If you’reÂ like me, OCD and type-A (my poor husband), before you make any purchase you dig deep, deep, deep into the bowels of the internet, (ewwww), to read every review possible. Â Well I wanted to contribute to your google hits, and hopefully help you make a decision if you’re in the market for a sewing machine.
Many people ask what machine I sew on and what brands I trust, so here goes.Â I started on a very very basic $99.00 machine from a big box store, I actually can’t even remember the brand name.Â It only did a handful of stitches and was constantly clogging up and giving me grief. Â It didn’t take long before I was doing projects the machine couldn’t keep up with. Â I’m talking basic curtains not wedding dresses. But I persevered for a few years, because I really didn’t believe there was a big difference in sewing machines.
But one day, on a curtain hem, the old machine just looked at me and said “you gotta be kidding.” Â It couldn’t get through the fabric and I wasn’t sewing on it for one more stitch. Â Fed up I decided to visit an ‘actual’ sewing machine dealer.Â This, (a dealer) my sewing friends makes all the difference. When you go to a dealer, they actually help you! You get toÂ try the machines, multiple machines and really get a feel for what you like.Â Â The closest dealerÂ to my house happened to be a Janome dealer. ItÂ was geographical fate. I tested a number of machines, they gave me $100 for my old $99.00 one (lol — “start the car!!!”) and I bought the cheapest Janome model they had. Â It ran like a Ferrari compared to my clunker.
Here I am, many, many, many spools of thread later.Â I’ve since purchased Janome’s Hello Kitty machine for my young daughter and have a old Janome serger from the 80s that still works like a champ and a new model Janome Pro4DX Serger. Â I also sew on a Horizon Memory Craft 8200 and Embroider on Janome’s Memory Craft 9900. Â So I have some experience sewing on Janome machines.
Now Janome is introducing a new machine, theÂ Skyline S3. I immediately perked up. ThatÂ could be my addiction speaking.
I was thrilled when Janome lent me one to see how an avid Janome sewer liked it. Â (How sad I don’t get it for keeps because it’s a keeper.)
I’ve spent the last month playing with the machine. Even though I was only supposed to keep it for two weeks. Oops.
I’ve made a cardholder wallet using cottons AND leather. It stitched through the leather seams no problem. I made a couple of night gowns for my daughters and started a quilt.
Even though this isn’t technically a quilting machine, it has a large enough throat space, it’s no problem. However it doesn’t come with a free motion foot. But you can still easily lower the feed dogs on the side of the machine, (without taking anything apart)Â I heard through the sewing grape vine, there may be a quilting kit available soon!
Here’s what I really liked;
There is a cutter at every corner. Â That doesn’t mean the machine doesn’t cut corners, instead, Janome has a little cutting blade everywhere you might need one. Â When you thread the bobbin, a convenient little blade.Â WhenÂ you wind the bobbin, a convenient little blade.Â When you thread the needle a convenient little blade….and my very favourite…when you’re finished sewing, just press the scissor button. Â You don’t need a pair of scissors anywhere near this machine. I love that.
It’s also solid. It doesn’t have that plasticky feel, if you know-what-I-mean.
I was also most impressed by the automatic threader. Â I’ve always avoided using Â automatic threaders on machines, because they never really seem to work, I waste more time trying to thread it, then if I just squinted and threaded. Â But the automatic threader on the Skyline S3 works every time, honestly…I can’t do it wrong…and I’ve tried. Specifically for this post, I tried, but it worked everytime.
It goes fast…I like that, but I can turn down the speed when my kids are using it. I like that too.
Another thing I like, is it has four alphabet fonts, including french accents! My kids go to french school and every time I sew something for someone, I like to put their name in it. So this is perfect!
The only thing I wish was different about this machine is the price. $1499.00. Â A little out of reach for anyone just starting to sew. Â But if you are ready to take sewing to the next level, I feel like this machine is going to last and will be able to take whatever you throw at it. In my experience if you buy it at a dealer, they’ll likely give you some $ for your old trade in. They usually throw in a couple of lessons, and trust me, I’ve had dealers walk me through how to do certain stitches over the phone. Â Â So this is one of those times where you get what you pay for.
If you want to read a little more on the Skyline for yourself, here’s aÂ link.
Good luck on your hunt for the perfect machine. I hope this helps you out.
Here are a couple of links to the machines I’ve referred to here!