As most of you know, I like to bring a little friend with me when I travel. His name is Janome. :)
I get a lot of questions about this little guy, so I thought I write up a review for you to share my thoughts on this Tiny Tim of the sewing machine world. :)
This is the Janome Sew Mini 2-Stitch Sewing Machine. I bought this machine strictly for travel purposes. I prefer to not mess with checked bags when I fly, so I needed something that could fit in my carry on while still leaving room for other necessities…which it definitely does!
Weighing in at 8 lbs, the Janome Sew Mini is 10 lbs lighter than my regular Brother XL-3750. This will definitely make your arm happy when you’re wheeling your luggage through a big airport.
There are plenty of mini sewing machines in the world, but I kept encountering at least one of two problems with them.
1. They have terrible reviews.
2. They look like these.
The Janome Sew Mini seemed like a healthy mix of decent quality and grown-up design. Janome is a respected brand, and this little feller is made in the same factory that makes their bigger, fancier machines.
Several of you have asked if I think this would be a good first sewing machine for a total beginner. I’m going to go against most of the Amazon.com reviewers and say no, unless you’re a small child. Most retailers sell this machine for about $70. For just $30 more, you could buy a much better machine with features like a light, several stitches, a zipper foot, a 1-step buttonhole attachment, and it will sew much faster (Seriously…this machine is incredibly sllllow.) I’ve also had issues with getting this machine to sew through thicker fabrics, like denim or over zippers.
That being said, the Sew Mini is extremely user-friendly…even if this is simply a result of not having many features. It has a drop-in bobbin, and threading it is a breeze. I’ve used it a good bit and haven’t had any issues with any plastic parts snapping off. Getting it through airport security isn’t too much trouble (although I did get stopped and searched once) either.
The Janome Sew Mini is a great travel buddy and a decent backup machine. But if you’re just getting started, its limitations will probably frustrate you, and $70 seems a bit much for such a basic machine.