Do you ever post something just because before you did it / learnt it you couldn’t find it on Google? Well, this post is one of those posts. I love my sewing machine but there is NOTHING out there about it and I wanted to remedy that, in case anyone in the same situation I was two years ago (in a charity shop, googling a review of a sewing machine to see if they should buy it or not!) Sorry that this post will be boring for most of you… I’ve put everything behind a jump to make it easier to skim!
So, without further ado, after the jump you’ll find my review of my New Home 611 sewing machine and pictures of every page of the manual. (One day I’ll photocopy the manual into a PDF, but that day is not today, too lazy.)
Review (using the format from Sew Mama Sew’s sewing machine master list)
What brand and model do you have?
New Home Model 611
How long have you had it?
Two years, but I only started using it in January 2012 (so just over a year ago)
How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
It was £20 in a charity shop, I’ve never seen one for sale anywhere else!
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
I’ve sewn clothes, quilts, curtains (for my brother so no pics), cushions, softies and baby clothes on it.
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I sew in fits and bursts, but this machine is definitely up to wear and tear!
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I love it because it’s the one I learnt to sew on. I’ll probably keep it forever, even once I upgrade. It’s very heavy but I like how sturdy it is. When it works it’s great but it does sometime throw a fit and I get angry with it, but normally discover it was user error later (like it needs or new needle or I’ve made a threading error).
What features does your machine have that work well for you?
I love that it’s mechanical and one glance at all the dials tells me exactly how it’s set up. The manual is clear (although the trouble-shooting section is awful) and it just does the job well. It has lots of useful stitches, including an overlocker stitch. You can use a twin needle on it. The free arm is nice and skinny. There’s plenty of space under the throat for quilting (I have quilted a queen size quilt on it). It goes like a tank most of the time.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
Because it’s so old I find it hard to buy feet for it online, which is annoying. (Took me two tries to get a generic walking foot for it!) There’s no information about it online. None of these things are the machine’s fault – just the problems of using an older machine and not knowing my way around it perfectly. I’ve noticed this especially since getting my Brother 1034d, which has legions of tutorials dedicated to it!
Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
It’s not a great story, but I bought it in a charity shop beside the sea during a lovely day with my then-boyfriend, now-nearly-husband. I think he was a little skeptical that I’d use it (we lived in a teeny flat at the time so all space was premium) but sewing is now one of the great loves of my life. The first quilt I made on it gave me some much-needed distraction during a trying time in my life, and sewing is still the best therapy I’ve found.
Update October 2013! I made 50 metres of bunting on it for our wedding!
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Yes! It’s simple enough for a beginner to use (I love how all the threading up bits and pieces are on the outside of the machine housing so you can see what’s actually going on) and feels nice and indestructible. When I last had it serviced the staff were very complimentary about it.
Do you have a dream machine?
I do love a mechanical machine and so have my eye on the Bernina 1008, but realistically it’s more likely to be a Janome 525S (also mechanical but about a quarter of the price). I just really like turning dials to get settings rather than programming a computer – and because I’ve never had the needle up / needle down setting I don’t think I’d miss it!
If this was helpful feel free to buy me a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/itsannabelvita
(This is a gallery you can click through like a slideshow, but if you’d like me to email you all the images in one zip file, send me an email! It’s annabel vita at yahoo dot co dot uk. Some pages are pictured twice because I wasn’t sure the whole thing was in focus.)
Here’s two links that might be useful if you own a New Home 611:
New Home 611 service manual and parts list (£12 plus shipping)
New Home 611 parts (it looks like most of these are actually generic, but good to know anyway!)
New Home 611 Manual PDF by email – $10 – but seriously! Don’t get this! Email me and I will photocopy my manual into a nice PDF for you! I just wanted to get this up as quickly as possible so haven’t done it yet but I can!
If you are the owner of a New Home 611 Sewing Machine – I’d like to make this page as useful as possible for all of us so please comment with any tips or tricks you’ve found (or just to say hello) and come back to visit as I update this page with any new information I come across!
Added 7 June 2013: I got a cheapie generic walking foot for my machine, and it works ok but pushed the needle out of centre when you sew. (The post I linked to below has an illustration of this).
I was going to buy a new one BUT, with some google-fu I’ve managed to find the solution to this problem. It’s not elegant but it works.
Update September 2013: I caved and got this cheapie generic walking foot instead, and it works like a dream! It’s only a pittance more expensive than the other one (£13.60!), too.
Nice review. I agree, there’s something about mechanical that will always make me prefer them to computerised (not that I’ve ever used computerised to compare!) Mine’s a Janome 525S, it’s great, I would def recommend it if you’re thinking about an upgrade.
Thanks Sabs! That’s the machine I’ve got my eye on next….
Sounds like a great machine. I’ve never heard of that brand. I have a newer Brother and I keep having issues with it…it might be time for an upgrade. I keep thinking maybe I should get a trusty old one!
New Home is what Janome used to be called before it was called Janome! I think I’m going to buy a Janome again next – but I’ll be going to a local dealer so I can try them out first.
Great idea to post this for other users! I got a Brother sewing machine for my birthday but I have yet to break it out. I have a lot of sewing projects in mind just haven’t had the time yet!
Ooh so exciting! You’re going to love it.
I bought that Janome 525S at the end of January this year and have been finding it a joy to sew on. It was one of 2 Janome models recommended to me by a sewing machine repairman as being reliable, easy to use and sturdy. I have found it to be all of these things. My last cheapie Singer was getting a bit fussy so it was brilliant to sew with such an amenable machine! I also prefer the mechanical option as I feel electronic ones have more to go wrong. It sounds like you already have a great machine but if you do decide to get another, I would recommend the Janome.
Hooray! So glad to hear that Janome is a great machine. As you say, I’m happy with mine for now but I like to research any big purchases way in advance so I don’t panic and buy something rubbish if mine ever breaks or if I get just too fed up with how heavy (and occasionally erratic) it is!
Sounds like an excellent machine! I have a Brother, that I absolutely LOVE but I haven’t done any sewing in awhile.
Thanks Ashley! Seems like the woodworking tools have been keeping you from that sewing machine, and that’s ok!
I haven’t attempted sewing yet, for some reason it’s super intimidating for me! Anyway, I just wanted to say that your blog is lovely and I included it in my latest post: http://oakdaleonward.com/2013/03/26/spreading-the-leibster-love
Aww thanks Katie! I was scared of sewing for a long time, but once you get that first seam out of the way it’s a lot less scary (like most things!)
Aww thanks Katie! Don’t be intimidated – I was for far too long but it’s not actually that complicated. If I can do it, you can!
So sweet to add this to the web for anyone else looking for info! I do agree with your last comment (except you make much more advanced things than me). I bought my machine about a decade ago to make a quilt (while I was a senior in college), then I quit/graduated and didn’t touch my machine until a year ago. I still have those quilt pieces (I had most everything cut) and hope to get around to finish it someday!
Thanks Crystal! I bet the quilt will be worth it when it’s done.
to get the best quality machine for your price, I would suggest looking for a used Bernina or Viking sewing machine.
Thanks for the suggestion Katherine! I will keep an eye out for those once a new machine gets to the top of the priority list!
I have this machine (a friend gave it to me) but don’t have and cant find an instruction manual for it, any suggestions? Thank you Theresa
Hi Theresa, there is a slideshow in this post with a picture of every page of the manual. Eventually I will update it with a PDF!
Hi Annabel, I have bought 2 of these machines (same model 611 with sightly different features – basically one has “chain stitch” and one doesn’t) and they have come with manuals.
I have scanned both manuals and made pdfs of them. If you would like them then let me know. Regards. David
Hi David, that would be AMAZING! My email is Annabelvita@yahoo.co.uk. Thank you!
Thank you for a very useful review. i am considering buying a New Home 611 – much prefer the old mechanical machines. However, the one I have my eye on doesn’t have a manual. Would it be possible to have a pdf?
Hi Joan, I am happy to send you the PDF, what is your email address?
Hi Annabel, I have the same problem……. inherited a Newhome 611 from mother in law, but without instruction manual or power cable. Would love to get it going… any chance you could forward PDFs to firstname.lastname@example.org? Thanks very much!
I bought this sewing machine and i have mp idea how to set it up. I have come across your page and I am ecstatic! Please could you send me the guide at email@example.com
You should now have that! Hope it helps.
I just brought a Janome 611 and I’d love to receive the guide too. Could you please send to my email ? firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Lillian, I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you! Please email email@example.com if you are still interested in getting a copy of the manual.
I too have the 611 that I purchased at my local market for £5 about 6 years ago, it came with instruction book, case and loads of bits and bobs. It has been fantastic and has never let me down. Bobbin winder has decided to be temperamental, sometimes working like a dream and sometimes winding the cotton too lose.
That’s annoying! I think you can buy little electric bobbin winders, which might help if it’s a real problem.
I was given the 611 from a relative recently. It did not come with the information booklet so I am so grateful that you you have posted it in your blog. I searched for information about my machine but could not find any until I came across your blog. So thank you. Your blog has been very useful for me. 😊
Thank you soooooo much just got given a 611 from my house mate for a bunch of projects and have been seriously struggling to get it to work properly (without bunching) and im so greatful you have posted the manual as im not even a 100% on how this thing threads properly… Unfortunetly the lady at janome HQ was quite unhelpful and almost rude in helping me source one. So i send you MANY OF THANKS!!!! From Jazz 2019
Hi Annabel, I have a 611 I bought 30 years ago, second hand from a shop. It came with everything! Manual, all the attachments and feet etc.😁 (I’m in Australia)
I have been through so much with my beloved 611 , and I’m just a fairly ordinary self taught sewer 😊
Sadly at 60 with a damaged spine I can’t lift her anymore, and don’t have the room to store her in a cabinet .
So now I have to sell her. I really want her to go to someone who loves her as I have.
I googled the model number for info, and this article has been a delight. It was so lovely to read about another 611 lover. Thanks Annabel, your words are a fitting tribute to my lovely girl xx 😍
What a lovely message to receive on a Sunday morning! Thank you so much.
I was hanging around to fond solutions about my 611…and i found jour website.
It was given ftom my mom and the machine iS the same as me… 44 years old !
Do you still have thé instructions book ?
Hello! If you email me I can send it to you.