The Janome Sewist 780DC offers fuss-free sewing and maximum creativity
Computerised sewing machine
80 utility and decorative stitches
Only 20 stitches have direct selection buttons
By Esme Clemo
The Janome 780DC sewing machine is the perfect step up into mid-range models.
If you’re an enthusiastic sewer and want one of the best sewing machines to match your growing confidence and skills, this machine is for you.
With a wide range of stitches, you can get even more creative with your sewing style, so this is the perfect machine for whizzing up home furnishings or creating special garments.
It has a lot of easy-to-use features that speed up your stitching, too, from a needle threader and thread cutter to an easy-set bobbin and start-stop button. For those worried about making the jump from a mechanical machine to a computerised version, there’s an instructional DVD included to get you started.
Janome Sewist 780DC
As the latest model with the top specs in the Sewist series, the Janome Sewist 780DC comes in as one of the more expensive machines in the range at £599. The sewing machine comes with a two-year warranty, but that’s extendable – for the small sum of £20, you can purchase one-year additional warranty on the machine, £40 for two years and up to £60 for three years warranty, directly from Janome. That’s how much they trust their products to perform.
- Size: W406 x H302 x D177mm
- Weight: 6.5kg
- 80 built-in stitches (including three buttonholes)
- Maximum stitch length 5mm
- Maximum stitch width 7mm
- 170mm arm space
- LCD display and backlight
- Speed: 820 stitches per minute
This is a modern-looking model in a white matt finish with a swathe of teal blue ombre at the top for decoration. It has quite a square shape, probably due to the fact this model includes a hard cover.
If you’ve never thought about cover options, it’s time to consider your options. Some machines come with no cover at all, others a soft jacket that can easily be slipped on and off to protect the machine from dust, and then there’s the hard cover. The crème de la crème of covers, not only does it protect from dust and dents, but it also looks smart when stored on a shelf or table.
Overall, the look of this machine is determined by how easy it is to use. The images on the buttons clearly identify their purpose and there are several guides to threading and bobbin winding on the machine, should you need a reminder. The Janome Sewist 780DC manages to be both practical and pretty, which is no mean feat in the sewing machine world.
It might not sound like it, but a 6.5kg sewing machine is quite light compared with some of the monster-size machines on the market. With a compact machine like the Janome Sewist 780DC, it’s easy to carry it to your workspace or sewing classes using the robust carry handle at the top.
Admittedly, despite its merits, the hard case does make carrying the sewing machine slightly more cumbersome, but it’s worth it for the added safety it provides, especially if you’re planning to travel with your machine.
Built with a metal internal frame, this domestic sewing machine is incredibly durable. The hardy plastic casing feels solid and the external features, like the spool pins and bobbin winders, are robust. When handled, nothing about the machine feels flimsy.
Ease of use
The traditional style of the Janome Sewist 780DC makes learning to use this model incredibly easy, as it’s so familiar. The buttons and sliders on this model are large and responsive, with clear images depicting stitches on the stitch selector buttons.
While the computerised aspects might seem overwhelming to beginner sewers, the digital screen display is clear to read and actually easier to decipher than a mechanical model on which you’d have to turn wheels to select stitches and their size.
On this sewing machine, simply select the number of the stitch you want; there are 80 to choose from. The first 20 can be directly selected from the numbered buttons on the front. The other 60 can be identified using the built-in stitch charts to the right on the machine.
The latter stitches are selected using the up or down arrow buttons to increase or decrease to your chosen stitch number. Up and down buttons are then used to programme in your desired stitch length and width, although each stitch is automatically set to an optimum stitch length and width.
The LCD display even advises on which presser foot to use with each stitch setting, all of which come with the machine, including an automatic buttonhole foot, blind hem stitch foot, overcast foot, overedge foot, satin stitch foot, zipper foot and a standard presser foot.
Learning how to thread a sewing machine couldn’t be simpler – just follow the instructional diagrams on the body of the sewing machine, plus this is made even easier with the top-loading bobbin.
There is a plethora of extra gadgets that make the Janome Sewist 780DC sewing machine so nifty to use.
Not only does this machine boast a start/stop button as an alternative to the foot pedal – extremely useful if you’re sewing long pieces of fabric or have a lot of sewing to do – it also has an automatic needle threader, auto-lock button for tying off thread ends and an automatic thread cutter button to snip the thread ends off, all while the fabric remains under the presser foot.
Plus, the Janome Sewist 780DC can tackle a variety of fabrics, with adjustable foot pressure that can be changed to suit delicate or thick materials. If the thick materials you’re working with include quilts, you’ll be glad to know this machine has the ability to drop the feed dogs, allowing for free-motion stitching when quilting your projects.
What’s more, the flatbed to free-arm conversion is perfect for those looking to make garments, especially when it comes to cuffs and hemming trouser legs.
The performance of this sewing machine cannot be faulted. It runs quietly with minimal vibration, despite the speed with which it can stitch.
The clip-on presser feet make it quick to change stitch and start sewing at speed, along with the other quick stitch options that make this a great machine if you’re always sewing in a hurry.
Tried and tested verdict
What looks to be your average computerised sewing machine features a lot more than you see at first glance. The gadgetry on the Janome Sewist 780DC offers ease and speed without any complexity, especially when it comes to programming in your stitch selections. So, for £599, this sewing machine is a steal.
This is the perfect machine for anyone who’d like to progress to a computerised machine but might be intimidated by the more complicated models on the market. Janome machines are always straightforward to use and the diagrams printed on the sewing machine body are a helpful reminder to have at your fingertips.
While the Janome Sewist 780DC is great to get started on embroidery stitches and adding decorative touches to your projects, it’s most suited to those making their own garments or home furnishings. If you’re looking for a machine to expand your embroidery and quilting abilities, without the hefty price tag, the Silver 197 might be a better fit for you. But for the perfect all-rounder, it has to be the Janome Sewist 780DC.
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