Janome · Stitch library

Memory Craft 6000 stitch library

Janome’s Memory Craft 6000 is the only electronically controlled machine in my collection – I usually shun them as I cannot repair electronics. But this one has a reputation of being relatively indestructible, so I made an exception. 🙂 Made in 1986, it has fairly modern reliable electronics, but no fancy graphical parts and no sensor-driven automatic tension that always ends up wrong. I still can’t fix it if any of the components fail, but I trust 1986 hardware controls far more than 1986 computers. 😉

​This is the last model of the Memory Craft line not to have an LCD display. It just has a two-digit number display to show currently selected stitch, as well as a bunch of LEDs to show other selected bits. To most people the lack of a more informative display is a clear disadvantage because it’s hard to see what you’ve got programmed in your stitch sequence. True, but that’s what you’ve got memory cells in your brain for – to remember things, and there’s also pen and paper for backup. 😉 I just don’t want screens and computers in my sewing – they are already everywhere else! Sewing is my sanctuary, and computers are not invited. (Well, except may be for my PDA/phone, to write this blog, to print title pages for my patterns, to read manuals in PDF, to look up sewing-related things on the Internet, to… oh dear!)

The stitch patterns on Memory Craft 6000 are found on three pages: front page I which is always present right before your eyes, and two additional pages shown at the top – you can only have one open at a time because the stitch numbers on the top pages are the same. When making a stitch sequence, you can combine stitches from page I with either page II or page III, not both, and you can’t combine stitches from page II and page III in one sequence. But all this is forgiven because she has manual controls! 😎

Those dials are completely analogue, they can be activated and deactivated by pressing the centre button. The top one controls stitch width, the bottom one is for stitch length and pattern elongation. Stitch width is pretty obvious – it’s the width of the embroidered ribbon. If you change it, the design shrinks or stretches in width only – this is one way to change proportions. Stitch length has a similar effect but along the length of the ribbon – decreasing it will squash the design, make it denser. Satin stitch designs can also be elongated – this increases the number of stitches in each repeat of the pattern. This way you can embroider very dense satin stitch designs on very short stitch length putting stitches close together, yet not have your design look squashed. When you combine different patterns in a sequence, the dial settings are applied to all the patterns. You can turn the dials while sewing, and the patterns will be adjusted dynamically, so you can embroider ribbons of undulating width without changing the programming.

All stitches can also be mirrored left-right, and you can mix mirrored and non-mirrored stitches in one sequence. Of course, some stitches are symmetrical, then mirrorring has no effect! 🙂

Utility stitches

This machine has a good selection of utility stitches, many of which are also decorative!

​Page I has the usual straight stitch and zig-zag, regular and stretch, stitched zig-zag, blind stitch, mock overlock, feather, but also less common stitches such as staggered zig-zag, double zig-zag with stretch, blind stitch with zig-zag and straight dense overedging stitch. In between these, you find even more interesting stitches that could equally be seen as embroidery: snowflakes, leaves on a vine, long scallops, stitched scallops and shells.

There are more utility stitches on pages II and III along the top.

Page II has basting (77), darning (78), overedging (79), ​two types of straight stretch stitch (80 and 83) and two types of applique shading stitch (84 and 85). The other stitches are more decorative than utility: a double curl (76), cross-stitch (81) and fine honeycomb (82).

Page III has ​stitched overedging (72), stitched blind stitch with zig-zag (77), wide cording (78), imitation hem stitch (79), four smocking stitches (73-76) which also make excellent borders, and Bulgarian cross stitch (80).

Satin stitches

These are found on page I, so they combine with everything else. Satin stitches can be elongated, so they don’t look squashed on dense stitching.

Fun stitches and motiefs

Some stitches are just great fun – how about a parrot or a string of dogs? These stitches are found on pages II and III.
​​

Page II has a star, a circle, an airplane, a crocodile, a penguin, a parrot (I wasn’t kidding), a butterfly, an umbrella and a double curve that we’ve seen before.

Page III has a curve with flowers and one with leaves, dogs and flowers. These curve patterns combine nicely between themselves and with stitches scallops from page I (23), while the dogs and flowers combine with long scallops (22).​

The alphabets

I already sneaked one in above. 🙂 There are two alphabets: one in script on page II and the other in Helvetica on page III. Letters, numbers and some common punctuation marks. The two alphabets cannot be combined in one sequence, unfortunately, you’d have to do it manually. Good thing that width and stitch length adjustment can be carried over on their dials!​

Buttonholes

There are also three types of buttonholes! A straight one on page I, a teardrop shaped one on page II and rounded one on page III. They can be adjusted in width, length and density, but I forgot to stitch some samples.

Making continuous pattern sequences

When you play around with different stitch sequences, you discover that some combinations work better than others. If you want to make a continuous pattern without obvious jerks, you need to combine stitches with the same starting point – left, right or centre. If you have a stitch ending with the needle left and the next stitch starts with the needle right, there will be a connecting stitch right across the ribbon. It may be a part of the design, that’s fine, or it may look decidedly out of place.

Remember that each stitch can be mirrored right-left, which also flips the starting and ending points (they are always the same).

The manual has a lot of tips and details on making stitch sequences as well as how the different stitches can be used. If you haven’t got one, you can download it from Janome website.​

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33 thoughts on “Memory Craft 6000 stitch library

  1. This machine looks so complicated! And again, I’ve learned something new: I had no idea there were electronic sewing machines in 1986.

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      1. Hi I ow one. It is resting waiting for grand daughter to get interested enough to take care of my prized old friend. Has been used many very good sewing hours. And in meany ways more enjoyable than th other newer machines I now sew on. It will always be a treasure. Penny

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  2. WOW!! So many fun and fancy stitches! I love these posts, it’s so much fun to see all the different stitches. 🙂 Though I have no real use for tons and tons of fancy stitches, it does look like they can be really cool to play with! 🙂

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    1. No use for fancy stitches? Here is what my Necchi project book has to say to you: “The fashionable woman of taste [La donna elegante e di buon gusto], with good dress sense for herself as well as her children, who loves to make her home graceful and pleasant, also knows that the secret of beautiful things often lies in the less obvious details. Very often a touch of embroidery or colour cleverly arranged is sufficient to make an attractive but too simple dress into an exclusive model gown.” Etcetera, etcetera. 🙂

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  3. Elena.
    I was at the point of buying a new computerised Elna Lotus.
    I already have a pristine Swiss made one which I will never part with.
    But then I learnt that the new Elna is made in Taiwan.
    That then put it in the category of all new modern computerised machines which pricewise and repair wise is a no no for me at least.
    After looking on one of the forums, the Memory craft 6000 made in JAPAN with metal body and pecision built like an Abrams Tank was suggested.
    Within 24 hours of reading this I secured one in pristine condition with every assessory, the manuals and more for $250 Australian dollars.
    I am still like a kid with a new Christmas present.
    This machine is Awesome.
    It is known as the ” Ladies Computer “.
    I am a 67 year old bloke and even I understand it.
    I just cannot leave it alone.
    I have been through more sewing machines ( because I love repairing and saving them from the dump), in search of ( THE ONE !) You know what I mean.
    This is definately at my price range THE ONE.
    I also despise touch screens and all the stuff that turns a sewing machine into a computer with a needle and cotton.
    The machine is just fabulous and the fancy stitches are enormous fun and not too be pooh poohed.
    They can be worked into all and a number of decorative projects.
    Ladies love pretty things and the Janome Memory craft 6000 is a there to do just that.
    I hail everything about what you have written about it.
    You have cast your opinion about it without reservation and all this silly political correctness.
    Your appraisal of the machine is straight to the point.
    Well I suppose sewing machines are are they not? Woops!
    Thank you for a brilliant summary.
    I just love mine!
    Peter Cane

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    1. Thank you, Peter – and congratulations on your new machine! 😀 I have since figured out that the shading stitches are not just for the appliqué but actually for silk shading embroidery! Try it – but don’t forget to stop for sleep and food intake. 😉

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      1. Yes,
        I cannot stop playing with it but I do man stuff as well!
        I have just used the shading stitches to sew a palm tree trunk and falling palms.
        I have also just figured something out.
        Not to use my expensive Güttermann and Coates threads for embroidery when the cheapos do the same job Or?
        With the machine, also came a Janome memory 6000 work book and a dedicated design book specifically for the machine.
        The design book has loads of projects in it with good sturdy patterns which tell you exactly how to programme the machine for each part of the project although to programme it is not particularly difficult anyway.
        I have yet to read up or figure out how to mirror image patterns.
        I think six lock stitches at the beginning and end of a seam is a bit OTT.
        Also the seamamatic thingey that starts a seam four stitches forward, four reverse and then forwards again to complete the seam.
        It aint going to come apart and thats for sure.
        I think three lock stitches should suffice but who am I to criticise.
        It is still an awesome machine.
        Peter

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      2. I use Coats Moon for embroidery – only £1 per 1000m spool but looking fantastic. That workbook is great, I’ve got one too but it didn’t come with the machine.
        To mirror patterns, press the TOM button instead of M. 🙂

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      3. Thank you Elena.
        I live in Australia so dont know if they do Moon out here but I will check up.
        They probably have an equivalent.
        My brain did not click when I read about Turn Over Memory.
        I associated it in computer terms like Ram. Random Access Memory or something like that so my brain could not figure it out.
        Easy…I get it now..
        Turn the PATTERN over!
        Ahhhhhhh!
        Thanks.
        Pete

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  4. Elena.
    I like the idea of stitch two, lift the foot and go back to the start.
    I will practice that,
    Many thanks.
    Why do you not want to use the Memory Craft 6000 for straight stitching?
    That puzzles me as every time the machjne is switched on it goes by default to straight stitch and to be honest I thought my 1938 Singer 201K had the worlds best stitch but the Janome 6000 sews the straightest stitch I have ever sewn.
    I have learnt that if electronic apparatus is left unused for long periods of time, certain components can fail due to lack of use.
    In particular, capacitors.
    How true this is I cannot prove.
    Which machine is your main one please may I ask?
    I have a Janome Combi 10, a Pfaff 30 and an Elna Lotus….oh and a Borletti.
    The Janome 6000 out sews the others.
    Pete

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    1. I use large vibrating shuttle machines for straight stitch. I don’t like the feel of electronic machines – I like direct control of mechanicals. I don’t use round bobbin machines for straight stitch because they lack the finesse for chiffon and cannot make a flexible stitch that stretches with jersey – long bobbin machines do a better job here. Memory Craft makes a pretty good stitch, I very much like the machine, but it always stops with the needle up – that drives me nuts. I want the machine to stop the moment I take my foot off the pedal – and I can control it well enough to stop in exactly the right position, which is usually with the needle down (not up!) and often with the needle half way down – the best for turning corners.
      If you are curious about the rest of my machines, have a look at this: https://vintagesewingmachinesblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/my-evolving-sewing-crew-4th-edition/

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      1. Elena.
        I have now seen your wonderful collection of machines.
        Phew!!
        Since I have moved to Australia I do not have the luxury of a sewing room any lo nger so have to prune my collection.
        I did not know that oscillating shuttle machines made a more accurate stitch so I can learn by that now.
        Too late…I shed them all in preference to 201Ks.
        Take your point about the 6000 needle always ending in the up position and also having resin gears.
        Perhaps I should save mine for fancies as well.
        I did not believe it until I tried it but I found absolute and total needle position control was a breeze on my Pfaff 30 treadle.
        Once your hand stops the wheel it stops dead and further control by manipulating the belt with the right hand fingers.
        I also watched some mind blowing you tubes of Bulgarian ladies sewing the most fabulous lace using basic treadle machines and free hand embroidery using a hoop.
        I tried it but failed miserably.
        They are very therapeutic to operate and can easily take hold of you.( Not the Bulgarian ladies but treadle machines ).
        Infectuous actually.
        The only all metal one I have now is my pfaff30 so I will keep that one for straight stitching now.
        I do not need a machine capable of sewing very delicate stuff as A I hate sewing crepe and chiffon and B, I am a bloke and dont wear it!
        It is an education to read your blogs.
        Thanks .
        Pete

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      2. Peter, everything depends on what you normally sew. Everyone has different needs. I’ve had very poor experiences with plastic gears in the past – very costly and troublesome – so I stay away from them in general. There are a few exceptions, but I keep those machines for fancy work, never for daily use. Your Pfaff30 will last you another 100 years at least, probably more. I would love to have a treadle, but have no room for it, so have to use electric. I remember my grandmother’s treadle, and even though I was too small for it and could either reach the pedal or see what I was sewing – not both at the same time – but it was still fascinating if not exactly productive. 🙂
        Enjoy your sewing!

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      3. Well if the truth be known I look fot excuses to use a sewing machine.
        I think women have the advantage of being able to wear lovely and pretty clothes but If I were to sew flowers around my hat etc etc People would think I was weird.
        I am GranPAH! And mend things for a six piece family, make chair covers, bags and and old time Christmas gifts etc. Little lined zip up purses and all that.
        Clothes for me are all on the shelf and cheaper to buy than make although I have made shirts and shorts just for the challenge.
        Yes re the Pfaff 30, I spent good money to have it shipped out here from UK.
        It is so precise and quiet.
        I am currently ( right now) adapting my sewing chest to accept two machines.
        The Janome 6000 and the Pfaff 30.
        Thank you for reminding me that I have a Gem.
        I know it!!
        Re quiet machines
        The quieter they are and the slower they can run the better.
        Thats where a Treadle comes in.
        If you could possibly reorg and think twice?
        You already have the machines …you just need the treadle.
        They are an experience you will fall in love with.
        I once sat, after restoring a Singer 66 in Pristine, at 2.30 in the morning, just treadling away WITHOUT ANY FABRIC IN IT!!
        For about 30 minutes.
        Then for some bizarre reason I stuck my finger into the operating needle!
        It really really HURT.
        Went straight through.
        The machine had hypnotised me!.
        Thought I would share my lunacy.
        Peter.

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      4. Peter, you are not alone. 🙂 We’ve all run our machines just to enjoy the rhythm – and for some unfathomable reason we all stuck our fingers under the needle… so I know exactly how much it hurts! 😉 By “we” I mean all the victim of the VASM virus (Vintage and Antique Sewing Machines).

        Unfortunately I cannot have a treadle at present because we live in a small flat and all I have is a bay window (see https://vintagesewingmachinesblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/my-sewing-space/). But we hope to get a house in a not too distant future, and then I’ll be sure to get one! 😀

        With your tinkering and sewing skills why are you not a Steampunk? A perfect way to put those skills to a good use, as well as to wear pretty and splendid clothes – and it is open to grandpas! Just google it. 🙂

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      5. Elena,
        You have a lovely sewing space there and I enjoy looking at all your beautiful machines.
        Vintage sewing machines are certainly addictive and have their own characteristics and I think us enthusiasts all crave and search for ” THE machine “.
        I do not think we will ever get there but that is the fun of it?
        If it was me, I would get a standard Singer treadle cabinet, whip the door off, top and tail it till it fits under your sewing space and then you can drop in which vintage you like into the machine ” hole” and have the luxury of treadle or electric.
        But I can understand you want to wait till a house crops up.
        But a treadle is a must!
        And watch those fingers as they are hypnotic!
        I like your voltage regulator idea.
        Good sound thinking.
        I love Steam punk and made the Victorian dress from their patterns for my sister in law.
        I am not so upright standing any more due to various aspects so I think I would look silly but I will check it out.
        The boned bodice was fun and I got it smack on.
        My daughter in law here wants an apron so I am pleased that a sewing machine can be used again.
        Peter

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      6. Peter, at every Steampunk event there are people in wheelchairs, as well as on crutches, people with prosthetic legs and people with missing legs. All of it is being taken and used as Steampunk accessories. This year in Lincoln we had Captain Jack Sparrow with a real wooden leg – he parked himself near a café so he could have a sit-down every so often. And last week at Gosport Subaquatic the Daleks have invaded – that was a wheelchair dressed up. The possibilities are endless!
        Regarding a treadle, I want an old cast iron one, and I wouldn’t want to chop it up. Besides, switching machines in a treadle is a bit more tedious than with my setup, so I want a treadle in addition to this. I’ll wait, hopefully it won’t be too long. 🙂

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      7. Elena.
        I hope you get to a treadle sooner than anticipated.
        All in your own time of course.
        Re Steam Punk,
        I cannot see myself in a top hat and goggles!
        But!……
        I do fancy the the old time mens trousers with braces ( which I could use my imagination on colourwise) and also the shirts they wore with a rough type of working mans cravat. ( bit of old rag tied around? )

        Don’t forget That I am in Australia.
        I am also a volunteer for the tradesmans Guild of Old Petrie Town which is a mock up of how an old time Australian village looked and operated.
        I work in the wood work department.
        I would like to replicate these old workers clothes as it would be different but not so in the face as Steam Punk.
        Obviously patterns for what I have suggested are no more available so, like my Dad, will have to make them from newspaper as he made my Mother’s ball gowns as a matter of “must ” as he could not afford to buy them new.
        May I ask you a question please?
        I have always struggled with choosing the right fabrics.
        My Victorian shirt was brilliant but I chose the wrong fabric and it was all too stiff and did not “fall ” ? Nicely.
        What fabric would you suggest for an old time Vivtoriana Australian workers shirt and the trousers and braces to go with it?
        Do you get me?
        All help and time you have time to offer will be enormously appreciated.
        Peter

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    2. Peter, the main reason I wouldn’t consider using Memory Craft in daily sewing is that it has resin gears. I don’t want to kill it, I’m just saving it for the fancy work. 🙂

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  5. Elena,
    I always knew the Pfaff 30 was a really good machine which is why I bought it ( actually two!..my other is still in UK and a treadle )
    I have done you tubes on how great this machine is.
    But tonight, just for the hell of it , I ran ten strips of thick denim through her and she gobbled the lot up without any complaints.
    I was amazed!.
    Well….I ( just for the hell of it ) doubled it.
    A fantastic 20 layers of denim measuring 7.5 mm in total thickness on my vernier caliper.
    She groaned at first and I could barely force it all under the presser foot.
    Then … she was away!
    Good grief!!!
    Twenty layers?
    That is ridicoulous but she did it!
    I have the swatch in front of me and still cannot believe it.
    If you saw this you would not believe it.
    The Janome 6000 complained bitterly and just did not want to know after eight thicknesses.
    So!!!
    If you would like a cute looking machine that looks like a dolls house piece but will floor you! ….take a good look at ths Pfaff 30.
    I am so impressed I will do another you tube and only because people will not believe this unless they see it.
    The incredible thing is that the original powerful Pfaff motor has been replaced with a Taiwanese YDK motor and foot pedal which certainly does more than is expected.
    I know you are a very experienced seamstress but I only like to share our passion about vintage machines.
    This Pfaff 30 certainly does not Pfaff about!
    Seriously!
    Pete

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    1. Pete, it is true that Class 15 machines have a great punching power – and I can totally believe Pfaff 30 sewing through anything you can get under the foot. But with that said, please don’t do it. Just because it’s all metal, it doesn’t mean you can’t kill it.
      Regarding Memory Craft 6000, of course it wouldn’t sew heavy stuff like that – remember those resin gears! I hope the electronics would cut out the motor before the forces become too great, but I wouldn’t bet on it. As I mentioned, I’ve had very poor experience with plastic, nylon and resin gears in the past, and this is how you kill them – very easy. 😦
      With that said, my Jones Medium CS can sew 1mm thick stainless steel – how’s that for power? 🙂 I was edging a corset and I miscalculated and accidentally stitched over a flat bone (in its channel, so that’s 0.8mm steel plus 4 layers of thick brocade with interfacing fused onto all 4 layers). Of course the needle broke after a few stitches, but by that time the bone was firmly stitched into the corset with holes punched through it. And the machine didn’t even flinch.
      The punching power mostly depends on the internal construction and the type of the mechanism, and less so on the motor. Our domestic motors are obviously strong enough!

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  6. Elena, thank you for your comments and thoughts on this machine. I acquired one today from the original owner for a bargain. It looks in very good condition but I need to buy some bobbins as it came with none and 2 feet and the quilting guide are missing which are easily sourced either original or generic. I can’t wait to try out some of those fancy stitches on my clothing which is my reason for acquiring. It is now my youngest machine born in 1987. My other machines are my workhorses and date from 1975-1902. As a Singer girl this is my first Janome amongst 5 vintage Singers some restored to working order by me and others in the process. I’m hoping by this time next week I will be doing some stitch swatches and having a good fiddle.

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  7. From the discussion on this platform alone, I’m now in an exquisite love with sewing. I’m actually surfing for info on how to get a vintage sewing machine for my wife (who has a Master’s degree but without a job in Lagos, Nigeria). Last month, I got a Butterfly JH8190S for her but it is all plastic on the outside without the resilience of working long hours.
    Going through the discussion here has jelled me up and I’ve just seen an outlet sales for the Janome Craft 6000 which I’m going to check out today.
    Will leave the feedback once I check it out and hopefully, get it for the family.

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