Janome Blog

  • 7/11/2018

    We love hearing about parents sewing with their children! It's a great way to get bonding time and build children's confidence while trying something new! Read on to hear about our Education Manager, Regena Carlevaro, and her experience sewing with her son. (If you're ready to get sewing with your favorite kiddos, our Summer Sewing Series is a great way to get going!)

    "A few months ago, my 10 year old son Bruce and I went shopping for a new comforter for his bedroom. After going to several stores and not finding anything that fit into his new theme, he asked, “Mom, why don’t we make a quilt together?” After I picked up my gooey heart off the ground and put it back into my chest, I replied, “I would love to make a quilt with you. What a great idea!”, and off to the fabric store we went.

    During this journey, I was amazed by what I learned about my son’s abilities, as well as the opportunities it gave me to share my love of sewing with others. I’ll start out with what I learned.

    1. When selecting a quilt pattern, make sure that the quilt is designed to be sewn by kids, not just designed to look kid-friendly. When sewing 1 ½” strips together, there is not a lot of room for error. Even with the guide on my ¼” Seam foot, a Clothguide and painters tape on the machine, my son wasn’t able to sew the straightest seams. Fortunately, I survived this since I let me machine’s feed dogs ease in the strips that were slightly longer in length.  Then, there was the fussy cutting. Don’t even get me started on that! 

     

    But, through it all, I made sure to make it fun. I didn’t want my son to think this was a chore or that he was messing it up. When he made a mistake or created a hurdle, we fixed it together and found something funny to laugh about.

    2. Trust your child’s color sense and don’t impose your taste on them. After picking out the main fabric, I showed Bruce the color chips shown on the selvedge and told him that we needed to pick out coordinating fabrics. I thought I would have to guide him through this process. It amazed me how he would look at a certain fabric and had the ability to see how the print would accent his main fabric.

     

    3. “Where’s the Scissors Key?” During the course of sewing the quilt together, I upgraded from my 6500P to the 6700P.  I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have any concerns about him sewing on my new machine. Because of this, I put him in front of a basic sewing machine. His reaction was hilarious - “Where’s the scissors key? I can’t sew on this machine, Mom, it’s too basic!”

    If you’re going to let your child sew on your top of the line sewing machine, don’t expect them to be happy if you downgrade them. Kids these days are wired differently. They can handle and expect all of the latest gadgets in whatever they do. Push buttons, automatic stitch selection and sewing shortcuts like a scissors key are as normal to them as breathing. If having these features makes them want to sew, then let them sew on your machine! It’s a Janome, it can take it.

    4. Make sure you purchase extra fabric. There will be cutting and sewing mistakes, so be prepared to cut out extra strips, blocks etc. But, the main reason to buy extra fabric is because sewing is contagious. After we finished binding the quilt and laying it on his bed, my son realized that he needed coordinating curtains and a pillowcase. After sewing a quilt together, this was a piece of cake and he was able to do most of this on his own with a little cutting and sewing supervision from me. 

    The opportunities to talk about the love of sewing came from his class at school.

    During the week that we had sewn the first row of blocks together, he came home and told me that his class had made “math quilts”. These are basic printed quilt blocks on paper that have math problems in each section of the design. When they figure out the sum, a legend on the side told them what color to select to fill in the section. My son very proudly told his teacher that he was making a real quilt at home. Ms. Cruz was immediately interested and asked him if he could bring it in for show and tell. He very proudly took it to school that Friday.

    Later on that month, I met with both of his teachers for Parent/Teacher conferences and had to prevent my buttons popping off my blouse because of how proud I was of him. His teachers told me how Bruce very calmly stood in front of his class and explained how math was used to measure and cut out the fabric so that it all matched up. I almost cried when they said that Bruce was bragging about how awesome I am and that I “can sew just about anything”. Before I left, I made arrangements with them to bring in the finished quilt for the big reveal.

    5. If possible, use the opportunity to encourage other future sewists. I arrived at his school at 9:30am, quilt in hand. His fellow classmates were quite impressed with the finished quilt and I heard a wave of little voices saying, “That’s so cool”! We discussed the math of creating a quilt, how we designed it and what our favorite parts of making the quilt together. When Bruce said his favorite part of doing something with his Mom, “Awwww” was the overall response.  These smart little kids even noticed the quilting and likened it to Van Gogh’s, The Starry Night.

     

    But, I think the absolutely best comment came from a little girl who said, “This is like making something in Minecraft, only you have something to show for your work when you’re done.”  

    Together, my son and I planted a seed that day. I hope it takes root."

    Thanks Regena for sharing this inspirational story with us and good luck to you and Bruce on the next sewing adventure!

  • 7/10/2018

    Can’t make up your mind on whether to add an overlocker to your sewing machine collection? Here are 4 signs to help you decide:

    Do you sew mostly garments?

    Let’s face it, unfinished garment seams, especially on woven fabrics, aren’t durable over time. Eventually the fabric will fray, showing the unfinished edges and sometimes your seams will start to unravel. (That’s the beginning of the end for your handmade garment!)

    If you look at your store-bought clothes you will most likely notice the flawless edge of the seams. This is where the brilliant work of an overlocker comes into play – it stitches and trims away excess fabric along the edge all at once!

    The overlocker can be set up to complete many finishes by simply adjusting the settings to suit your project. Investing in an overlocker will make your garments stand the test of time, while making them look professionally constructed.

     

    Do you have limited time to sew?

    Granted, not all of us are full-time home sewists. Some of us are lucky if we can have an uninterrupted stitching session while the kiddos are napping, or have a ninja sew straight after getting home from our full-time job. If your sewing time is limited, an overlocker can help you whiz through your projects quickly and efficiently.

    A serger can be used for many finishes including construction of garments, through to finishing off the edges of fabric that will then be seamed on the sewing machine. In particular, the serger is useful for knit and stretch fabrics, as it helps to guide and seam these fabrics that are often difficult to sew using a sewing machine.

     

    Do you have trouble with the edges of your seamed fabrics rolling after sewing with the sewing machine?

    Does the fabric rolling in the seam allowance on the edge of your knit garment drive you batty? If you have experienced this before, you will know that it becomes difficult to sew other intersecting seams and creates an unnecessary bulk to your work.

    Sergers can help with this issue as the knit/stretch fabrics feed through with the help of the differential feed and allow you to create a nice flat seam allowance. Your waistbands and side seams will look a lot neater and sit more comfortably when you wear your garment.

     

    Do you enjoy sewing home décor or accessorizing your home?

    The serger can be used for more than just garment sewing. Have you ever wanted to work with fabrics that might end up needing to be washed or used frequently, and you worry about how they will cope?

    The serger can be perfect for this as you can finish the edges of your pillows and other home deco items so that they are reinforced and secure for laundering and daily use. With a serger, you can stitch up lovely rolled hems to finish off your table linens, gathers for beautiful ruffles on pillows and so much more! The extra strength that is given when using the serger on the seams allows for a longer life to your handmade sewing projects.

     

    One thing is for sure, once you decide to invest in a serger, it quickly becomes very difficult to imagine life without it! A serger can be the perfect addition for everyone. Contact an authorized Janome Dealer today for a demonstration on the range of Janome sergers to see how much your sewing experience can be improved with this versatile machine.

  • 6/28/2018

    We're super excited because today our newest and most innovative serger, the Janome AirThread 2000D is shipping to your local dealer! By next week they should start arriving, so be sure to contact your closest dealer to set up a time to drop in and try it out!



    Gone are the days of frustrating serger threading! With the NEW Janome AirThread 2000D, just place the threads in the proper places, press the button, and let the machine do the rest! There's even built-in needle threaders to thread both the right and left needle, a larger bed space, and many more features! Be sure to check out the product page for all the details, then visit your dealer for more info.

  • 6/26/2018

    Looking to update your wardrobe without spending a lot? This Dress-to-Kimono tutorial from Trish at Trish Stitched is a great way to look cool for the summer, without spending big bucks to get the designer look.

    This tutorial will take you through the basic steps of turning an outdated dress into a modern piece - and with lots of room for customization, you can achieve the look you want!

    Download the project instructions from our project page here and follow along with the video Trish made that's posted below!

  • 5/30/2018

    Guest Post from Janome Education Manager, Regena Carlevaro!

     

    Janome America recently hosted an Education Summit, attended by our online project contributors, bloggers, educators and business partners. This was a talented group of sewists with entirely different skill sets that had one thing in common - the love of sewing on their Janome sewing machine(s).

    Why am I telling you about an education event that was not open to the public? Why would you want to continue reading about an amazing experience in which were not able to participate? Because the excitement and wonder that I witnessed during three days of sewing and learning together can be yours too.

     {Designer Jen Tryon and Educator Luann Hartley hard at work}

    With only two and half days of classes slated, it was a challenge to demonstrate a variety of techniques to a group of very skilled people. Fortunately, we are in an extremely creative industry that hosts a diverse group of sewing instructors. As a result, there was no course selection by the attendees - everyone had to take the same classes at the same time. What did this accomplish? At some point during the Summit, each attendee was forced to sew something that was out of their comfort zone.

     

    We are habitual creatures and tend to stay in our lane when we find something that makes us feel comfortable. Straight line quilting with your AcuFeed foot may be less challenging than free-motion quilting if you don’t feel like you have control over your sewing. If you’re a garment sewist, chances are you would not sign up for a class to learn how to do ruler work on a quilt block. But, that is exactly what Tamara Kate and Meredith Daniel did during the Summit. They both learned how to do Ruler work and found that they had the aptitude and ability. An untapped talent waiting to be explored! We can thank our excellent instructor, Amy Johnson, for making everyone feel comfortable and relaxed with her easy manner of teaching.

     {Kimberly of Sweet Red Poppy working on her Flying Geese}

    The attendees were further blown away while learning how to design their own fabric with My Fabric Designs - a new software program created by the inventors at DIME. Eileen Roche showed them how to create fun baby blankets, quilts and more. The ideas began flying around the room and the excitement was truly infectious. “We can make our own branded fabric to line our bags!” “How about our logo on jacket lining?” If you get the chance, check it out at My Fabric Designs. The possibilities are truly inspiring.

     

    By the end of the Education Summit, fashion sewists were taught how to make truly perfect Flying Geese points with our new Spokesperson, Kimberly Einmo and her Easy Flying Geese Ruler. Heather Peterson from Girl Charlee Fabrics had seasoned quilters sewing on sergers for the first time, and they couldn’t wait to model the knit pencil skirts that they whipped up in only 30 minutes.

     {Trish and Meredith working on their pencil skirts with knits from Girl Charlee.}

    By this point, I’m sure you’re saying to yourself, “Gee, Regena, thanks for sharing how great this event was, but what use is this information to me?”

     

    Here’s the point. Get out of your comfort zone. If you’re a quilter, go to your local authorized Janome dealership and take a class that challenges you to learn a new technique, whether it’s quilting related or not. If you are a garment sewist, go to your local quilt guild and find out where you can take a basic quilting class. Whatever kind of sewing you’re in to, challenge yourself to do something different. It will be worth the risk, I promise. Look at the smiling faces in the attached photos and you’ll see a group of super gifted individuals who stepped up to the summit and realized how truly multi-faceted they are.

    You are too.

    Thanks Regena! What an amazing and inspiring event you coordinated! Be sure to check in tomorrow for a list of blog posts from the attendees with their thoughts about the event.

    We also want to extend a HUGE THANKS to our sponsors that worked with Janome to make this a truly amazing event!
    Daylight
    Sew Steady & Westalee
    Bluefig
    Synchrony Financing
    Girl Charlee Knits
    Shannon Fabrics
    A & E Threads
    DIME

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