John Lewis JL110 Sewing Machine Review ft. Tilly and the Buttons 'Margot' Pjs

by - 10/18/2016

John Lewis JL110 Sewing Machine Review ft. Tilly and the Buttons 'Margot' Pjs

Something a little different for today's post. The past few months I've been researching sewing machines like crazy (more on that later!) and it's the users reviews that really sway my opinion and they can be invaluable when you're lost on the 8th page of Google looking for any honest information. So I thought, if I can return the favour in any way, then I will! In this post I'll be reviewing the much coveted John Lewis JL110 sewing machine.

Isn't she a beauty? But can something this cute sew well too?

I should say firstly, this is not my personal sewing machine. I bought this machine (this isn't a sponsored post) in April 2016 for my mum's birthday, I'll be writing a post soon on my own sewing machine.

So lets get back to the JL100 sewing machine....
My mum's been sewing pretty much all her life and has never updated her 1970s/80s Singer sewing machine, although it still works, it's been packed away in a cupboard for at least a decade and I thought a new, stylish, light weight machine would reignite her previous love of sewing. Although she's no beginner, a simple and small sewing machine would be adequate for her sewing requirements of basic dress making and home crafts.

To test the machine for myself I used a viscose fabric to make a pair of simple 'Margot' pjs from Tilly and the Buttons 'Love at First Stitch' book. A garment you would expect a machine of this standard to handle no problem.

Obviously his machine is a cutie. The colour options are lovely, I've spotted them on many a shelf in Pinterest images and it would look great in any sewing room. But can something so pretty be practical too?

I'm surprisingly impressed with this machine. When I was looking at purchasing it, the reviews were really mixed, but I guess it depends what you're expecting out of it and how well you look after it. Since April the machine has been used a handful of times on a wide range of fabrics for small dress making projects. It's managed these with no trouble.

My finished 'Margot' pjs!

I'm really happy with the pj bottoms and this machine performed as well as I had hoped. To make the Margot pjs I used a simple straight stitch and used a zig zag to finish the seams. Below I've written a little summary of the main points I look for in a sewing machine. (Baring in mind for this machine I'm looking for a beginners/part time sewist sewing machine, not one which meets my own needs).

Sewing Machine Summary:

Obviously this machine will make any sewing room a little brighter with its sleek, modern and simple design. It comes in a great range of colours, you won't want to pack it away!

There's a great range of handy sewing essentials to get you learning all your sewing basics. Enough is included in the kit to meet the requirements of a hobbyist sewist or a beginner. See HERE to see the description of contents.

Sewing/ease of use:
I found this machine very easy to set up, thread and sew with. I did take extra care when sewing on this machine and didn't go at it at full force like I do on my own, more robust machine. But I sewed at a reasonably fast pace throughout with no trouble.

All the basic stitches a beginner sewist could need including straight stitch, zig zag and buttonholes. Again you can see the full selection in the product description online.

Quieter than expected! Not a disruptive level at all.

Light to Medium. Easy to pack away and move about.

Overall, I'm giving this machine a 5/5. It has done exactly what is expected of it. But remember like most things, you get what you pay for and this is not an expensive machine but it is not intended for regular or professional sewists.

Side note... Since I made these pjs on this machine, my mum's been busy sewing a gorgeous, cosy jersey tunic. The machine (with a jersey needle) handled the medium weight jersey really well and provided a professional finish with consistent and smooth top stitching.

A great machine for beginners.

Overall, the John Lewis JL110 sewing machine has been a great little machine so far. Don't expect this machine to handle hours of sewing at full speed all day every day. I wouldn't recommend it for confident and advanced sewists as this machine has limited capabilities. But if you're a sewing newbie, this little machine won't take up too much room, too much money and will do the job for simple sewing projects. It'll also make a sweet gift for any potential sewists you might know. This pretty little machine would tempt anyone to sew!

Just my casual at home sewing look...

Tilly and the Buttons 'Margot' Pjs Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Tilly and the Buttons - Love at First Stitch: Demystifying Dressmaking 'Margot' Pjs

Fabric: Viscose from Birmingham rag market and cotton for the waist tie.

Notions: None.

Sewing time: No more than an hour!

Modifications: None.

Fit: Great.

Difficulty: Easy-peasy! Every sewist needs to make a pair of pjs - simple, quick and comfy!

Watch out for: Tidy and secure draw string holes.

Make Again?: Yes! I'm dreaming up lots of variations of these! It's an addictive pattern I fear.

Overall, I'm really happy with my new pjs. The pattern is super simple to follow and a great make for beginners. There are also some some endless variations you could do, like lace trim, piping or even making adorable shorts! And with no more than an hour to whip up, there's no excuse!

Most amazing slippers ever!

My ridiculous and ultra glamorous boudoir fluffy slipper mules are from fOOfOO Slippers. If you've fallen in love with a pair too treat yourself to £30 off a pair with the code 'foofooabi30' at the checkout. Every pinup needs this luxury on their feet! For anyone who's interested in these and more vintage inspired lingerie-esque delights, check out my fOOfOO Slipper review over on the My Retro Closet blog.

I hope you've enjoyed this post and to anyone who's come across it, I hope it's been useful. I'll be reviewing my own sewing machine on the blog soon, the Janome Atelier 5.

Thanks for reading, pinups!

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  1. Those slippers!!
    A friend of mine has that machine, and she's really pleased with it as a beginner. I made the Margot pyjama bottoms too, in pink polkadot (like Mr Blobby!!) x

  2. I have an original JL100 which I bought nearly ten years ago when I still lived in the UK I'm now in NZ). I certainly don't consider myself a beginner sewer. As far as I know mine is actually Janome rebranded as John Lewis. Mine is used regularly (I sew most days). With the right needles and feet, these machines can do a lot. Let's face it, what more do you need than straight stitch, zig zag and button holes.

  3. I recently bought a second hand 830 Bernina (made in Switzerland). I was advised by a sewing machine mechanic that this was the best machine to buy, and he is not wrong, it is all metal and if I won a pile of money I would not trade it in for the top of the range Bernina (although I would still buy the machine). When I look at the new machines they are all plastic and I could have bought a great new machine for the price for my Bernina.