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92.9  The Janome Memory Craft (model 6500P) is a sewing machine for those who don’t like compromise.  It has an extremely wide array of features and is also powerful and solidly built.  Despite its many options the 6500P  is still easy to use and it has intuitive controls.  Most owners give the machine rave reviews and consumer ratings are very good.  The unit also includes many, many accessories.  If there are any downsides they may be that the Memory Craft does not have a free arm and that it is also rather heavy, making it a poor candidate for those who like taking their machine to classes.

Consumer Ratings
Consumer ratings were found at several quality online retailers and can be seen in the table below.  A total of 59 owner ratings were found.  These result in an overall average score for the Memory Craft 6500P of about 92.9 out of 100.  This is a good score. 

 Source  Consumer Ratings  #Ratings
 Amazon  4.4 stars out of 5  60
 Overstock  4.9 stars out of 5  25
 Sewing Machines Plus  4.9 stars out of 5  22
 SewVacDirect  4.7 stars out of 5  7
 Joann  5 stars out of 5  6
 Bed Bath & Beyond  5 stars out of 5  1

 

Consumer Insights
Owner comments are very useful in letting us know what folks like and what they dislike about a particular sewing machine.  The most common likes/dislikes for this machine are recorded below:

PROS
- Easy to use with fairly intuitive controls
- Includes many presser feet and other accessories
- Easy to change presser feet
- Sturdy machine
- Automatic needle threader works well
- Comes with many, many stitches
- Easily sews through thicker materials
- Large extension table
- Smooth operation that is not too loud
- knee-presser foot release
- Easy maintenance

CONS
- Not really for beginners
- Heavy machine
- Does not have a free arm
- Does not include a hard case

You can read more customer reviews on Amazon if you wish.

The 6500P has most owners gushing about its abilities.  As a result owners report being very satisfied with their purchase, despite the hefty price tag.   And a hefty price tag it is, at about $1500 USD -– give or take, depending on where you buy.  The high level of satisfaction for this unit is also reflected in the exemplary consumer ratings score.

The Memory Craft is touted as being capable of easily sewing through thick materials.  Indeed consumers report that it sews through several layers of leather without too much trouble.  The 6500p is also extremely popular with quilters and there is no end of comments to this effect.  A few of the popular features for quilters include:

Memory Craft Knee Lift
Knee Lift Feature

- 9” x 5” throat space
- Five blanket stitches for appliqué
- Hand-look quilt stitch
- Automatic thread cutter
- Knee presser foot lift for hands free sewing  (see image to right)

While the machine may be somewhat overkill for beginners, for the initiated it truly covers the bases – and its straightforward and intuitive controls make it fairly easy to use.  The manual is also well written and quite detailed (you can view it further down in this article) and a number of owners have highlighted that it is quite helpful.
 
The machine includes a plethora of stitches (see stitch chart below) and folks report liking the many decorative stitch options.  In addition, the thread cutting feature continually receives praise in owner comments.  This feature will cut thread at the press of a button and can also be programmed to cut thread after you finish a stitch sequence.  The 6500P is also quite fast with a top sewing speed – on a straight stitch - of 1000 stitches per minute

With 135 stitches the 6500P has decorative, heirloom, darning, and overcasting stitches as well as 7 one-step automatic buttonholes.  It also has built-in monogramming stitches and one can customize stitches and save them for later recall.

135 stitches
The many stitches provided with this machine

As this is such a highly rated sewing machine there are few complaints, however if one looks hard enough you can find some grumblings.  As mentioned, the 6500p may not be the best machine for a beginner - the large number of options and features can be a bit confusing and many of the features may simply not be used.  This is also a heavy sewing machine.  If you bought this to take to sewing classes it would likely be a problem.  In addition, some owners (albeit few) have reported difficulty with tension adjustments and a few others have struggled with the automatic needle threading feature.

Key Sewing Machine Features
- 135 stitches
- Built-in flip up stitch chart
- Knee lift (hands free sewing)
- Extra large arm and bed space
- Adjustable stitch width and length
- 5 piece feed dog
- Easy-access to drop or raise the feed-dogs
- Visible pressure foot gauge
- Precise speed control
- LCD screen with “help” option (in 10 languages)
- Sewing speed control slider
- Extra high presser foot lift
- Large sewing area
- Automatic needle threader
- Adjustable presser foot pressure
- Reverse button
- Extension table
- Top loading, jam proof bobbin
- Easy to use tension dial
- Independent bobbin winding motor (keep sewing while winding the bobbin)
- Memory recall
- 71 needle drop positions (including 15 left to right needle positions)
- Feed balancing dial
- Sewing area light
- Sewing speed of 1000 spm (straight stitch) and 700 spm (zigzag stitch)
- Shortcut buttons just above the sewing area (automatic needle threader, needle up/down, reverse, lock stitch).
- Industrial spool stand

Image
Another view of the 6500P

The Janome Memory Craft also comes with a foot controller, a soft cover and plenty of presser feet:
• 1/4 inch Seam Foot
• Buttonhole Foot
• Blind Hem Foot
• Cording Foot
• Open-toe Basting/Darning Foot
• Open-toe Satin Stitch Foot
• Walking Foot
• Overcasting Foot
• Overedge Foot
• Rolled Hem Foot
• Satin Stitch Foot
• Zig-Zag Foot
• Zipper Foot

Also included are bobbins, felt, seam ripper, screwdriver, 5 needles, 5 more leather needles, lint brush, large and small spool holders, quilting bar, quilting bar for walking foot, cloth guide and an instruction manual.

According to Janome this sewing machine weighs 23.4 lbs.  We’ve also seen 25 lbs, 27 lbs and 29 lbs on several retail sites.  This is quite a bit heavier than most domestic machines we have looked at in the past. 

The 6500P carries a 25 year limited warranty.  This broadly breaks down as 25 years against defective materials or workmanship, 5 years on electronic component parts, and 1-year on labor costs.  You can read the full warranty by clicking on the warranty button on this page (Janome website).  Bear in mind that the 25 year warranty is for normal household use.  If one decides to use the 6500P for commercial purposes the warranty drops to 1 year.

Manual
The sewing machine manual can be found here and it is quite detailed and lengthy.

Videos
The following two videos are a great way to learn more about this sewing machine and to see the features first hand.  The first video is Part 1 and the second video is Part 2.  These have been produced by Janome USA.





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