As far as features are concerned, Janome Schoolmate S-3015 is a let down. However it is a good machine for basic sewing tasks. Better alternatives are there though.
Janome Schoolmate S-3015 Main Features
- 15 built-in stitches
- Top drop-in bobbin
- Extra-high presser foot lifter
- Free arm
- Drop feed
Janome Schoolmate S-3015 Review
S-3015 is a basic beginners sewing machine. It isn’t a popular model in US at least for now, so its availability is still under question. Janome Schoolmate S-3015 isn’t a feature rich sewing machine by any stretch of imagination, it is good enough for basic sewing tasks only. It comes with 15 built-in stitches including a 4-step buttonhole. It has a beginner friendly top drop-in bobbin with clear cover. The clear cover is a very useful thing as you can keep an eye on the bobbin thread supply.
Stitch selection on Janome Schoolmate S-3015 is done by turning a dial. The maximum stitch width is 5mm and stitch length is 4mm. Reverse stitch lever is conveniently located and is of reasonable size for easy engaging. The machine is free arm convertible for sewing tubular areas. Drop feed lever can be engaged for free-motion sewing.
Thread tension needs to be adjusted manually. Snap-on presser feet are easy to change. Extra-high presser foot lifter is provided for accommodating multiple layers of fabrics. Presser foot pressure is adjustable. There is a manual thread cutter on the side of the machine. A built-in carrying handle adds to portability. The machine comes with a hard cover as well.
You can’t call Janome Schoolmate S-3015 as a very good beginners machine as it lacks some basic features that you get on sub $100 machines (we will discuss that in the limitations section). As far as the build quality is concerned, it is satisfactory. Janome machines are popular for its build quality and S-3015 is not very different. The machine weighs 16.2 pounds, which suggests that it is made of quality material (aluminum alloy construction) not just mere plastic. The variety of stitch options are adequate for an out and out beginner, but it will not excite an experienced sewer. The stitch quality is pretty good as well. The available work space accounts to W 6.5″x H 4.5″. A built-in storage compartment adds to the practicality of the machine.
In a good user-friendly beginners sewing machine, you normally expect 3 basic features, an automatic needle threader, 1-step buttonhole and top drop-in bobbin. Even though Schoolmate S-3015 has a top drop-in bobbin, it misses out on the other two. Automatic needle threader is a big time saver. Making buttonholes in 1-step is much more easier than making them in 4 steps. If Janome had included both these features, they would have had a winner.
Is It Worth Buying?
Considering the features that Janome Schoolmate S-3015 misses out, combined with the high price that you normally associate with Janome machines, I think this is not quite the machine that I would recommend. I think there are better alternatives like the Brother XM2701 out in the market. Machines like XM2701 are so rich in features that they can easily overshadow Schoolmate S-3015.
Brother XM2701 is the best beginners machine in the sub $100 price category. It has excellent stitch quality and has features like 27 built-in stitches, 1-step buttonhole, automatic needle threader, top drop-in bobbin etc.