In the RED corner                                                           In the BLUE corner

Janome XL601                                                              Brother Innov-is 15


We thought we would put it to the test and see which machine is the heavyweight champion of the sewing room?

I have taken 2 of our best selling computerised sewing machines and squared them up to each other with an aim to highlight their strengths and to find out why they are so popular with our customers

So lets start with the weigh in

Vital statistics:


  Janome Brother
Model XL601 Innov-is 15
Type Sewing Machine Sewing Machine
Warranty 2 Years Warranty 3 Years Warranty
Stitches 30 15
Bobbin Type Top Loading Top Loading
Twin Needle Optional Included
Buttonhole Type 1 Step Auto 1 Step Auto
Auto Needle Threader Yes Yes
Needle Positions Left / Centre Left / Centre
Weight Kg 8 7.5
Buttonhole Styles 3 3
Thread Cutter Manual Manual
Integrated Drop Feed Yes Yes
Needle Up/Down Function Yes Yes



So Straight away you will notice the difference in number of stitches... Janome's XL601 coming up trumps by doubling what the Brother Innov-is 15 has to offer in the way of around a dozen decorative/utility stitches. However these extra stitches as nice as they are to have,  are not often used for everyday sewing,  so the Innov-is 15 still stands alongside the XL601 as being a great all rounder with plenty of useful stitches including Straight, Zig-Zag, Multi Zigzag, Blind Hem, Stretch Blind Hem, Rolled Hem, Straight Stretch, Overlock Stretch, Ric Rac, Herringbone, Gathering, Applique, Sew-On Buttons and even Quilting Stitches

What's Unique? The real battle

So apart from the stitches what other features set these machines apart?

Well the XL601 is built on an Aliminium Frame giving it the edge slightly build wise however the Innov-is 15 has some cool features all of it's own

Brother Innov-is 15 has a unique threading system which has got to be the easiest way to thread a sewing machine ever!

For the bobbin thread (bottom) All you have to do is drop in your bobbin thread around the arrow to the cutter and wow! that's it! no need to pick up the bottom thread, it's already done for you

Top thread is also marked out with arrows so that you cant go wrong and Brother's Innov-is Range have got the best automatic needle threaders i've seen on the market today

The Brother Innov-is 15 also boasts a great feature which is very handy whatever type of sewing you do

At just one click of a button you can tell your machine to do auto reverse/reinforce stitching at the beginning of every line you sew giving you professional neat looking work

The Janome XL601 however has a different unique feature which will prove a great benefit for all you Quilters out there

This handy little feature I like to call the "bullseye button", at any point while sewing you can press this button and your machine will perform a four stitch tie-off! Even more handy at the beginning of your sewing when you start the difficult task of piecing your quilt together, this button makes it a doddle, all you need to do is line up your material and the machine will do the rest, just think no more fabric being chewed under the sewing foot cutout, no more skewed starts to your quilts. all that as well as the neatest tie-off you have ever seen!


Side by side most of the other features are almost exactly the same with minor differences being the 1extra year warranty trump card for the Brother Machine. 2 or 3 years is great warranty cover either way. the only other difference is a slight difference in weight... the Brother Innov-is 15 is half a kg lighter than the Janome XL601 again this is not much of a difference.

My personal opinion / Conclusion

Okay so i should probably start by telling you that I have a Janome machine (CXL 301) at home,  however i feel i can be unbiased as I also bought an earlier version of the Innov-is 15 (Innov-is 10a) for my mam so i have good knowledge of both the machines and I actually like both of them for different reasons

First the Brother Innov-is 15:

I really like the whole of the Innov-is range from Brother, they have definitely put the time in making sure thier machines are easy to use, as well as being very robust! The advanced needle threader and unique top threading system as i mentioned before are both innovative and uncomplicated making the whole experience an absolute doddle, Amazing!

This machine also makes life easier for you with it's auto reverse feature, you can turn this on and off as you see fit but i tend to leave it on as it will always reinforce my stitching incase i forget to do it myself. Genius!

Next the Janome XL 601:

I really like this machine for many reasons. It has 30 stitches from basic stitches to quilting, utility and fancy stitches and it feels very strong when sewing even with denim or leather using it's extra needle penetration power and not only that, it's quiet too. Amazing!

The reason I bought a Janome for myself is that it is built on an Aluminium Frame making it very strong for any type of sewing and it also has the unique "bullseye button" as i call it which as I explained before comes in very handy for anyone doing dress making, repairs, curtains and is especially handy for quilting/piecing. Fantastic!

In my personal opinion both these machines are well worth the money, they have a proven track record with our customers and we also use the Brother Innov-is range in our weekly sewing classes above our shop.

If you want a great all rounder which is easy to thread up and use and has the essential stitches to do everything from basic sewing to patchwork & quilting then you should choose from the Brother Innov-is range

If you would like a super strong all rounder with those few extra stitches that will help you create amazing garments and brilliant patchwork as well as breezing through basics like altering jeans and making curtains then the Janome is for you.

I always like to offer alternatives where possible as not everyone has the same budget. In this instance ther are 2 amazing machines that fit the bill as slightly cheaper alternatives

The Brother Innov-is 10a is £60 cheaper than the Innov-is 15 and has only 1 difference.... Are you ready?

The only difference is the front cover, Yes the machines are identical! as the 10a is an anniversary model it is on offer and is a star buy!

And for the Janome alternative I am of course choosing (my own machine) the CXL301 as it is very similar to the XL601 less a few stitches, i almost got the XL601 but opted for the cheaper CXL301 and have found it to be everything i need  and more. This machine is very strong and has served me well through many projects and lots of repairs so far with great results every time.