Janome 8002DX overlocker review – that thing I impulsively bought one day

comments 12
review - sewing stuff / Sewing

About six-ish months ago I went into my local sewing store to do some leisurely window shopping.  This thing came home with me.  I swear I don’t know how that happened.  It just sort of made puppy dogs eyes and followed me home and I kept it.

Janome 8200DX Overlocker

This is my Janome 8002DX overlocker which I’m convinced is actually exactly the same as the Aldi Lumina Overlocker.  At least they look exactly the same.  I’m very curious to see if they actually are.  It’s also the overlocker Janome throws into a lot of ‘buy this machine, get this overlocker free/for $1’ deals, so it is pretty much the most basic model of overlocker out there from what I can tell.

A note about just owning an overlocker in general:  it was weird.  The only time I had used an overlocker prior to sewing was in home ec class where we were only allowed to serge to finish raw edges.  We were told absolutely not to fiddle with anything, especially the thread colours.  I know why now, because these things are horrifying to thread.  Anyway, overlockers are completely different from sewing machines, and I wasn’t used to it.  It frustrated me a little because I did expect to just pick it up and intuitively know how to use it like I do a sewing machine, but that didn’t happen.  I had to actually learn how to use my overlocker which was weird, and plus I didn’t like it because I am as lazy as heck.  Plus overlockers are not intuitive in design like sewing machines are with clearly labelled knobs and buttons for different functions.  You have to just know how to use it. So in conclusion, unless you’ve really used an overlocker before, be prepared for a whole lot of learning.

The good:

The price is a huge plus.  This is the most budget of budget overlockers out there at $299AUD.  I don’t think there are any other overlockers that come close to this price.  There is a Bernina Bernette at $399 at my local store but that’s it.  The average seems to be around $600ish.

Janome 8002DX - inside Janome 8002DX

It is fiddly to thread but not impossible. I love the colour chart that shows you how to do it, it’s fantastic for my goldfish memory.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It does a lot of stuff and came with a lot of attachments, but I pretty much just use it to finish raw edges and sew knits.  The machine does that pretty well about 90% of the time.  There are some fabrics, like very fine knit jersey, that makes the machine go crazy, but overall it sews very well.

I’ve also finally learnt the art of gathering with an overlocker by pulling the looper threads, and it has changed my life.  It has turned gathering into something relatively bearable now, which I would pay a lot of money for.

It also came with a large number of attachments that I admit I don’t really use, like gathering foot (to make ruffles), cording foot, elastic attachment foot, etc.  I have to admit I haven’t used many of these things for reasons I’ll explain in the ‘not so good’ section.

The not so good:

You definitely get what you pay for.  The ease of use for this thing is pretty much non-existent.  Switching basic settings is a freakin’ battle every time, and we’re talking about stuff like disengaging the knife, changing from rolled hem to serger mode,  to change feet you have to bust out the screwdriver every time… it’s pretty annoying.  I’ve found that I’ve just mostly kept it on one setting and one colour and used it that way.

It also has a very small work space which means fabric can get caught easily under the stitching with is a huge deal with a serger since if there is a BLADE involved you’ll end up with a giant, unfixable hole in your work.  I’ve been there.  This is the biggest con in my opinion for this overlocker.

Other minor things that may annoy people include no accessories drawer to put the million of accessories they include, and also there is no catcher for scraps.  I don’t personally mind.  The drawer thing annoys me every so often because I at least want to keep the screwdriver close to change feet easily, but like I said I’ve mostly given up on the attachments, so  not a problem anymore.

Overall:

I know it seems like the bad bits outweigh the good (at least in word count) but overall I honestly don’t mind this machine.  It overlocks.  It does its job.  If you only have $299 to impulsively blow on an overlocker this is it.  But given the choice, I’d definitely upgrade to something a bit more user friendly.  I’d pay a lot of money to have an easy to use machine.  With that said, I definitely use my sewing machine way more than my overlocker, and given I only use it for neatening seams and sewing knits, this is enough for me.

 

 

 

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12 Comments

  1. What a comprehensive review! I used an overlocker a few times at sewing class and found them brilliant for finishing seams, but terrifying because there’s no going back once you’ve chopped in with that blade. Am keeping an eye out for the Aldi offers until I can invest in a really good one. Thanks for this run-down on the 8002dx :)

    • They are fantastic seam finishers! I know it’s kind of sad to essentially buy a machine just to finish seams since I do very little else with it, but I just love an overlocked seam! I’ve looked around the internet by the way, the Aldi one does sound like mine and most people seem to really like theirs, so it’s a good choice.

  2. I really wish I knew about sewing machines as much as you do!
    I remember doing design and technology in highschool and loving textiles and learning all about how to use a sewing machine.
    A few years after graduating highschool and I am lost once again -__-;
    I bet you get lots of use out of it right?

    • I do! My sewing machines are the best purchases I’ve ever made in my opinion. I also took a long break from high school home ec to sewing as a hobby (about 3-ish years post I graduated from high school?). You should take it up again, it comes back easier than you think!

  3. This is a really comprehensive post and a good read too. I wouldn’t be without my overlocker now although I usually disengage the knife and have the edges already cut.

    • Thank you! I can’t imagine being without my overlocker either now. I also have cut edges but I just like seeing the knife cut through the fuzzy bits lol… kind of weird :)!

  4. I’ve got to admit… I know nothing about sewing machines! I love the idea of being able to make my own clothes but I don’t know where to start.

    • If you’re really really interested go check out Tilly’s blog at Tilly and the Buttons. She has some fantastic tutorials for how to just START sewing. It’s what I learnt off when I was reteaching myself!

  5. I still don’t understand what this thing is, but that is one mighty machine you got there. I’m totally impressed that you even know how to use it. It looks so confusing! @___@

    • Just shove your fabric under it and press a pedal and go! Sewing isn’t hard once you get the hang of it, just like anything else :). It’s just practice, practice, practice!

  6. Pingback: Purchase Easythread 2, 3 or 4 Thread Overlocker with Differential Feed FREE 12 Cones of Thread & Canvas Carrying Case Best Price | Decorative Pillowcases UK

  7. You sound just like me. We weren’t allowed to change the threads either at school and now I know EXACTLY why as well. The thread on the fourth spool ran out last night & since then I have not been able to get the machine to overlock properly. The third spool ran out & I didn’t have any problems and I smugly thought to myself “What is everyone going on about that this is hard to thread?”. Well I kept thinking that until I had to change the fourth spool and the stitching does not come out properly, if at all!

    I also love an overlocked seam. I hadn’t really done any sewing since high school (about 20 years ago), up until about 4 years ago. I found a really nice, easy skirt pattern and made a few of them. I didn’t have an overlocker at the time so I just zig-zag stitched the edges. They have begun to fray a little so I ended up purchasing the overlocker. I haven’t had much time to do sewing in the past few months (having had a baby and studying a teaching degree), but now I am on a break from uni, I am trying to catch up on some sewing.

    Thanks for showing the photos of how it is supposed to be threaded. I can’t find my instruction manual at the moment. The coloured threading guide is good but it doesn’t give exact details either

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