While visiting Sunshine Sewing and Quilting in Margate, Florida, I had an opportunity to review the Skyline S5 from Janome.
This is one of the most user friendly sewing and quilting machines I have seen in a very long time. Not only is it easy to thread, the stitch selection process is ideal and changing the needle plate is possibly the easiest I have ever seen.
At A Glance
Some sewing machines just look like they are well built and capable of handling the tough jobs. The Skyline S5 from Janome is one of those machines. I can’t pinpoint it, but you just know that this is a sturdy machine by its looks.
It has cool blue accents, an on board stitch selection guide, an automatic needle threader, an on board ruler that gives you measurements in both inches and centimeters.
In addition, conveniently situated function buttons allow the user to perform the most essential sewing functions with just a touch of a finger… start/stop; needle up/down; reverse stitch; tie off; and cut.
The large monochromatic touch screen displays the stitch number along with an image of the proper presser foot to use for best results and the default stitch length and width settings. A numerical pad on the column allows you to simply dial up the stitch number easily and quickly.
The on board accessories case easily snaps on and off to give you quick access to the free arm. I was very pleased to discover that the drop feed control switch is located on the right side of the machine, beneath the balance wheel.
- 170 utility and decorative stitch options
- 91 needle positions
- Adjustable stitch length and width
- Maximum 9mm Stitch Width
- 6 ultra-bright LED lights
- Automatic tension adjustment
- Backlit Digital LCD Screen
- Start/stop button
- Automatic thread cutter
- Reverse button
- Locking stitch button
- Needle up/down
- One-step needle plate converter
- Knee lift
- Free arm
- Drop feed
Working on the Janome Skyline S5
The threading guide on the Janome Skyline S5 is not as clearly defined as you might find on some other sewing and quilting machines, but the process is so simple, detailed guides are not really necessary.
Winding the bobbin is very easy to master. In fact, I don’t think a beginner would have any difficulty mastering these two basic tasks with very little if any assistance at all.
Selecting the right stitch is as simple as referring to the on board stitch selectin guide and dialing up the number on the numerical keypad on the column.
Once the stitch is selected, the default length and width settings appear as well as the identification for the presser foot that is needed to execute the stitch properly.
If you want to adjust the stitch length or width to accommodate a special desire, merely use the up and down arrows beneath the bright blue LCD display.
Not only are the stitches perfectly formed, the Janome Skyline S5 is whisper quiet and has absolutely no vibration whatsoever.
I really like the fact that the drop feed control is easily accessible. Finally, I am beginning to feel like the people who design and manufacture sewing machines are beginning to take note.
Rather than hiding the drop feed control, the switch to lower and raise the feed dogs on the Janome Skyline S5 is located on the right hand side of the machine, near the bottom, just a few inches beneath the balance wheel.
If you prefer to use the straight stitch needle plate it only takes one hand to complete the task. Although the needle plate pops up and slides off easily, it is only engaged when you depress the black button and not before, making it impossible for the needle plate to become disengaged while you are working.
When you are ready to go back to the standard needle plate, simply pop out the straight stitch plate and reinsert the standard plate.
The on board accessories case is not only functional, it is easy to open and close while it is in place, a feature that is not always as user-friendly on some other machines.
This makes changing presser feet and needles far more efficient than having to remove the case or use two hands just to get into the accessory case.
In addition to everything else, the bright LED lighting makes working on the Janome Skyline S5 even more comfortable while it also helps reduce eye strain.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
- 11 Snap on presser feet
- Zigzag foot
- Rolled hem foot
- Zipper foot
- Satin stitch foot
- Blind hemming foot
- Overcast foot
- ¼” seam foot
- Darning foot
- Automatic buttonhole foot
- Even feed foot
- Button sewing foot
- Quilting guide bar
- Buttonhole stabilizer plate
- 5 Bobbins
- 3 Spool pins (1 large, 1 small, 1 special)
- Extra spool pin
- Needle set
- Lint brush
- Seam ripper
- Knee lifter
- Straight stitch needle plate
- Semi-hard fabric cover
- Instructional video DVD
- Owner’s manual
- Straight stitch foot
|After each use||Monthly*||Once Each Year**||As Needed|
|Clean race hook and feed dogs|
|Wipe head with soft dry cloth|
|Wipe head with soft damp cloth|
|Service by sewing machine repair professional|
Tying Off The Loose Ends
The Janome Skyline S5 is an excellent sewing and quilting machine for the novice as well as the individual who has been sewing for several decades.
I highly recommend this machine for anyone who was at one time an avid home sewer, but put their passion for sewing on hold while raising a family or building a career, and now has the time to once again devote to sewing.
If you are new to sewing and want a machine that has more to offer than a basic sewing machine, the Skyline S5 might just be the machine for you.
It is not one that I would recommend for use by young children, not because it is overly complicated, but because I feel there are less costly, user friendly machines that are better suited for use by children younger than ten years of age.
A child of ten or 12 would do well on the Janome Skyline S5 because it is so easy to operate. Learning to use this machine is easy. The stitch selection process could only be easier if you could push a button to get the stitch you want.
Anyone who has been sewing consistently for a long time will be pleased with the convenient features and the ease of operation as well.
I was particularly impressed with the fact that this machine does not take a lot of time or manipulation to manage its different functions, including changing the settings, stitches, adjusting tension or to raising and lowering the feed dogs.
All in all, the Janome Skyline S5 is a great machine for anyone who likes to sew and is interested in machine quilting, but does not have the luxury of living in a home with enough space to accommodate a large quilting frame, or a long arm quilting machine.
The Skyline S5 is large and sturdy enough to handle those large quilting jobs, but small enough to be stowed away when it is not in use and space is a concern.
The Janome Skyline S5 is one of those machines that is a real treat to work on. It is quiet, does not vibrate, has excellent stitch quality and is so user friendly that it is actually time efficient.
This is a major concern for people who have busy lives and still enjoy sewing. When I’m in the sewing room, I want to get as much done in as little time as possible.
The Janome Skyline S5 fits the bill for quick, efficient sewing in every way possible. This is why I recommend this sewing and quilting machine for anyone for whom time management is a concern.
This machine is uncomplicated yet it has all of the essential features the 21st Century home sewer could want. I believe the Janome Skyline S5 is an excellent choice for home sewers at all skill levels.
Beginners will be happy with it because learning to sew will be a delight. Intermediate and advanced home sewers who are in the market for a new sewing and quilting machine that comes with all the essential features, a large number of stitch choices and durability will appreciate it because of the careful design features like putting the drop feed control in a convenient location.
The individual who set home sewing aside for a career and raising a family will love the fact that adjusting to this new machine after many years away from sewing will be ecstatic with the ease with which they will be able to get back in the swing of sewing and machine quilting.
If you are in the market for a new sewing and quilting machine, regardless of your skill level, you owe it to yourself to visit your local Janome dealer and ask for a demonstration of the Skyline S5 before making a final decision.
- Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
- Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
- Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
- Easy to change needle plate
- Easy stitch selection
- User friendly
- Manual tension adjustment