Ah, me. I am so disappointed. My lovely Janome has died. I have had her a little over a year when I started experiencing some tension problems. First, it was clunking and bird-nesting that no amount of re-threading or changing needles, thread, etc., would fix.
Then, I found a small nick in the thread uptake arm. I thought, maybe the thread is getting hung up there.
I meticulously buffed out the nick and made sure there were no other problems I could see. But, my little machine was still unhappy. I packed her up and brought her to the spa, where I was assured that routine maintenance would put a smile back on her face (and mine). A week later, and a hundred dollars poorer, she was home and back on my sewing table, happily humming along.
For 2 days.
Then, clunking and bird-nesting began again.
So, I brought her back to the spa where the “nice” lady behind the counter told me I had threaded her wrong. She gave me this look like I was a complete idiot and I had no business with a sewing machine. I looked at her, thinking, I did NOT forget how to thread my sewing machine in the week we were separated. I shrugged my shoulders, packed her back up, and hoping she was right brought her home.
Guess what? When I had her set back up she immediately clunked and threw a bird nest my way. She’s getting a little pissy now.
I hear, you, I hear you, I know something is wrong. SO, I head on back for trip #3 to the local sewing machine repair shop. This time, luckily, I got to actually speak to the man who does the repairs. He threaded my machine, stitched a few stitches, and CLUNK!
It’s losing tension somewhere, he says. You think???
He takes her to the back and they tell me to come back in yet another week, which was today.
I arrive at the shop to be greeting with frowns and apologies.
Apparently there is a part in the bobbin case on the Janome DC 1050 that is made out of plastic and it was completely bent. The technician was baffled as to how it got bent, and, more importantly, WHY it was made out of plastic in the first place. He told me he had been repairing machines for over 30 years and had never seen a machine with this particular part made out of plastic.
Where does this leave me? With no sewing machine!!!
I’ve contacted the store I bought it from and am shipping it back to them so they can survey the damage. Hopefully, whatever is wrong is covered by the warranty and it will be replaced. But, this roller-coaster of a journey I’ve been on the past month has got me thinking about several questions and I would like my fellow stitches to weigh in.
1) How much to you pay for routine maintenance of your machine?
I ask because my Janome DC 1050 cost $300, my Brother 1034D serger was less than $200, and it cost me $100 to have the Janome serviced. From a cost breakdown analysis standpoint it really doesn’t make much sense to service machines in this price range. Let’s pretend I never service my serger and run it into the ground. But, it lasts 3 years before breaking down. Well, then I buy a brand new machine for $200 with all new parts (not just serviced ones) and I saved $100. In the end I save money and I have a new machine. Obviously, if you have the dough the shell out the $1K+ on higher end machines, paying $100 for yearly service is now worth it. But, how inexpensive of a machine does one need to have before yearly service is no longer a good idea?
2) I thought Janome was a reputable “mid range” brand. Was I wrong, or did I get a lemon?
The service tech thinks Janome used to be a good brand, but have not kept up with the market. He also is a licensed seller of Pfaff, so I am sure there a little bit if bias. 🙂
3) Are the higher end companies – Bernina, Viking, Pfaff, worth the price tag?
I know that I sew daily, and perhaps I just overworked my poor Janome. Should I be looking to replace my Janome with a higher quality machine? An industrial grade machine? And, does an increase in price actually correlate with an increase in quality?
4) Any of you lucky seamstresses that own a Bernina, Viking, or Pfaff, what are your thoughts? What model do you have?
Apparently, I am back on the market. And, I don’t really know what my budget looks like yet.
Happy Sewing Machine Shopping!