If you prefer the simplicity of a mechanical sewing machine: The Janome HD1000 is a worthy alternative to our computerized picks, though it comes with a few caveats. It’s a powerful machine that handles heavy fabrics and multilayered projects with ease, and it breezes through lighter materials just fine, too. Unlike the Brother CS7000X and the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960, it has an all-metal base, which lends it a sturdy, upscale feel. The presser foot can also lift extra high to make room for thick materials. But even though the HD1000 can handle, for example, jersey fabrics without making sloppy-looking ripples, its options for stretch stitches are limited. Your best choices with this machine are the stretch triple-stitch, which looks nice but uses a massive amount of thread, or a zigzag stitch, which is serviceable but looks amateurish on hemlines. My preferred stretch stitch, the lightning stitch, isn’t an option on the HD1000 or other mechanical machines due to its shape. Also, technically the HD1000 has a four-step buttonhole function, but, tellingly, a buttonhole foot is not among the included accessories. It’s the same four-step buttonhole as on Janome’s MOD-19, this guide’s previous top pick; the sewist is in control of the length of the buttonhole, and my inability to consistently nail a polished-looking buttonhole on that machine was a major factor in my eventual decision to upgrade my machine entirely, as a newer sewist. This machine also has a front-loading bobbin, in contrast with our other picks’ top-loading bobbins, a design that is not only more fiddly and prone to jamming but also requires you to take off the storage compartment to access the bobbin holder. But if you’re planning projects involving miles of straight stitching, or if you frequently use heavy fabrics for bags, curtains, or jeans, the HD1000 is a great, straightforward pick. If you’re looking for frills, you won’t find them here—just function.
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