The Janome MC550E is Janome’s stand-alone largest embroidery machine, it is part of the Memory Craft (MC) line which are some of the company’s most premium sewing machines. The machine has at least 180 pre-installed embroidery designs and you would be correct if you assumed that the ‘E’ (in MC550E) stands for embroidery. This sewing machine is quite impressive, designs from a USB can easily be imported and then edited via the adequately sized LCD touchscreen. Although seemingly perfect at this point, the Janome MC550E has a sizable amount of problems that have to be considered because this machine can set you back about $4000 before anything else.
The Janome MC550E is an embroidery only machine. Which means it’s not for average sewing like joining or quilting. It is only for embroidery. Janome was the very first company to introduce embroidery sewing into the home in 1991.
Table of Contents
1. Machine Skips Embroidery Stitches
Although the Janome MC550E was designed for embroidery and is probably one of the most advanced embroidery machines for household use, the sewing machine can have problems keeping a consistent pattern of embroidery stitches. This is caused either by debris accumulation under the needle plate making the bobbin thread misbehave and cause the stitches not to overlock or skip stitches.
It helps to use specific types of needles for embroidery, before purchasing a sewing machine you should research about it to make sure you know everything about the sewing machine you want to buy and all its accessories. Always keep your machine clean and make sure that the thread is enough.
2. Machine Randomly Loops Stitches
This is a problem related to thread tension, meaning the threading is loose somewhere on the Janome MC550E. Thread tension is how strained the thread you’re using is when it is making its way through the sewing machine. This is also influenced by needle type and quality, and type of fabric.
One of the most notable features on the Janome MC550E is automatic thread tension control. Since it is a computerized embroidery sewing machine it would be fairly easy to select this option (when the thread is now in the machine) on the touchscreen navigation.
3. Threads Break When Embroidering
It can be a frustrating problem when thread breaks during embroidering, but it does happen often on the Janome MC550E. Sometimes the bobbin thread (thread from the needle plate) can get caught in its casing, this happens because the bobbin isn’t wind up correctly and when the sewing machine starts spinning it. The thread ends up loosening and getting caught in the casing and thus breaking.
It’s important to make sure the bobbin thread is wind up correctly before being placed in its casing. Always check to see that the casing isn’t damaged or does not have any debris in it before starting the embroidering machine.
The machine has a key feature called ‘auto return’, which places the needle exactly where it left off before the thread broke off or finished.
4. Touchscreen Response Is Laggy.
The Janome MC550E may have an LCD touchscreen navigation but its responsiveness is nothing to boast about. Especially if you’re used to current smartphone displays (the Janome MC550E has a similar sized display). Sometimes just using your fingers on the touchscreen navigation will not do the trick.
On certain occasions when the machine is running, the machine will lose all responsiveness due to an overload of work (the processes happening in a give time).
Unfortunately some embroidery machines (like the Janome MC550E) do not have the highest-end chips to warrant a faster responding touchscreen. You would have to use the stylus that comes standard with the embroidery machine.
When dealing with most problems regarding the electronics of most sewing machines it is wise to unplug or turn them off at the cord and then turn them on again. If that sounds too extreme then recalibration will suffice, touchscreen navigation is often accompanied by buttons (on the Janome MC550E) that help with the recalibration process. This essentially means the touchscreen will be responsive again.
5. The Machine Is Costly
One of the most noticeable problems with the Janome MC550E is its price tag. As mentioned in the introduction the embroidery sewing machine will set you back about $4000. It is even more expensive to maintain, as different parts will need to be replaced after a certain period of use, most notably needles and bobbins. Janome needles are infamous for being quite costly by themselves. Certain types of embroidery will require certain accessories that do not come standard with the machine, and they need to be purchased.
The Janome MC550E is an embroidery sewing machine after all. Embroidering is far more complicated than regular sewing (joining or quilting). It requires far more stitching (and threading in the same amount of time). So it is not for everyone’s pockets and that’s okay.
- It is always advisable to thoroughly read through your Janome MC550E instruction manual before using the machine. You might find the information there very useful for your issues, problems or concerns. The manufacturer of the product always knows more than anyone else.
The Good (Just A Bit)
- The machine has a large embroidery area 7.9″ × 14″ to be exact so you can embroid on just about any size of fabric and clothing. The Janome MC550E come with four ‘hoops’ – which are essentially a rectangular guard for the area you would like your embroidery design placed.
- Embroidery design and you can create designs and edit them using the LCD touchscreen and because the Janome MC550E has a USB port, you can import files from it making this feature only as limited as your imagination.
- You can adjust the speed of the machine. If you want to take your time or perhaps do things a little faster, the Janome MC550E let’s you do that. Even whilst the machine is in the process of embroidering.
- Auto thread cutter. A must have for users who are particular about time because manually cutting threading from a machine can take a lot of time during the sewing process.