Janome Skyline S3 Sewing Machine Review: The Best Sewing Machine Ever?

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The Janome Skyline S3 Sewing Machine may as well be a spaceship for all that it can do, and do well.

best sewing machine for quilting

Despite the hefty price, this is a versatile and robust machine that can keep up even with the busiest of sewing schedules. While this product is definitely not for those with tight budgets, or those that are looking to try sewing for the first time, this is a balanced sewing machine that any hobbyist or professional must look at.

Here we’ll cover the good, the bad, and the ugly so you can make the best decision on whether or not the Janome Skyline S3 is right for you. And, of course, whether it’s worth that sky-high price tag…


Janome Skyline S3 Sewing Machine: The Details

The Look

Stylish with clean lines and a solid, crisp white frame, the Janome Skyline is a moderately weighty machine (coming in at almost 30 pounds) with a sturdy base and wide throat.

Despite this, it is not a giant machine, making it perfect for workspaces with limited space.

The LED screen is forward facing, with a simple layout, and lit brightly enough that you won’t be squinting at the screen – not even late at night.

Further, carefully installed lights keep your machine well-lit, so you can see even the most delicate of thread-work clearly.

All in all, a beautiful and smart design for a sewing machine

Specs

  • Weight: 28.9 lbs
  • Dimensions: 25.8 x 18.1 x 14.9 inches
  • Stitches: 120 built-in stitches and 10 button holes
  • Speed: Adjustable. Highest is 820 stitches per minute
  • Computerized/Mechanic: Computerized
  • Warranty: one year labor, two year electronics, and 25 year on internal metal cast

Accessories

Without listing each of the twenty standard accessories, or covering the ten optional ones, here are some of the most stand-out items that come with the Janome S3 Sewing Machine:

  • Instruction book and DVD
  • Needle set
  • Screwdriver
  • Extra spool pin
  • Extra feet, including zigzag, ¼ seam, blind hem, overedge, zipper, satin stitch, and automatic button hole
  • Bobbins
  • Semi-hard fabric machine cover
  • Lint brush
  • Large, small, and special spool holders
  • Electronic foot control pedal

The sheer amount of goodies that come in the box is worth noting.

Especially the near dozen extra feet – which most times you have to buy separate from the machine. In the optional accessories you’ll find more feet available, such as darning and button feet.

Janome: The Company

Having been founded almost a hundred years ago, Janome is a well-known and well-respected sewing machine brand that designs quality products made to last.

From their smaller models, created with compact work spaces or children in mind, to their Premium Skyline range, Janome caters to sewers, quilters, patchworkers, and stitchers or all kinds, budgets, and skillsets.

If a brand has lasted long enough to soon celebrate their centennial, you know there is a good reason for it.

The Warranty

With the Janome Skyline S3 Sewing Machine you’ll get a one year warranty on labor, a two year warranty on electronics, and a 25 year warranty on the internal metal cast.

Just make sure to register your warranty and purchase on the Janome website and keep proof of purchase, especially if you think you might end up using that whopping 25 year warranty.

Features

Automatic Thread Cutter

A handy feature for those who don’t enjoy fiddling around with thread or ruining their momentum by awkwardly fitting a pair of scissors around a sewing machine to cut the thread.

Adjustable Speed Settings

Top speed is 820 stitches per minute, enabling you to get your work done fast. But you can take this all the way down to 70 stitches per minute, to suit your needs.

Want to teach your kids how to sew? Or doing delicate work that needs ferocious attention? No problem, just adjust the machine and you’ll be fine.

Any machine that allows this range of speed customization has to be in the running for best sewing machine, in our book.

Stitching Patterns and Alphabet

Flipping up the lid of the storage space on the top of the machine reveals a plethora of stitching patterns and settings, along with font settings in English, European, and Cyrillic. A nice touch when you want to label or personalize your product.

You’ll also find number zero through to nine, French accents, and a number of other symbols.

In total there are 120 pre-programmed stitches, together with 7 one-step buttonholes and the alphabet. You can also access special buttonhole settings to customize these even further — great for garment makers and fashion designers.

Ideal for just about any sewing, quilting or embroidery work you can think of.

Lighting

As we mentioned before, there are four extra strong LED lights carefully placed in key locations on the Skyline S3 in order to keep your work well-lit.

A good bonus for people who work in darker spaces or into the night. Not to mention those of us wearing out our contact lenses…

Storage

Avoiding clutter, especially with all of those accessories, is easy given the amount of storage space Janome somehow built into this machine.

Flipping the lid reveals plenty of space for your bobbins and spare needles, and the draw in the base offers more space to keep all of those extra feet that come with the Skyline S3.

The semi-hard cover, a standard accessory, also has built-in pockets for all of your measuring tools, spare thread, rulers, pencils, and scissors.

Automatic Needle Threader

A good feature for those without the steadiest hands or best eyesight, or who just don’t like wasting time feeding thread through a tiny little hole! This is a feature that makes life just so much easier.

Wide Throat

The wide throat means that you can work on big projects, like curtains and quilts, without having to stop every few minutes to coax the material through the gap when it inevitably starts bunching up. If you like working across all sorts of sewing projects, this is a positive to keep in mind.

Superior Plus Feed System

One of the first things you’ll notice when sewing on the Janome Skyline S3 is how incredibly smooth and steady the fabric feed is.

This is undoubtedly due to the hyper sophisticated Superior Plus Feed System.

Other Features

Check out these amazing features as well:

  • Multiple needle positions
  • Free arm
  • Adjustable stitch sizes up to 7mm wide
  • Auto tension system
  • Memorized needle up-down positions
  • Drop feed
  • Start/Stop button and foot pedal
  • Easy reverse button
  • Easy bobbin winder
  • Backlit LCD screen

Check out this for a video tour around the S3’s features:

Janome Skyline S3 Sewing Machine Review

The Positives

Truly Impeccable Sewing

When you’re spending this much on a machine, you want to be sure that it sews like a dream.

We’re pleased to report that the Janome Skyline S3 went above and beyond our expectations — an incredible smooth feed, beautiful even stitching, no jamming — everything just works, exactly as it’s supposed to do.

We honestly think this could be the best sewing machine we’ve ever used.

Versatile

The Skyline S3 can handle all sorts of material, from delicate satin to hardy leather. Fear not experimenting with material, or limiting yourself, as this is a machine that can do it all.

Any sewing project you can think of — clothes making, quilting, anything — will be well served by the Janome Skyline S3.

It’s a true workhorse.

Precision Settings

Being able to adjust the speed so minutely, plus pick and choose the stitch length and width, enables you to create truly delicate stitch-work and patterns – even when not using the automatic pattern settings built into the machine.

Solid and Sturdy

Don’t fear your machine slipping around when you really put that needle to work. The sturdy base keeps the Skyline from tipping or sliding around despite its relatively compact size.

Plus with an incredibly generous 25 year warranty, you can trust in Janome that this is a machine built to withstand the test of time — not to bow out in the first innings.

Works Quickly and Quietly

A quiet sewing machine is always a plus, especially for those who work into the night or in an apartment building.

Plus with speeds adjustable up to 820 stitches per minute, you can rack up a whole lot of work in just a short span of time.

Very Easy to Use

While we would never recommend the Skyline S3 to beginners — it’s simply too expensive — it’s easy enough for a novice to get to grips with, no problem.

The sewing machine has been carefully designed to make everything as efficient and easy as possible so all you need to do is sew.

From an automatic needle threader and cutter, automatic tension control and an incredible feed system to multiple needle positions, a stop/start button and adjustable speeds — there’s nothing stopping you from your sewing project.

Other Things We Love:

  • Lots of accessories
  • Choice to use foot pedal or stop/start button
  • Great for quilters

 

 

 

The Negatives

Price

We really, really tried to find something other than the price that could be put into the negatives column. But, it’s difficult to find a fault with the Skyline S3 that doesn’t involve the cost of the machine itself.

It’s expensive. One of the most expensive machines that a hobbyist might buy for themselves.

If you’re tempted to buy but put off by the price, think of it as an investment. This is seriously one of the best sewing machines on the market today.

No other hobbyist machine comes close. It’ll be very easy to step over into professional sewing with the Janome Skyline S3.

Overall Verdict

Beginner or expert, if you are willing to splurge on an expensive, but high quality, sewing machine, the Janome Skyline S3 Sewing Machine is an excellent buy. If you are just looking to test your merit in the world of sewing, then a more affordable machine will suit you better.

It’s honestly an impeccable machine that sews like a dream. Going back to the world of ‘normal’ sewing machines will be difficult once you try the Skyline S3…

Where to Buy the Janome Skyline S3 Sewing Machine

Thanks to its luxury price tag, the Janome Skyline S3 isn’t exactly available everywhere.

It can be found in a few places online, however. Check these out for starters:

And, of course, it’s available on Amazon.

janome skyline s3 sewing machine


Are you tempted by the Janome Skyline S3 sewing machine?


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