Janome Skyline S3 Review

 In Sewing

If you’re 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.  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. I started on a very very basic $99.00 machine from a big box store, I actually can’t even remember the brand name.  It only did a handful of stitches and was constantly clogging up and giving me grief.  It didn’t take long before I was doing projects the machine couldn’t keep up with.  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.”  It couldn’t get through the fabric and I wasn’t sewing on it for one more stitch.   Fed up I decided to visit an ‘actual’ sewing machine dealer. This, (a dealer) my sewing friends makes all the difference. When you go to a dealer, they actually help you! You get to try the machines, multiple machines and really get a feel for what you like.   The closest dealer to my house happened to be a Janome dealer. It 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.  It ran like a Ferrari compared to my clunker.

Here I am, many, many, many spools of thread later. 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.   I also sew on a Horizon Memory Craft 8200 and Embroider on Janome’s Memory Craft 9900.  So I have some experience sewing on Janome machines.

Now Janome is introducing a new machine, the Skyline S3. I immediately perked up. That could be my addiction speaking.

I was thrilled when Janome lent me one to see how an avid Janome sewer liked it.   (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) 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.  That doesn’t mean the machine doesn’t cut corners, instead, Janome has a little cutting blade everywhere you might need one.  When you thread the bobbin, a convenient little blade. When you wind the bobbin, a convenient little blade. When you thread the needle a convenient little blade….and my very favourite…when you’re finished sewing, just press the scissor button.  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.  I’ve always avoided using  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.  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.  A little out of reach for anyone just starting to sew.  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.   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 a 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!

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