Best Janome Sewing Machines for Beginners

Janome has great sewing machines for beginners. Find a Janome sewing machine that is versatile, value-packed, and perfect for a wide range of projects.

The question that comes up the most for me on this site is “which sewing machine should I buy?” And that’s hard to answer because there are many great machines by different brands with various features and prices. There isn’t one perfect machine for everyone.

My first sewing machine was a Brother, which I loved, and my second machine was a higher priced Janome. Sewing on that machine made me fall in love with the brand.

Janome sewing machines are designed for performance, but also for comfort, quality, and ease of operation. I love the simplicity of their machines. They are so easy to use, yet powerful, and sew like a dream, which is why Janome sewing machines are perfect if you are a beginning sewer and you want a quality machine that will last for years.

What to Look for In a Beginner Sewing Machine

Your overall sewing experience will determine the features and price you look for when shopping for a new machine. Someone who has been sewing for years or an advanced quilter will need a completely different type of machine than a someone starting out.

Here are four things to consider when you shop for the best Janome beginner sewing machine.

1. Simplicity and Ease of Use

Of all the features that a sewing machine that can offer you I think the most important thing to look out for is ease of use and simplicity. There are machines on the market that have every bell and whistle you could possibly think of and dozens and dozens of built-in-stitches, embroidery, monogramming, etc. Do you need all of this if you are starting out? No. These features will only frustrate you and confuse you. Just focus on the features that you will actually use.

The funny thing is many machines have tons of built-in stitches and sometimes beginners get caught up in this number when shopping thinking that a machine with 100 built-in stitches is superior to a machine with 8 built-in stitches. Well, that’s not always the case because there are many other factors to consider and most sewers use just a few stitches – 90% of the time you are going to use a simple straight stitch.

As a beginner you should keep an eye out for sewing machines with a clean and easy to understand interface. If you can take the machine out of the box and start sewing right away, then that is true simplicity and a great beginner machine.

At a basic level, there are 2 types of sewing machines – mechanical or electronic / computerized. A computerized machine has an LCD screen and you choose your stitch and other features with the touch of a button. With a mechanical machine there will be a turn dial, with the stitches labeled on the dial and you stop at the one you want to use.

Neither one of these is better or worse – it kind of depends on your preference. Some people prefer a mechanical machine because over time they can tend to have less problems because they don’t have a computer and all of the electronic components. Read more about mechanical vs. computerized machines here if you are interested.

2. Automatic and Convenience Features

Automatic features are not 100% necessary to sew but in my opinion they make sewing easier and fun, especially for beginners. When I bought my first sewing machine I didn’t know what to look for and fortunately the machine I chose (a Brother) had many automatic features that I really appreciated.

Here are some automatic and convenience features that you may find helpful:

  • Automatic needle threader
  • Variable speed control / speed slider (This one was huge for me when I started sewing and it is still a must have feature for me. This allows you to slow your sewing speed down and you can go very slow if needed.)
  • Snap-on presser feet – This makes changing your presser foot quick and easy
  • Easy bobbin winder and drop-in bobbin
  • Built-in thread cutter

3. Affordably Priced

Just like sewing machines come with many different features and specifications, they also have varying price ranges. You can buy a mini sewing machine that costs under $30 (yup!) and you can spend over $15,000 on a sewing machine (check out this Bernina 880-SE – amazing!).

If you are a beginner I think that a budget under $200 is plenty to get the features you need to get started with enough room to grow into. Sewing is a skill that will grow over time – you don’t start out as an advanced quilter but maybe over time you will move into that and you will need a machine with advanced quilting options.

4. Size and Portability

Size and weight are an important feature to consider because many beginning sewers don’t have a dedicated sewing area / table. A lightweight machine is good if you need to store your machine in a cabinet and pull it out when you want to use it.

There are machines out there that weigh over 25 lbs. easily and then you have lots of machines in the 10 – 15 lb range and that’s quite a difference if you have to frequently move your machine around or pull it out and put it away.

Also, if you are going to sewing classes you want a machine that is light and portable.

A carrying case is also important because it protects your Janome sewing machine and makes it simple to carry with a handle. Janome makes a hard cover carrying case and several styles of totes and a trolley All of these are great options to protect your investment.

Comparison of 4 Janome Sewing Machines Great for Beginners

Here is an overview of four Brother machines that are easy to use, affordably priced, and lightweight and portable.

 Janome 660Janome 2212
Janome MOD-30Janome 3128
Weight11.6 lbs13 lbs12.7 lbs18.2 lbs
Built-In Stitches12123030
Easy Buttonholes 1, 4-step1, 4-step3, 1-step1, 4-step
Needle ThreaderYesYesYesYes
Slider Speed ControlNoNoYesNo
Thread CutterYesYesYesYes
Max Speed650860750650
Free Arm?YesYesYesYes
Drop Feed?NoYesYesNo
Presser Feet Included5444
Current Price

Below is a more in-depth review of the features and specs of each machine

Janome Jem Gold 660 Sewing & Quilting Machine

The Janome Jem Gold 660 is a mechanical sewing machine with 12 stitches to choose from using an easy to read turn dial and one 4-step buttonhole. It has just enough convenient features to make it perfect for a beginner.

It weighs just11.6 lbs. so it is very lightweight and portable – easy to take with you to sewing classes, traveling, or to pull in and out when working on projects.

Features of this Machine:

  • Easy reverse button
  • Built-in needle threader
  • Free arm
  • Extension Table
  • Top loading full rotary hook bobbin
  • One hand thread cutter
  • Extra high presser foot lift
  • Snap-on presser feet
  • 5 included presser feet (standard, buttonhole foot, overedge foot, sliding buttonhole foot, zig-zag foot)
  • Work space is W 5.1″ x D 4.3″

Reviewers of this machine all commented on how beautifully it sews and sometimes even better than more expensive machines they have from a different brand. One great thing about the Janome 660 is the extension table so you can use this machine if you ever decide to get into quilting. Janome has a separate quilting kit that you can purchase – it comes with  a 1/4″ Seam Foot, Craft Foot, Cloth guide, Darning Foot, and an Even Feed Foot With Guide.

This does not have a built-in handle and it does not come with a carrying case but Janome has several options for cases and rolling trolley if you will be toting your machine from place to place.

Janome 2212 Sewing Machine

The Janome 2212 is an amazing entry level sewing machine priced under $200.

This is a mechanical sewing machine with 12 built-in stitches and 1 automatic buttonhole. You choose your stitch and stitch width using the easy-to-read turn dial on the front.

It has a drop feed so it can be used for quilting as well.

Overall Features:

  • Built-in thread cutter
  • Easy reverse button
  • Free arm
  • Snap on presser feet
  • Extra high presser foot lift
  • Drop feed for free motion stitching
  • 4 presser feet – general purpose foot, blind hem foot, zig zag foot, and sliding buttonhole foot
  • Work space is W 6.5″ x H 4.7″

There are no quilting feet included but you can purchase those separately.

Overall the Janome 2212 sewing machine is an affordably priced, lightweight (it weighs just 13 lbs.), easy-to-use machine that has the durability and reliability of the Janome brand.

Janome MOD-30 Computerized Sewing Machine

The Janome MOD-30 is the first computerized sewing machine in this bunch. It has a backlit LCD screen with easy navigation keys to choose your stitch.

Since this is computerized it has more automatic and touch button features like a start / stop button and speed control

Overall Features:

  • 30 built-in stitches and 3, 1-step buttonhole
  • Automatic stitch length and width
  • Start/Stop button
  • Speed control slider
  • Easy reverse button
  • Locking stitch button
  • Needle Up/ Down
  • Automatic needle threading system
  • Quick set top drop-in bobbin
  • Free arm
  • Drop feed for free motion sewing and quilting
  • Large work space
  • 4 presser feet – General Purpose Foot, Zipper Foot, Satin Stitch Foot, Automatic Buttonhole Foot
  • W 6.7″ x H 4.3″

All of this and it weighs just 12.7 lbs! This machine is packed with features and yet very lightweight and portable.

If you are a beginner and you really want a computerized machine then this is a perfect option. Just know that computerized machines are a little more technical and need to be cared for and also cost more. Overall this machine is still very affordable and you get so many features. With good care it will last you a long time even as your experience grows.

Janome 3128 Sewing Machine

The Janome 3128 is the baby of this bunch – it is the simplest and priced under $150! But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great machine. It just has the bare bones basics so it is perfect for a beginner.

Overall Features:

  • 8 built-in stitches
  • 1, 4-step buttonhole
  • Easy lay-in threader
  • Free arm
  • Easy reverse button
  • Extra high presser foot lift
  • Snap on presser feet
  • 4 presser feet included – general purpose foot, 1/4 Inch Seam Foot, Sliding Buttonhole Foot, Zig-Zag Foot
  • Work space is W 5.4″ x H 4″

It weighs just 11 lbs so it is lightweight and compact. This does not have a drop feed mechanism so no quilting. There are not a lot of bells and whistles on this machine but sometimes that’s the best thing for a beginner.

The Bottom Line on Janome Beginner Sewing Machines

Janome is a trusted brand in the sewing industry and these 4 machines are all perfect options for a beginner. So which one of these machines do I think is the best? Think about the features that you really want – Computerized vs. mechanical? Variable speed control? Quilting options? And consider your budget too. Then you can narrow down which machine is the better option for you.

Also, these machines are in the $150 to $250 range. If you have room for a bigger budget then you may want to consider additional machines, but keep in mind that higher price also means a more complicated machine with more features. As a beginner you may not need it. I reviewed the Janome DC2015, which is an amazing machine but it is a lot more expensive than these machines here.

If you have any questions then leave a question in the comments below and I’ll do my best to help.