Recently we reviewed the Janome 8077 and found it underwhelming. The Janome DC2014 is a very similar model: an entry-level computerized sewing machine that sits at a similarly high price point. But there are a few differences, and they’re important. Does this model earn its stripes? Our Janome DC2014 review will lay it out for you.
Janome DC2014: Review and Analysis
No two ways about it, Janome makes pricey sewing machines. They also have a fervent following. Why? Well, their machines tend to be extremely reliable and well-built. Also, the company has a long history of innovation and “firsts.”
Janome was the first to use the round bobbin, for example. Before that, sewing machines used an elliptical shuttle-style bobbin. They also produced the first computerized home sewing machine. The first professional-level home longarm quilting machines and home embroidery machines also came from Janome.
The Janome DC2014 isn’t particularly innovative. It’s a standard entry-level computerized sewing machine–and it’s an expensive one. However, a preponderance of Janome DC2014 reviews from customers and professionals alike note the DC2014’s impressive stitch quality. It also comes with a meatier accessories pack than a lot of Janome machines.
But still…that price tag. Is it worth it?
- Good selection of useful stitches
- Three one-step automatic buttonholes
- Intuitive, user-friendly interface
- Consistent, high-quality stitching
- Start/stop button
- Locking stitch button
- Reverse stitching
- Speed control
- Extra-high presser foot lift
- Decent package of useful accessories and presser feet
- No automatic thread cutter
Who is The Janome DC2014 For?
Computerized sewing machines run the gamut from basic machines that are one step up from a mechanical model, to extravagant, craft-specific models whose interfaces resemble airplane control panels. The Janome DC2014 is on the simpler end of the spectrum. It’s powerful and versatile but still user-friendly.
This would be an excellent machine for general-purpose home sewing. It’s interface is intuitive and easy to understand. There’s a decent selection of functional and decorative stitches, as well as three one-step automatic buttonholes. It also has a free arm for mending and garment making. In short, it has everything the home sewist needs.
The DC2014 is simple enough for an ambitious beginner to learn quickly. At 18.2 pounds, it’s not the lightest machine, but it is portable, and the included hard case makes it even more so. It would be a fine machine, for example, to take to classes and meet-ups.
Although it doesn’t come with a goodies pack for quilters (save for the quilting guide bar), it does have an extra high presser-foot lift to accommodate thick layers. A quilter could make good use of this machine, as could a home garment-maker and general crafter.
Janome focuses on quality over gimmicks. Their machines tend to be stingier with stitch designs and accessories than similar machines from other manufacturers. But the line of machines to which the DC2014 belongs makes one concession to fashion. Each year the machine is produced in a different color. The DC2014 is purple, the DC2015 is red, and so on.
What’s in the box?
Accessories that come with the Janome DC2014, include:
- Automatic buttonhole foot
- Convertible even feed foot
- ¼-inch seam foot
- Even feed foot
- Blind hem foot
- Overedge foot
- Satin stitch foot F
- Zipper foot
- Quilting guide bar
- Janome DC2014 manual
- 25-year limited warranty
What to Look For in a Computerized Sewing Machine
There are a lot of computerized sewing machines on the market. A lot. But the best ones will have certain important features in common.
Ease of Use
If you’re intimidated by a sewing machine’s complicated design, chances are you’ll avoid using it. We’re all busy, and few of us have the time to scroll through a long manual, trying to figure out a cryptic set of glyphs for the sake of whipping out a tablecloth or quick set of curtains.
The Janome DC2014 is ready to go right out of the box. Even a learner sewist will be able to thread the machine and choose their stitches with ease. Customer reviews back this up. This is a very user-friendly model.
A home sewing machine of any type should be suited for a variety of crafts, repairs, and projects. This means it should have a free arm, a buttonhole function (preferably one-step) and a decent selection of functional and decorative stitches.
The Janome DC2014 has 50 built-in stitches and three one-step buttonholes. Comparatively, it’s not a lot. But it’s plenty for most people’s everyday sewing needs. More importantly, there aren’t so many options as to overwhelm the everyday user.
This model would work well for a variety of projects, including quilting, mending, garment making and housewares.
One reason for stepping up from a mechanical sewing machine to a computerized one is additional features. Some of the more common ones include:
- Sewing speed control
- Needle up/down memory
- Start/stop button
- Locking stitch button
Some computerized sewing machines will have one or two of these upgrades. The Janome DC2014 has all of them.
We all love goodies. Janome accessories packs tend to be a bit minimalistic, which is fine. Some manufacturers include a lot of accessories, many of which a sewist will never use, in order to bulk up the price.
The Janome DC2014’s accessories pack falls right in the middle. There’s a goodly number of useful presser feet, but none of the bloat. It also comes with a hard case, which we love.
Reliability is difficult to judge just by looking at the specs. However, customer and professional reviews can give you a lot of information about how well a machine may perform over time.
There are a lot of entry-level computerized sewing machines on the market. Most of them are less expensive than the Janome DC2014, sometimes by as much as two-thirds. However, with many of the cheaper models, you’ll see the same complaints about thread tension, bobbin thread issues, timing, and unreliable stitch quality.
This is where the price difference might start to make sense. Both professional and consumer reviews overwhelmingly praise the stitch quality of the Janome DC2014. Moreover, complaints about any aspect of this model’s performance are few and far between.
Is reliability worth that much of a price increase? For some users it absolutely is.
Features of the Janome DC2014
This machine doesn’t have any killer apps, per se. But it does have everything that a home sewist needs.
First, and most importantly, the Janome DC2014 has an intuitive, easy-to-understand interface. All of its 50 stitches has a place on the stitch map on the face of the machine. The map itself is organized according to stitch type: utility, stretch, buttonhole, decorative, etc. There are two buttons to scroll up and down through the stitches, and another to alter stitch parameters.
The thread diagram is likewise simple, and the needle up/down, locking stitch, start/stop and reverse controls are all front and center.
Extra-High Presser Foot Lift
There’s only so high you can lift the presser foot of any sewing machine. However, a lot of Janome machines allow you to lift that foot a bit higher. This comes in handy when you’re working with thick fabrics or multiple layers.
One-Step Automatic Buttonhole
Many mechanical sewing machines have a four-step buttonhole. Although there are tools and tricks for doing a four-step buttonhole efficiently, a lot of times it’s still difficult to get consistent results. Four-step buttonholes can also be fiddly and a lot of work.
A one-step buttonhole means just that: you press a button and the machine makes a buttonhole. Not only that, but it’s the same design and the same size time after time. An automatic buttonhole foot allows you to tailor the size of the buttonhole to the exact button that you’re using.
Locking Stitch Button
A locking stitch secures the beginning and end of a row of stitching. One way of making the locking stitch is to reverse over a few of the stitches you’ve made, then sew forward over them again.
A locking stitch button does the lock for you. It’s not a dealbreaker for us, but it is pretty convenient.
The Start/Stop button can be an important accessibility feature for people who have a difficult time using the foot pedal. But it can do a lot more than that. Your Start/Stop button can:
- Give you precise and even decorative stitches
- Simplify free motion work
- Work in conjunction with the speed control to provide exact speed
Check out this video for more tips and tricks using this useful and underrated feature.
For most sewing machines, when you stop sewing, the needle defaults to the “up” position. But there are times when you want the needle to stay in the fabric. Some of these times include:
- Working with slippery fabrics
- Sewing multiple layers
- If you’re planning to pivot the fabric
The Janome DC2014 has a button that lets you set the default needle position to either up or down. Here’s how it works:
The Janome DC2014 has a library of 50 built-in stitches. Many machines have more, but plenty have fewer. The important thing is that all of the most useful stitches are there: straight stitch, zigzag, a few stretching stitches, and plenty of decorative stitches to have fun with.
One of the major differences we saw between the Janome 8077 and the Janome DC2014 was the accessories pack.
While the former model offered a very modest three presser feet, the DC2014 comes with eight presser feet, a quilting guide, and a few more tidbits. It also comes with a hard case, which, again, isn’t a dealbreaker for us. At the same time, if you’re going to spend that much money on a sewing machine, you’re going to want to protect your investment.
What About the Competition? Janome DC2014 Alternatives
The Janome DC2014 is an excellent machine. But there are others that might suit your needs better.
The Janome C30 is slightly simpler than the DC2014. It has 30 stitches rather than 50, and a single one-step buttonhole. It also lacks a start/stop button and a speed control slider.
On the other hand, it’s about half the price of the DC2014. If you really want a Janome sewing machine, but the price of the DC2014 is giving you pause, the C30 might be a good option.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Janome 4120QDC is a feature-rich computerized sewing machine aimed at quilters.
The 4120QDC has 120 built-in stitches, 7 one-step buttonholes, and English, European and Cyrillic alphanumeric fonts. On top of this, the 4120QDC has twin needle capabilities and stitch memory, so you can create and store your own sequences of stitches.
You might expect this to be a very expensive machine, and it’s not cheap. However, the price can vary considerably, depending on your retailer. If you do your research you might find quite a bargain.
Brother CS5055PW “Project Runway”
The Brother CS5055PW is one of the line of Brother sewing machines inspired by the show “Project Runway.” Each member of the line is a little bit different. The CS5055PW is one of the lower-end models, and is very similar to the Janome DC2014.
It has 50 built-in stitches, five one-step automatic buttonholes, and a clear, easy-to-understand stitch map. It also comes with a diverse selection of useful presser feet and other accessories. It’s also lightweight — just over 14 pounds — so you can take it anywhere.
If you like the looks and functionality of the Janome DC2014, but the Janome is out of your price range, this could be a good substitute.
The Final Analysis
The Janome DC2014 is a versatile, high quality all-purpose sewing machine with all of the features a home sewist needs. It comes with a decent accessories pack, and users seem almost universally pleased with its durability, performance, and stitch quality.
At the same time, it’s expensive–prohibitively so, I suspect, for many sewists. Is it worth it?
For the right customer, I’d say yes. For someone who will be sewing a long time into the future, a well-built machine like the DC2014 would be a good investment. On the other hand, someone who isn’t sure if they enjoy sewing, and is interested in trying it out, the price tag may be a bit of an obstacle.