The Janome Skyline S9 is the third in the Janome Skyline S series that I have had the pleasure of reviewing. The first was the S5, which I reviewed late in 2014. In the late summer of 2016, I reviewed the Skyline S7 at Sunshine Sewing and Quilting in Margate, Florida… the same place where I reviewed the Skyline S5.
Not long after reviewing that machine, I learned of the existence of the S9. At first, I thought the S9 was a similar machine, and could not for the life of me understand why Janome would put out another one so soon.
However, when I visited Sunshine to review this one, I was pleased to discover that, while there are lots of similarities, it is quite different. The Janome Skyline S9 is a combination sewing, quilting and embroidery machine while the S7 is limited to sewing and quilting only.
At A Glance
The Janome Skyline S9 looks very much like the S7, but upon closer inspection, I realized that the S9 has a slightly larger footprint. It is also equipped with Janome’s patented permanently attached embroidery unit which swing out when the machine is used in the embroidery mode.
There are also function buttons: start/stop; presser foot up/down; design stop; vertical mirror image; and thread tie-off/cut along with a variable speed control slider.
There is a free arm and a drop feed control lever on the right side of the machine, near the power switch. The on board accessory case has a ruler on front along with a slot for inserting the knee lift.
Beneath the lid is a stitch selection guide and on the front of the column is a large LCD touch screen. Under the needle is a bright LED light, a needle threader, a see through bobbin cover and a needle plate with easy to see seam guides.
- 300 On board utility/decorative stitches
- 11 one step buttonholes
- 250 Embroidery designs
- 40 Exclusive Anna Maria Horner designs
- 20 Monogramming fonts
- Free arm embroidery
- Design transfer via Wi-Fi, USB flash drive or direct PC connection
- On-screen editing
- Programmable jump thread trimming
- Adjustable speed while embroidering
- Flexible stitch traveling: 1, 10, 100 and 500 stitches
- Adjustable hoop position
- Cutwork enabled
- Embroidery couching
- Drop in rotary hook bobbin
- Automatic tension control
- Superior needle threader
- AcuFeed™ Flex Layered Fabric Feeding System
- Stitch tapering
- Variable zigzag
- AcuGuide automatic cloth guide
- Free arm
- Drop feed
- Function control buttons
- Start/stop button
- Locking stitch button
- Automatic thread cutter
- Reverse/lock stitch button
- Presser foot up/down
- Variable speed control slider
- Programmable needle up/down
- Memory function
- Twin needle guard
- Last stitch recall
- Knee lift
- Auto declutch bobbin winder
- Extra high presser foot lift
- Full color LCD touchscreen
- Automatic presser foot pressure adjustment
- Adjustable stitch length and width
- 91 Needle positions
- On board accessory storage
Working on the Janome Skyline S9
The Janome Skyline S9 is identical to the S7 when it comes to threading the machine, winding the bobbin and setting it in place. After that, however, the differences become to come into play.
If you choose to use the embroidery function, it is first necessary to go into the menu and select the embroidery function then flip a switch on the back of the machine to engage the arm embroidery unit. After selecting one of the on board embroidery designs or a design of your own from your computer or flash drive, select the hoop which would best suit our purposes and simply place it on the extension arm and lock it into place.
For this review, I sampled a four thread on board design. This machine is so quiet I barely heard it at all while my design was flawlessly produced.
When in the sewing mode, the Janome Skyline S9 was just as quiet, even though it was set at the highest speed setting – 1000 stitches per minute. Although I had a good sense and feeling that this is a very well built machine while it was operating in the embroidery mode, I was able to really experience its solid construction during the actual hands on part of the review while working in the sewing mode.
Even on a folding table and while sewing at the highest possible speed, there was absolutely no vibration. In addition, each stitch came out with precise perfection. For some reason, I started out working with yellow thread, but on the light colored fabric I chose for the review, I was concerned that the photographs would not adequately show the quality of the stitches.
Changing the upper thread took mere seconds. Anyone who has limited time to spend in the sewing room could certainly appreciate that!
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
- 19 Snap on presser feet
- ¼” Seam Foot (single)
- AcuFeed Flex™ ¼” seam foot (twin)
- AcuFeed Flex™ dual feed holder with ad foot
- AcuFeed Flex™ holder and foot (single)
- AcuFeed single zipper foot
- Automatic buttonhole foot with stabilizer plate
- Blind hem foot
- Button sewing foot
- Darning foot
- Embroidery couching foot
- Free motion quilting closed toe foot
- Free motion quilting open toe foot
- free motion quilting zig-zag foot
- Open toe satin stitch foot
- Overedge foot
- Rolled hem foot
- Satin stitch foot
- Zigzag foot
- Zipper foot
- Embroidery hoops (3)
- 100mm x 40mm
- 170mm x 200mm
- 140mm x 140mm
- Straight stitch needle plate
- Quilting guide bar
- Dust cover
- Extra needles
- 5 Bobbins
- Spool pin
- Spool caps
- Lint brush
- Seam ripper
|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
I was genuinely surprised when I learned of the existence of the Janome Skyline S9 so soon after the release of the S7. Anyone familiar with the way independent sewing machine dealers operate knows that machines are not automatically delivered upon released.
In this case, however, the S9 was delivered to Sunshine Sewing and Quilting just a few short hours after I finished reviewing the Skyline S7. Fay Nicoll, the store owner was almost as surprised as I was. She admitted that she was expecting delivery the following week.
I was impressed by the fact that embroidery designs could be easily transferred from a computer via WiFi and that the embroidery process was so user-friendly.
Very seldom do I recommend a sewing, quilting and embroidery machine for use by a beginner, but the Janome Skyline S9 is so easy to operate, I believe this machine could be a very useful teaching machine for certain teens, young adults and even new sewers who are advanced in age.
I do not, however, recommend the use of this machine by children younger than 12 or 13 years of age. The very easy to follow on board guides and tutorials are very helpful for anyone who might be less familiar with the general operation of a sewing machine.
The solid construction are indicators that with proper care and maintenance, the Janome Skyline S9 will stand the test of time. In my opinion, it is safe to assume that this machine will last more than just five to ten years.
My only concern in this regard is the fact that all sewing machine manufacturers have pretty much established a policy of not making replacement parts for any sewing machine that is more than 15 years old. To me, this is a very unsavory business practice because it forces consumers to go out and buy new machines even though the machines they already have could be repaired if the parts were available.
This is something we simply cannot get around. The only possible solution is to make friends with the owner and/or manager of shop that specializes in sewing machine repair and then cross our fingers, hoping that they will have a stockpile of the parts you need when the time comes.
With this awareness, I hesitate to recommend that anyone purchase an extremely expensive sewing machine. However, with an MSRP of $3999, I believe that anyone who is serious about sewing, machine quilting and machine embroidery will certainly be able to get their money’s worth out of the Janome Skyline S9 before it becomes obsolete.
- 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.
- User friendly combination sewing/quilting/embroidery machine