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  • 7/6/2021

    It is officially mushroom season! Can you think of a better way to celebrate than to make a darling mushroom skirt? Janome Maker Vivien from Fresh Frippery is well known for her amazing historical costumes but is sharing a whimsical DIY Mushroom Skirt tutorial for you to make for any age or size! 


    I adore the red and white toadstool mushrooms known as Amanita muscaria (aka fly agaric) and wanted to make a cute skirt inspired by them. I've worn it in my photos with a monogram cardigan and big fluffy petticoat for a 1950s style look, but this skirt could be styled with a romantic shirt and a flower crown for a cottage core outfit. The front half of the skirt has a flat waistband for a smooth look while the back half of the skirt has an elasticated waistband for comfort and for adjustability!


    SKILL LEVEL: Beginner/intermediate


    TIME REQUIRED: 4-5 hours


    WHAT YOU WILL NEED (exact amounts depend on your measurements):


    • 2 or more yards of red cotton fabric
    • 1 yard or various scrap pieces of white cotton fabric
    • 3-4 yards or more of white pleated trim or lace
    • a strip of interfacing the same size as your waistband
    • thread, elastic, pins, scissors, chalk, etc.


    Before you begin you'll want to take a few basic measurements: your waist circumference, and the desired length of your skirt. For the latter, you'll want to measure from the smallest part of your waist to wherever you would like the skirt to stop (above the knee, below the knee, etc.) Use the diagram below to convert those measurements into A, B, and C for the pattern pieces.



    Using the pattern diagram as a guide, use chalk to mark the rectangles on red fabric. Cut out your front and back skirt panels, front waistband, and back waistband. Use the front waistband as a pattern to cut out a piece of interfacing the same size, then iron or sew the interfacing to the front waistband.


    Note: the 5-inch width of the waistband pieces will result in a final 2-inch tall waistband (once it is folded over with 1/2 inch seam allowances). If you want a shorter or taller waistband you can adjust the width when cutting.


    Fold the red waistband pieces in half lengthwise and iron to mark a crease down the center.



    Cut circles and ovals out of your white fabric in a variety of sizes from 3-5 inches wide. These will become the mushroom spots. The number of spots depends on personal preference and the size of your spots and skirt, but for reference, I have 28 total on my skirt.



    Pin the mushroom spots onto both the front and back skirt panels in a scattered, random pattern. Leave enough room at the top, bottom, and sides for seam allowance and hemming. (There are half inch seam allowances on the side and top, and you will want the bottom 2 inches free).



    Use your machine's appliqué stitch (shown below on my Skyline S9) to attach all the spots to your skirt panels. (If you do not have an appliqué stitch on your machine model you can use a zigzag stitch but it is recommended you use a white fabric not prone to fraying). If you are using the appliqué stitch start with your needle just outside the mushroom spots.




    Sew up the side seams and press open flat.




    Sew the WRONG side of the back skirt panel to the RIGHT side of the back waistband with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. (This means you will start by putting one of the long edges of the waistband against the top inside edge of the skirt). You should have the ends of the waistband extend slightly past the seam. Sew down the long edge then flip up the waistband up, creating a clean finish on the inside of the skirt.



    Using the ironed center crease to help you, fold half of the waistband over towards the outside of the skirt, then tuck under the seam allowance.




    Pin down the edge of the waistband on the outside of the skirt and topstitch. You will now have a channel to thread your elastic through.


    Cut a piece of elastic the same length as what your final back waistband will be. (This is half your waist measurement plus another inch, for 1/2 inch seam allowance on each end). I used a 1-inch wide piece of elastic to reduce bulk, but you can use up to 2 inches wide if preferred.


    Insert the elastic through the back waistband channel, which will cause the waistband to gather up. (A tip: Use a safety pin to anchor one end of the elastic to the waistband so it doesn't get lost as you use a second closed safety pin attached to the other end of the elastic to thread it through the channel).



    Securely stitch down each end of the elastic inside the waistband channel.





    Gather the front skirt panel across the top edge into a final width equal to half your waist size. To do this, sew 2 rows of straight stitches 1/4" apart, then pull both threads at the same time to gather the skirt into the desired width.


    Attach the front waistband in a similar manner to the back waistband by first sewing the WRONG side of the skirt panel to the RIGHT side of the waistband. Make sure the ends of the front waistband (with the seam allowance folded over) overlaps the raw edges of the back waistband. Flip up the waistband and turn your skirt over to look at the outside.



    Similar to the method used for the back waistband, flip half of the front waistband over to the outside front of the skirt, tuck in the raw seam allowance, and pin down, covering the gathered portion.



    Top-stitch the front waistband along the bottom edge and the sides where it meets the back waistband. Also top-stitch across the top edge of the entire top front/back waistbands of the skirt.





    To mimic the gills of the mushroom you'll want to add trim to the hem of the skirt. I've used a pleated chiffon trim but you can also use lace or a plain white fabric ruffle.


    Measure the bottom circumference of your skirt. You will need to cut some trim the same length plus an extra inch for seam allowance. Sew the ends of the trim together to make a big circle. Pin the top edge of the trim UPSIDE DOWN to the hem of the skirt.



    Remove the original pins as you fold the bottom up, then over again, to cover all raw edges and re-pin. Stitch where the pins indicate.



    Press the hem flat. If your trim is sheer you'll want to press the red fabric upwards behind the main skirt panel so that it doesn't hang down behind the trim. (This folded hem is to add a little extra body to the hem of the skirt. If you prefer, you can also serge the trim to the skirt but should shorten the panels and trim accordingly).


    Enjoy your mushroom skirt!


  • 7/6/2021

    Save time and have more quilts finished by machine binding your quilt! Janome Maker Melanie Call from Machine Binding Tutorial with Janome M7! 


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    Hello Janome Friends! I'm Melanie from A Bit of Scrap Stuff (Blog or Instagram) and today I'm sharing my favorite technique for machine binding! 


    I absolutely love machine binding my quilts, pillows, and projects because it is durable, quick, and looks fabulous! This is how I bind 99.999999% of all of my projects. It is the way ;). 

    Ready to Learn: Machine Binding

    *I'm sewing on a Janome M7 - so your Janome sewing machine screen/controls may look a bit different.



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    Step 1: Make Binding

    • If multiple strips of fabric are needed - sew 2.5"binding strips together on the bias to make 1 long binding strip. Sewing strips together on the diagonal (bias) creates fewer bulky seams.

    • Janome M7 settings. A foot, straight stitch, 1.8 stitch length *May also use Dual Feed Holder with UD Foot (walking foot) if preferred


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    • Place left binding strip right side up. Then place the next binding strip perpendicular right sides together Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the top fabric as shown below.

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    • Stitch along a drawn diagonal line. Trim 1/4" away from the sewn line. Hint- make sure you have sewn your binding strips correctly together before trimming.


    • Press binding strip in half (wrong sides together). The binding strip will measure 1.25" in width when folded wrong sides together

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    Step 2: Attach Binding to BACK of quilt/pillow/project

    • Attach Dual Feed Foot Holder (walking foot) with 1/4" OD foot attached (top foot in photo). Needle position 1/4", Stitch Length 2.0, and activate Dual Feed button on screen (highlighted in yellow in photo below). I prefer to use my Dual Feed Foot for attaching binding as the machine is sewing through multiple layers (quilt top, batting, quilt backing, plus double-fold binding).

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    • Starting about 6" from the end of the binding tail, place binding on BACK of project. Line up raw edges of binding and raw edges of the project. Attach/Sew with 1/4" seam allowance until you are about 3" from the corner.

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    • Mitering Corner of Binding. Draw a line 1/4" from edge of project. Continue sewing until you reach the drawn line. Back Stitch. Stitch off the project at a 45-degree angle (see yellow arrow below) - this helps with the next step. Cut thread and remove the quilt from the machine.

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    Fold binding upwards so edge of binding aligns with edge of project and stitched line from previous step when you stitched off the project at a diagonal to the corner.


    • Fold binding down so the folded edge of binding aligns with the raw edge of the project. Attach a wonder clip to hold the binding in position. Begin stitching 1/4" from the edge of the project. Backstitch. Repeat at all corners to miter.

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    • Stop stitching about 10" from the beginning. 

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    • Overlap binding tails by 2 3/8". Draw a line and cut on the drawn line. I find a 2 3/8" overlap makes my binding fit best. Traditionally the overlap would be 2 1/2" since that is the original width of the binding.

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    • Sew 2.5"binding tails together on the bias. Unfold binding tails. Place fabric on the left-right side up. Then place other binding tail perpendicular right sides together. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the top fabric as shown below. Sewing binding tails on the diagonal (bias) reduces seam bulk.

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    • Stitch along a drawn diagonal line. Refold binding and check that your binding is the correct size THEN trim 1/4" away from the sewn line. Finish attaching binding with 1/4" seam. Backstitch over beginning stitches to secure start/stop.

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    Step 3: Stitch Binding to FRONT of Project


    • Change to Dual Feed Open Toe UD Foot, Dual Feed Key selected, Needle Position Center, and Stitch Length 2.0

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    • Wrap binding to the front of the project and secure with wonder clips. Bring up the bobbin thread before stitching to prevent thread knot on the back of the project. Stitch 1/8" away from the folded edge of the binding.

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    • Continue stitching until about 3" away from the corner. Fold binding on the unstitched side up and hold down. Then fold binding from the stitched side over the project to create a mitered corner. 

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    • Stitch to corner. Raise presser foot (leave the needle in DOWN position). Rotate project. Lower presser foot and continue stitching down the binding. Repeat for all mitered corners. Backstitch over beginning stitches to secure. 

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    Congratulations your project is now bound and ready to be loved!


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    Tutorials are available for Oh Happy Day Pillow front (HERE) and attaching an exposed zipper for pillow backing (HERE)


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    Be sure to follow me for more sewing fun and more examples of machine binding! A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog (here) or Instagram (here).

    Happy Sewing!
    Melanie Call

  • 7/5/2021

    Linen is a gorgeous fabric for the summer months! It can be used for anything from garments to home decor.  Janome Maker Carol Ware decided to choose a fantastic fuchsia linen when making high-end shorts for her nephew!




    My husband and his nephew (Allen) have a special relationship. I heard about it back when we were dating.  Because he lived in another state, I didn't actually meet him until years after we were married.  Well, recently within the last three years he has really been very present in our lives. He has a very kind demeanor and will do anything for my husband. Let's say he's more like a younger brother to us than a nephew. Anyhoo, he is quite stylish and a "Label" man. He wears Gucci, Ralph, Louie and buys expensive cologne. So, imagine my surprise when he mentions to me - Auntie, I want some fuchsia shorts! 😂



    He said he has been looking everywhere and I believed him because he loves stylish clothes! I just happened to be sitting in my sewing room as we were talking. I asked him if would linen do?

    Linen is a premium fabric and I knew it would be of his standard. So out from the stash table came some - you guessed it fuchsia linen. It had been taking up stash room for about three years and I had a lot of it so why not.  Now, I do NOT sew for anyone except my son so he understood the magnitude of my yes

    I told him, I will do everything just be ready when I need you.  He was quite excited and said this was his first custom garment. I prepped my machines and got to work. Not only was this a good opportunity to flex my menswear muscle, I could also do my Janome project. (I'm a Maker ya know! LOL!!I measured my nephew that day and we had one fitting and the rest is photo history.


    The pocket was embroidered by my Janome Horizon 15000.  Such a smooth and flawless job it does! The monogram is one of many designs that come on the machine! 



    I used the Airthread 2000D to serge the fussy linen edges. I also had fuchsia serger threads to make pretty insides. I made sure I lined the inside of the shorts to minimize the wrinkle factor. They have elastic at the waist, fly zip, and wooden beads to finish off the shorts.




    He absolutely loves his "custom linen fuchsia shorts" and I am the best Auntie ever💖!  I love my title and loved sewing for him was fun. Allen, I know you will read this and the answer is still no! We 💘you to the moon and back!

    He wears them well. Real men wear fuchsia!





  • 7/3/2021

    Independence Day is always a special day but this year it feels even more so as many of us make plans to celebrate it once again, in the company of friends and beloved family.

    Nothing says summer like the laughter and unity of a fourth of July celebration, in the great outdoors. In that spirit, I bring a super quick environmentally friendly project (completed in under an hour) that even the children in your life can join in on the preparations. It uses few supplies and blank napkins. It is also beginner-friendly with minimal stitching, re-usable and practical for all occasions this summer.

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    Let’s get started. 

    Helpful Hints: 

    You can make this project even if you don’t have access to an AccuQuilt cutter, by tracing the shapes instead. You can also add it to favorite garments in need of a “refresher,” (scroll to the end to view).

    Start appliqueing with a new needle and match your thread as much as possible for a seamless look, using a straight stitch with 2.0 length. 

    Practice your stitch on a fabric remnant to see if you like the look and make desired changes to length and width before tackling your project. 

    Please adjust supply quantities depending on how many napkins you wish to make. 

    The supplies below are for appliqueing on three napkins. 

    If you use a glue stick, please ensure that it is temporary glue so that it does not gum or hurt the internal components of your sewing machine. 



    Blank cotton napkins – white or your favorite color

    Cotton thread to match the applique 

    Steam A Seam 2 Double Sided Fusible Web – (3 pieces 5”x10”)


    Blue fabrics (3- 5”x10” rectangles assorted blues)

    Organ needle size 12 or 14

    AccuQuilt Go! Star die no. 55028 and mat 55202 (both optional)

    AccuQuilt Go! Cutter (optional)

    5”x10” Cardboard to create star templates (if not using AccuQuilt die) 

    Marking pen

    Fabric scissors

    Paper scissors (optional)

    Stitch and Tear stabilizer (optional)

    Bohin Temporary Glue Stick or your favorite brand (Not permanent glue)

    4th of July assorted paper decorations (optional)

    Don’t forget the food!


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    1. Iron napkins. I did not use steam. 

    1. Iron double-sided steam a seam web to the wrong side of the blue fabric rectangles. Please follow the fusing instructions for steam a seam 2 from the manufacturer, for best results. Now you can place the fused rectangles through the AccuQuilt cutter to cut the stars. 

    1. If you are not using AccuQuilt to create the star shapes, make a cardboard star template in different sizes to trace shapes on the wrong side of the blue fabrics. 


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    1. Peel the paper from the back of the stars, if you used steam-a-seam 2, and iron lightly on the napkin, once you are satisfied with the placement. Note: Skip this step if you are using the Bohin glue stick to temporarily adhere stars before stitching. Please see below. 


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    4A. Using the Bohin glue stick - apply to the wrong side of the stars using smooth, short strokes (to avoid globs) and place on the napkins. 


    1. We are ready to applique raw-edge style with coordinating or your favorite thread color. 

    Note: Stitch and tear stabilizer, non-fusible, can be a good partner during the applique process. It supports the stitching and can prevent puckers (see an example below).


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    5A. This is what stitch and tear looks like on the wrong side of the napkin to support applique shapes (optional). This is especially important when appliqueing on delicate fabrics.


    1. If you have a bit more time, echo stitch around a few of the stars to emphasize their shape, create texture and movement. Note: Fray check (pictured below) can prevent additional fraying around the stars; it should dry transparent but always test to make sure that it will not leave any stains on the napkins you chose.



    1. You are ready to use your new napkins all summer long!

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    Applique as a technique offers so many possibilities at any stage of your sewing journey. Use it to cover unsightly food stains or holes on your favorite garments to prolong their wear, on pillowcases, towels and so much more. I hope you take this simple idea and make it your own.


    Thank you! 




  • 7/2/2021


    DIY Bomb Pop Popsicle Zipper Pouch For The 4th Of July! 

    Can you have too many zipper pouches?

    We don't think so! Janome Maker Emily from Oh Yay Studio has a delightful zipper pouch for you to celebrate the 4th of July!!!!!

    What’s better than a zipper pouch for those summer collections to stay collected?! Take them to the beach, to the parades, or even the backyard BBQ’s?!?! And ESSPECIALLLYYY when this zipper pouch has a bomb pop popsicle on it, it’s a CLEAR CHOICE that you need to make one! 

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    Below you will find the full tutorial and pattern for how to make this bomb pop popsicle zipper pouch sewing project….and you can also catch the LIVE CRAFTING tutorial for this project over on the Craftsy page HERE!

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    • Red, Maroon, White, Grey, Blue, Navy, and brown felt for the bomb pop popsicle (you can use something other than felt if desired)
    • Outside (or background) fabric (I used an old tie-dye dishcloth that seemed very 4th of July Lining fabric of choice
    • Sewing machine + coordinating thread
    • Coordinating zipper 17.5” in length (or cut to length)
    • Pins and/or wonder clips
    • PDF pattern (download HERE)


    1. Cut pieces
    Use the PDF pattern to cut out the coordinating bomb pop popsicle pieces. Reference the photograph for where the colors lay on the bomb pop popsicle. Cut out the larger pieces first and then do the “shadow pieces” so that you only have to use one paper PDF pattern. 

    Then with your outside (background) fabric, cut 2 pieces that measure approx. 17.5” x 10”

    With your lining fabric, cut 2 pieces that measure the same size as the outside fabric

    Bomb pop sewing project, 4th of july sewing project, zipper pouch sewing, how to sew a zipper pouch
    Bomb pop sewing project, 4th of july sewing project, zipper pouch sewing, how to sew a zipper pouch

    2. Assemble bomb pop popsicle
    Sew the bomb pop popsicle together. Do this by laying the red layer on top of the white and stitching them together; then lay the bottom blue on top of the white and stitch together. Trim any parts of the popsicle needed after stitching. 

    You will then lay out the shadow accents on top of the corresponding color. You will want them to seamlessly flow into one another to look like one longer shadow rather than 3 separate chunks”, so do your best to line them up. (note: you will need to trim down the length of the shadows depending on how far you overlapped the red/blue onto the white and you may even need to trim the width so that they line up seamlessly). Pin in place and then slowly begin to topstitch around the outer edge of the shadows to secure in place. 

    tip: I used the tip of a pin to make sure each color of shadow stays in place as you sew shadow color on. This helps to make sure they don’t move as it is under the foot of the sewing machine. Be sure NOT to sew over a pin or any object other than fabric when stitching 

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    Bomb pop sewing project, 4th of july sewing project, zipper pouch sewing, how to sew a zipper pouch

    3. Sew popsicle to the outside front 
    Layout your finished popsicle onto the outside front (background) and position where desired. Fit the brown popsicle stick bottom in place, layering it underneath the blue portion of the popsicle. Pin all pieces in place and begin to stitch around the outer edge of the popsicle to secure to the outside. I decided to go around the popsicle part 2 times to give it a more “sketchy” look before finishing (this also makes it so your lines don’t have to be perfect.

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    4. Sew Zipper
    Layer your fabric with 1 piece of the lining fabric facing up, zipper, and then the outside top facing down. Line up the edges of your zipper and make sure all 3 layers are flush. Stitch your zipper in place using your zipper feet. 

    *Note: trim your zipper to 17.5 inches before you begin sewing the zipper if necessary! **Note: You can also choose to d your zipper on the short side of this pouch too, if you want the bomb pop popsicle to be right side up in the finished pouch Do the same with the outside back and other lining pieces.

    **tip when sewing zippers: be sure to stop your stitching when you come to the “pull” on the zipper, put your needle down, raise your presser foot, and then zip the pull out of the way. If you don’t do this you will get a bulge or notch in your zipper stitch which will be obvious when you want the zipper to lay flat.

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    5. Iron the zipper + topstitch
    With your iron, press the zipper flat (as best as possible) and pull your fabric + lining away from the teeth of the zipper. Then topstitch along each side of the zipper to keep the fabric laying flat. 

    This is *SUPPPPPER* important otherwise you won’t be able to open your pizza pouch! OPEN THE ZIPPER!

    7. Stitch together
    “Butterfly” open up your bag and then line up the 2 lining pieces with one another as well as the outside rectangle shapes with one another. Pin in place, being careful to line up the 2 areas where the zipper joins (this is important to make sure the zipper is straight across when finished).

    Stitch all the way around the bag, leaving a large enough opening on the bottom lining portion to turn the bag.

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    8. Sew closed + finish
    Trim the excess fabric off the 4 corners of the bag (you want this to lay as flat as possible and getting rid of this “bulk” will help)

    Then turn the bag right side out and poke all of the corners and edges smoothly. The turn the edges of the lining opening (where you pulled the bag through) inward to mimic a seam allowing and topstitch closed. 

    Press the bag with iron and pack it in the car for your face 4th of July parade or BBQ! 

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