The Janome 2212 review: a great starter machine for beginners

Janome 2212 sewing machine
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In this Janome 2212 review, we’ll look at this popular mechanical sewing machine. This model is often celebrated as being ideal for first-time sewers, but this does not mean it is an overly-basic machine.

Overview of the Janome 2212 sewing machine

The Janome 2212 is an excellent sewing machine for complete beginners. This mechanical sewing machine is extremely user-friendly and simple to use, even for those who’ve never touched a sewing machine before. 

This is a well-made, versatile machine that can handle a range of fabrics and projects. Its powerful motor easily sews through robust fabrics, while it produces equally neat stitches on the lightest of silks.  

Founded in 1921 in Japan, Janome is one of the world’s best-known sewing machine brands. Janome produces a range of machines across various price points and for different purposes. 

They are mainly known for making user-friendly machines for home sewers, like the Janome 2212.

What we like

  • Very affordable machine: This machine has a very reasonable price tag for a high-quality, well-performing machine that has all the features beginners will need.
  • Extremely easy to use: Designed for novice sewers, this machine’s simple set up and easy to use features making sewing simple.
  • Powerful motor: With a strong motor, the Janome 2212 has a pretty decent stitching speed for a basic machine, and can handle heavy materials and multiple layers of fabric.
  • Good range of included accessories: You get everything you need to start sewing with your machine, including a number of presser feet.

What we don’t like

  • The workspace is relatively small: There is enough space here to do basic sewing, but it is a little cramped for sewing larger projects like quilts.
  • The light could be brighter: Although there is a light to illuminate the sewing area, it is not the brightest light we’ve seen. Some may struggle with seeing dark threads on dark fabrics, or suffer some eye strain.
  • The presser foot lever is only accessible from the right hand side: You can only reach the lever to raise and lower the presser foot by reaching from the right of the sewing needle. Left-handers will find it annoying to have to reach across.

Features and Benefits of the Janome 2212

The Janome 2212 has a range of features and benefits that make this model perfect for beginners, even those who have never used a sewing machine before.

It has all the stitches you’ll need for basic sewing, auto-bobbin winding, and comes with a range of accessories for versatile sewing. This model is also very lightweight and portable, ideal for taking with you to sewing class.

Other features that make sewing easier for beginners are:

  • free arm for sewing cuffs and sleeves
  • extra high lift presser foot to feed your fabric easily
  • two vertical and retractable spool pins

Ease of use

The Janome 2212 is ideal for beginners and has been designed with complete novice sewers in mind. It is easy to use even for those who have never sewn on a machine before.

The machine is also easy to thread, with a clear and simple threading system, which is useful for beginners.

However, it should be noted that this machine needs to be threaded manually. Some other basic models include an automatic needle threader that beginners may find even easier to use.

Plenty of basic stitches

The Janome 2212 comes with 12 built-in stitches, including:

  • straight stitch
  • overcasting stitch
  • tricot stitch
  • knit stitches
  • blind hemming stitch

There are also multiple options for sewing on stretch fabrics, with both a zig-zag stitch and a straight stretch stitch.

There is also a reverse stitch function that allows you to easily reverse the sewing direction by pressing a lever. This is very useful when starting or finishing seams, as it lets you sew a few stitches in the opposite direction to your seam.

This reinforces the seam and makes it stronger. Reverse stitching can also help to manage thread tension problems, an area that beginners often struggle with when they first start sewing.  

It’s easy to select you stitch, with a conveniently located stitch-selector dial on the front of the machine, with a clear stitch chart printed on the front also. Next to it is a dial to easily select the stitch length.

Stitches lengths go up to 4mm, and stitch width for zig-zag stitches to a very decent 5mm.

12 built-in stitches may seem low to some people, particularly beginner sewers who have not used a sewing machine before. Some other comparable models have dozens of built-in stitches, and you’ll find computerized sewing machines with hundreds of fancy stitches.

However, this comparatively low number of stitches is not necessarily a draw-back for the beginner sewer. The Janome 2212’s built-in stitches will cover any kind of basic sewing you want to do.

If you are a more advanced sewer looking to do more complicated tasks such as decorative home décor projects or embroidery, you’ll probably need more stitches. 

However, if you’re a beginner looking to learn how to sew and do basic sewing, you’ll be more than satisfied with the Janome 2212’s built-in stitches.

Furthermore, having just the necessary stitches to choose from is less confusing than having to sort through all kinds of stitches that you don’t need. Therefore this somewhat limited range can actually be an asset for beginners.

Auto bobbin winding

One of its beginner-friendly features is the push-pull bobbin winder. This allows novices to wind a nice, tight bobbin easily. 

This is important, as incorrectly-wound bobbins that are either too loose or too tight can lead to uneven stitches or tangled threads.

Another feature of the Janome 2212 that helps to avoid tangled threads is its vertical oscillating hook bobbin. This means that the thread moves up and down in a vertical motion when forming each stitch, and is less likely to become tangled.

Manual tension control

The Janome 2212 comes with manual tension control, easily adjusted using a dial on the front of the machine.

Thread tension is something that beginners often struggle with when they first start sewing. The thread tension for every project is different, and it is important to get it right. If the thread tension is too loose or too tight, it can cause uneven stitches, puckering, tangled threads, and other frustrating problems.

You can follow the thread tension recommended in a sewing pattern, but this can vary depending on the fabric, thread and other factors, so often it is best to experiment and see what works best.

Being able to play with the thread tension and adjust subtle differences using the manual tension control makes it easier for novice sewers to find the correct thread tension for their project.

Versatility

The Janome 2212 can sew a variety of fabrics, producing neat even stitches regardless of whether you are sewing a light silk or heavy upholstery.

This machine can sew on knits and other stretch fabrics thanks to its stretch stitch options. Its powerful motor handles heavy-duty projects such as upholstery and denim with ease, while working equally well with light fabrics like silk and satin.

This versatile machine can also be used for a variety of sewing styles and techniques.

The Janome 2212 has a drop feed function that lowers the machine’s feed dogs, meaning that fabric can be moved through the machine freely. This allows for free-motion sewing, a technique used in a variety of sewing styles, most notably quilting.

However, it should be noted that this machine does not have a very large work area, so quilters will struggle with larger quilting projects. It also does not come with a wide extension table, unlike other models that are more specifically designed for quilting.

Snap on presser feet

This machine allows you to easily change the presser feet with a snap on function. This works with a lever that instantly releases the presser foot, and then you simply ‘snap’ on your new presser foot.

Different presser feet are required depending on the fabric you are sewing and the sewing technique you are using. Being able to change them like this is a big time-saver compared to old-style presser feet that needed to be unscrewed and screwed on.

Buttonhole, blind hem and zipper feet collage

Included with the Janome 2212 are:

  • blind hem foot
  • sliding buttonhole foot
  • zig-zag foot
  • zipper foot

This range of presser feet will allow you to handle any basic sewing task and develop your skills as you learn to sew.  

Four-step buttonhole

The Janome 2212 comes with a four-step buttonhole that allows you to sew buttonholes on your projects automatically . Buttonholes are a challenge to sew, and beginners will find these very difficult to get right if sewn manually.

On this machine’s four-step buttonhole, however, all you need to do is select each of the four stitches to create the four sides of your buttonhole. This is not a fully automatic buttonhole in that it needs to be completed in four steps rather than just one, but it is a simple and effective way to sew a buttonhole.

The Janome 2212 also comes with a metal buttonhole foot, that is specifically designed to make sewing buttonholes straight-forward. Being a fully metal foot is a big plus, making it more durable and suitable for robust fabrics.

Fast sewing speed

The Janome 2212 has a sewing speed of 860 stitches per minute, which is pretty speedy for a basic machine.

Along with being able to sew quickly, this mechanical sewing machine is quite powerful, too. It has a strong motor that handles thick fabrics easily, as well as multiple layers of fabric.

Although the machine can work with most robust fabrics, you will need to purchase special needles separately for certain fabrics. 

For example, you’ll need to purchase a denim needle for sewing jeans, and a leather needle for working with leather.

Easy to maintain

This simple yet well-made sewing machine is very easy to maintain. This is useful not only for beginners but for anyone who doesn’t want to spend time on maintenance and repairs.

This is a machine that does not require a high level of upkeep. Like all sewing machines, it should be cleaned after use and oiled regularly, but that’s about it.

Accessories

The Janome 2212 comes with all the basic accessories you’ll need to start sewing. Along with presser feet, you’ll receive:

  • 10 bobbins
  • complete needle set
  • seam ripper
  • foot control
  • screwdriver

The included screwdriver is great to have, as this allows you to open your machine to carry out important maintenance.

Another useful accessory that comes with this machine is a vinyl dust cover. This keeps the machine clean in between sewing sessions, which is vital, as dust in the machine can cause threads to jam (along with other issues).

Alternatives to the Janome 2212

The Janome 2212 is often compared to the Singer 4423, another basic but high-quality machine. The two models are similar in many ways, but with some important differences.

Janome 2212 vs Singer 4423

The Janome 2212 and the Singer 4423 are both high-quality mechanical sewing machines with an affordable price tag. 

The Singer 4423 has a few extra features that the Janome 2212 lacks, such as a fully automatic buttonhole and a drop-in bobbin. The Singer 4423 also has 1100 stitches per minute compared to the Janome 2212’s 860.

Although the Singer 4423 is also beginner-friendly, the Janome 2212 is an exceptionally easy to use machine for novice sewers. While the Singer 4423 has a few extra features that are more appealing to multiple levels, the Janome can’t be beaten as a great starter model for beginners to learn on.

Read our full Singer 4423 review.

Wrapping it up

Sewing machines can often be overly complex, which is confusing for beginners. Other times, more basic sewing machines may jam easily or have other issues that will be overwhelming for novice sewers.

The Janome 2212, on the other hand, is incredibly simple and intuitive to use. It is not overly complicated while having all the features any beginner sewer will need to complete projects and improve their skills.

This makes it a fantastic machine for first-time sewers, and it is available for a reasonable price, too!

Do you have any questions about the Janome 2212? Ask us in the comments below! Don’t forget to share this article with anyone looking for a beginner-friendly sewing machine.