Generalsewing machines

My love of sewing machines goes way back to when I was a little girl. It was the mid-1960’s, and I was using my Grandma Steele’s 1940’s Montgomery Ward machine (which I later received after her passing in 1993). 


I remember happily whirring away, altering, fixing and sewing clothes for my grandmother. It was this machine that fueled my passion for sewing – and it helped me appreciate how the right machine can really make a world of difference in your creations!

sewing machines

Grandma Steele’s 1940’s Montgomery Ward Sewing Machine


When I began JoLene’s Sewing School in June 2009, I found myself needing to buy brand new sewing machines for my students to use. The decision-making process was challenging – I wanted something that didn’t cost too much, but that could stand up to the use & abuse of little kids learning to sew. In other words, it had to be very durable!


I researched a variety of sewing machines, and found a vast selection to choose from (all at a wide range of prices). 


This is when I followed my tried-and-true rule of thumb… “If in doubt, go with the middle-priced one! ” This motto has held true for me time and time again – and it didn’t fail me this time, either!


I went with a set of cute and moderately priced Kenmore machines (one of which is shown below). To this day it’s still one of the best sewing purchases I’ve ever made!

sewing machines

Kenmore Sewing Machine: Bought in 2009


In the fall of 2012 I moved my business to Happy Valley. However, at this point I was still renting my old sewing room in the back of my friend’s chiropractor office in Woodstock so that I could continue teaching my current students. To stay afloat, I quickly found I would need to have long-lasting and dependable sewing machines at both locations! 


They say that heavily-used sewing machines should be replaced every four years or so. And after seeing the use and abuse my current machines took from so many students, it was easy to see that this was true! I knew I needed a set of machines that would keep up with so much work.


This time around, I went with a set of Janome My Style 100s (one of which is pictured below). This is a great little electronic machine I’ve had for six years. It has a metal interior, which ensures the machine lasts longer (and can be repaired more easily) than cheaper, all-plastic machines. These metal machines cost a little more, but they’re worth it… and they definitely stand up to constant use!

sewing machines

Janome My Style 100 Sewing Machine: Bought in 2012


Finally, this year (June 2019 to be precise) I knew it was time to get a new set of sewing machines. Machines have made quite a few advancements over the years and, after having such success with my last ones, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to make a similar purchase this time around or buy a set of new, computerized machines.


I knew there were certain pros and cons of buying computerized vs electronic machines. For instance, computerized machines are generally easier to use (especially for kids and brand new sewers). You can control the speed to slow down the machine if a sewer gets ahead of themselves. They’re also lots of fun to use, allowing you to utilize fancy stitching to “dress up” your favorite items. Not to mention, computerized machines utilize a display screen – making them much more user-friendly than the “old school” knobs on the electronic machines!


Of course, computerized machines can get expensive, and so I needed to make sure that whatever machine I bought would be a long-term purchase. After some lengthy deliberation, I ended up trying out a set of computerized Janome New Home machines (the middle-priced ones, of course!). Here’s a picture of one of them…  

sewing machines

Janome New Home Sewing Machine: Bought in 2019


I’m SO glad I went with the computerized machines – they are SO fun and fancy! These machines come with 60 different types of stitches, adjustable speed control, automatic needle up/down function and automatic buttonholer. 


These functions make sewing MUCH simpler (not to mention more fun). Plus, these are perks my other machines didn’t have, so it meant I got to play with a brand new machine!


I’ve had these new machines for over six weeks now, and my students have LOVED them! They’ve had a blast sewing fancy stitches around their pockets and along the tops of bags – these machines have given them the ability to decorate lots of items and personalize them to fit their own personality and style. How fun!


I love these computerized sewing machines dearly – but I think my students love them more. And YOU’RE sure to fall in love with them too when you use them at my sewing studio!


Have a question about sewing machines, or need a recommendation for buying your own? Let me know… I’m always happy to help!


Happy Sewing!