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Introducing the Janome Skyline S5 Sewing Machine

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In the Sew4Home studios, we’re dedicated fans of Janome sewing machines and sergers; in fact, they're our exclusive sewing machine sponsor. So we were delighted when Janome offered us a brand new Skyline S5 to test drive! They call the machine, "Anything but Average," and we could certainly see why. This computerized sewing machine has many features previously found only on Janome’s most top-of-the-line models. And like all the Janome models, the precision and ease-of-use right out of the box doesn't disappoint. 

We put the Skyline to the test and found it won our hearts without even trying. We’ve outlined below the features that excited us most and why – whether you enjoy fashion sewing, home décor or quilting. 

In addition, if you’re in the market for a new sewing machine, you’ll find TIPS throughout the article designed to help you understand what to look for the next time you head out to your local sewing machine retailer. 

Appearance

You can imagine our excitement when the delivery truck stopped in front of the Sew4Home studio. Yay, a new sewing machine to play with!  

Upon opening the box, we were captivated by the overall design of the machine. Its sleek appearance and curved edges were slightly different than what we’re used to seeing from our friends at Janome. 

Immediately, our eyes went to the soft blue accents that draw attention to the LCD screen and touch panel on the front of the machine. This pretty blue also accents the frequently-used operating buttons, (needle up/down, lock stitch and reverse), the front threading channel cover, the handwheel, and even the stitch reference chart in the lid of the machine. The two-tone case adds a distinctive appearance to the Skyline S5.

A quick tour from top to bottom 

Under the top lid you find: the automatic thread tension (which you can adjust if needed), a foot pressure dial (can be adjusted from 1 – 7), the independent bobbin winder (with 5 built-in thread cutters on the base of the bobbin winder), and an additional independent thread cutter (to cut the thread tail from the spool). 

TIP: The settings on the pressure dial assist in sewing varying thicknesses of fabrics. If you like to sew with a variety of fabric substrates, be sure to look for this feature.

 

At the spool pin is where the numbered thread paths to the needle and bobbin winder begin. We’ve become so accustomed to numbered thread paths on all Janome machines, we almost forget to mention it, but it is such a handy feature.

TIP: Proper threading is vital to the function and longevity of any sewing machine. The numbered thread path helps prevent threading errors.

Heading down toward the needle, you see the blue operating buttons we mentioned above, the lower automatic thread cutter button (we love, love, love this), and the start/stop button. Once you’ve had a machine with a lower thread cutter, you will never want to be without one again. The start/stop button enables you to use the machine without the foot control. Using a machine in this manner is something that takes a little getting used to; but it can be very helpful for certain techniques and is considered a “universal” feature for anyone with certain physical restrictions.

In the center of the machine is the speed control slider. This is a great feature for new and advanced sewers alike. Depending on the speed at which the slider is set, it doesn't matter how hard you press on the foot control, the machine will only go as fast as it is set. It also controls the speed of the bobbin winder. Why is this so cool? Because sometimes when using specialty threads, you have to wind them more slowly than at full speed.  

TIP: A computerized sewing machine gives you the ability to set the machine to your specifications. Adjusting the speed is a great feature for those who are new to sewing and don't want to go faster than their comfort levels.

At the needle itself is the built-in needle threader, which has also spoiled us. We almost can't remember what it's like to thread a needle without this feature. 

The needles themselves are easy to change as are the presser feet. The feet that come with the machine are snap-on, excluding the Even Feed foot and Darning foot.  

Below the needle is the needle plate and bobbin holder. If you don’t pay close attention to this area, you could miss some exciting features. The needle plate has seam allowance markings that extend beyond the plate onto the bed of the machine (to both the left and right of the needle). Plus, there are angle and pivoting markings – no more guessing seam allowances when turning a corner or patchwork piecing. 

The bobbin simply drops into the bobbin holder with no need to remove a bobbin case from the machine (another "gotta have" on our list).There’s a second numbered thread path at this point, so you don't accidentally put the bobbin in backwards. Come on, admit it, we all do that now and again and it is not pretty. You'll be hard-pressed to make that mistake on the Skyline. Plus, there's a built-in manual thread cutter at this level.

We love how Janome provides an area to store all the standard accessories that come with the machine right in the bed where they are easy to access. When this extension table/storage compartment is removed, you have free-arm capability – perfect for sewing cuffs, smaller projects, etc. The photo below shows the compartment about half way off. 

On the side of the machine, in addition to the blue accented handwheel, is where the power cord and foot control are connected. This is also where you find the on/off switch and drop feed lever. Often, this lever can be tucked away in a hard-to-reach place. Not on the Skyline. We really liked how the drop feed lever was so easy to access and use.

TIP: Drop feed is an important feature. It's sought-after by quilters who like to free-motion quilt, but is also used for other sewing techniques, such as sewing on buttons by machine.

A feature we’ve come to rely on is the knee lifter/lever. It attaches to the right front of the machine. When doing an application that requires you to hold onto the project with both hands while stitching, the knee lifter is like an indispensable third hand. The best feature about Janome’s version is that it is adjustable, therefore, ergonomic.

TIP: Once you own a machine with a knee lifter, you'll wonder how you ever sewed without one.

Easy touch panel navigation

Now for the focal point of the machine. The touch panel can be operated by finger touch or with the provided stylus. It displays buttons for changing stitch mode, adjusting stitch width and length, and programming the lower thread cutter. There are cursor keys for creating stitch patterns, and easy navigation indicators for stitch selection, elongation, twin needle compatibility, mirror image, general settings, start-over-in-a-stitch pattern, memory, and direct pattern selection. There's even a lockout key for safety purposes.

Above the touch panel is the backlight digital LCD screen, which tells you all you need to know about each stitch. It shows the stitch mode, the selected stitch within that mode, the recommended foot, and the exact stitch width and length. In addition, it displays icons for the foot control, programmable lower thread cutter, and twin needle indicator. This is all outlined in the very detailed Instruction Manual.

TIP: Here’s where the computerization adds to your creativity. You can make many adjustments to the built-in stitches, using the commands on the touch panel. The settings help take much of the guesswork out of sewing so you can focus on what you’re sewing instead of how to sew it.

What comes with the Skyline S5?

There is so much you can do with this machine because Janome provides such a wide range of sewing machine feet and accessories with the Skyline S5. Let’s take a look at just what you get.

Lots of feet

As we mentioned above, the presser feet that come with the Skyline S5 are snap-on, with the exception of the Even Feed foot and Darning foot. Each foot is marked with a letter, which corresponds to the letter indicated on the LCD screen for each stitch selected. Therefore, you know which foot works with which stitch. Easy, right? 

Here’s a quick breakdown of the feet by name and use. There are 11 total:

  1. Standard foot – used for most utility stitching 
    NOTE: Be sure to check out the little black button on this foot. When pressed, it stabilizes the foot for going over humps, such as flat felled seams.
  2. Satin Stitch foot – this foot is clear so you can see through it, especially handy for sewing decorative stitches.
  3. Rolled Hem foot – you can guess this one.
  4. Blind Hem foot – same here.
  5. Overcast foot  - used with overcasting stitches. 
  6. Quarter Inch Seam foot – quilters love this foot because it makes sewing ¼" seams easy and precise.
  7. Darning foot – this tends to be high on the list for quilters who do free motion work, but you can also use it for decorative applications like thread painting.
  8. Even Feed foot – sometimes called a Walking foot; everyone loves this foot. It has a set of feed dogs built-in that help to evenly feed fabrics from the top and bottom, great for specialty fabrics like velvet or laminate or when seaming plaids and stripes to get a perfect, no-slip match.
  9. Automatic Buttonhole foot – use this foot to sew all the buttonholes on the machine. It's called automatic because the buttonholes are sewn in one-step with the help of built-in sensors on the machine.
  10. Buttonhole Stabilizer Plate – a fairly new attachment for Janome, this special item is used in conjunction with the Buttonhole foot to help stabilize certain fabrics (such as super thick) to create beautiful buttonholes.
  11. Button Sewing foot – If you’ve never sewn on a button by machine, you’ve been missing out. We use this one all the time.

Other accessories 

Some of these may or may not look familiar to you, but they all serve a distinct purpose.

  • Basics – extra bobbins, needles, lint brush, screwdriver, seam ripper.
  • Thread caps – we believe this proves how well Janome machines sew with various threads; they provide you with three different thread caps/holders to best fit the various thread brands/spool types available.
  • Extra spool pin – In order to use a twin needle, a second spool pin is required. 
  • Quilting guide bars – there are two; one is to use with the Even Feed foot and the other attaches to the back of the foot holder for use with other snap-on feet. These are great for keeping lines of stitching evenly spaced, such as for quilting or decorative stitching.
  • Single hole needle plate – we'll tell you more about this below.

  • Knee lift  - we already mentioned how much we use this.
  • Instructional DVD and Manual – these are invaluable reference tools when using your machine. We watched the DVD and found it to be very helpful, especially to someone new to sewing and/or Janome machines.
  • Foot controller and plug – of course.

  • Semi-hard cover – it's always good to have a way to protect your machine when not in use.

TIP: Why all this detail? It’s important to know exactly what comes with a sewing machine, not only as a financial comparison, but also to understand if the machine is right for you and the type of sewing you like to do. Don’t forget to consider what you might want to learn in the future too!

Features we can’t be without 

Now, that we’ve thoroughly examined the physical appearance of the Skyline S5, along with all that comes with it, we can finally tell you what we discovered when we actually turned it on. Not too surprisingly, we found features we just can’t be without.

Boy is this machine quiet! We were so impressed with the sound, or should we say, the lack of sound. It’s super quiet and smooth. What impressed us even more is the speed. The maximum sewing speed is 1000 spm (or stitches per minute). No need to worry, you don’t always have to sew at maximum speed; you can adjust the speed using the speed control slider shown above.

The Superior Plus Feed System (or SFS+) is a key feature of the Skyline S5. Thanks to this Janome technology, sewing through all weights and textures is easy. Combined with the pressure dial settings mentioned above, you do not have to fear taking on more challenging sewing projects and/or tricky fabrics.

TIP: The ability of a sewing machine to feed a variety of fabric types and weights is very important to how well it functions. 

The Skyline S5 has a 9mm maximum stitch width. What does this mean? It’s the size of the hole where the needle goes down into the machine. The 9mm measurement is the largest Janome offers on a machine, and it allows the needle to move to 91 points within the 9mm space. Are you still not sure why this is so exciting? Although it’s very technical, in essence, it's how the machine can create such beautiful, wide decorative stitches and lettering.

The single hole needle plate that comes with the machine is used when sewing fine fabrics and/or when using the specific straight plate stitches. On the stitch reference chart you will see an area on the left that indicates which stitches can be used with this plate. Best of all, this and the standard needle plate are quick-change! Simply slide off the storage compartment (as if exposing the free arm), and press the needle plate release lever on the front of the machine to switch from one needle plate to the other. To protect the machine from any damage when the single hole plate is on the machine, you will not be able to select certain stitches that require the standard needle plate. We just love that the Skyline S5 helps us keep track of what we’re doing.

Now, for something you may have overlooked on other sewing machines. The pressure foot lift has a built-in “extra high” lift. What’s the big deal about this? It makes it much, much easier to place bulky items under the foot – think quilts, home décor projects, etc.  

If you’re of a certain age (we’re not admitting that we are!), the six ultra-bright LED lights provide abundant illumination in the work area of the Skyline. Like the technology in the machine, the lighting is top notch.

One final cool feature. You can customize the machine's general settings using the Set Key on the touch panel. Which settings specifically? Needle stop position, start up speed, buzzer sound and key position calibration for the touch panel. Each is explained in detail in the instruction manual.

Look at these stitches

One of our favorite features is the ever-reliable stitch reference chart in the lid of the machine. Here is where you can see all the Skyline S5 has to offer: 170 stitches plus 10 buttonholes and 4 stitch letter styles! Each stitch mode is separated by “type” of stitches.

Mode 1Utility and Decorative stitches: Here you will find the most common stitches; straight, zigzag, knit stitches, buttonholes, quilting and heirloom (or smocking) stitches, and satin stitches.

Mode 2Decorative stitches: Yep, that’s right! There’s a whole other mode with even more decorative stitches. This is where you’ll find some truly irresistible stitch goodness!

Mode 3 – Numbers and Letters: This mode contains numbers, punctuation marks, and upper and lower case letters. You might not think you’d want stitch lettering on your sewing machine, but we’ve used it to make labels for our projects and quilts, personalize items, and more.

Mode 4 – European accented letters: Similar to Mode 3, there are upper and lower case letters.

Mode 5 – Cyrillic letters: Again similar to Mode 3 and 4, you will find yet another selection of upper and lower case lettering.

Mode 6 – 9mm Monogram letters: These are generally larger than the options in Mode 3. However, you will only find upper case letters and numbers.

To clearly see the size difference between Mode 3 and Mode 6, we took this picture for you.

TIP: Quickly understanding how to navigate a machine is important to your comfort level. In addition, identifying the type of stitches you like to use is vital to how well the machine will work for you. Don’t discount the importance of having a stitch package you can grow into as you advance your sewing skills.

Default settings versus customizing stitches

Computerized sewing machines are preprogrammed to default to specific settings depending on the stitch selected. What does this mean exactly? When a stitch is selected, the machine will automatically adjust to a specific width and length for optimal stitch results. For instance, the center needle straight stitch or stitch #1 (in Mode 1) will default to a stitch width of 4.5 (which is dead center of 9mm) and a stitch length of 2.4 (which is an average stitch length or halfway to the 5mm maximum stitch length).

In general, the default settings are a great guide for how to adjust your stitch settings in coordination with your selected fabric. Using straight stitch #1 and sewing with a finer fabric requires a shorter stitch length; if sewing bulky fabric, you would lengthen the stitch.

Whether going stitch by stitch or randomly selecting stitches from the various modes, you will immediately notice how quickly the stitch width and length adjust. But what if you really want to change or customize a stitch? Well, you can do that too!

This machine has the ability to elongate stitches, mirror image stitches, and memorize stitch combinations within each mode and between modes. Wow!

For example, you use the elongation command (or key) with satin stitches. When pressed, it automatically adjusts the overall length of the specific satin stitch selected in set increments, which is shown on the LED screen. The elongation ratio is from L1 (original length) to L5. This function provides additional creativity; it's like getting whole extra set of decorative satin stitching. Below is Stitch #70 (Mode 1) elongated from its original length to L5.

The mirror image key will flip a design horizontally. You wouldn't choose this for something like a straight stitch, because it would look exactly the same in its mirror image. Use it instead on stitches with a specific direction, such as heart stitch #47 (Mode 2). In our example below, the heart in the middle has been mirror imaged. Once again, this expands your overall stitching and embellishing options.

Using the memory or stitch combination feature on the Skyline S5 can be very addicting. You can select up to 50 stitch patterns from within a mode or across modes. Below, we combined stitches #79, #80 and #81 (not in that order) to illustrate this feature. In addition, you can memorize a lock stitch, automatic thread cutting, and/or mirror image within the pattern. Now we’re really cooking with creative options!

Learn even more

Want to know more about the Skyline S5? Visit your local authorized Janome dealer for a complete demonstration. Don’t forget to ask to "test drive" the machine. This is absolutely the best way to get a feel for how the machine works, sounds, etc. 

If you like to sew with specific fabrics, take scraps with you to try. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions, especially about service and support. Buying a sewing machine should not be a one-time purchase. You will continue to need needles, thread, etc. as well as to expand your toolbox with compatible optional accessories. 

The MSRP on the machine is $1,499; check in with your Janome dealer for introductory offers and trade-in opportunitites. To find a local authorized Janome dealer, visit the Dealer Locator at Janome’s official website. 

To learn more about the Skyline S5, optional accessories, projects and more, take a spin through the special Janome Skyline site

We really enjoyed trying out the new Skyline S5. Various members of our team sewed with it, using a range of fabric types, such as cotton voile, denim, canvas, cotton velveteen and more. Everyone truly found it an enjoyable sewing experience. We recommend you give it a try too!

If you want to see more project ideas for using those fabulous built-in 9mm decorative stitches, take a look at some of these recent Sew4Home projects:

Decorative Stitch Sampler

Scandinavian Style Rustic Apron with Decorative Stitching

Decorative Stitch Sampler Pillow

Belted Cross-Body Bag with Decorative Stitching

Scrappy Moroccan Style Deco Stitch Tea Towels

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Comments (47)

Alice Dearing said:
Alice Dearing's picture

I just purchased a Janome Skyline s5 and I am trying to figure out how to put a space in between my first and last name.  I have read the manual, watched the video and I am sure it is something simple, but I am not sure what it is.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Alice - I'm guessing you mean when using the monogramming alphbet? If so, check towards the bark of your manual. There should be a section on spacing. The spacing options are actually stitch patterns and can be done in small, medium, and large. I don't have the machine or manual in front of me so can't tell you the exact stitches, but they look like little dotted squares. If you're still having trouble, you may want to reach out directly to your local dealer for help. 

Kim said:
Kim 's picture

I bought my Janome S 5 a year ago and I love it. I have started getting into machine quilting and I don't find the bed large enough. Does Janome sell an extender for this machine? I can't find one.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Kim -- The Skyline S5 is a great machine! Unfortunately, there is not an official extension table that comes with it to our knowledge. You might reach out directly to your local Janome dealer to see if she/he has any options or suggestions. 

Catrina said:
Catrina's picture

I got the S5 and was thinking about upgrading to the S7. Is there a major difference in the S7 to be worth the cost? I truly love my machine and could not find a comparison review.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Catarina - They are both awesome machines. The main difference is that the S7 has the built-in AcuFeed Flex feeding system. If you are working on projects with a lot of layers or like to sew with tricky fabrics, this is amazing. If you go on Janome's site - they have a comparison table. Page through the machines and select the S5 so you can look at the features side by side. The touchscreen on the S7 is also wonderful. But... the very best way to tell is to stop by a dealer and test stitch on the S7 to see what you think. http://janome.com/en/machines/sewing/skyline-s7/

Mary Ann said:
Mary Ann's picture

I just got my machine and love it. I can't find mention in the manual as to the bobbin size. Can you tell me the size?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Mary Ann - it's a standard plastic bobbin. Your dealer will likely recommend you buy the Janome branded bobbins as they do have some specific engineering to make them as noiseless as possible (some dealers also carry them in pretty colors like pink and blue!). If you buy off-brand, they are most commonly referred to as size 15 or 15J.

Lulu said:
Lulu 's picture

what a beautiful piece of mechanical art.  I would love to have one but my budget says no...I bet those who were privilege to be test handlers were in a cloud of dreams.  That's what I thought just reading reviews.  Good luck u sewers who are able to ride through the land of color and imagination of material.  Just let go and great!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Lulu - this is a great machine - and Janome came out with the Skyline S7 last year, which has even more features. 

Cherie said:
Cherie's picture

Do you know if there is a way to make it so that when I turn my machine on, it will turn on to a custom setting?  I want to set it all the way to the right (9.0) and a stitch length of 2.4 permanently... where when I shut it off and turn it back on, it will come on at those settings.   Also... has anyone else realized that the 1/4" setting really isn't a 1/4 inch?  I have moved my needle all the way to the right and it still is too big for a 1/4 inch... any help on this setting also?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Cherie - It sounds like a visit to your dealer may be in order to show you some of the best ways to achieve your goals. There are special settings when using the Quarter Inch Seam foot. Check out the "Patchwork Piecing" section in your manual. Regarding customizing your settings, the S5 doesn't do exactly what you're describing, but it does allow you to set and then memorize patterns, which could give you the same result with just the press of a button. This pattern setting feature is also outlined in the manual. Again, it would be best to follow-up directly with your dealer for hands-on help and/or to reach out for support to Janome America at custrel@janomeamerica.com

Cherie said:
Cherie's picture

Thanks Liz.  I did go to my dealer.  I even took the class to learn these things.  But I was rather disappointed as they didn't know how to get it to do these things.  They said they would get back to me and never have.  I will try calling them and see if they have come up with anything.  Thanks!  :)

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Cherie - Sorry you're having trouble, but yes - you should call back. And do check out those two sections in your manual. The 1/4" seam steps for sure should solve that issue.

Jenny Tompkins said:
Jenny Tompkins's picture

I Have just updated my sewing machine to the Skyline 5 which I am loving. Your article is very informative. Have purchased the invisible zip foot as an added accessory and am wondering if Janome put out an information flyer on each of their accessories that lists things like stitch settings, uses and instructions, I have looked on the web but am unable to find anything. I would love to purchase some more accessories (gatherer & ruffler) but feel a little lost if there are no instructions for their use. Would you know if this information is available? Thank you

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Jenny - This is probably a question for our friends at Janome. Your local Janome dealer may have something. In addition, on their site, they have a "Learn" section, which features a lot of techique videos - many for presser feet. We have some additional presser feet articles as well. You can find them in our Project Index under the Products We Love category or the Machine Feet and Accessories category. Enjoy your new machine.

Devchdm said:
Devchdm's picture

is there a case on wheels that janome sells for the s5?

I love mine!

Donna

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Donna - That would be a great question for Janome. We didn't get a case to test with the S5 or the new S7, but Janome does carry a number of bags and cases. Below is a link to the selection they list on their website. A quick call to your local dealer would also be a good way to double-check.

http://janome.com/en/products/accessories/?m=&c=132&s=a#/cs

Mindy A said:
Mindy A's picture

I have a Skyline S5 for a year now.  I don't know what happened, had sewn 35 sunglass case holders all same type of fabric just great. Then all the sudden the bobbin does not have enough tension and looping on the bottom side of my fabric.  I can't seem to figure it out.  I've rethreaded it several times.  I have cleaned out the all the areas that builds up lint.  I changed the needle.  I have manually tightened up the tension (which in a year I have never had to do always on auto)  I don't have 2 weeks for a repair shop to fix it.  I have craft sales starting next weekend.  Any idea what else it can be?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Mindy A - Sorry you're having difficulties. We can't really troubleshoot specific machine problems long-distance as there are quite a few variables. It sounds like you have tried all the obvious fixes, which does - unfortunately - mean it may be time for an expert to step in. You may want to try to contact Janome directly via their customer service email as they will have more machine troubleshooting resources than we do. That email is: custrel@janome-america.com

KatLaurance said:
KatLaurance's picture

As a relatively new sewist, I will be investing in a new machine shortly.  I'm torn between the DC2015 and the Skyline.  Would you say the extra cost is worth the investment for someone who wants to pursue garment sewing and home decor?  I want a machine that will last me a long time but I was hoping to stay below $800.  This machine looks wonderful so I'm VERY tempted.  Any opinion?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ KatLaurance - Both machines you are looking at are great. The main differences in the Skyline are its ability to stitch at a full 9mm width and it has a built-in thread cutter. The bed width on the Skyline is also larger. These are all great features that we use all the time. That said, you can live without these features and still do a lot of great projects. Our recommendation is always to buy the very best machine you can afford, so it will always be a balance. If you haven't already, you should also try to test stitch both machines at a dealer as sometimes you can just "feel" a difference in what fits you best.

KatLaurance said:
KatLaurance's picture

Thanks Liz!  I will be test driving them in September.  I always appreciate your input!

Kiwi Debbie said:
Kiwi Debbie's picture

I am looking at purchasing this machine, it looks fabulous. Does anyone know how it sews leather?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Kiwi Debbie - We did not test it with leather, but we have sewn with it on faux leather with great results. If you have a Janome dealer in your local area, take in a piece a leather and do a test stitch to see how you like it. You might need to bring your own leather sewing machine needle as well. 

sybil said:
sybil's picture

I am new to the sewing world and bought a new janome skyline.  I love the machine but was wondering if it has a feature to warn that the bobbin thread is getting low.  I got caught twice now in the middle of something.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ sybill -- We love the Skyline machines we have here in the S4H studios. Great choice! It does not have a bobbin low sensor. If you're new to sewing, you'll probably soon get used to how much sewing you can do before needing to change the bobbin. The see-though bobbin cover in the plate does make it easy to see if the bobbin is running low. A good habit to get into is to wind a couple bobbins each time you're filling bobbins so you always have a spare and can quickly change out to a full bobbin as soon as you see the original bobbin is getting low.

Celina said:
Celina's picture

I just purchased a skyline and it's light years from the little toy I've had the past 15 years! I love it. One question, I've been sewing down labels and I find I sometimes need to make a half stitch to hit the corner of the label exactly. But I haven't figured out how to do this with this fancy automatic machine... Any suggestions?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Celina - Congrats on your new purchase! We are forwarding your question to Janome America for their input as they will be better able to help with such as specific issue. Perhaps there is something in the memory capabilities. However, your best bet may be to do a few tests, varying the stitch length to get a length that works best for the size of your label. 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Celina - Customer Relations at Janome America agreed with our suggestion as the Skyline goes not have the ability to sew half stitches - so testing at various stitch lengths is your best bet. Also, don't forget that assistance in the use of your machine is always provided by your authorized Janome dealer.

Marian gunson said:
Marian gunson's picture

 I recently bought a skyline s5 machine and I love it.  I am really. Quilter but with this new machine I have ventured into making some clothes.  i am presently making a top with stretch material.  I am trying to hem it with a fancy stitch.  Mode 1 no. 58 but my thread keeps breaking.  What fancy stitches would you recommend for a stretch fabric.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Marian gunson - The information below has been supplied by a Janome Educator:

The stitch that you selected is a very dense stitch.  You can try reducing the pressure foot dial (page 11 in your manual) to see if that helps reduce your thread breakage.  Mode 2, stitch #01 or #03 might be a better choice for hemming a knit.  If you find that your fabric is not advancing correctly, place a layer of tissue paper between the stitching area and feed dogs. 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Marian gunson - So glad to hear you love the Skyline. We did not test it on a stretchy fabric, so I'm going to pass along your question/comment to Janome for their opinion. 

Sarah I said:
Sarah I's picture

I own the Janome 4120 qdc, and it's only a little over a year old. I like it alot, but saw the skyline for a great price at my local janome dealer. Would it be worth upgrading so quickly? I do mostly crafty type projects and quilts.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Sarah I - That's a tough question! The 4120QDC is a great machine - we have one in our studios, and it should have MANY years of strong sewing ahead. That said, there are some great extras on the Skyline, like the 9mm stitch width and the auto thread cutter, that could move your sewing to the next lever. I'd suggest visiting your Janome dealer for a test drive. If you love the Skyline, I'm going to bet the dealer may have some awesome trade-in opportunities. 

Kris Valle said:
Kris Valle's picture

Very fresh looking machine design. It has a lot of features and feet for a great price.

Evwillsew said:
Evwillsew's picture

I have a good idea what the knee lifter does, but I couldn't find mention of it's function anywhere in your article.

I have two Janome's. A mechanical model, MyStyle 100 and a computerized Janome QDC 2030 (Canadian). Neither of them have a pressure dial. Always wondered why they stopped doing that as my old Kenmore mechanical machine had that ability by pressing or releasing a vertical bar at the top of the machine . .

Also I cannot even BUY a single hole needle plate for it. ???? The holes for the screws in the available Janome needle plates are in a different place. It's only 2 years old and was over $600 on sale. (Probably around $900 MSRP).Otherwise I like it a lot.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Evwillsew - the knee lift pretty much lives up to its name - you press against the lever with your knee to life up the presser foot. I don't know any details about which models get the pressure dial. You could check directly with Janome or your Janome dealer. Although it's not a perfect solution, you could get a straight stitch foot for your machine. It's not quite the super-stable combo of both the plate and the foot, but it does allow for increased, even pressure against the feed dogs. Here is the link at the Janome website: http://content.janome.com/index.cfm/Machines/Accessories/Sewing_Machine_...

cori said:
cori's picture

I am not sure if I missed this but is their a stitch regulator? 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ cori - While some manufacturers have stitch regulators to help beginners learn free motion stitching, the Janome machines have such an inherently precise stitch mechanism, they don't need a regulator. That's why it's so important to actually try these features for yourself on the various machines.

RonnieSewLoca said:
RonnieSewLoca's picture

I noticed a feature that wasnt mentioned...in the photo with the feed drop lever, to the left is an image of scissors with a hole underneath it.  Does something plug in there? Thanks! I love visiting S4H!! 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ RonnieSewLoca - that is a port for an optional foot control that can operate the thread cutter. The Remote Thread cutter Switch unit will allow you to cut threads from a pedal next to your foot controller so you don't have to remove your hands from your fabric.

RonnieSewLoca said:
RonnieSewLoca's picture

What an awesome sewing machine!! I haven't been sewing very long but I am definitely thinking about an upgrade From my Singer fashion mate. The quilt ladies who operate the local fabric stores in my town recommend Janome too. There are so many I am not sure which one to get. I don't quilt, I make handbags and clutch purses. I want to move to heavier material (duck, faux leather) but my current machine doesn't like them. Any suggestions? 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ RonnieSewLoca - Janome machines are know for your fabric feeding precision with all types of substrates. There are a lot of variables in terms of other important features you want, budget, etc. You best bet is to visit your local Janome dealer and test drive some models in your price range to really be able to "feel" which one will be best for your sewing plans. 

Dorothy Schreffler said:
Dorothy Schreffler's picture

I love decorative stitching and have used it on quite a few of my projects.  My questions is that my machine is in the DC series which is a true workhorse and I love it but am not in the market for a new machine at this time.  Is there perhaps a CD of the decorative stitches that could be used on my machine.  That would be fantastic ..... Thank you.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Dorothy Schreffler - Importing decorative stitches into a non-embroidery model is not possible at this time. But, we have passed along your question to our friends at Janome, and they will make sure to talk to Janome R&D in Japan about the option. That would be cool, wouldn't it?

Nancyjc said:
Nancyjc's picture

I'm so excited about the Skyline!  For the last 30 years, I've owned and loved my Janome Combi 10.  She has been a wonderful machine - reliable and we have made many dresses and projects together.  However, I feel that it's time to look for a new sewing machine and the costs are unreal!  I spent less on my car.  So I'm so happy that Janome has developed a machine that is affordable but still has some of the features of a high end machine.  I'm on a really tight budget so the machines I covet are totally out of reach for me.  I'll still have to save for the Skyline but at least it's within reach for me.

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