My Lovely New Machine

A few years ago my parents bought me a Brother XN2500 for Christmas, I had just began sewing at home on my Mums machine so it was time to get one of my own.

The Brother XN2500 was perfect as a starter machine and saw me through many a project, including one with denim which I was pretty impressed with.

But I started wanting more from my machine, not only that but it was beginning to get a bit "clunky" and definitely wasn't the quietest thing in the world. After starting SewHayleyJane the amount I've been sewing has kicked up a notch as well, so it was time to see what else was out there.

Obviously sewing machines don't come cheap, so I asked my family for donations towards it for Christmas this year. I did some research and knew I wanted either another Brother machine or a Janome, that I wanted a computerised machine and would definitely have a 1-step buttonhole function.

I visited my local sewing centre shop in Eastleigh and my nearest John Lewis to get some advice. The Sewing Centre came up trumps with the Janome CXL301 especially as they had a deal on that meant I got the Janome 8002D Overlocker as part of the package! Amazing!!

I was a bit naughty and jumped straight into using the sewing machine, I did wait until Christmas to get the overlocker though, but I couldn't resist cracking on with some sewing on my shiny new toy. I can reveal that it really hasn't disappointed, I love it! It's a perfect upgrade, especially for dressmaking.

To give you a few details it has 30 built in stitches, 6 styles of one-step buttonholes, auto needle-threader (amazing!) and a maximum speed controller. All of the good things! I was a bit wary of sewing without a foot pedal, but I'm a total convert now. I broke my ankle nearly four years ago (totally boring and unglamorous story, falling down the last step on the stairs carrying laundry) and found that it was getting quite stiff during sewing so it has actually really helped to be able to sew without a pedal and the speed controller makes it really easy to... well... control the speed!

I had no idea an auto-needle threader was a thing until I got this machine, what a revelation!! No more sat with one eye closed, tongue hanging out trying to get the thread through the needle. I had a bit of trouble getting the buttonhole function to work properly until a quick google reminded me there was a lever at the side that had to be pulled down before you press go... simple!

I haven't used all 30 stitches yet, and to be honest there are some that I probably won't ever use, but for at home dressmaking I don't think you do need a huge variety of stitches. That was really the only difference between this machine and what the shop assistant said was the next grade up as it had a larger choice of stitches - perfect I think if you are into quilting but not necessary spending the money on for what I need in a machine.

I've only been using the Janome CXL301 for a month and a half but so far I am very pleased with it indeed, in fact as yet I haven't found anything I dislike about it. It is slightly heavier than my previous machine but as it tends to stay in one place it doesn't bother me.

If you're in the market for an upgrade then I definitely recommend giving this one some consideration

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