Janome Memory Craft 9900 Review

Janome Memory Craft 9900 Review
Janome Memory Craft 9900 Review
Author
Users
  • Stitch quality
  • Speed
  • Ease of use
  • Maintenance
Beginner
Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
Intermediate
Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
Expert
Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.

When I reviewed Janome’s Memory Craft 9900 sewing and embroidery machine, I was truly pleased with the new features. It was a real treat for me to review this machine, especially since it is Janome’s most recent release. It’s always an honor to be one of the first to review a brand new sewing machine.

Janome Memory Craft 9900

Janome Memory Craft 9900

Pros

  • Vertical or horizontal lettering
  • Energy saver
  • Vertical and horizontal stitch rotation

Cons

  • Program 1 thread color at a time

At A Glance

LCD backlit touchscreen

LCD backlit touchscreen

To look at it, the Janome Memory Craft 9900 looks very much like most other Janome sewing and embroidery machines. That’s until you learn that this machine comes with three separate face plates.

The on board stitch guide is a convenient flip-up screen that is situated directly above the machine. When you lift the door to thread the machine, it’s right there.

The clear bobbin cover is a definite plus. With this, it is almost impossible for users to run out of bobbin thread in the middle of a delicate embroidery project, while inserting a zipper, making a buttonhole, putting in a sleeve or just sewing a simple seam.

Features

The standard features on the Janome Memory Craft 9900 include:

  • 200 built-in utility and decorative stitches
    • 6 One-step buttonholes
  • Automatic thread tension
  • Built-in needle threader
  • AcuGuide automatic cloth guide
  • Snap-on presser feet
  • Memorized needle up/down
  • Fast, one-step needle plate conversion – no screws
  • 7 piece feed dog
  • Stitch Composer stitch creation program
  • Free arm
  • Drop feed
  • Start/stop button
  • Speed control slider
  • Locking stitch button
  • Extra high presser foot lift
  • Full color LCD touchscreen
  • Foot pressure adjustment
  • Adjustable stitch length and width
    • Maximum stitch width: 9mm
    • Maximum stitch length: 5mm
  • On-screen assistance
  • Built in timer tells you how long it will take to complete an embroidery project
  • Easy set bobbin
  • Bobbin winder with plate and cutting blade
  • 175 Built-in embroidery designs
  • 3 Fonts – 1 Cyrillic
  • 2 &3 Letter monogramming function
  • Maximum embroidery size: 6.7″ x 7.9″ (170mm x 200mm)
  • Design transfer options: USB port
  • On-screen editing: ability to resize, combine, duplicate, flip, arc, group, drag & drop, zoom, trace, select/change color choices
  • Programmable jump thread trimming
  • Flexible stitch travelling by units of 1, 10, and 100
  • Auto return post thread break
  • Adjustable hoop positioning

Working on the Janome Memory Craft 9900

Threading the Janome Memory Craft 9900 and winding the bobbin is as easy and uncomplicated as on almost any other Janome sewing, quilting or embroidery machine.

When inserting the bobbin, however, I discovered a new feature that makes tangling or bunching bobbin thread impossible.

Clear plastic bobbin cover

Clear plastic bobbin cover

There’s a thumb sized guide next to the rotary hook that automatically ensures the perfect thread position each and every time.

In addition, the clear plastic bobbin cover, seam guides etched on the interchangeable needle plates and five bright LED lights make working on the Janome Memory Craft 9900 an enjoyable experience.

At first, I thought the interchangeable face plates were an unnecessary add-on, but when you think about it, they are a wonderful way for your sewing machine to match your decor.

On top of the machine is a flip top that not only gives you access to the spool and bobbin winding pins, it also reveals the stitch selection chart. All 200 stitch options, including three monogramming and lettering fonts.

Stitch selection chart

Stitch selection chart

All of the decorative stitches can be rotated vertically or horizontally. Decorative stitches highlighted in pink are capable of rotating at 90o increments.

Watching the Memory Craft 9900 in action is a real treat. Completing this particular design takes about 90 minutes. As the work progresses, the tiny time clock in the upper right hand of the LCD screen counts the seconds down until the project is finished.

When the machine stops for thread color changes or to refill the bobbin, the clock stops and then starts back up when sewing is resumed. This feature makes it possible for you to always know exactly how much time is required for you to finish your embroidery project.

Changing the color of a design or a single element of any embroidery design is as simple as touching the elements you want to change and then using the stylus to touch the new replacement color on the on-board color palate.

The stitchwork is equivalent to any professional embroidery machine. Janome, after all, is the company that brought machine embroidery out of the factory and into the private home. It is still the leader of the pack when it comes to the quality of embroidery designs and ease of operation.

Professional stitchwork

Professional stitchwork

One of the most interesting new features on the Janome Memory Craft 9900 is the energy saver. If the machine sits idle for more than just a few minutes, the LED screen goes dark.

Energy saver mode

Energy saver mode

Although you can’t see it, you will not lose anything. Your work comes back up with a simple touch of the fingertip anywhere on the touchscreen.

Work comes back up with a simple touch

Work comes back up with a simple touch

Fabrics

  • Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
  • Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
  • Knits
  • Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
  • Upholstery
  • Leather/suede
  • Fur
  • Reptile skin
  • Canvas/Twill
  • Plastic/Rubber
  • Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers

Accessories

Standard Accessories

  • 11 Presser feet
    • Zigzag foot
    • Overedge foot
    • Satin stitch foot
    • Blind hemming foot
    • Zipper foot
    • Rolled hem foot
    • Darning foot
    • Button sewing foot
    • ¼” seam foot
    • Embroidery foot
    • Automatic buttonhole foot R
  • Stabilizer plate
  • Two needle plates – 1Straight stitch/1Zigzag stitch needle plate
  • 5 Bobbins
  • Needle set
  • Screwdriver
  • Lint brush
  • Seam ripper (buttonhole opener)
  • Quilting guide bar
  • 2 Spool holders – 1 large/1 small
  • Extra spool pin
  • Scissors
  • Button shank plate
  • Touch panel stylus
  • Bobbin holder cleaner
  • 3 interchangeable face plates – Metallic teal, red, pearl white
  • Cloth guide
  • Semi hard cover
  • Embroidery unit carrying case
  • Instructional DVD
  • 2 Embroidery hoops:
    • SQ20a: 6.7″ x 7.9″
    • SQ14a: 5.5″ x 5.5″
Accessories

Accessories

Optional Accessories available through janome:

  • Free Arm FA10: 3.9″ x 1.6″
  • 9mm presser feet
  • Additional embroidery hoops

Maintenance







After each useMonthly*Once Each Year**As Needed
Clean race hook and feed dogs
Wipe head with soft dry cloth
Wipe head with soft damp cloth
Lubricate
Service by sewing machine repair professional

* more often if the machine is used for extended periods of time or if used frequently

**more often if the machine is used heavily or if it is not operating properly

Tying Off The Loose Ends

The Janome Memory Craft 9900 is whisper quiet. Although it weighs less than 30 pounds, I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a ‘portable’ sewing machine, but it is not a real heavy one either.

The carrying handle makes it easy to move about from one part of the house to another when necessary. The interchangeable color face plates are ideal accessories for the home sewer who feels it necessary to have a completely color coordinated sewing room.

Just image a sewing room that is so thoroughly color coordinated that even the machines complement the carpets, curtains, cabinetry and upholstery. To many, a sewing room like that would be a dream come true.

I can’t think of anything of significance that I don’t like about this machine. The fact that you cannot program more than one thread color at a time is in my opinion a very minor thing.

Besides, I cannot recall any other sewing and embroidery machine in the same weight and price range that allows you to program two or more thread colors at a time.


The Janome Memory Craft 9900 is great for the person who is new to machine embroidery because it is so easy to learn to operate.

In addition, anyone who has been embroidering on a sewing machine for any length of time would definitely appreciate the long list of features and the specifications that make this machine stand apart from just about every other sewing and embroidery machine on the market.

26 Comments

  1. Fantastic. Shame small hoop doesn’t come with machine

  2. I got this machine about a month a go. I’m new to sewing of any kind so I really like the way I produced professional looking embroidery from the start. My grand children love the designs I’ve made for them and now my children are asking for stuff!

  3. i love ur reviews. i would like to know if this machine can sew multiple layers and extra thick fabrics.

    • Hello, Has –

      Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight. The Janome Memory Craft 9000 is a sewing and embroidery machine. I hesitate to recommend attempting to sew extra thick layers of fabric. My advice would be to try varying thicknesses, but do not attempt anything like sailboat cloth, heavy canvass or thick leather.

      Happy stitching.

      • I have embroidered with the MC9900 on Garment Leather,Canvas from Nancys Notions child workbook project,embroidered an Ipad cover with 2 layers fabric and quilt batting,Denim and Ultrasuede.
        Using a #90 titanium embroidery needle it worked flawlessly.

  4. What software are you using with this machine….if any?

    • Dear Stacie –

      Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

      The software I used during the review was the standard software that was built in the machine. Perhaps some of the readers who actually own the Janome Memory Craft 9900 might be able to share their experiences with the software packages they are using.

      Happy Stitching.

  5. I have just received my new Janome MC 9900. There are two needle plates, could you describe which looking plate is for what purpose. Thanks.

  6. Jules, read your manual. I have the 9900. The second needle plate AND the second bobbin case are for the embroidery function. I have not experienced any thread breaks while embroidering. A huge improvement over my 9700. I am always “amused” or confused with the question of whether a sewing machine will sew layers. I assume the question is in regard to typical sewing room fabric. A decent machine will sew layers. But if one is making sails for a sail boat, or tents…i would buy a a professional heavy duty industrial machine. I hem my denims, i make purses, etc on all of my Janomes. They can handle it. I do go slower tho. And depending on the project, Zi use a Jean needle. I love my Janome. 9900. I am working on an “in the hoop ” embroidery project. I am using the small hoop that comes with the machine…..perfect for the 5 x 5 square blocks.

  7. Vernelle, i am still using my customizer 10000 plus that I bought in 2005 when I purchased my Janome 9700. I recently bought Embrilliance tho I have not used it yet. I do not. ” digitize”. I use software to combine designs…editing software.

  8. I purchased this machine in January 2014 and had a hard time finding reviews so thought I would add to this review which is great and helped me make my decision to purchase. I have been sewing/embroidering for three months with zero problems. I have made a dozen purses, canvas and leather with no problem. I have always changed my needles after every project, buy them by the 100’s so I do not have to worry about having enough. This machine is high quality and has many features for the price point. I planned on buying software but to date have been able to do everything I need on the machine – rotate/size/copy. Would recommend without hesitation if you are in the market for a new machine.

  9. I have been sewing up a storm with my 9900. I love it! The editing software that I bought and use is Embrilliance Essentials with Alpha Tricks. There are a few reviews of this machine on Pattern Review, btw.

    In regard to the question about the two needle plates, Each communicate to the machine which functions you can use when in place. For example, if you have the embroidery plate & bobbin in the machine (single needle plate vs, the 9mm opening), the machine will not allow you to program it for wide stitches . Only straight stitching options are allowed to operate. Sweet!

    The wo hoops that come with the machine are more than sufficient for my needs. I am pretty sure that there is a small hoop accessory purchase for stitching cuffs, etc. No GIGA hoop tho…fine by me. The one Zi bought for my 9700 collects dust…..never ever used it.
    Stacie

  10. Hello, I want to buy this machine, but I have a question… above in your review, you indicate with an “X” next to the items listed below:

    Leather/suede
    Fur
    Reptile skin
    Canvas/Twill
    Plastic/Rubber
    Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
    Does this mean that I can’t sew four layers of denim? Or 8 layers of cotton – which is not uncommon when quilting.

    ?? I thought Janome was a hearty machine? Please respond. Thank you.

  11. Nancy, Vernelle gave a thorough and fair review of the Janome 9900. I assume the “x” meant that she did not test sew on those particular “fabrics”. Why would she???

    Nancy, sounds like you sew more industrial type fabrics. Of course this machine sews multiple layers of fabric.. I embroider on faux leather (vinyl) with no issues. As for real leather, real fur (dead animals) i cannot attest to that. Frankly, i would look into a true “industrial” machine designed fr heavy duty sewing. There are plenty of reviews on the 9900. At Pattern Review. http://www.patternreview.com. Join some Yahoo! Groups fir other reviews and real life usage on the machine. I adore this machine and don’t regret the purchase.

    Stacie

  12. I have been disappointed in the MC9900. It’s a great sewing machine, but as for the embroidery not so good. I use the Floriani Total Pro program, and have had no success in downloading designs to the embroidery machine. I even hired a computer tech to help me and she was puzzled. I have seen many complaints about this machine, and frankly am sorry I bought it.

    • Sharon i felt your pain and aggravation when i purchased my 9900. Saving embroidery files to USB is not the same process in the traditional sense.

      I had the same issue until i scrolled the screen on. My 9900. Use the right and left arrows at the bottom of the screen . They were there.

      ****My Trial and error “tips”. Your experience may vary….****

      **SAVE embroidery designs in the proper hoop size for your machine. Make sure that the design is saved inside the hoop side. (I use Embrilliance)

      **Locate the design file on your PC and right click the file to “copy”

      **Open the USB file then ” paste” the file to the embf folder. Why oh why you cannot “Save as” to the USB is a mystery but it is what it is. Here is my tutorial. Stacie

      **FROM YOUR SEWING MACHINE, When trying to locate files on the USB , use the left/right arrows on the screen for scrolling.

      I have had my machine since November and using the USB for transferring designs to the machine has been a very frustrating process. It has been trial and error as I also learn Embrilliance. I am getting there!

  13. Ooops. I guess that I should explain that ALL embroidery design files should be saved to a folder named embf . To save them, you have to copy/paste them to the embf folder on your PC. YOU CANNOT “save as”. You do need to insert the uSB into the 9900 to format the folder onto the stick. Then take the USB and insert it into your PC. Open your design files, copy the file, then OPEN the USB drive and then PASTE it into the embf file on the USB. Insert the USB into the 9900. Open the USB icon and then scroll thru the designs that are on the USB by using the left/right arrows on the bottom of the machine screen. Gee, i hope this clears up the issues. I probably should make a tutorial in .pdf to share.

    I love love my 9900 now that I understand the goofy process for saving embroidery designs in the folder on the USB.

    Stacie

  14. While digitizing a large file to my wife’s MC9900, I found out that if the design is even one millimeter larger in any direction than the maximum size stated for the hoop, the machine will never even “see” the file on the USB stick. For example, I would recommend a max size of 198mm X 168 mm for the large hoop.

    Also, if your design is too large (comes too near the edge of the allowed area) you cannot shrink it enough in the machine to rotate the design. On my project, I had to rotate the design 180 degrees in photoshop and then create the stitching file (.jef) afterwards.

  15. I have just purchased the 9900 after owning the 350e for six years. I have been sent 2 needle plates but they are exactly the same. can I embroider using the sewing needle plate or do I have to change the plate.

    • Karima,

      Congratulations on purchasing the 9900. I bought this machine in January and love it. Page 87 of the manual shows the needle plate to use, the straight stitch needle plate. Good luck with your machine and hope you get both needle plates soon.

  16. Hello, Karima –

    Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

    Yes. You can use the same needle plate to embroider on your Janome MC 9900.

    Happy stitching.

  17. just wondering if this would be a good machine for doing some quilting on?

    • Hello, Mandy –

      Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

      According to the owner’s manual, it is possible to execute some quilting tasks on the MC 9900. This machine is primarily designed to perform sewing and embroidery functions. The quilting stitches and features are available n the MC 9900 are significnatly limited when compared with a machine that is specifically designed for quilting.

  18. How much is this sewing machine?

    • MSRP is $4999.00. Negotiate for a better orice.

  19. Hi,
    Great info, I love my 9900, you have stated Optional Accessories available through janome:

    Additional embroidery hoops???? What size hoops are available?? I would love a larger hoop.
    Regards
    From Australia
    Cathy

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