For the past several days I've been putting this machine through its paces at garment sewing. Why you may ask? Because straight out of the box, the HD 1000 is really only set up for garment sewing
This is due to the feet the machine came with: general sewing foot, zipper foot, rolled hem foot, and buttonhole foot.
The machine did not come with a free motion or darning foot, 1/4" piecing or patchwork foot, or a walking foot, so really you're going to be limited to garment sewing straight out of the box.
Of course there are many quilters who piece quilts with the general sewing foot that came with their machine. I did this myself on several machines and simply moved the needle position over to the left or right to achieve a perfect 1/4" seam allowance.
But on the Janome HD 1000, you can't move the needle position.
Yes, this machine does zigzag stitch, but you can't actually move the needle over to the left or right when straight stitching.
While this might seem like a horrible limitation, I really don't think it is! It means when the needle is straight stitching, it's going perfectly straight up, then straight back down into the machine.
The more complex a machine, the more fancy stitch patterns and needle positions, the more chance you have of the machine not stitching that standard straight stitch as perfectly.
This is part of the reason why I firmly believe that embroidery machines should not also be sewing machines. They are designed for embroidery, not straight sewing! But that's a soapbox for another day...
As far as general sewing goes, this machine feels and stitches like a real workhorse.
While I might occasionally miss a few features I've gotten used with my Horizon (the knee lifter and automatic needle down), I really can't see any difference in stitch quality between the HD 1000 (retail $299) and the Horizon 7700 (retail $2999).
There are only a few small complaints I have about this machine, and none of them are deal breakers:
- Noisy - While it's not the deafening clatter a few of my machines have been, this machine definitely makes some noise. When you keep the speed moderate, it's really not that noisy, but I have trouble remembering to lighten my foot.
- More feet and bobbins - Would it kill manufacturer's to throw in 20 bobbins and at least a piecing foot? Better yet, design a general sewing foot with one side trimmed down to 1/4 inch! I honestly don't understand why this is so hard to understand.
I truly believe most people buying sewing machines these days are quilters, not garment sewers, but then again, I'm biased ;-)
- Light - I always use a tall 3 light stand next to my sewing machines, but for this machine, I've pulled out one of my desk lights as well. It's not a huge complaint, but just something that could easily be fixed with a brighter light bulb inside the machine.
Now let me share with you a fun project I put together today. This is the Cabo Halter, a pattern created by Amy Butler.
I love this top! I'm definitely planning to make many more as they're super easy to make and are the perfect garment for a hot summer.
While working on this top, I recorded some short sections of me using the different feet the Janome HD-1000 came with. To make the top, I used the general sewing foot and the zipper foot.
To show you how to use all the feet, I also shot two extra segments on scrap fabric to show you the buttonhole foot and rolled hem foot.
Put all together, I think this make a good overview on how the Janome HD-1000 does at garment sewing:
I muted the machine through most of this video, but left the full volume through the buttonhole section so you can hear the machine. It's really not that loud when you stitch at low to medium speed.
Overall, I'm very impressed. I haven't sewed garments much lately and I remember my last zipper was stitched way back in 2006! Still, this machine made it surprisingly easy with four very well designed feet.
Currently my favorite is the zipper foot, which I also used as an edge stitching foot since you can easily line the short edge against your garment and quickly stitch a nice line around 1/8" along the edge.
I used this foot to edge stitch around the top and ties of my halter and found it easier because I had better visibility than with typical edge stitch feet.
The rolled hem foot is also easy to use. Simply lock your thread with about 3 stitches, then curl the edge of your fabric into the foot, bringing the edge to line up with the left hand side of the foot. The foot does all the work from there, all you have to do is keep the edge folded and guiding through evenly.
So that's it for the general garment sewing on the Janome HD 1000! I'm off to make another halter and maybe even a skirt!
Let's go quilt,