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Janome Continental M7 Professional review

The Janome Continental M7 Professional is expensive, but it's hard not to love this high-end sewing machine.

5 Star Rating
Continental M7 Professional sewing machine review
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

The Janome Continental M7 Professional is a perfectly named sewing machine that will impress. This is a larger machine designed for quilters but has all of the features and functions for any sewing project you care to turn it to. It's a wonderfully designed machine with a uniquely clear line of sight. Despite its pro leaning, the Continental M7 is easy setup and its one-button operation and computer features ensures even the most complex projects are made a little easier. It is very expensive, but for anyone who sews for many hours a day that cost investment is worth making.

For

  • A large, open sewing surface
  • Consistent, powerful and reliable
  • Fantastic computerised features

Against

  • Very expensive

The Janome Continental M7 Professional sewing machine is one of the newest machines on the market, and one of the more expensive. This is a professional, industry grade sewing machine so the price is built in, and the range of features, unique design and powerful, consistent performance will have anyone who sews and quilts for hours at a time in awe.

In my view, the Janome Continental M7 Professional is an exceptional machine. It deserves to be on our list of the best sewing machines available now; this guide includes some that are cheaper than the Continental M7 so if you're on a budget see what works for you. I also use the Continental M7 in tandem with my Cricut Maker to  cut accurate material and patterns – though as I will discover this sewing machine makes that process even easier.

Continental M7 features

400 built-in stitches up to 9mm wide, including 5 alphabets
12 one-step buttonholes
AcuSpark tutorial app
Rulerwork mode
Sewing applications on-screen support
Automatic presser foot lift
Start / Stop button
Automatic thread cutter
Twin needle settings
Easy set bobbin
Full colour HD screen
Max sewing speed 1,300SPM

The Continental M7 is big – in fact it's one of the largest household sewing machines you can buy. This is important to recognise as everything about the Continental M7 is designed to bring industrial level features and performance to the home, from needle force and speed to its computerised features and speed this sewing machine is for those who create and sell items from home; artisan sewers who need reliability and ease of use. 

While you can find this machine and other Janome sewing machines online at Amazon and John Lewis in the UK and Target in the US, I'd also recommend visiting a local dealer as you can test the machines yourself, and often get excellent after service. Check the Janome dealer finder (opens in new tab) for more information.

The Continental M7 is designed with quilters in mind but its features and size ensure its great for any project, from garment sewing to heavy-weight home furnishings and more. If the scale of this machine seems daunting, don't fret, as Janome has a huge manual that is easy to follow, and an app that enables you to scan QR codes for specific instructions.  

Janome Continental M7 review: in the box

The Janome Continental M7 is wonderfully packaged and comes with an armful of add-ons and extras, including a thick instruction manual that's incredibly easy to follow and a set of DVDs that helps you get started too. A nice touch is the Continental M7 comes with a tool and accessory storage box, you won't lose anything ever again.

Despite the professional level of the Continental M7 this isn't a tricky machine to set up. Everything attaches perfectly with little fuss and you'll be up and running in minutes. The large extension table clips into place with ease. Switching sewing feet is simple and straightforward. The bobbin winder is easy to set up and it auto threads so everything comes together quickly.

The extras

¼” Seam Foot O
¼” Seam Foot Without Guide
AcuFeed Flex Dual Feed Holder with AD Foot
Automatic Buttonhole Foot R with Stabiliser Plate
Blind Hem Foot G
Button Sewing Foot
Concealed Zipper Foot Z
Extra Large Foot Controller
Free Motion Quilting Closed Toe Foot
Free Motion Quilting Open Toe Foot QO
Free Motion Quilting Zig-Zag Foot
Knee Lifter
Overedge Foot M
Quilting Guide Bar
Rolled Hem Foot
Ruler Work Foot QR
Satin Stitch Foot
Variable Zig-Zag Open Toe Foot
Zig-Zag Foot
Zipper Foot E

The Start/Stop button makes life incredibly easy, and the foot pedal attaches within minutes; this also comes with a second smaller pedal that can be used to auto-cut the thread – no more scissors. 

A nice touch I love is the two pedals are screwed onto a base metal plate that prevents them from moving on the floor; it's this kind of attention to detail that makes the Continental M7 so easy to use. Despite the professional learning, every care is made to ensure the Continental M7 is approachable to hobbyists.

This kind of detail can be found everywhere – the LCD touch-screen is bright and reactive, and the menu labelling is obvious so you always know what feature you're using without constantly referencing the manual. Another nice touch is the free AcuSpark app that takes you straight to any feature you need help with; on a UCP code appears on the LCD screen, scanning this opens instructions in the app.

Janome Continental M7 review: design and build

The Continental M7 looks fantastic. It's all-white with a thick seam of silver-grey running through the middle. When pieced together with the large extension table it's a thing of beauty. You will need a large table, however, as this is a big machine. Measuring W660 x H380 x D280 mm it's an all-aluminium machine (the size increases when the extension table is attached, 675mm x 400mm), ensuring the plastic feel of cheaper sewing machines is absent here – the Continental M7 feels fantastic. 

It would be easy to get daunted by the scope of what the Continental M7 is capable of, but at every turn Janome has designed this machine to be approachable. It starts with the basic things being done right, for example either end of the machine has shallow indents so it can be carried easily as well as a handle on the top. The indents in particular balance the weight (17.3kg) making carrying the Continental M7 effortless.

The build quality is excellent and in operation the Continental M7 is sturdy and quiet (more on this below). Overall every care has been taken to make this sewing machine a joy to use – its physical buttons are clear in what they do and just in your eye line, the large sewing space and height are unmatched, and swapping feet, changing threads, and using the knee lifter are all implemented smoothly. 

Janome Continental M7 review: performance

I've been using the Janome Continental M7 for a number of weeks on a variety of quilting projects to fully gauge how this sewing machine functions. Working six-to-eight hours a day on my quilts using the Continental M7 I've come to really love and rely on this machine. It's crammed with features every sewist, and particularly quilters, could need. It runs smoothly and quietly, too – and that's at a staggering 1300 stitches per minute that whizzes through my projects.

There really is nothing this sewing machine can't do and the LCD display and computer inside this marvel makes light work of even the most complex projects. I experiment with the 400 preset stitches and find they're a pleasure to work with; you can work with the stitches as set or adjust them manually, altering the elongation ratios to suit your needs.

Its lit with bright LEDs to flatten any shadows highlight the material – this works exceptionally well on my current project

It's easy to program pattern combinations too and use the Mirror Image function to create even more complex decorations. All the stitches a quilter could be in here too, including patchwork piercing, variable zig-zag and decorative quilt stitch.

The free motion stitching feature is incredible – the large sewing surface (26.5” x 15”) and height of the machine ensures I can see every inch of my quilt. Its lit with bright LEDs to flatten any shadows highlighting the material – this works exceptionally well on my current project, an all-white and ebony wedding quilt that can be hard to see detail. The free motion feature itself uses an optional knee lifter, which means both my hands are free to feed the material.

The LCD touch screen is excellent and clear. It doesn't simply enable me to skip through stitch types but adjust everything too. Digging deeper, there are even more options and features here. This ranges from help with garment stitching to calculating quilting pattern sizes and ratios. 

This last tool in particular is excellent, I can add in my quilting pattern style, structure and dimensions and the Continental M7 will calculate everything, including seams. It's an incredible time-saver – no more fiddly sums trying to figure out how to resize my patterns. 

Another feature I found incredibly useful is written word stitching. By simply typing my words into the LCD screen and selecting from a number of preset stitching styles I'm able to sew messages with accuracy and style, resizing too. For my wedding quilt project, this is a real time saver and my client loves the final result.

Janome Continental M7 review: price

Janome Continental M7 review, a close up of the main sewing area

(Image credit: Future)

So let's tackle the elephant in the room, that price. The Janome Continental M7 will set you back $4,999 / £4,999, but for that you get an industrial grade sewing machine that is capable of being used for almost any project – I'm struggling to think up what this won't sew (it can stitch through anything). 

In practice I used the Continental M7 every day, for eight hours, over the course of three weeks, and it never let me down. Previous sewing machines have frozen or overheated under this kind of stress but this high-end machine from Janome just kept going.

I would suggest seriously looking into the Janome Continental M7

If you're looking for a lower cost sewing machine with a similar level of quality, Janome has a number of smaller machines in the similar professional range, my pick would be the Memory Craft 6700P at $1,799 / £1,799 – this is a much smaller work space and 200 preset stitches rather than 400, as well as a top speed of 1,200 spm.

But, if money is no barrier or you're a pro- or semi-professional sewer and quilter that needs a reliable and consistent machine that will last you years, I would suggest seriously looking into the Janome Continental M7.

Janome Continental M7 review: should I buy one?

Janome Continental M7 review, a close up of the sewing foot

(Image credit: Future)

The Janome Continental M7 is at the high-end of sewing machines and is perhaps too much power for some; its size and wealth of features ensure it's perfect for anyone earning a living from their sewing, or wants to. It can be used for absolutely anything and everything, which is why the price is so high – but you'll never need another sewing machine again.

This is an incredibly reliable and robust sewing machine. I love the large workspace, the LCD screen makes this powerful machine a joy to use, and if you're a serious sewist or quilter there really is nothing quite like it. The Continental M7 is the Rolls Royce of sewing machines, and that comes at a price.  

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The Verdict
10

out of 10

Janome Continental M7 Professional

The Janome Continental M7 Professional is a perfectly named sewing machine that will impress. This is a larger machine designed for quilters but has all of the features and functions for any sewing project you care to turn it to. It's a wonderfully designed machine with a uniquely clear line of sight. Despite its pro leaning, the Continental M7 is easy setup and its one-button operation and computer features ensures even the most complex projects are made a little easier. It is very expensive, but for anyone who sews for many hours a day that cost investment is worth making.

Julie Dean is a former doctor and occupational therapist by profession which inspired her to start sewing and quilting as a therapeutic activity. She is passionate about her craft and has been quilting and using Cricut for over five years. As well as selling her own work on Etsy Julie has taken commissions for interior design agencies to create bespoke quilts, including Beata Heuman (opens in new tab). Julie's work has appeared in Architectural Digest (opens in new tab).