Oh I am not even going to try and tell you everything that has been happening here BUT to give you a little bit of an idea, I SCORCHED my cover bag for the pattern I have been working on when I was 3/4’s of the way through making it (and photographing the steps!) so I had to start again….PLUS my keyboard draw fell off my computer desk just as I had finally found a few spare minutes to do some pattern editing….needless to say I have been convinced the universe is trying to tell me something! LOLLLL

Disasters aside….today I have a sewing machine review from Maria of Mia Creates. It’s a Zoje and although they are not really very well known, since I have one too, I can say they should be well known because IMHO they are great machines! 🙂 Here’s what Maria has to say about hers; Over to you Maria:

Please share the brand name and model number:

Zoje  ZJ0302CX

Zoje ZJ0302CX

Is your machine classed as Domestic or Industrial?  

Industrial, top and bottom feed.

How long have you had this machine, did you buy it new?

I bought my Zoje brand new a year ago.

1st bag made with my new Zoje - By Maria of Mia Creates

The first bag Maria made with her Zoje!

1st bag made with my new Zoje - Maria of Mia Creates

What made you decide to buy this particular machine?

I was looking for a machine that could cope with very thick fabric and lots of layers for my bag making and I wanted it to be able to sew leather too. A local upholsterer who supplies me with scrap fabrics on occasion had a Zoje as well as other brands that were more expensive than the Zoje but they said if they could afford to change all their sewing machines they would choose Zoje.  They assured me they were very reliable and hard working.

Approximately how often do you sew with it and what types of projects do you sew?

I use it mainly for sewing bags but I also make home furnishings on it like chair seat cushions. A local shop gives me orders when they have customers for their chairs.

Chair Seat Cushions

I don’t spend as much time making bags as I used to, now I mainly just make bags when one of the four or five designers I test for sends a pattern for testing.

Does your machine have any special features which you enjoy or any special features you do NOT like and drives you bonkers? LOL

I love everything about my Zoje except for one thing and that’s the reverse lever. I find it a bit stiff and although I’ve adjusted the speed of the sewing machine to the slowest I can make it it’s still hard to control when I want to sew in reverse.  Maybe it’s just me needing more practice.

Reverse Lever

The feature I like the most is the foot can be raised to 16mm which allows for alot of fabric thickness. I have sewn 8 layers of faux leather on this machine. It does not like thin layers but will sew them. This machine is a real work horse that will sew practically anything that other machines have problems with including boat sails, luggage and tents.

Zoje's Foot

Are there any features you really wish your machine has BUT is lacking?

The only thing I can think of is I wish it had a built in light, other than that it does everything it should do.

How about features it does have BUT you find you never use? Example decorative stitches etc

My Zoje only has a straight stitch which is fine because I have a very good domestic sewing machine for my other needs.

Convertible Bag

Would you recommend this machine to others and if not, why?

Most definitely yes!!!  It’s changed my bag making experience completely. Before I had to decide which fabrics I would be able to use, now I know that no matter what I choose I’ll have no problem.

If your machine suddenly vanished, would you replace it with the exact same machine or a different one? Why?

I’d definitely choose this one again. There are a couple of shops locally that make bags and their machines aren’t as heavy duty as mine.

Uptown Girl Bag

Do you have any interesting stories to share about your machine? Example: It’s history….It was great grandmas, you learn to sew on it as a child etc

I don’t have any interesting stories to share just yet because I haven’t had it that long but I’m hoping that together we’ll have many great sewing hours and maybe create some history along the way LOLLL

Do you have any special projects you made with this machine you would like to share with us here?

All the bags I’ve made in this last year have been with my Zoje and I’ve also been able to make chair seat cushions that I wouldn’t be able to make on a domestic machine. The foam I use for the inside of the cushions is 4cm thick and placed inside a cushion of upholstery fabric I can still sew through all the layers if I wished to.

Any Sewing Machine hints or tips you would like to share?

Watch out for your fingers and practice as much as you can LOLLL


If you won the lottery and could add ANY new machine to your collection, which one would it be?

Without having to think about it for a split second it would be a Longarm sewing machine with the largest loading frame so I could quilt bed quilts of 2m x 2m.

Thanks so much for having me here, it’s been fun taking part and will be interesting reading what others write about their machines.

~ Maria ~

Find out more about Maria here:



Thank you for a fun review Maria! You can read more about Maria’s Zoje in her blog post about the machine when she first got it! I have to say her post is HILARIOUS and well worth popping over have a read of it! LOL CLICK HERE!

Would you like to share your thoughts on YOUR machine in your own review? We’d love to hear them! Please email me and we’ll chat! 🙂

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  1. I remember reading about when Maria got this machine. She’s come a long way since then because I know it took a while to learn to sew on an industrial machine. Wish I could pop over and watch her sew with it or see you sew with yours. Lol!!

  2. I was just going to say the same thing as Daryl–I remember reading about Maria’s first experiences, too. I’m so glad you stuck with it, Maria, and did not let that machine intimidate you! You make a good case for investing in one of these machines! 🙂
    Thanks for another great review, Christine!

  3. I have just bought a new Zoje industrial machine with auto thread trimmer and I am finding the foot pedal very touchy indeed as it cuts the tread too easily and by mistake 😳Does anyone know a way to adjust the foot pedal to make it less touchy

  4. do you have any contacts for repair centres for this machine in the UK? I have one but the LED is blinking 4 times and apart from that the machine does nothing

  5. I have had no end of issues with this Zoje machine. Every time I use it, it’s a lesson in frustration. Once in a while it work well, but not for long. I haven’t been able to finish one project without messy stitching.

  6. Great info. Wish i would have found you recommendation before i ordered my current janome model which was quite expensive and i think i would have found a similar machine that does the same thing. But any way keep up the good informational work!

  7. wondering if Maria and you are still happy with your Zoje industrial machines…? Looking at buying one similar to Maria’s. Have made several ChrisW bags and wanting to be able to deal with more leather and vinyl. Thinking if I have an industrial walking/shuffle foot, I might be able to make a Lombard Street in nice soft leather!

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