Review Janome Sewist 525S

When we bought the Janome Sewist we already owned a computerised Bernina. As well as the price being much less, the Janome Sewist is much simpler to use and in many ways better.


We bought the Bernina about 5 years ago for about £600  (we have since been told to replace it would the more current version would cost over £1000.)  After about 4 years of regular but not constant use it started to have trouble with the tension puckering on stretch or fine fabrics and refusing to sew or tangling on many layers of fabric or very thick fabrics. We sent it in for a service and it is now working as well as when we first bought it, however we decided to look for a second machine in case it should fail again.


After much online searching we found the Janome sewist 525S which was said to deal well with heavier fabrics. We got the Janome Sewist for about £220 a third of what we paid for he Bernina. The Janome Sewist lives up to expectations and sews all fabrics easily and without a struggle. It is very simple to use with instructive diagrams (on how to thread the machine and bobbin) actually printed on the plastic casing of the machine. Although it has less stitches it still has all the main stitches anyone would need for basic sewing. The Janome is a good working machine which can cope with heavy, fine and stretch fabrics.


The Janome isn’t as sophisticated or as aesthetically pleasing as the Bernina. For example the Janome has a crudely made  and awkward compartment for the bobbins and accessories. Also on the Janome the threading of a new bobbin can prove to be difficult because you have to thread the cotton through a small hole in the top of the bobbin, then hold the thread at exactly the right tension whilst the machine winds the cotton on. This would not be practical for someone regularly winding bobbins such as for someone doing machine embroidery. Unlike the Bernina there is no function to use for intricate embroidery stitches, you cannot set the machine to half speed or tell it to leave the needle in the fabric.


Despite the lack of these features I think the Janome Sewist is a great machine and in comparison it easily stands up to the Bernina, however when in full working condition the Bernina might just have the edge on it. When you consider the price, well I know which one I would choose.



The Janome Sewist 525S is available at:


Sewing Machine Sales


Frank Nutt: