Recently, I had the opportunity to try out the Janome Skyline S5 sewing machine. I was able to keep the machine for a few weeks and really test it out.
The first thing I noticed when I opened up the box was how heavy and sturdy the machine was. It was packed up nicely, and even came with a collapsible cover. I thumbed through the well-written manual while setting it up, and a few minutes later, I was ready to sew.
Threading the Machine
Threading the machine was easy. Similar to most other machines. The nice thing about the Janome Skyline S5, is the automatic threader. It wasn’t complicated to figure out and worked seamlessly.
Once I threaded the top, I looked in the box to see what kind of bobbins to use. The Skyline uses a standard plastic bobbin, which was handy since I had tons of them already filled with thread. I just popped up the plastic cover and it was easy to drop the bobbin right in and get going.
As I was threading the machine I noticed the fun special stitches. My current machine has a ton of stitches but the Skyline really has some adorable ones.
Of course I had to try them out. I cut a scrap of cream flannel and had a bit of fun.
The machine is quiet and runs very smoothly, which you would expect of a machine of this caliber. You can run the machine by using the foot pedal, the knee lever, or with a touch of a button. I am pretty old-school so prefer the foot pedal, but it is nice to have options, depending on what you are sewing. There is even a special lock stitch so you don’t have to back-stitch at the ends of each seam!
One of the best features, if you are used to sewing on a budget machine, is the automatic tension. None of the machines I sewed on up until a couple of years ago had this feature, and boy is it nice. It would be hard to go back. I remember taking so much time fussing with tension for each new project, and with the Skyline, that all goes away. For certain fabrics you might have to adjust it a tiny bit but not very often.
I first used the machine to make the skirt I created for STYLO. It sewed on cotton and tulle like a dream, but I wanted to put it to the test a bit more before I packed it up.
Knits. In my opinion, if you want to really put a machine through its paces, you need to test it on knits, chiffon and leather. So bring these fabrics with you when trying out a new machine at a dealer before you buy.
Many people become frustrated sewing on knits with a regular sewing machine. To be honest, this can be the machine’s fault, not the user. A good quality sewing machine should be able to handle knits very well. (Some 4-way stretch knits won’t be easy to sew regardless of your machine, though!)
I was impressed by the way the Skyline handled sewing on knits- specifically jersey. There is even a special stitch that works as kind of a serger stitch, and uses an edge foot. I tried it out when I put in my neck binding and loved it. A great alternative to serging.
All in all, I would definitely give the Janome Skyline S5 a thumbs up. It is a well-made machine, from a great brand and from the moment you see it, you know it is a quality machine. So if you are looking to buy a new machine any time soon, you should check this one out at your local dealer.