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Topic: HELP! I need some sewing machine advice Janome memory craft 4900  (Read 1513 times)
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« on: September 06, 2006 06:17:30 PM »

uggg...I am so mad at this sewing machine, it is minutes from being tossed out the window.
o.k. here is the story:
For my birthday this year my mom surprised me by getting this sewing machine, the Janome Memory Craft 4900. I was using her old one, which worked perfectly up to this point, but now she wants it back. The problem is that I sew a lot of very thick things just as multiple layers of vinyl and felt and I don't think the Janome can handle it. I sew with the Janome and it seems like the part that houses the needle is pushing down so hard the vinyl/ felt I am working with that it wont feed threw the machine, it just stops and sews the same spot till the material rips. I have to sit there and force the material threw with my hands which makes the stitches look really bad. I don't know if there is some setting I can use or foot attachment I can buy to fix this problem. I REALLY need to be able to sew thick things and the salemans at the place my mom got it from swears that this sewing machine is powerfull enough to do it.
Please please help.

here are some of the specs of the machine from Janom's website
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2006 06:39:27 PM »

if you have a hopping foot attachment, you might want to try that!
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2006 07:31:59 PM »

Here's the thing...your dude is a liar.  I have, in my lifetime tried to sew very thick stuff, including vinyl on home type machines.  The result is frustration, anger and a shitty looking project.  If you try to force it, you will get bad looking results (as you mentioned), and you may break your machine, specifically, knock it out of time.  That machine will sew a few layers of denim.  They never meant for it to sew vinyl.  They are charlatans. 

The industrial machine will never tell you "no".  It's like a cheap date that puts out every time.

Now, if you are desperate, you could give a roller foot a try.  Just keep in mind not to force it, and have it set on the longest stitch length.

« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2006 07:37:31 PM »

I have never really looked into an industrial sewing machine before.
How much are they in general?
My mom paid about $1100 for this pooh machine..I pray that they can't be more than that.
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2006 08:11:33 PM »

I'd sell that biotch in a NewYork minute and start looking for a Consew.  New, they are about $1,300.  Used, you can find them between $500 and $800.

« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2006 08:20:24 PM »

thanks so much...I am going to get that roller foot first and see how that goes. If it still isn't going to do it, I will trade in mine for the one your said. It seems like it should be an even swap if I get one used.
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2006 07:10:33 AM »

Look for a presser foot adjustment.  Not all machines have one but if it does, it will be located on the left end of the machine.  It can be a dial you turn with numbers or hash marks.  Sometimes there is a door on the end of the machine and it is inside there.  I guess it could even be on the back although I've never seen one there.  They are usually located in the lower 1/3 of the height of the machine.  I didn't see one on this machine but the view of the end was not very good.  This would allow you to take some presser foot presure off the fabric. 

You can also try feeding your vinyl and heavy fabrics through with a piece of paper on the top or bottom.  Things that stick to your foot can be done this way but if it is a problem with the presser foot nailing the fabric it may not help...it does help with fabric sticking though. 

The thing that feeds your fabric through is the feed dogs in the bottom of the machine. 

A machine that is working properly will feed the fabric through without any effort at all on your part.  Your job should be to keep the fabric straight as it goes under the presser foot, using your right hand to keep it lined up with the hash mark on the machine, the left hand flat to keep the body of the garment from twisting as you go.  It sounds like you are aware of that.  However, if the feed dogs are not working properly the fabric will not feed.  Make sure that your feed dogs are UP...there should be an engagement button, toggle switch or something on the lower right side, right end or base of the machine to do this.  The feed dogs should be very close to the height of the presser plate, depending upon where in their cycle they stopped.  THe move forward, drop down slightly roll backward, move forward like oars on a ship.  If they are recessed to the point that they can't kiss the presser foot, they are down probably in freehand sewing or darning mode and you need to look for the button, toggle switch, dial or whatever to engage them.   
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