• 6/12/2020

    Written by: Regena Carlevaro, Janome Education

    In the sewing community, it is a well-known truth that many of us are fabric hoarders. Every time we go to a quilt show, a fabric store or anywhere that sells fabric, we pick up a piece here, a piece there. Although we don’t have a purpose or a plan for that fabric, we buy it anyway. And, then we feel the guilt.

    This is my declaration of independence from fabric buying guilt! I say, “NO!” to that little, negative voice and “YES!” to buying that yardage.

    If COVID 19 has taught me anything, it is this - We are not fabric hoarders. We are prepared for a time when getting fabric is difficult if not impossible. We are prepared for making masks in an emergency situation, as well as scrubs for our Doctors and Nurses. We are prepared to make all of those projects that we scheduled for “someday”.

    It has taught me something else. Once in a while, when we purchase fabric, we’re also procuring a memory. Let me explain.

    About six years ago, I had the opportunity to organize a week of training for Janome’s Education staff in Mahwah, NJ. For four days, we trained on new machines, went over class lessons for an upcoming Janome Institute in San Antonio, Texas and generally worked on being a team. Since most of our educators live all over the country, this is a very important time for us to feel a sense of connection and unity.  

    On the last day of the meeting, we hopped on a train destined for NYC and walked straight to the Garment District. You know the scene in Willy Wonka where the kids first see the beautiful garden of edible chocolate? Then, you know what it feels like to be a sewist and experience the Garment District in NYC. There is shop after shop of anything you can imagine sewing with! We explored so many shops that day, picking up trims, fabric, leather, decorative zippers and anything else you can dream of.

    Along the way, I found this beautiful denim-looking, printed, sheer voile. I had no plan for it, not an inkling of an idea of what I would do with it. But, it spoke to me and I bought four yards of it.

    Fast forward six years.

    The other day, while going through my stash, I found the fabric in its original bag. I had totally forgotten about it, which in itself was a nice surprise! It was like finding a $20 bill in a coat pocket but, I digress. Upon seeing the fabric, I was immediately flooded with memories of that glorious day in the City with my fabulous co-workers. The sites we saw, the sites we wish we didn’t see (ever hear of Naked Cowgirl?), the meal we shared in Little Italy, all of this and more came back to me. It made me smile.

    The Janome Education team outside of Puglia Italian Restaurant in Little Italy

    Six years have passed and some of those co-workers are no longer with us. Some have moved on to new jobs, some have retired. Maddie Bushman has since passed away. But, in that moment of finding one piece of fabric, it gave her back to me. I can still see Maddie going toe to toe with a NYC Taxi-driver when we began to walk across the crosswalk! If you had been there, you would be smiling now too.

    Our good friend and co-worker, Maddie Bushman

    Now, I have a purpose for this fabric and I’m looking forward to wearing the duster I’m going to make out of it. Not only because it’s beautiful and will look awesome with jeans, but because it will remind me of a beautiful day in New York City with my friends.

    So, Ladies and Gentlemen of the sewing community, I give you leave to go out and buy that fabric! It supports our industry, it supports our local fabric and sewing machine stores. But, most importantly, it supports the love of what we do and who we are.

  • 2/4/2020

    We love when Kimberly stops into local Janome dealers as she is traveling around teaching, speaking or vacationing. And while Kimberly was in Ohio recently with family, she stopped into the ever-so-amazing Pins and Needles location in Middleburg (don’t worry, Pins and Needles has 3 locations chalk full of the more wonderfulness).

     

    With classes, bolts of fabric, threads, notions and, of course, a whole line-up of Janome machines for anyone to test-drive right as they walk in the door, Kimberly was struck with the passion that was oozing from this dealer. Head to Kimberly’s blog to read more about her highlights, see more photos from her drop-in shop-stop number 10!

  • 2/4/2020

    We love when Kimberly stops into local Janome dealers as she is traveling around teaching, speaking or vacationing. And while Kimberly was in Ohio recently with family, she stopped into the ever-so-amazing Pins and Needles location in Middleburg (don’t worry, Pins and Needles has 3 locations chalk full of the more wonderfulness).

     

    With classes, bolts of fabric, threads, notions and, of course, a whole line-up of Janome machines for anyone to test-drive right as they walk in the door, Kimberly was struck with the passion that was oozing from this dealer. Head to Kimberly’s blog to read more about her highlights, see more photos from her drop-in shop-stop number 10!

  • 1/24/2020

    Sarah set out to make her son, Joshua, a perfectly fitted button down shirt for Christmas. Armed with her new Continental M7, not only was the shirt precisely sewn but the buttonholes were simply easy thanks to the Acuspark app that walked her through every step of the process. 

    Sarah's step-by-step of how to use Acuspark to make a perfect and precise buttonhole: 

    There are a couple screens of buttonhole options, but I used the basic one. Note the QR code in the bottom left corner (more info below).

    First, you can select from a wide variety of buttonholes. I went for the standard (after all, I hadn’t sewn a buttonhole in over two decades!). Using the AcuSpark app (free on the App store, works with the M7 and a few other Janome’s), you open the app on your phone/device, scan the QR code in the bottom right of the machine’s screen (photo on left). This takes you to a tutorial within the app.

     As you can see from the screen shots, the tutorial walks you through the process step by step. Easy peasy…my kind of sewing!
    Here’s the app telling you how to make a buttonhole!

     

    This is what that buttonhole foot looks like in real life. You slide the button into the back, attach the foot to the machine, and it makes the perfect sized hole every time. I kid you not, I make SEVEN buttonholes, perfectly, in seven minutes, and most of that was repositioning to the next spot!

     

    More instructions on attaching and using the special buttonholer foot.

     

    This Nancy Zieman (oh how I miss her!) tool from Clover is an improvement over the old-school metal one. Although I have a fondness for the metal one, this version allows you to center the ruler exactly on the button band and mark your buttonholes. The darker green slider notches into the grooves so it doesn’t slide up and down the center as you work. I wondered when I bought it why I thought I needed a newer (plastic, yuck) version. Now I know. Once again, smarter sewing.

     

    Ended in perfect precision!

    LOOKIT how perfect that turned out! The only thing I would change on the next one (and yes there will be more for both sons) is to use a slightly less crisp interfacing so the collar stand holds up but isn’t quite so stiff.

    So, with 50 years of sewing experience (albeit minimal garment making in the past three decades), an excellent pattern that taught this greying sew-ist a couple new things, and the incredible precision of the Janome M7 Continental machine, I am a seriously happy camper. Even better, Joshua loves his shirt!

  • 1/24/2020

    Sarah set out to make her son, Joshua, a perfectly fitted button down shirt for Christmas. Armed with her new Continental M7, not only was the shirt precisely sewn but the buttonholes were simply easy thanks to the Acuspark app that walked her through every step of the process. 

    Sarah's step-by-step of how to use Acuspark to make a perfect and precise buttonhole: 

    There are a couple screens of buttonhole options, but I used the basic one. Note the QR code in the bottom left corner (more info below).

    First, you can select from a wide variety of buttonholes. I went for the standard (after all, I hadn’t sewn a buttonhole in over two decades!). Using the AcuSpark app (free on the App store, works with the M7 and a few other Janome’s), you open the app on your phone/device, scan the QR code in the bottom right of the machine’s screen (photo on left). This takes you to a tutorial within the app.

     As you can see from the screen shots, the tutorial walks you through the process step by step. Easy peasy…my kind of sewing!
    Here’s the app telling you how to make a buttonhole!

     

    This is what that buttonhole foot looks like in real life. You slide the button into the back, attach the foot to the machine, and it makes the perfect sized hole every time. I kid you not, I make SEVEN buttonholes, perfectly, in seven minutes, and most of that was repositioning to the next spot!

     

    More instructions on attaching and using the special buttonholer foot.

     

    This Nancy Zieman (oh how I miss her!) tool from Clover is an improvement over the old-school metal one. Although I have a fondness for the metal one, this version allows you to center the ruler exactly on the button band and mark your buttonholes. The darker green slider notches into the grooves so it doesn’t slide up and down the center as you work. I wondered when I bought it why I thought I needed a newer (plastic, yuck) version. Now I know. Once again, smarter sewing.

     

    Ended in perfect precision!

    LOOKIT how perfect that turned out! The only thing I would change on the next one (and yes there will be more for both sons) is to use a slightly less crisp interfacing so the collar stand holds up but isn’t quite so stiff.

    So, with 50 years of sewing experience (albeit minimal garment making in the past three decades), an excellent pattern that taught this greying sew-ist a couple new things, and the incredible precision of the Janome M7 Continental machine, I am a seriously happy camper. Even better, Joshua loves his shirt!

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