Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mommy's New Toy. The Janome 4120 QDC Sewing Machine

After doing exhaustive research, including visiting several dealers to find the best sewing machine on the market, I finally pulled the trigger and bought a JANOME 4120. The other top contenders were the Bernina 350 and Baby Lock Elizabeth. Although I loved the other machines, which offered many features and benefits, I chose the JANOME 4120 because I believed it offered the best bang for the buck. The Janome 4120 boasts over 120 utility and decorative stitches, one-hand needle threader, top loading bobbin, locking stitch button, easy touch LCD screen, automatic thread cutter, needle-up/needle down,  start and stop button, speed control, and more. The Bernina 350 retails for around $1200, while the Baby Lock Elizabeth cost roughly $1100. I was able to purchase the Janome 4120 for $899 before taxes. The trick is going to several dealers to find out who is offering the best price. This might be a time consuming process, but in the end can save you $100 to $200 dollars. All the dealers offered sewing classes with a machine purchase, which is extremely helpful for a beginner like me.

Mommy's New Toy

Examples of Utility and Decorative Stitches

Since I began making cards and doing crafts several months ago, I wanted to invest in a good sewing machine that would last a long time and would do what I needed (sew decorative stitches, make buttonholes, work with crafts, and do simple repairs). The Janome 4120 does all that and more. In fact, even my five- and four-year-olds have played with the machine and love it. I've had this toy for about a week and so far I really like it. The motor is fairly quiet and the machine itself is relatively lightweight. The look is sleek and simple, with the option to use a foot pedal or go auto-pilot. How cool is that! I will update you in a few months on my progress and the machine's performance.

Following are highlight specs on some of the top sewing machines:

Janome 4120

120 Utility Stitches
Font with Block, European, and Cyrillic Characters
One Hand Needle Threader
Memorized Needle Up/Down Setting
7-Piece Feed Dog
Automatic Thread Cutter
Start/Stop Button
Locking Stitch Button
Speed Control Glider
Stitch Pattern Programming
LCD Screen with Touchpad
Top Loading Bobbin
Good Customer Support
Accessories are more affordable than Bernina

Price $899 up

Bernina 350 (Considered Cadillac of Sewing Machines)

85 Total Stitches
Manual Thread Cutter
One Hand Needle Threader
Needle Stop up/down
Speed Control
LCD Display
Front Loading Bobbin
Accessories are pricey
Good Customer Support

Price $1599 up

Baby Lock Elizabeth

178 Built In Stitches
One Hand Needle Threader
Top Loading Bobbin
Automatic Thread Cutter
LCD Screen
Start/Stop Button
Speed Control
Needle Up/Down
25-year limited manufacturer warranty
Good Customer Support

Price $1200 up


  1. hey there, im looking at buying this machine and was wondering how you feel about it now that a few months have gone by. any info you have to share would be much appreciated. thanks, lily

  2. I will be posting an update on the 4120 within the next few days. Stay tuned! Thanks for stopping by Lily!

  3. Hi Anne, any updates for us. Does it seem like a quality machine?

    1. Dear Pound-

      I was hoping to sew more projects so that I can give you a more detailed testimonial, however, I haven't had the chance to really play with the Janome as I hoped. For crafting projects such as cardmaking, and quick fixes (rips, hemming, thin to medium fabric) the machine has the ability to execute them easily. If you are looking for a more heavy duty industrial strength machine I would recommend the Bernina or Pfaff. The Janome, Bernina, and Pfaff are all quality machines, but it really boils down to what you intend to sew and use the machines for.

  4. I can't seem to find good information on these higher level Janome machines, like yours and the 3160. The specs say 7 mm x 5 mm max but is that for all the stitches or just for certain ones.
    Also, does your machine have the meandering stitch on it??? Thanks. I really appreciated your review. It helped me a lot. I have a mostly dead Bernina 180e and the same for my Pfaff 7570 and want something with lots more stitches than my Janome Platinum.
    Thanks so much,