My favorite sewing machine is the second machine I’ve ever worked with. When I was 15 years old, I was given a pretty basic Singer machine by my mother – completely unprovoked. Unsure why I received this machine, I started making simple alterations to my hand-me-down clothes from my sister, but I don’t remember much about the quality of my sewing that long ago. When I began graduate school, I decided it would be a good time to try my hand at quilting, so I set out to invest in a machine that was good for just that. I settled on the Janome MOD-200 (AKA Model 811) and it was love at first sight.
This machine has traveled with me from Maryland to Minnesota to Texas to Utah to California, and now to Canada! I started sewing quilts on it, then quickly progressed to garments and now do a blend of both projects (though mostly garments nowadays). With this machine, I’ve been able to make quilts, activewear, swimwear, loungewear, coats, even my favorite pair of jeans (shout out to the Helene Jeans by Anna Allen Clothing!).
Fairly lightweight and not very noisy at all, this machine has carried me through so many projects. While it is quite the workhorse, one drawback is sewing bar tacks over several layers of thick denim fabric e.g., belt loops. The machine tends to want to shut down when I do this and I’ve resorted to pulling out my backup machine, a Brother XR1355 that was gifted to me a few years ago from my family. At the time, I was too apprehensive to work on digital screen machines (this was pre-Janome) and somehow too scared to try working on it before, but it takes thick layer fabric sewing like a champ!