How to Operate a Janome Sewing Machine

sewing machine image by Peter Baxter from

Things You'll Need

  • Thread
  • Scissors

Janome sewing machines have been on the cutting edge since the company was founded in Japan in the 1920s. At that time, sewing machines had long shuttles instead of round bobbins. Janome founder Yosaku Ose introduced the round bobbin that modern sewing machines still use today. Janome manufactured the first computerized sewing machine for home use in 1979. Operating a Janome sewing machine is simple, provided you remember to prepare the machine properly. After you know the basics, you can sew anything you want.

A kitchen table works well if you don't have a designated sewing table.
dining room table image by Katrina Miller from

Set up the sewing machine in a comfortable work space. Place the sewing machine on a table that is a good height for you to work at. If the table is too low or too high, your neck and shoulders will become strained. Pull up a chair that allows both feet to rest firmly on the floor. Plug the power cord into the wall, and place the foot pedal beneath the table within easy reach of your right foot.

Keep a couple of full bobbins on hand during big projects.
bobbins image by Alison Bowden from

Wind the bobbin. Place your spool of thread on its spindle, and wind the thread according to the thread guide. Insert the end of the thread through the small hole in the top of the bobbin and place the bobbin on the winder. Loosen the center of the machine's flywheel and then step on the foot pedal. It may help to hold onto the end of the thread for the first few seconds until the bobbin is wound enough that the thread won't slip. The bobbin stops spinning as soon as it is full. Snip the thread with your scissors and remove the bobbin from the winder.

Place the full bobbin back in place, and replace the cover over the top of the bobbin. Pop the flywheel back into place.

Choose thread appropriate to your project. For example, use quilting thread for quilting.
thread image by studio vision1 from

Thread the machine by placing your spool of thread in place on the spindle. Pull the end of the thread to the left until it is behind the tension assembly. Slip the thread up into the tension assembly and then pull it down along the right side of the assembly. A slot for the thread is at the bottom of the assembly. Then bring the thread up and slip it into the lever that moves up and down. Bring the thread all the way down to the needle. A small hooked arm comes around the front of the needle. Make sure the thread is held firmly by the hooked arm. Moisten the end of the thread and poke it through the eye of the needle from front to back. Pull the thread through the slot in the presser foot. Turn the flywheel so the top thread loops through the bobbin thread and pulls it up. Slide both threads toward the back of the machine.

Backstitching at the ends of seams strengthens them.
sewing image by Yury Shirokov from

Put your fabric underneath the presser foot when you are ready to sew and make sure to drop the foot before sewing a single stitch. Sew a few stitches and then push the button that reverses the feed dogs. This makes your stitching go backward. After a few backward stitches, release the reverse button and continue with your seam. At the end of your seam, remember to backstitch a few stitches and then finish your seam. These back stitches keep your seams in place and add durability to your project.


  • Keep your Janome sewing machine manual handy for troubleshooting problems.

    Experiment with the different presser feet and stitch types so you know what your machine can do.


  • Keep your fingers clear of the needle while operating the machine.