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Introducing Little Red: Janome 18750

As much as I love my big red Janome Horizon, she isn’t very travel friendly. And I’ve missed out on some really fun events because I don’t like hauling her around. So, I’ve definitely been hankering  for a second machine for travel. I knew I wanted either a standard sized Janome or a really great Singer Featherweight. I wasn’t able to find a good Featherweight at a reasonable price, so I chose to go with a new Janome. I still hope to add a Featherweight to my collection at some point, but I’m happy waiting for the right one to come along. (And when I do, I fully intend to get a snazzy custom paint job! Eggplant purple Featherweight? Yes. Yes indeed)

After a lot of research on smaller Janomes, I decided to go with either a 3/4 size Janome Jem Platinum or a full size Janome DC1050. Both models have functions that I’ve become entirely too reliant on like needle up-down, a start/stop button, and a speed control slider. But once I noticed the Hello Kitty 18750 (which as far as I can tell is an exact clone of the DC1050) my search was over. Baby Bee is utterly obsessed with Hello Kitty (daughter of a toy-maker? No irony lost there!), and I thought this might be a good machine for her to learn on eventually.

I’ve spent some time with Little Red over the past two weeks, and she’s a good little machine. She can’t compete with Big Red on any front, but she is totally functional. She runs quietly and has handled everything I’ve thrown at her with ease. She is very smooth to piece on, and is pretty accurate as well. One of my girlfriends is learning to sew on Little Red and has really enjoyed sewing on her, too.

I will say that there is more plastic on this machine than I would like. I know it isn’t a thousand dollar machine, but the ankle, needle plate, and rotary hook are all plastic. Sure, it seems like good quality plastic, but even my sad little beginner Singer had more metal. At any rate, I replaced the plastic “slide-on” style ankle right away with a metal “snap on” style ankle. Not only did that get rid of some plastic, but now I can use my Horizon feet on Little Red. Having that compatibility is great. (FYI – The part number for the metal ankle adapter is Janome #804509000. I found mine at Ken’s Sewing Center here for the bargain price of $13.)  I’ve tried searching for replacement needle plates, but haven’t had any success. If anyone out there has a tip there, I’m all ears!

Replacement metal ankle (left) vs. plastic ankle that comes standard (right)

Overall, I certainly prefer sewing on my Janome Horizon. No surprise there. If the machines were actually comparable I would be pretty ticked off for having paid so much for the Horizon. Even so, I definitely look forward to hitting the road with Little Red in full Hello Kitty style. I just need a certain red and aqua quilt-as-you-go carry case for her first 🙂

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I did this mini-review earlier, but adding a bit to it for SewMamaSew’s sewing machine reviews!
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What brand and model do you have?

My travel machine is a Janome 18750 (which from what I can tell is the same as a Janome DC1050, but with added Hello Kitty bling)

How long have you had it?
Almost two months.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
The retail price is $499.00, but it is on sale pretty consistently around the $300 mark.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
I sew a little bit of everything, but so far I’ve only used this machine for piecing. It does really well at piecing (my most recent Summer Solstice Stars were pieced on this machine), but I haven’t experimented with anything heavy duty.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I travel with this machine, and use it for sewing in front of the TV. Everything else is done on my beloved Janome Horizon 7700. So this little machine only sees a couple of hours of use a week.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I like this machine a lot as a travel machine. It’s cute, portable (weighs in at about 12 pounds), and it gets the job done in style. The stitches look great, and she has met every challenge I’ve thrown at it — I have yet to get into a fight with her. And yes, I’ve affectionately named her Little Red since I call my Horizon “Big Red” 🙂

What features does your machine have that work well for you?
It has a lot of the great features like up/down needle position and speed control. The machine is also very smooth and quiet at lower speeds (which is key to the whole “sewing while watching TV” thing). Even though she’s small, she is still a Janome and the quality is shows. As an added bonus, my machine came with a blue hand wheel. The others I’ve seen have a white hand wheel. I know it’s silly, but I really like that mine is an odd-duck.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
As I explained above, my biggest pet peeve is the amount of plastic used on this machine. I know this isn’t a three thousand dollar machine, but I think the needle plate (and maybe the rotary hook) should have been metal. Oh, and if you put the pedal to the metal she will shake a bit and make a little noise — to be expected, really. In fairness, she probably wouldn’t shake if I sewed somewhere *besides* folding card tables. Details!

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
I really do love this little machine. It’s a great little machine for a beginner and it works very well as a travel machine. That said, I wouldn’t recommend it as a standalone machine for an experienced quilter or bag-maker.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
I think it’s important to know what you expect out of your machine. The needs of a garment maker are completely different than those of a quilter. Since I’m mostly a quilter and a toy-maker, I looked for something that was accurate, with a needle up/down, and speed control. I decided that my travel machine didn’t have to handle 8+ layers of fabric, but that’s an absolute must for my main machine.

Do you have a dream machine?
I’m lucky enough to have my dream sewing machine (the Janome Horizon 7700) as my main machine, but my dream travel machine is a Singer Featherweight. And so long as we’re dreaming, I’d like it to be custom painted eggplant purple. With silver decals. Maybe someday 🙂

Edit: Bonus Picture of the Feed Dog Drop Lever and Thread Cutter for Violet Craft 🙂

Little Red


{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Violet Craft October 23, 2013, 7:10 pm

    Hi there! Thank you for the great review. I am considering these little machines for my students. I am trying to get a couple of questions answered and have been hoping Janome would answer me directly on their forums, but no such luck. A nice person directed me towards your review today, so I thought I’d see if you might be willing to answer a couple of questions for me. You already answered one… the hook. I’m pretty disappointed that it is plastic, but the other features are just so good for the price. Needle up/down for instance. Here are my questions:

    1. Where is the feed dog drop lever located on the machine?
    2. Does is truly have an automatic thread cutter? The Janome website says that it does, but I just can not imagine that it has that feature for the price. If so, where is the button that operates it?

    Thank you so much!

    • Jen October 23, 2013, 8:45 pm

      Hello and welcome! I’m glad the review was helpful for you, and I’m happy to fill in a few of the blanks for you…

      1. The drop lever for the feed dogs is on the back of the free arm. I’ll add a picture for you in a moment since the back of the machine is a little funky looking. You’ll see what I mean 🙂

      2. Unfortunately, the automatic thread cutter is a total lie. I know, I had hoped against hope that it would be miraculously included, too. But alas, the auto thread cutter is just a misprint. There is however, a regular thread cutter where you would expect it by the needle.

      Even with it’s minor drawbacks, it’s an amazing machine for the price. As luck would have it, my Janome Horizon landed in the repair shop this weekend and this little machine had the unenviable task of finishing a lined wool cloak. This little guy chugged through all the layers — I was amazed! It is definitely a very capable machine. Best of luck in your search, let me know how it turns out!

  • Carlotta July 28, 2014, 9:08 pm

    Are you my daughter? Actually, I only have one and she is too busy to sew at this time, but she can! I was searching to find out if the Janome Hello Kitty machine compared to any of their other machines, when I found this site. I own a 8200 Horizon Janome and was looking for one to travel with. I did just buy a Featherweight off Ebay. I picked it up from my man Al who services my sewing machines and has a history with servicing these antiques. He said it runs great but might need a motor in the future, depending on how much I use it.
    I also am now following you on Pintrest My we have very similar taste in fabric. I did make a quilt using Bonnie and Camille fabric and pattern. My daughter-in-law matched the aqua for my 5 year old granddaughter’s paint in her room. So cute and soothing. Syd wanted purple like her older sister but loves her room. She also loves Hello Kitty! I can see her learning on this machine. Guess I am going to have to buy it! Thank you for your review!

  • Jennifer December 27, 2014, 12:30 am

    I just bought this machine for my daughters 6th birthday but it has not arrived yet. I was wondering if you can add a foot pedal to this machine.


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