I've only had this machine for a little over a month, but I already know it's worth every penny. I'm using the SewMamaSew questions for my review.
What brand and model do you have?
Janome 434D Overlocker
How long have you had it?
Almost two months.
How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
$155 from eBay including shipping.
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
So far, I've only used it to serge three items -- sleeveless shirt and two Pendrell blouses. I was planning on making a cover for it on it for this review but didn't have time today.
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
Not much since I only use it for finishing seams. Although the machine is an old Janome model, it looks quite new.
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
Love it, cos it's great value for money. It's not fancy, but what it does, it does well. No, it doesn't have a name.
What features does your machine have that work well for you?
It's easy to thread, and easy to change to a rolled hem. It arrived threaded, but that came undone before I had time to study how the threading works. A combination of the manual and youtube videos helped me thread it back, and it didn't take me long to do it. Less than half an hour to read the manual, watch the videos and do it myself. Now it probably take me 5 minutes to thread it.
Any issues that I came up with were due to user error. The most common one is I forget to raise the thread guide to the correct height and end up with a too tight tension or broken needles. So I put a post it note on the machine to remind me every time I uncover my machine.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
It can be quite loud and rattly on full throttle. But since I'm an overlocker newbie, I run it quite slow.
Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
I've been hanging around eBay for quite some time looking for an inexpensive overlocker. I was also looking into a pricey Bernina at my dealer. The week before I won this I lost an auction of a used overlocker whose winning bid ran close to it's retail price. I was disappointed, but then I won this one which I think worked out much better than expected. Yay!
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Yes. It's great for quickly finishing seams and doing rolled hems. Overlockers should not be feared. They are easy enough to learn to use as there's so many resources out on the internet to help you along.
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
Ease of use and quality of stitches.
Do you have a dream machine?
Overlocker-wise, I don't think I need anything more than what I currently have.
I plan to revisit this review when I've had the machine for more than a year.