I recently had the fabulous opportunity to spend some time with the new Janome Skyline S5, and wow, is it a great machine! BUT FIRST, let me give you my disclaimers. I was not paid for this review. In fact, Janome fully encouraged me to tell about both everything I LOVE and everything I DISLIKE about this machine. Luckily, there were very few dislikes; in fact, my "dislikes" were more like...observations. :) I am a participant in the Janome On-Loan Ambassador Program, but as always, I would never lead you guys astray.
The first thing I noticed when I unboxed this lovely machine was the enormous amount of included feet and accessories. Here's a list of all the standard feet:
- Zigzag foot
- Rolled hem foot
- Zipper foot
- Satin stitch foot
- Blind hemming foot
- Overcast foot
- 1/4" seam foot
- Darning foot
- Automatic buttonhole foot (with buttonhole stabilizer plate)
- Even feed foot (AKA walking foot)
- Button sewing foot
If you've used some other high-end sewing machines, you may have been unhappy to find out you had to purchase lots of feet separately (and expensively) from the machine. But not with the Janome Skyline S5! Pretty much anything you could want is right there in the box. They've also included a couple quilting guide bars, some bobbins, spool holders, needles, a screwdriver and lint brush, a seam ripper, a knee lifter and more.
The first thing I did after taking the Skyline out of the box was to try out ALL. THE. BUTTONHOLES. (Well, not ALL. It has some additional instructions and tools to help you do corded and welted buttonholes, too.) You can see above that it sewed them beautifully and completely without issue. I tried some knit buttonholes, keyhole buttonholes, round end buttonholes and fine fabric buttonholes. You can even (very easily) sew buttons onto your fabric with this machine!
The next thing I did was to try out some of the decorative stitches. Now, I'm not normally one to utilize a whole lot of extra frill on my sewing projects. But do you see those thread spools??! So stinking cute. And I'd love to put some of those more geometric patterns on a solid-colored dress for an extra creative punch.
But if none of those stitches float your boat, certainly you can find something in the hundreds of patterns you see above.
Another thing I LOVE about this machine is all the on-machine storage. There's a front drawer on the removable work surface as you can see above, and there's additional storage on the top of the machine for your various feet and accessories. This is great if you like to keep a minimalist, clutter-free sewing area. (Or if you are always losing things...hahaha!)
To be completely honest, I didn't get to do all the things I wanted to do with this machine. I had big plans to make some kid quilts...to sew some leather...and to maybe sew some clothes for myself and/or my husband. But with our big move two weeks ago and my difficult first trimester of pregnancy, I had to draw the line somewhere. I did get quite a big of here-and-there sewing done with the machine though (some mending/hemming and bits of pieces of other projects), and I completed this double-gauze nightgown for Harper.
(And no, I don't have a beautifully staged photo because my photo backdrops and such didn't make it onto the U-Haul!! It's all still in Utah! I don't even have my cute little wire hangers or the button that's supposed to go on the back of this nightgown. Grrrrr...)
The pattern is a modified View J from the Japanese pattern book, Happy Homemade Vol. 2. I had to modify the bodice to be fully lined with a loop button closure at the back since I didn't have enough fabric to make bias tape and ties. I got the overall double-gauze nightgown idea from this post on Imagine Gnats by Monica of Adirondack Inspired, and I followed this tutorial on Coletterie for how to clean finish the armholes (not so easy with about a 1.5"-wide shoulder!). The fabric is Muddy Works double gauze that I purchased from Jones & Vandermeer. I actually bought three different prints in hopes of having three different nightgowns...but alas, life. Someday.
I used the basic straight stitch for most of the construction, then I switched to the blind hem foot to do the hem. I absolutely love blind hemming things, and it didn't disappoint.
- LOTS of stitches - both decorative and utility
- LOTS of buttonholes (and the automatic buttonhole feature works great)
- Quiet operation (my kids are usually sleeping when I'm sewing)
- Substantial feel and large-ish size
- Thread cutter, thread lock, push start/stop
- Great stitch quality
- Lots of storage on the machine
- Lots of useful, included feet & accessories
- Works great on knits
- Adjustable stitch speed
- Easy-to-use computer
- Large throat space for quilting & larger projects
None! No, really, I have none. At $1,499 MSRP, this sewing machine offers much of what you'd get from an even higher-end, more expensive machine.
Don't believe me? Here are a couple other reviews for you to check out:
Ready to check one out for yourself? Find your local dealer!