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  • 7/15/2021

    We are very fortunate to have so many talented Cosplayers in the Janome Maker Program. It is inspiring to learn how they create spectacular costumes by thinking outside of the box, using items that are not typically thought of as sewing fabrics, and somehow making it all come together seamlessly! 


    Janome Maker Nipah Dubs wanted to create a chainmail top for his latest  Warrior of Light Paladin cosplay that is attainable for everyone! Get ready to be astounded at the look he accomplished and then try it yourself! Thank you, Nipah for this great tutorial! 




    It's REALLY easy and gets the idea of chainmail across rather well in my opinion without needing to spend a lot of real chainmail and also not having to deal with the weight/bulk chain mail has.



    • Non-slip rug mat

    • Baby Powder 

    • Rustoleum Silver spray paint 

    • Design Masters Floral Spray (Black)

      Hey guys, I wanted to share with you how I went about making my chainmail for my Warrior of Light Paladin cosplay. It's REALLY easy and gets the idea of chainmail across rather well in my opinion without needing to spend a lot of real chainmail and also not having to deal with the weight/bulk chain mail has.

      So first off, what is it made out of? Well, it's simply just the rubber floor matting you put under carpets so they don't slip and move around! These come in various styles but you want to get this version where it's a spaced-out grid pattern!


    Go ahead and unravel the mat and fold it over so it is double-layered, I will be making just a chainmail top so a standard sweatshirt pattern is all you need. When cutting out your pattern be sure you make it bigger than you need, that way you can take it in as you go, this material DOES NOT stretch at all and can be a pain to get on and off due to its nature being a non-slip rubber.


    I got the basic shape I needed (Again, making it much larger than myself) and now it was time to sew!


    When putting it on your machine to sew, make sure to interlock the grids so that the holes are filled in by the overlapping grid of the top layer, this way you’re not sewing into nothing.

    I used your standard Zig-Zag stitch for this, that way it would catch the fabric much easier and had less chance of messing up (ex. if I used a straight stitch it would be much harder to sew). The material is a bit hard to sew through so take your time and go slowly making sure to adjust as you work your way through.

    Repeat the last steps while taking it in and keep trying it on till you get to a point where it fits well enough on your body! You don't want it too tight where it's uncomfortable after all, just loose enough to where it's still fitted/flattering on you.

    Now comes painting! Be sure to spray in a well-ventilated area using protective gear for safety. Please read all of the manufacturer’s requirements prior to use.  Due to this project being rubber and something that will move as it is worn,  I am using Design Masters Floral spray in black, this paint is intended to be used on fake flowers and crafts that do move and bend, the paint moves with it and will NOT crack. I usually use this on boots but it also works perfectly as a base for this project. Spray evenly to give a decent coat to both sides and let it dry thoroughly. Next, I am using silver spray paint to get the look of metal. 


    One thing to note about spray paint against rubber is that it doesn't cure 100% properly due to the material, it leaves it a bit sticky but there is an easy way to get rid of the stickiness. Take some baby powder and put a portion of it inside a plastic bag, then put the top into it. Tie up the bag and shake it around for a couple of minutes, enough time to get the power on all of the spaces it needs to of the chainmail. Once you're done, take it out and shake it off to get rid of the excess powder and ta-dah, no more stickiness!



    You can opt to leave it like this if you wish but in my opinion, it's rather difficult to take on and off by slipping it over your head so I opted to do something to help with that issue. I installed a zipper down the front, it would not be seen on the cosplay, and this way it would be MUCH easier to put on. I also used a Zig-Zag stitch for this to help catch the chainmail underneath and make sure it was fully stitched onto the zipper. For extra measures, you can go over your zig-zag stitch with a straight stitch if you want!    


    I installed a zipper down the front, it would not be seen on the cosplay, and this way it would be MUCH easier to put on. I also used a Zig-Zag stitch for this to help catch the chainmail underneath and make sure it was fully stitched onto the zipper. For extra measures, you can go over your zig-zag stitch with a straight stitch if you want!

    And with that, it is done! Hope this tutorial helps you out on your cosplay adventures!


  • 7/15/2021

     A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog #ABitofScrapStuffPattern #GoodTidingsQAL #GoodTidingsQuilt  #RileyBlakeDesigns #Quilt


    Hi Janome Friends!  It is time to start piecing the Good Tidings Block with Janome Maker Melanie Call from A Bit of Scrap Stuff!

    Join Melanie for her favorite part of making a quilt! She loves watching the cut pieces of fabric become a quilt...just like a fabric puzzle. Plus her Janome M7 sews so fabulously!

    This week we will be sewing the Flying Geese Block ... I love this versatile block! Be sure to keep reading as you can make bonus half-square triangle blocks from the trimmed fabric scraps.


    A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog #ABitofScrapStuffPattern #GoodTidingsQAL #GoodTidingsQuilt  #RileyBlakeDesigns #Quilt


    Good Tidings Quilt Flying Geese Instructions (HERE) Don't forget to share your fabric selection, cutting, and flying geese  on Instagram with the hashtag #GoodTidingsQAL

    Each week  I will be sharing a new pattern section each for the FREE Good Tidings Quilt Quilt Along (schedule at end of blog post)

    A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog #ABitofScrapStuffPattern #GoodTidingsQAL #GoodTidingsQuilt  #RileyBlakeDesigns #Quilt


    Good Tidings Quilt    
    #GoodTidingsQAL     59.5" x 59.5"
    A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog #ABitofScrapStuff #GoodTidingsQAL #GoodTidingsQuilt #RileyBlakeDesigns


    Flying Geese Instructions


    A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog #ABitofScrapStuffPattern #GoodTidingsQAL #GoodTidingsQuilt  #RileyBlakeDesigns #Quilt

    Bonus Half-Square Triangles 
    Don't toss the trimmed off triangle fabric scraps. You can sew (2) triangles together to make a half-square triangle! 
    A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog #ABitofScrapStuffPattern #GoodTidingsQAL #GoodTidingsQuilt  #RileyBlakeDesigns #QuiltA Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog #ABitofScrapStuffPattern #GoodTidingsQAL #GoodTidingsQuilt  #RileyBlakeDesigns #Quilt
    Trim the half-square triangles to 2.5" squares. I like to use the Bloc-loc Half-Square Triangle Ruler for accurate trimming.  You can use the (72) half-square triangles to create a bonus project! My favorite scrap project is to make a pillow because each quilt needs a matching pillow :)

    A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog #ABitofScrapStuffPattern #GoodTidingsQAL #GoodTidingsQuilt  #RileyBlakeDesigns #Quilt
    Good Tidings Quilt Along Schedule
    A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog #ABitofScrapStuff #GoodTidingsQAL #GoodTidingsQuilt #RileyBlakeDesigns

    Good Tidings Quilt Along Blog Posts
    A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog #ABitofScrapStuffPattern #GoodTidingsQAL #GoodTidingsQuilt  #RileyBlakeDesigns #Quilt
    I can't wait to see your Good Tidings Quilt progress photos!!! #GoodTidingsQAL
    Be sure to follow me on Instagram @ABitofScrapStuff and on my A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog for more fabric fun!

    Have a great day and happy quilting! 

    Melanie Call



  • 7/15/2021

    With an upsurge in garment sewing, there has also been an increased interest in sewing undergarments.  If you have ever been curious about starting your own under wardrobe, you will be joyous to learn how easy it is to make your own panties with Janome Maker Raven Maureen. Not only is Raven a Janome Maker, she is also a Makerist Ambassador.  Time to demystify constructing your own panties! 



    Download the FREE Leonie panty pattern by visiting HERE. 

    For this project, you will need the following:

    Serger and/or sewing machine.

    I used my Janome Air Thread 2000D Serger and the Skyline S7 sewing machine for this project.


    • Lingerie elastic. This is the one that I used.
    • Lycra, jersey knit, or spandex.
    • Contrasting lace or fabric is optional
    • Stretch knit needles for your machine


    After printing out your pattern, cut out all of your pieces following the cutting instructions included. You'll need to cut 2 gusset pieces. For construction,  you can use the zig-zag stitch on your machine, but for this tutorial, I used my serger. It's completely up to you.



    With the right sides of the fabric facing,  sew the gusset to the front piece. 



    On the other side of your front piece, wrong sides together sew your other gusset piece. It should look like this.




    Attach your back piece, sewing through all thicknesses. If you do not have a serger, use the zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine. 



    Attach side pieces. At this step, it should already start to look like a pair of panties. YAY!



    A quick tip: This is not part of the instructions but it helped me prepare for the next step. Baste your gusset pieces together so that they stay put while sewing on your elastic.



    Here's the tricky part. Attaching the lingerie elastic. I always sew my elastic with the design showing on the right side. It's just easier that way and I don't believe there is a right or wrong way to do it if you ask me.



    Using your zig-zag stitch on your machine, you'll need to add this piece to the waistband and the leg openings of your panties. I turned my panties so that the wrong side of the is showing to make sure that my stitch is catching the elastic and the fabric.  I stitched all the way around my waistband and leg openings.  Be extra careful not to stretch your elastic or the fabric during this step.





    Next, overlap the edges of the elastic at the seam to avoid bulk.



    TA-DA! You are all finished!


  • 7/14/2021

    Janome Maker Carolyn Norman has leveled up her wardrobe using the Janome Circular Attachment! 

    Carolyn will reveal how easy it is to use the beautiful built-in decorative stitches on your Janome machine to personalize your wardrobe whether store-bought or hand-sewn. This method can also be used on other sewing projects like bags, home decor, and even quilts!  



    I saw a Ready-To-Wear top that inspired me to try creating some circular designs on a tunic.  My tunic is me-made but you could easily do the same thing on a purchased tunic or top.  

    Here's how I made it happen ~

    Skill Level:  Intermediate

    Time to complete the circles:  4-6 hours; additional hours if you sew your garment.

    Project Supply List:

    Janome Circular Attachment

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    Compass & pencil

    Sulky Total Iron On/Tear Away Stabilizer

    Schmetz Universal #70 Needle

    Small screwdriver included in Accessory Kit

    Amann Group Isacord 100% polyester ombre thread or a rayon thread of your choice

    4" small sharp scissors

    I am sewing on a Janome 9450QCP but the Circular Attachment is available for other models.

    The pattern for the top is The Katie by MimiGStyle




    Application of the Design:

    1.  Follow the instructions included in the packaging for the Circular Attachment to attach it to your sewing machine.

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    2.  Determine where on your garment you want your design to be.  I put the design on my garment pieces before sewing them together.

    3.  If you are embellishing RTW, try it on and make light marks where you’d like the designs; for something you’re making, hold the pattern pieces up to yourself and mark the center of the circle.  You may want to use the compass to draw out the smallest circle which you can stitch first. 

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    4.  After you've made a mark to begin stitching out your circles, apply your interfacing and place the stabilized fabric on the sharp point of the Circular Attachment, place the black cap back on, and lock the bar into place. 

    5.  Decide what decorative stitches you want to use. I would suggest making a few samples on scrap fabric to see how the stitches lay on the fabric.  If using a RTW garment, I would suggest using a less dense stitch so it doesn't change the fit of the garment. 

    6.  For my garment, I started from the outside of the row of stitching farthest from the pin working inwards.

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    7. The largest circle was on the back of the shirt and consisted of 8 rows (10 inches wide) using 4 different design patterns:

        - Outer circle 1 row - Quilt stitch #33

        - Next 3 rows - Quilt stitch #22

        - Next 4 rows - Quilt stitch #23

        - Center of the circle - Satin Stitch #8

    8.  After determining the order of using the designs, sew each circle until you reach the last point of your design.

    9.  I decided to make my last round of designs 1" from the center point. 

    10. When adding the next row of stitches, I aligned the side of my presser foot with the row of stitching.  This allowed the space between the stitches to be the same for each row.

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    11. When coming to the end of the circle, adjust to a slower speed to ensure that the stitches join cleanly.

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    12. If while stitching, you're unsure of how the design is progressing, stop sewing (with the needle in the down position) and lift your foot.  You can smooth out your fabric or check how the stitching is going without causing the machine to lose its place.

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    13. Here's what a finished circle looks like after completion. I added a design to the center to cover the hole from the pin.


    I added circles to the back of my tunic ~

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    Several sizes of circles to the bottom front of my tunic. You can choose one color or more for a completely different look! 

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    I also added one on the elbow of the sleeve for an extra design pop! You can add a variety of sizes of circles and decorative stitches to create a gorgeous statement piece! 

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    A Few Tips to make using the Circular Attachment easier:

    - When you take the screw out of the package, put it in a magnetic pin cushion holder so it will not be lost.

    - Gently ease the fabric - because the machine will do all of the circular stitching but if you're sewing on a large piece of fabric or a full garment, you will need to make sure ALL of the fabric is easing around the pin. 

    - I found it easier to let the machine perform the circular pattern stitching further away from the pin.  You will need to manage the fabric more as you get closer to the pin.

    You too can add any type of circle design or embellishment to your garment, a bag, a hat, or a new make.  Give it a try! It's a new way to experience the wonderful abilities your sewing machine has to enhance a RTW or new garment make.



  • 7/13/2021


    Do you have an interest in historical costuming? With more events opening up it is time to get stitching up costumes, cosplay, or garments!  Janome Maker Adrienne Chiu from Wax Sealed Costumes utilized the embroidery feature on her Skyline S9 to create these lovely magnetic removable 16th-century blackwork embroidery frills. 



    Planning ahead for when renaissance faires can safely happen again, I’ve started to work on my first more historically accurate/inspired mid-16th century outfit. I pre-ordered the new Typical Tudor book from The Tudor Tailor, but publication is delayed until this spring. Last winter, I was able to pattern test for them, and since I’m starting from the skin out, I chose the shift pattern. I made it from some shift weight linen and linen thread from Burnley and Trowbridge and sewed it with my Janome Skyline S9

    Fancy wrist cuffs and neck ruffs in the 16th century were made to be detachable so that the smock or shift could be easily laundered separately. These would be sewn/basted on, which is what I’ve done with my 18th-century engagements in the past. The guild I attend renaissance faire with does historical European martial arts demonstrations and wrist frills don’t fit in my gauntlets without getting crushed. Unpicking and resewing cuffs multiple times a day isn’t practical, so I chose to make magnetic removable cuffs to easily take them on and off during the day. 

    Here’s how to make your very own magnetic removable blackwork embroidery cuffs!

    I started off with designing my blackwork embroidery for the cuffs. While searching for inspiration, I noticed that an element in Jane Seymour’s frills in this painting looked like shields. I took that as a base and changed up the design to add in a sword and halberd, so my cuffs would be on theme for my ren faire guild. 

    Jane Seymour was painted by Hans Holbein In 1536. Zoom in to all the gorgeous details here: https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/egE1bExAbnBDgg

    This was my first time digitizing machine embroidery. I started off in Adobe Photoshop and quickly realized I needed to switch to Adobe Illustrator so that I could import the vector file into Stitch Era, the program I used to convert the vectors into machine embroidery files. 

    I did test stitch runs – after the first one, I realized one element was too small and making the whole design inefficient, so I took it out entirely. Hand-done blackwork embroidery, particularly with the Holbein stitch, creates a reversible piece, but with machine embroidery, the backside doesn’t perfectly match the front (especially if you use thinner bobbin thread as I do), so I mirrored the design and folded the piece in half to create two “good” sides of the frill.

    Now it was time for the real deal. This is my first time stitching a repeating/continuous machine embroidery pattern, so I’m still learning the best ways to line pieces up. I added a piece of draping tape to the hoop grid as an extra reference marker. The Skyline S9 also has features to move the hoop/needle to each corner of the piece, which I used to check alignment. I also jumped ahead in the stitch count to check alignment in a few key spots in the middle of my piece.

    I stitched my design out on the RE20a hoop and did three repeats to get the length I wanted, which is slightly longer than the frill piece in my Tudor Tailor pattern. This is the biggest hoop for the Janome Skyline S9 with 170x200mm of usable space. The backside is stabilized with Sulky Solvy Water Soluble Stabilizer – I have a tearaway stabilizer, but my design has so many small stitches, it would be very tedious to tear all those out, so I went with a washable one. 


    My two lengths of embroidery were washed and dried to remove the water-soluble stabilizer. I cut these out with a ½” seam allowance. 


    On each short end, fold them right sides together, stitch, clip the corner, turn, and press to create the double-sided embroidery piece.



    To make the sewable magnets, I chose small magnets because I wanted to make sure they fit inside the cuff, were soft and relatively unobtrusive. Ready-made sewable magnets I could find were all wider in diameter, thicker, and covered with plastic. Comfort is key as I’d be some of wearing these inside gauntlets while sparring. 


    I cut small lengths of linen from leftovers, folded them over to encase the magnets, and used pins to hold the magnets in place while getting it aligned to sew on the machine (the magnet will want to stick to the needle plate). Start at one corner, sew a straight line to the edge of the magnet, keep the needle down, lift the presser foot, rotate the whole piece 45 degrees, bring down the presser foot and keep sewing. Repeat until all four sides are sewn and the magnet is fully encased. I went with 3 magnets along my cuff and you’ll need a set for the shift cuff and the removable frill cuff, so a total of 12 magnets. 

    Use the gathering stitch setting and sew at least two rows of stitches along the raw edge side and pull on the bobbin threads to gather the frill to the cuff length.


    Cut out cuff bands that match the cuffs you use on your shift sleeve end. Sewing your new sewable magnets to one side and then fold in half lengthwise and press. If you plan on sewing buttonholes or eyelets to your sleeve cuffs, keep that in mind and leave some space for those/don’t block it with your magnets. (I went with eyelets for mine)

    Pin your gathered frill to your cuff, right sides, and raw edges together, and sew. (Note: if you happen to have a preferred side of your frill to show on the outside, then sew the cuff band such that the magnets will also be on that side). Then fold and sew the short ends (like you did with the frills), clip, and turn them right side out. You should be ready to turn in the raw edge of the cuff band and encase the raw edges of your frill now. Since this won’t be visible, I chose to machine sew the cuff band down with the dual feed foot. 

    Use the same method to sew the magnets to the cuff of your shift. I used a Clover water soluble marker to make sure the magnets are aligned and be sure to triple check you have the magnets facing the right way so the two cuff bands will stick together! Remember the note from above? For the strongest connection, I sewed the magnets to the wrist-facing layer of the sleeve cuff and the outer-facing layer of the removable cuff. The finished removable cuff will attach along the inside of your sleeve cuff. 


    Since the sleeve-side cuff will be visible, I chose to hand whip stitch the inside of the band to the sleeve. 

    If your embroidery design has some jump threads, remember to clean those up. I was so eager to keep working on my cuff, I didn’t trim these until the end, and the gathered frill made it a little harder, so I recommend doing this right after you finish embroidering. 

    And there you have it. Magnetic removable blackwork embroidery cuffs – perfect for when you don’t feel like being so fancy or they’re getting in the way of putting on gauntlets. You can use this magnet method to make other accessible clothing accessories as well!




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