In a previous post I’ve told you about my decision to look for a new sewing machine. A sturdy model, with enough bells and whistles to to keep me happy for years to come. With my top 6 machines in mind I went to the local sewing machine store.
I told the vendor which machines I was interested in and he took the time to demonstrate them for me, so I could get a feel for each machine. And in the end that made all the difference. All the specs that I’ve been analyzing for weeks, months even came to live. And then it became remarkably easy to pick a machine.
Janome Skyline S3
The first machine I tried out was one by Janome. A relatively unkown brand here, compared to the others, but they have been making quality sewing machines for about a century. The Skyline S3 is one of there newest models, and is equipped with some nifty features like: automatic ……., needle up/down position, sewing without foot pedal, etc. But I was most impressed by the easy of which this machine went through the fabric. So quietly and supple, wow! The quality of the stitches and buttonholes was also amazing.
Then I wanted to try out the Pfaff Ambition 1.0 but they didn’t have it in store. They did have the Ambition Essential, which is basically the same machine, except that is doesn’t have the amibility to sew without a foot pedal, and there’s no manual speed adjustment. Pfaff is known for reliable German engineering, just like the Bernina’s, but a bit more affordable. Their unique selling point is the IDT system: a built in walking foot that makes sure the fabric feeds evenly, making seams nice and neat. But, think about it…all the industrial grade sewing machines, don’t have this system now do they? And those are the best machines around. So my guess is it’s a bit overrated.
The machine itself had a nice and clean design, which I love. But after having sewn with it for a while it became very clear to me that I didn’t like this one as much as the Janome. It was more noisy, and the quality of the buttonholes wasn’t quite as nice.
So, on to the next one. The vendor immediately pointed out that the Husqvarna Viking is the lesser brand in comparison to the others. For example, the pressure foot is made of plastic, which isn’t as durable as metal. And in other parts in the inside of the machine plastic is used as well, even in the more expensive models like the Saphire, which I tried out at the store. It was noisy, and the machine vibrated while sewing. Something none of the other machines did. So it was very clear to me that this wasn’t the machine for me.
Lastly, I looked at Brother machines. The Innovis 55 and 100 are sold for the same price, but they do have different specs. The Innovis 55 has 81 stitches, which can even be mirrored, and an alfabet is included as well. But the machine does have a plastic frame, as the Innovis 100 Prime Edition has a metal frame which makes is sturdier. But you do miss out on a lot of stitches, since it only has 30. If you’re not a quilter and only sew garments that shouldn’t be a problem though. The Brother Innoves 100 PE sews in the same noiseless manner as the Janome Skyline, and has the same sturdy build and excellent stitch quality.
Because I want to go all out this time and have as much stiches, bells and whistles as possible for my budget I picked the Janome Skyline S3. The Innovis 100 comes in as a close second. The Janome has more sewing space, which comes in handy when I might try my hand on quilting in the future. So, I’ve made my pick, Janome Skyline S3 it is!
What is your favorite sewing machine brand?