to overlock things. Such a quick way to finish seams.
I did find that the machine doesn’t handle thin flimsy fabrics as well as the Pfaff used to. I found I needed to either use stabiliser or pull the fabric taut to stop it from being sucked into the feed dogs. Unfortunately the first time I tried using a lighter weight fabric it left my machine looking like this:
But on the plus side it I learnt it was really easy to fix, you get a screwdriver with the machine and everything was very easy to take apart and put back together again. I didn't even need to refer to the manual as it was so straightforward. As much as I didn’t intend to have a mishap during my first use of the machine I actually think it was for the best as now I won’t be worried about fixing any future problems.
I’ve just bought the quilters kit from Sewing Machine World to go with the machine; I’m looking forward to trying the extra feet out. I'm dying to learn free motion embroidery so now I have the equipment plus the Poppy Treffry Free Machine Embroidery book so I just need the time! I am really happy with my buy, I love this machine and can't wait to explore more of it's features.
You can also buy the TXL607 from Sewing Machine World or your local Janome retailer. Find the full specifications and details of what you get with the machine on the Janome website: http://www.janome.co.uk/.
Janome often run offers on this machine, keep an eye on the Sewing With Style section of their homepage for their lastest sewing machine offers.
UPDATE - 2015
I've been using this machine for over 3 years now and am still more than happy with it. In that time I haven't had any issues and still find it suits my needs. I'm also still sewing without the foot pedal and find this machine is perfect for that.
I think the only thing I would change is to have a larger arm space as it can be a bit tricky manouvering a quilt, but they have several models designed specifically for quilters with more arm space. If I decided I was going to do a lot of quilting I'd probably upgrade to one of them.
I've also had a go on the Janome XL601 and have realised that is is very similar to the TXL607 but without all the fancy stitches. So if you aren't interested in the decorative stitches the XL601 is around £200 cheaper.
These are pics of my first couple of makes with the machine: fabric storage baskets and pyjama trousers for my son.
If you want some help deciding which machine sewing machine to choose click on the image below to find our round up of the top budget to mid-range models.