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85.8 The Janome 3128 is an entry level mechanical sewing machine that gets very good consumer ratings.  Janome sewing machines have a good reputation and are generally not cheap, but the 3128 can sometimes be found for as little as $120.  It is lightweight, quiet and sews a nice stitch.  Most owners report feeling that they got their money’s worth with this machine.  However, it is also limited in terms of features and accessories, so it is important to understand what you are buying. 

Consumer Insights
Owners report that the 3128 is a great machine for taking to classes because it is light, compact and easy to carry.  Also, due to its limited number of bells and whistles, it is often referred to as a good “beginners” sewing machine.  It is easily capable of sewing through thick materials or multiple layers of material and, while the number of available stitches is limited, the machine creates a quality stitch.  In addition, the unit is reportedly quite easy to thread even though it does not have an automatic needle threader.

There is some debate about whether this Janome has a thread cutter and it would appear that it does not.  In addition, some folks indicate that the foot pedal can be a little insensitive - this makes it difficult to use when you want to sew very slowly for doing detailed work.  Finally, a few owners report small niggling problems in which they have had to revert to the instruction manual to sort out - fortunately the manual is quite detailed and also includes easy to follow pictures.

Consumer Ratings
Online research has yielded consumer ratings from the following websites (table below) and these provide an overall average rating of 85.8 out of a possible 100.  This machine rates lower than other Janome sewing machines we have investigated but it should also be noted that this is the least expensive Janome we have looked at.  All-in-all consumer reviews and ratings indicate that this unit is fairly well-liked.

 Source  Consumer Ratings  #Ratings
 Amazon  4.8 stars out of 5  4
 Viewpoints  3.75 stars out of 5  4
 Hancock Fabrics  4.3 stars out of 5  16

A review of consumer comments provides the following common 3128 likes and dislikes:

PROS
- Not too expensive
- Good beginner machine
- Sews through multiple layers of fabric
- Sews a very nice stitch
- Lightweight and compact
- Fairly quiet

CONS
- No thread cutter
- Few features and accessories
- No automatic needle threader

You may wish to read more Janome 3128 customer reviews on Amazon.

Key Sewing Machine Features
- 8 built in stitches.  These are selected via a dial.  This unit does not have an LCD screen.  The stitch menu is also displayed on the side of the machine.
- stitch width and length adjustment
- maximum zigzag width of 5mm
- maximum stitch length of 4mm
- 4 step buttonhole
- sewing speed of 650 stitches per minute
- reverse stitch lever
- manual tension adjustment (via a dial)
- auto-declutch bobbin winder
- folding carrying handle
- dust cover made from vinyl
- incandescent light for illuminating the sewing area
- drop feed capable
- push-pull bobbin winder
- convertible free arm
- snap on presser feet
- extra high presser foot lifter (for thick fabrics)
- front loading bobbin

The number of accessories provided with the 3128 is few compared to those generally provided with other sewing machines.  Included are the following:
- Extra bobbins
- Seam ripper
- Felt cushion
- Needle set (Blue Tip, Size 11)
- Sliding buttonhole foot
- ¼ inch seam foot

This is a mechanical sewing machine with an aluminum frame.  As a result it is quite lightweight at only 11 lbs.  By comparison the Janome DC2012 weighs 18.2 lbs, the Janome Magnolia 7318 weighs over 17 lbs, and the Janome 2212 weighs 13.2 lbs.  The 3128 carries a 25 year warranty on mechanical parts, a 2-year warranty on electricals and 1-year on labor.

Sewing Machine Manual
Click here to view the Janome 3128 manual.

Janome Sewing Machine Forum
For those interested, there is a forum hosted on Janome’s website that allows folks to discuss many different aspect of sewing - including embroidery, quilting, different techniques, and even choosing the right Janome sewing machine.  You can access the forum here.


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