We're proud to be an all-Janome studio here at Sew4Home. They have been sponsors since day one, and we literally wouldn't be able to do much of what we do without their generous support. We're always happy to shout from the mountaintops (if piles of fabric count as mountaintops) about the power and precision packed into every Janome we've ever used. But today... we've climbed even higher to raise our voices in amazement at their latest model. It's "As Unique As You" and it debuts today: the Memory Craft 9900: Sewing, Embroidery & Beyond.
Similar to my uncertainty about exactly what the "beyond" of Bed, Bath & Beyond covers, I had my initial suspicions this new model could live up to its slogan. Even when you love a product line as we love Janome, you still approach the new machines needing to be convinced.
Janome America sent us a prototype to test right before the holidays. It was fun right out of the box. The Memory Craft 9900 is the rare machine that lets you take your creative expression in any direction you can imagine.
You can even express your mood by changing the face panel. It comes with three quick change face panels: red, teal and white. We understand there are more optional sets coming soon, and they are even thinking about taking suggestions from owners for additional color options.
Even though we don't do a ton of embroidery on our projects here at Sew4Home, that doesn't mean we don't love the option. We've worked with the top-of-the-line Janome embroidery models down to their embroidery-only machines, so we've seen the full spectrum of embroidery features. The new MC9900 has an almost perfect balance of form and function. There are plenty of built-in designs, a full-range of on-screen editing options to manipulate and combine designs, and it has the most stable embroidery unit Janome has ever produced. It's enough to do everything I want to do without overwhelming me with options I may never use.
There are 175 built-in designs, many of them brand new, including a number of exclusive designs from Jane Spolar of Quilt Poetry. These choices are awesome, but your creativity isn't limited to what's built-in to the machine. It's super easy to bring in other designs. Just load them onto a memory stick – the MC9900 has a USB port. Oh yeah... this baby is smarter than me!
In addition to amazing embroidery, there are also 200 built-in stitches, many of them able to stitch up to 9mm in width. You can customize and combine stitches, and once you get a pattern you are particularly fond of, you can even save it, using the Favorite Stitch setting, to the machine's memory banks or to a memory stick. Look at these cute thread spool and needle designs below... they are part of the included "Play" stitches.
They are some new little things on this model I haven't seen before, like a bobbin winder plate with its own built-in cutting blades...
... an easy-threading bobbin case and cover plate, and an updated on-screen Sewing Assistant - help "videos" that provide step-by-step instructions for popular techniques, like inserting a zipper or creating a blind hem. It's like having your own personal sewing teacher standing by to help.
There are also some great features you normally only get on top-of-the-line models, like extra bright lighting from multiple sources, a super fast internal processor so every touch screen command happens almost instantly, and a quick change needle plate to go from zig zag to straight stitching in seconds.
The Janome Memory Craft 9900 is considered to be a "mid-range embroidery model" but it felt like a high-end package to me. The best thing, as with all Janome machines, is how easy it is to use right out of the box. Very intuitive - no need to have a stack of manuals at your elbow. You can literally just thread and go – even if you've not done machine embroidery before.
You can see complete specifications and feature details at Janome America's website. There's also a free online Flip Book with instructions for many of projects I've shown today as well as other cool projects from their brochure.
As always, we recommend a visit to your local sewing machine dealer in order to test this or any other model you are considering.
Because the machine is just starting to arrive at participating Janome America dealers across the US, specific pricing information wasn't available prior to our posting deadline. We encourage you to visit your local Janome Dealer to try the new machine for yourself and find out about any introductory specials.