Are you searching for a simple unit for quick hems or don’t have hand-sewing skills?
Are you searching for a sewing unit that is child-friendly for a younger user? Or perhaps you’re searching for a compact machine you can take with you to your sewing lessons or travels?
The Janome Derby sewing machine might be the perfect choice for you. It comes in different colors with a finger guard to keep little fingers safe and weighs only 5 pounds.
Sounds like the machine you’re searching for, right? However, I strongly advise against spending money on anything in the market without reading a bunch of reviews previously.
Previous users of Janome Derby claim that it’s noisy, unreliable and hard to thread.
I wanted to see if that is true so I bought this sewing machine in order to review it for you. Let’s dive into my Janome Derby sewing machine review and learn more about this popular product.
|Dimensions:||10.5 x 5 x 9|
|Automatic needle threader:||No|
|Color:||Lady Lilac, Fastline Fuchsia, Citrus Circus, Graceful Gray, Bandana Blush, Mystical Mint, Marine Magic, Purple Thunder, Pink Lighting, Watermelon Crush, and Turbo Teal|
|Warranty:||25-year limited warranty|
Completing your sewing projects with the Janome Derby is fast and easy. It’s a small sewing unit perfect for both experienced users and beginners.
It includes all the necessary features for completing different sewing projects from basic and mending to paper crafting and scrapbooking.
It’s portable and lightweight. You can easily transport this machine because it weighs only 5 pounds.
It’s ideal for sewing lessons or sewing with friends.
This baby comes with 10 stitches and center and left needle position. It also has a tension control dial, a 4-point feed dog system and a built-in accessory tray.
The tray allows you to store your needles, thread, and other accessories in your sewing machine. What I like most about this sewing unit is the warranty.
Janome provides a 25-year limited warranty that protects you against any issues you might experience with workmanship or materials. However, it doesn’t cover the electronic equipment.
The electrical parts are warranted for a period of 2 years from the day of purchase. In the first year, you will be able to get replacements for any part that is defective.
Any labor will be free. After the first year, you must pay for any labor. You will still get the parts for free though. The warranty doesn’t cover repairs or issues caused by a lack of care.
It applies to units that are purchased through an authorized Janome retailer.
Let’s talk about the main features of this machine. First and foremost, I want to mention that this baby is loaded with a few built-in adjustable stitches.
They include a zig-zag stitch, a multi zig-zag stitch, a crescent stitch, and a straight stitch. However, what I find impressive about this machine is the top-loading drop-in bobbin.
All you have to do is open the cover near the needle and put your threaded bobbin inside. This feature is perfect for beginners and younger sewers.
One feature that parents will appreciate is the finger guard. They’re located near the needle so that you don’t accidentally hurt your fingers.
Another thing that parents will appreciate is the threading diagram that helps young sewers or newbies learn how to thread the machine.
The Janome Derby has 2 needle positions.
This feature allows you to place the needle where you prefer and don’t operate the fabric in a weird way that might cause mistakes or jams.
The ability to change the needle positions provides you complete control over where the stitch goes and how it comes out.
The positive sides of the Janome Derby include size and portability. It weighs only 5 pounds. I can say it is the lightest sewing machine on the market.
If you live in a small apartment or just have a small sewing station, this unit will be the best solution for you. If you need to take your unit somewhere, it won’t be a problem.
Another positive side of this machine is that it comes in 11 different colors. The names of the machines are just as fun as the colors.
You can choose from Lady Lilac, Fastline Fuchsia, Citrus Circus, Graceful Gray, Bandana Blush, Mystical Mint, Marine Magic, Purple Thunder, Pink Lighting, Watermelon Crush, and Turbo Teal.
The Janome Derby has an extra-high presser foot lift that allows you to use different materials between the needle plate and the presser foot.
You can use all kinds of fabrics from lightweight denim to heavier knits. The Janome Derby is also perfect for sewing paper for crafting as well.
It’s ideal for kids and beginners but professionals might find it underwhelming due to the lack of settings and features.
The negative sides include frequent jams.
Unfortunately, this machine jams often. Many users complain about the frequent jams.
Apparently, they have to re-thread their Janome, solve the jam only for it to occur again. If you don’t see this as a dealbreaker, don’t hesitate about buying this model.
Other people complain about the noise and slow sewing speed. While the noise isn’t that much of a big issue, the slow speed is.
The slower speed is perfect for children and beginners. However, adults who prefer faster speeds might find it underwhelming.
Honestly, I don’t see these few “problems” as serious. However, I can’t stand the fact that a built-in light is not included.
If you follow my website for a while, you will notice from my reviews that I am a HUGE fan of illuminated workspace. This means that I will have to put a lamp near my machine.
The lack of built-in light may seem unimportant for most people but it’s a dealbreaker for me.
However, it didn’t stop me from buying this sewing machine.
Although the extra high presser foot life is useful in these situations, some people claim that the Janome Derby cannot handle heavier fabrics. It often jams or stops working.
If you want to add some color to your work station, buying the Janome Derby is the perfect way to do it. It comes in different fun colors that will spark your creativity.
My first thoughts when I saw these units were associated with the weight.
I was surprised how lightweight it is. However, I was disappointed by the number of stitches. It comes with a few stitches.
The small number of stitches doesn’t make a big difference for newbies and children. However, it’s just not enough for me.
What I like about this machine is the presser foot.
It’s specially made to keep hands from the needle. This makes it child-friendly.
You will also get a 4-piece feed dog, 2 needle positions, adjustable stitch width and length, and a top-loading bobbin. There is also a purse clap book included.
This includes only 1 fabric bundle. You can choose between the first of the infinity fabric bundle or the scented half-yard fabric bundle.
The scented fabric half-yard bundle is ideal for home décor, aprons, and quilting.
The other bundle has 27 quarters with bold graphic details from the ombre-style of the stardust print to the circular patterns of “thank you” print and a few others in different colors.
Overall, I like the Janome Derby sewing unit.
I think that Janome did a pretty good job of making sewing easier for both beginners and young sewers.
Features of Janome Derby Sewing Machine
Each unit from the Janome Derby line has the same features. However, they all come in different colors by different names.
Janome Derby sewing machines make the perfect choice for beginners and younger users. Features like the finger guard make it child-friendly.
However, don’t let the simplicity and weight of this sewing machine fool you into thinking it’s not able to handle paper crafting and scrapbooking.
You might experience difficulties when working with heavier fabrics. However, you will never experience issues with lightweight fabrics. It’s ideal for basic projects.
The compact design and weight make it suitable for people who live in small places or have a small work station.
The main features of Janome Derby include:
- 10 built-in stitches
- 2 needle positions
- Tension control dial
- 4-point feed dog
- A built-in accessory tray
- Fashionable design
- Reverse lever
- Free arm
- Threading diagrams
- Top-loading drop-in bobbin
- Finger guard
- Easy stitch selection
- Perfect for paper crafts
- Crescent stitch for custom hems
- Insert zippers
- Multi-stitch zigzag for elastic insertion
- Precise topstitching
- 5 straight stitches
- Free accessories (instruction manual, foot controller, power cord, needle threader, bobbins, and needles)
You can use this sewing machine for paper crafting, zipper insertion, seaming, general crafting, mending, making doll clothing, applique, and quilt piecing.
Positive Sides of Janome Derby Sewing Machine
The Janome Derby is a perfect choice for both the young enthusiast and experienced users. This unit is compact and loaded with all the necessary features.
It’s capable of handling many types of sewing projects from basic projects and mending to paper crafting and scrapbooking. At only 5 pounds, it’s portable and travel-friendly.
It’s perfect for dorm living and apartment, attending sewing lessons or sewing with friends and children. You will get 4 stitches including crescent, zigzag, multiple zig-zags and a straight stitch.
Some of the great features include a push-pull bobbin winder, stitch selection dial, four-piece feed dog, top-loading bobbin, extra-high presser foot lift, and adjustable stitch length and width.
If you’re looking for a mechanical sewing machine made for fast and basic projects, look no further than Janome Derby. It’s very popular among beginners.
However, parents and grandparents buy it too as a gift for their children and grandchildren between the age of 5 and 10. Professional sewers buy it as a backup unit.
In my opinion, the quality of this machine is decent. The Janome Derby brings great value for money. It’s not the most advanced sewing machine but it is efficient and affordable.
Some of the cons are the lack of light, slow sewing speed and not enough stitch options. Beginners, kids, and younger sewers don’t mind these downfalls.
However, experts might find this machine underwhelming. As long as you know what you’re buying, you won’t get disappointed.
The Janome Derby makes a great gift for the thriving sewer in your family or the experienced seamstress who travels a lot.
The consumer ratings of this machine are mostly positive. Throughout my research, I found out that 76% of people who bought this machine, don’t regret their purchase.
I am among those satisfied customers. I wanted a travel-friendly, compact sewing machine that I can use for basic projects and teaching my kids how to sew. And that is what I got.
I didn’t expect this model to be advanced. I expected it to be easy to use and do the job. It sews a good stitch, has intuitive controls, and can be bought in different fun colors.
It’s compact and lightweight, includes clear and easy to follow instructions and has a slower speed which is great for children and beginners.
Negative Sides of Janome Derby Sewing Machine
When you hear the name “Janome” you think of quality sewing machines. They have been making high-end sewing units since 1950.
Although they have created so many models since then, they never made a low-quality sewing machine. Janome always delivers affordable, quality machines.
They have so many machines you can choose from and not make a mistake. And the Janome Derby isn’t an exception. This machine can meet the needs of different users.
Despite your skill level, you can find the Janome Derby useful in different ways. For example, beginners will love the slower sewing speed and simplicity.
Experienced users, on the other hand, will find the design and weight great for travel and teaching their children how to sew.
This machine is for the student in self-teaching pupil or home economics, a young kid learning the basics of sewing with the guidance of a professional hand and home seamstresses.
It’s also suitable for professionals who need a portable and reliable sewing machine for repairs on the go and basic sewing projects.
The negative sides of the Janome Derby include difficult threading, slow sewing speed, only one speed, no built-in light, and simple foot control.
However, what some users find difficult others have no issues with. For instance, some users find it hard to thread, while others have no problems threading the Janome.
Some people like the slower speed while others hate it. I described the foot control as ‘simple’ because some consumers claim that it is really just an on/off switch.
Why Choose Janome Derby?
Most people buy this sewing machine because it is portable and compact. If you’re looking for a feather-weight sewing machine, look no further than Janome Derby.
It’s easy to carry unlike most sewing machines for beginners and children in the market. Doing repairs or alterations on the go isn’t going to be difficult at all.
The Janome comes with a few built-in stitches. It includes the most common stitches for regular sewing and general household. Each stitch has its own function.
Most people claim that they enjoy the versatility of this machine. It’s easy to set up and use. Specifically made to turn sewing into a breeze, this unit is pretty straightforward.
No matter your skill level, you will enjoy sewing with this machine. It has only one sewing speed which is considered slow by some professional sewers. However, it’s perfect for new users.
Consumers, especially parents love the safety features. For example, they appreciate the finger guard. It keeps little fingers safe which makes this machine child-friendly.
Easy stitch selection is also appreciated by many sewers. You can switch your stitching options easily with the turn-dial system.
Just pick one of the preset patterns on the diagram and switch the dial to your selected stitch. Also, you can change the width and length of your stitches with ease.
Users who have never used a sewing machine in their life find the Janome Derby easy to use because of the instruction manual and intuitive controls.
However, the limited number of stitches is what prevents some people from buying it. If you plan to sew heavy materials and fabrics, you should look elsewhere.
This sewing machine doesn’t work well with heavy fabrics. It’s not a heavy-duty machine. If you use it for heavy-duty projects, you might experience frequent jams.
People often refer to this machine as lightweight and compact. Most of them like the fun colors. You can choose from many different colors with interesting names.
They also like that you can easily carry the machine and use the intuitive controls with great ease. Young sewers and beginners appreciate the easy to follow instruction manual.
Intermediate and advanced users love that this unit produces a good stitch. Threading is easy for some users while others find it quite difficult.
If you do your own research on this machine, you will notice a few reviews highlighting the lack of built-in light and frequent jams when working with heavy fabrics.
This is not a heavy-duty sewing machine. The sewing speed of this machine is slow for professionals who want something faster and time-saving.
However, it’s ideal for beginners without experience and children who haven’t used a sewing machine in their life. In addition, the foot pedal is simple.
People claim that it’s just a regular on/off switch and doesn’t provide enough control of the speed which makes sewing corners a lot harder.
Parents and grandparents find the finger guard useful for children. However, professional users don’t. It gets in their way. Overall, this machine is loved by many.
The pros outweigh the cons. If you want a portable, user-friendly sewing machine for basic sewing tasks and paper crafting, buy the Janome Derby immediately.
After using the Janome Derby myself, I would recommend it to newbies and children who show passion for sewing at a young age.
With the few complaints about this unit, you can easily conclude that this unit is not suitable for heavier fabrics. It frequently jams when using heavier fabrics.
Other than that, it is a pretty decent machine.
You get what you pay for. As long as you don’t expect a high-end unit with high sewing speed and many advanced features, you won’t get disappointed.
Hopefully, my Janome Derby sewing machine review answered all your questions about this unit before you buy it. If you have more questions, drop a comment below.
I will be more than happy to answer your questions. I also have a question for you. Have you ever used a machine from the Derby line and would you recommend it?