A “Beginner” test-drive of the New Janome Continental M7

The Janome Continental M7 has certainly been getting lots of buzz since it’s debut at the Janome Institute in August, 2019. One look at the machine, and it’s easy to understand why.

It’s a BIG machine; the largest throat space in the domestic market, and boosts some impressive features. Big LCD touch screen, additional motor for the AcuFeed feeding system, SFS-i Intelligent Feeding System, Quilt Block Advisor and Stitch Composer companion software, on screen QR Code Scan Tool to work with the new (FREE) AcuSpark App + the coolest, slickest way I’ve even seen to switch out a needle plate, as demonstrated below. The list goes on and on!

Perhaps these features might seem a little intimidating for some; that it is too much machine, or you may feel you’re not at “that” level in your sewing yet to make use of all the bells and whistles. That’s how my partner, Joe, felt recently when he wanted to sew some masks to give with little care packages he made for a few of our friends.

m7 Juan care packageHe’s a “beginner” sewist, and has made a few projects on the Janome 6700P, which he really enjoyed using (it’s one of my favourites, too!), but, he was a little reluctant to try out the new Janome Continental M7, fearing it was “too much” and “too fancy” for him, even though it shares many of the same features, and looks a little like the Janome 6700P. Well, when he finally sat down in front of the machine and began sewing, those hesitations of it being “too much” quickly faded away.

The user-friendly features of so many of our Janome machines, like conveniently-placed push button controls; reverse, thread cutters, lock-stitch, stitch length and width adjustment, etc. are of benefit to every level of sewist and are very beginner-friendly. Even though the Janome Continental M7 boasts an impressive 1300 stitches per minute; the fastest drop-in bobbin style machine on the domestic market, you don’t have to always sew at that speed and can easily adjust with the speed control lever. Joe started sewing at half, or medium speed, but, as his comfort level grew, so did his need for speed, and that lever was soon pushed from half-speed to full throttle!

m7 pushing buttonsMy sewing room is in the lower level of our split-level house, in what should be the “family room”, so the overhead lighting isn’t the best. Joe really loved the abundance of the bright LED lighting of the Janome Continental M7 which washes over the entire bed of the machine.

m7 sewing 2There’s no other lighting on in the room other than what’s on the machine. Perhaps you can see by the built-in clock on the screen of the machine that it was after 5 o’clock in the afternoon when I took this photo. I LOVE having a clock on the machine! It’s something we’ve asked for and Janome really DOES listen and deliver when and where they can.

m7 sewingGood lighting is sew important for any sewist, so if your machine isn’t providing enough for your liking, perhaps a task, desk or floor lamp next to your machine would help. Contact your Janome dealer to see if they carry Daylight lamps. There’s lots from which to choose!

Sewing over several thickness of fabric to make the pleats of the mask was no issue for the Janome Continental M7. Including the elastic, there were 9 layers, plus two layers of fusible interfacing to sew through, and Joe was just using the regular 1/4″ foot with guide, not the AcuFeed Flex feeding system, which I always describe as like having a walking foot on steroids. He didn’t need to use that. I must say even I was impressed by that!

m7 completed masksIt was so proud to see Joe complete his 4 masks very quickly and easily, without any trouble, or struggle. By the clock of the machine it took about 2 hours for him, which is really not too bad for a beginner. The main thing is that he enjoyed the process, and felt more confident to try new things with the machine as he went along, even so far as to ignore my advice to switch to the Acufeed Flex foot before sewing through so many thicknesses of fabric – turns out, he didn’t need to as the regular foot worked perfectly fine! That in itself is a great lesson; try new things, experiment to see what happens, and to use a machine which you know will give you great results, especially if you’re a beginner! You want to start off with the best experience possible to continue to fall in love with the craft and art of sewing, and for Joe, he’s found a new favourite “beginner” machine. He’s already started talking about his next project! lol!

Happy sewing everyone!

About janomeman

As Janome Canada's National Consumer Education Manager, I'm SEW excited to share my love of sewing, quilting and all things creative with everyone at our fabulous new Janome Sewing and Learning Centre in Oakville, ON. Have an idea for a class, or to be put onto our mailing list, E-mail me at classes@janome-canada.com
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