What To Know Before You Sew

Before you start to sew

We at Janome would first like to congratulate you on the purchase of your brand new machine. To help you get the most out of your machine we’ve put together a few tips that will provide a solid foundation, and guide you throughout your sewing journey. We have compiled basic info, pro tips, and video tutorials to help along the way.

On behalf of all of us here at Janome – regardless where you live – thank you and we wish you many years of happy sewing.

Welcome to the Janome Family!

Register the Warranty

Registering your machine’s warranty will allow us to keep you informed on product and software updates. Having your machine registered can also be useful if your machine requires service.

We will let you know when new software updates are available for download for particular models, or, if we become aware of a problem or defect with your model, we can contact you with information on how to resolve any issues.

Registering online is quick and easy!

Go to the Janome Warranty Registration page and fill in all the required fields. Click Register. You’re done!

Register Warranty  U.S. Residents

Register Warranty Canada Residents

Read The Instruction Manual

Read the directions! This is one of the most important, but always overlooked things to do before sewing.

We get it; you have a brand new machine and you just want to switch it on, step on the pedal and start creating. However, like any new device, it requires some understanding first.

While our machines are easy to use, they also come packed with many great, convenient features, attachments, and accessories. Without knowing what they do and how to use them correctly, could result in an unpleasant sewing experience.

Also, knowing exactly what your machine is capable of can help you on your project. So often we hear people who have had their machine for years say, “Wow, I didn’t know my machine could do that!” Reading the Instruction Manual can help unlock the secrets of your machine.

Most Sewists (yep that’s you now) find certain features of their machine that they are familiar with and just stick to them, but unlocking the full potential of your machine will be a much more rewarding experience.

Sewist – someone who sewsSewer remains the dominant term, but sewist (combining “sew” with “artist”) appears to be gaining popularity, especially among sewing bloggers.

Definition from Macmillan

If you lost your manual or prefer a digital copy please head over to the Janome Website and download a free copy.

Machine Manuals USA

Machine Manuals Canada

In every instruction manual you will find a few standard sections. We have listed the top 3 below. These are very broad topics, so we will break down each section further. 

  • Essential Parts– Here you will find a diagram of the machine with names of each individual part, plus all the standard included accessories. Please note, often times accessories are stored in the Extension table, also known as the Accessories Storage Box.
  • Getting Ready to Sew– This section will explain the steps to take prior to running your first stitch. It includes connecting to a power source, needle check, loading your bobbin, threading, and stitch settings. Think of it like a preflight checklist.   
  • Basic Sewing- This is where the fun begins and the start of your sewing journey! Now that you have checked off all the pre-sewing steps you are ready to start stitching. This section will guide you on how to get started. 

While each of these sections will vary in content depending on your model, you will always find that these 3 are always available in all Janome manuals. So, highlight them, or bookmark them, whatever will help you to easily reference them when sewing. 

Sewing Reference Guide Index

Another great tool to have at your disposal is the Sewing Reference Guide Index this can be easily printed and kept with your machine. It offers quick guides on the following:

  • Needle Size Guide + Janome Needle Guide
  • Buttonholes 101
  • Thread vs. Needle Guide
  • Common Sewing Terms
  • Sewing Tools + Safe Sewing Guide
  • And more! 

This guide was designed to be easily printed and kept with your sewing machine supplies to have on hand at all times.

Sewing Area

While it’s a good idea to have a comfortable and organized sewing space to get the most out of your sewing experience, it does not need to be permanent or take over your living space. You can easily set up a temporary sew space on a kitchen table, desk, or even work bench. Sewing space essentials consist of the following.

  • Table- Having a good sturdy table is important as some Janome Machines are capable of sewing over 1,000 stitches per minute! While our machines are some of the smoothest operating on the market they still require a good solid foundation, not only for safety but to achieve the best stitch quality. Having a comfortable chair that allow your feet to rest flat on the floor also helps.
  • Good Lighting- Lighting is important for obvious reasons, and many Janome machines come with built in LED lighting to allow for a brightly lit work space. However, having additional lighting whether it be natural or artificial is important for a productive work area. It will also help you find bobbins when they roll off your table and onto the floor, lol!
  • Power Source- Always set up your machine in close proximity to a reliable power source or surge protector. Fluctuations in power or surges can cause damage to your machine. We do not recommend connecting your power supply to an extension cord. The power supply cord that comes standard with Janome machines has been tested in our development facilities to provide optimal power to the machine at all times. When not in use please unplug to prolong the life of your machine. If you are planning to use your machine in an RV, on alternating current, or in a different country (Outside of US or Canada) please check if your model supports Dual Voltage by contacting the Consumer Relations Department


Some of our machines come packed with a READY-SET-SEW guide, though for your convenience, we have listed a general version below.

General Troubleshooting Tips

There is often a learning curve when you purchase a new machine. While sewing your first project, you may encounter problems that may seem difficult, but are in fact easy to sort out. For instance, your bobbin could be inserted backwards. Or, you are encountering a jammed thread because you missed a thread guide. These quick tips cannot hope to cover the whole range of problems that you might come up against, but will hopefully provide a few pointers to solving the most common issues you may face. 

Machine or Needle is Jammed

Using scissors, carefully cut away thread above and below your fabric. Gently pull the fabric away from the presser foot area, while making slight turns on the handwheel toward you to raise the needle. 

Inspect the needle to make sure it isn’t bent. If so, replace it. Before re-threading the needle, turn the handwheel toward you, making sure that there isn’t any more thread or fabric in the feed dogs or in the bobbin area. 

The thread loops on the Underside or Topside of the Fabric

Pro tip: Problems with your seam are the opposite of what you might think. If the thread is looping on the underside of your seam, check the upper threading on your machine. The thread may not be correctly seated in the thread guides or has come out of the take up lever, especially for fine, thin thread.

Conversely, if the thread is looping on top, make sure the bobbin thread is coming off the bobbin counter-clockwise (to the left for Top loading machines) or clockwise (to the right for Front loading machines which have a separate bobbin case) and that the thread is securely threaded in the bobbin tension guide. 

Machine won’t Turn On

Check to make sure that the cord is securely plugged into the wall. 

Check to make sure that the power cord is securely plugged into the sewing machine. 

Most machines have a built-in light that will turn on once the power has been switched on. 

While these are just some of the basic tips and suggestions, it’s also important to know where to go for help, and how to determine whether any issues you may run into are mechanically related, software related, user error (yep, sometimes we just have to admit when we are wrong), or how to have your machine serviced for warranty issues.

To help with these questions we have developed a plethora of helpful documents, tutorials, and videos to assist. Head over to our Frequently Asked questions page to help with some of the basics. FAQ

So, now that you know what to know before you sew – get on to some sewing!

Until next time…..

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