Juki DDL-8100e Industrial Sewing Machine Review

I’m so excited to introduce our very first Sewing Machine Monologue/Review! This first monologue is from Mie of Sewing Like Mad. She’s an amazing seamstress, and has an incredible machine!

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Hi, Sewistry readers! I jumped at the chance when sweet Palak asked me if I wanted to present my sewing machine. You see, I have really wanted to do that since I got it in September 2013 but I am really bad at following deadlines I set up for myself. Really bad. When other people set deadlines for me….a whoooole other story.

SO here we are with a presentation of a dream come true.

1. What brand and model Machine do you have, and how long have you had it? Can you show us a picture?
This machine is a dream come true after I sold my first Industrial Juki before moving to the US. I usually do not regret anything…because well no point wasting energy on things I can’t change, right, but this I really regretted. The one I had when I had my company in Denmark had some amazing features like automatic thread cut off when I pressed the pedal back towards the floor. And a setting where the needles always ended down in the fabric. In other words it was a a tiny bit computerized, where the one I have now is 100% manual. But the price is also WAY different so I am happy with what I have now and try not to focus on the things I am missing.
So since I was taking photos anyway, and this end of the room only needed a five minutes clean up to be photo ready (the other end with the cutting table and shelves with fabric is a whooole other story), I decided to show you the whole sewing setup. So I have an office chair with wheels and can quickly switch between my serger, my sewing machine and to ironing (okay, I don’t sit down and iron but you know what I mean, right!). I have some shelves above the sewing machine for some handy essentials AND to put a coffee cup on….because it can NEVER be put on the machine’s table. Could you imagine – arghhhh.

And here is a close up of the iron lady. Very simple! I can adjust the stitch length on the wheel and the little arm under it makes the machine back stitch when it is pressed down.

On the very right you can just about see where you wind on thread on your bobbins. And the amazing thing (that I always missed on my domestic) is that you can set it up and it will be added while you sew. So if you know you are going to use a certain color a little bit later you just set it up and it will be ready for you. No rethreading the machine or sit and hammer down the pedal while you wait for your bobbin to be filled up. I really hate doing that….is that just me??

I never have to thread it btw. I just cut of the thread, tie on the new color, pull it through and re-thread the needle.
Oh oh and go back up to the previous photo. Do you see the black round thing between the table and the pedal? THAT is the way I lift the sewing foot…by pressing it to the right with my knee. I knoooow, so cool! Hands free foot lifting (wow, that is a weird sentence!).
2. Are there any features that you love about your machine? Is there anything that makes you want to throw your machine out the window?
I LOVE many things about it but what I love the most is the way it holds on to the fabric. The pressure is so strong that stitches always looks beautiful and even, also over bumps and several layers, round in curves etc. And it is fast…sometimes too fast, ha.
Another thing I really REALLY love is the way it sews in knit. As long as you use a ballpoint needle (like any other sewing machine sewing in knit) it can basically sew nicely in any type of knit. Also the tissue type that a domestic would just eat up or make so bubbly that it is impossible to iron down again. Now I don’t have to fiddle with twin needles (which are really not my friends) but can just hem knit almost the same way I would do with woven fabric.
I can’t imagine I ever wanted to throw it out the window…and even if I wanted to I would no be able to lift it. It is made of iron and attached to a table.
3. If your machine suddenly disappeared — what would you look for in a new machine?
If money was not an issue I would get the one that is slightly computerized. Otherwise I would get the same one I have now again.
4. Would you recommend this machine to your best friend? Is there any other advice about sewing machine shopping that you would give her?
If my best friend was sewing a few times a month, well then this machine is a bit overkill. Plus all these industrial machines can only sew one type of stitch….so no zig zag, button hole etc etc. So you sort of need a domestic too.

But to a person that sews a lot….ABSOLUTELY!!

Only problem is that you would have a very hard time going back to sewing on a domestic sewing machine. And I have tried that. I sewed for 5 years on a domestic between the industrial I had in Denmark and the one I have now and I missed it every single time. You have to focus so much on holding on to your fabric on a domestic that your hands are not free to hold on to it the places where they should hold on. Okay, that sounds super spacey and I can’t even explain it better. It is just sort of something you end up doing when you sew as a professional.

And it made me crazy when the stitches suddenly got all small because there was a couple of extra layers it had to sew over.

5. What is your favorite project that you have made with your current sewing machine?
I think it is this fluorescent vinyl rain coat. It was also the very first thing I sewed with this machine. And it literally saved my project. I would not have been able to sew that jacket on a normal domestic machine. The vinyl was a tad too thick (which luckily did not show in the photos) and the whole sewing process was a wrestling match.
And to make matters worse, every time the needle went though the vinyl a small fluorescent hole showed up. Which looked great….until you wanted to redo a stitch…..nope, it just had to be good enough the first time. Phew, I needed a shower after I was done – sweaty armpits, yikes.
6. If your sewing machine was a cupcake, what flavor would it be and why? Discuss.
Something delicate yet very strong and spicy….in other word a disgusting cupcake. Nope, would not work!
7. If you and your sewing machine were given a free roundtrip ticket to any city in the world, where would you travel and why?
I would say Copenhagen since that is where my family and real life friends (as opposed to blogging friends that are spread all over the world) are. And some of my real life friends are sewing friends too and they would definitely appreciate the Juki.

Thank you SO much for having me Palak!

A big hand for our very first monologue from Mie. To see more of her awesome work head on over to Sewing Like Mad– she has awesome tutorials (like how to draft your own cullottes) as well as examples of her incredible sewing work. While you are there, be sure to leave a comment and let her know you appreciate her sharing all about her machine!


  1. says

    Mie, I am SO jealous. When I was working we had an industrial (not a Juki, but still “slightly computerized”) but it was always set up for working with jeans (we called it the jean machine). I had no idea it would be capable to handling finicky knits! I WAS saving up for a Baby Lock, but I may have changed my mind… Gosh, now I miss working, too!

    • sewistry says

      Tasha– it’s so awesome that you used to sew at your job! I’m sure it would be super difficult to go back to a domestic machine.

  2. says

    I’ve had this machine for several years and LOVE it. I never knew they existed until I started working in bridal alteration rooms and then I was hooked. I do every straight stitch possible on it!

  3. Dorothy says

    I have a couple comments.

    First, great review. I think more home sewists should consider a machine like this. I have the Juki TL-98e, a sort of sister to this machine, and I adore it. It’s important to note that these are STRAIGHT STITCH ONLY machines, but they what they do brilliantly. And for the price — the Goldstar side lists Mie’s machine for US$699 and I paid around $600 for the TL-98e in 2003. I oil and clean my machine regularly, but other than that it’s never needed any attention. I see the plastic machines so many new sewists buy, and they’d be so much better off with one of these tough ladies.

    Second, I’d like to offer some food for thought. I have been an enthusiastic on-line shopper for years. I was one of Amazon’s first customers. But I would only ever buy a new sewing machiine from a local bricks and mortar store. The reason, I believe, is that only by keeping local stores alive will we have access to technicians to work on our machines. A technician ordinarily can’t make a living only on machine repairs — he (why are they always a he??) needs the revenue from machine sales, too. So if you decide to buy this machine, or any other, consider buying it locally. Take in an on-line price offer, if you like — your local store just might match it!

    • sewistry says

      Thank you so much for mentioning that this is a straight stitch machine. That’s something to consider before purchasing.

  4. says

    Everyone seems to be getting Juki’s! It will definitely be high on my list for my next machine. I’ve convinced hubby that ‘we’ can get a mechanical machine so we can do all the servicing ourselves. As someone who loves to tinker he’s pretty excited about the idea!

  5. Clairequilty says

    I have an old 96-10 Singer Industrial machine. It sews leather, jeans, silk blouses, the works and never complains. My old work horse is older than I am (75 years) and has served several seamstresses/tailors before me. She is my favorite machine with its filling the bobbin when I am sewing and it’s knee lift of the foot. She just keeps sewing no matter what I put before her. When I did alterations, I loved the Juki industrial serger. Thanks for your input about Juki.

  6. Georgiana says

    Hello, thank you very much for your review. I wanted an industrial sewing machine for almost 2 years. After hearing about Juki sewing machines and also your review, I knew I need to have one. I decided to purchase a Juki DDL 8700 servomotor. It is a simple straight line sewing machine, but it’s AWESOMEEE! It does her job like no one else. I never tested one before, I just read everything I could about it on the internet and honestly I had some fears until it arrived. So, thank you very much for your article! Greeting from Romania :)

  7. lucia mkhungo says

    please help me i need a sewing machine store which sell accessories for Bernette Bernina overlocker , I am struggling to get needles for my overlocker , please help

  8. Adila says

    I have one query about juki Ddl 8100ehx model. I want to make bags using heavy fabric , oil canvas and leather for handles in some projects. So is this feed all of these material?
    Pls help me anyone who know about this machine. If you have any suggestions about other machine also , pls let me know very quickly.

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  11. Caroline says

    I bought this machine last year and it’s very good compared to my household sewing machine it sew very fast.
    It saves time.

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