Janome Blog

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 12/3/2019

    Written by: Liz Thompson, National Education Manager-Canada 

    The Holiday season is upon us. We will be wrapping gifts, hanging tinsel and generally making things look pretty and seasonal in our homes – right?

     

     

    With all of that decorating in mind, we wanted to remind you about a very nifty Janome Accessory, the Ribbon Sewing Guide, which will assist you decorating and embellishing your ribbons – customize gift wrapping with names and more.

    This accessory fits most of our sewing machines – it screws directly into the needleplate. Because the guide attaches to the needle plate it does not matter whether your machine is high shank or low shank or 9mm wide or 7mm wide. Please check with your local Janome Dealer if you are unsure of how to attach it. More information on the Ribbon Sewing Guide can be found here.

    There are 2 different length screws and 2 different thicknesses of little rubber pads. Please follow the instructions on the Blister package for this Accessory to know which screw and which pad is to be used for your specific Janome sewing machine. The pad goes under the ribbon guide and the screw goes through the guide and pad to attach it to the needle plate.

    The white double sided guide (like 2 little “walls”) encloses the sides of the ribbon or tape and adjusts wider or narrower to perfectly accommodate ribbons or tapes. You can even make your own ribbons from scrap fabric if you wish. There is also a clear plastic guide, rather like a long clip guide, which secures the ribbon to further guide it straight. When all is in place, the ribbon or tape feeds through under the foot of the machine and your embellishment is perfectly positioned as it sews. You can use your alphabets/lettering to sew messages like Happy Birthday or Merry Christmas. Even add the name of the person who will receive the gift the ribbon is attached to! Or decorate a plain ribbon with pretty decorative stitching on your sewing machine - a perfect way to utilize all of the built-in decorative stitches you don't often get to use!

    TIP: If you are using a very soft or silky ribbon (which most ribbons are), we highly recommend you use a strip/piece of our Madeira WATER SOLUBLE stabilizer (Avalon) under the ribbon on sewing guide, and above the needle plate, ie between the accessory and needle plate. This will stabilize the soft ribbon and your stitching will not pucker or distort. Alternatively, you could spray the ribbon with a liquid stabilizer to firm it up. Press dry before sewing on the ribbon. We would not suggest a tearaway stabilizer as you would not want to pick all that stabilizer out from the back of the ribbon afterwards. Water soluble stabilzer will just peel away easily and any remaining bits can be spritzed with water. Press the ribbon with a cool iron and press cloth when you are done embellishing.

  • 11/6/2019

    Written by: Regena Carlevaro, Janome Education Manager

    There is no better gift you can receive than the joy you see in someone’s eyes when you give them a gift. Although my sewing career began out of necessity (middle child of five - “no thank you, hand-me-downs!”), I soon realized that the ability to create one of a kind, homemade gifts for others made my sewing time even more fulfilling.

    But, don’t be worried! This doesn’t have to be a time-consuming endeavor. Sometimes the simplest touches can have the most meaning. The gifts that you have added a monogram to, or a newborns birth statistics to are always warmly welcomed.

    That’s why I love my MB-7, which sits on my Ava cabinet. It’s always ready to go when I need it. All my thread and stabilizer are neatly organized in the cabinet and the only thing I have to work hard at is deciding what I want to embroider.

    It’s not even hard to find really adorable blanks these days to put the personalization upon. My favorite is www.embroiderbuddy.com. They have tons of adorable stuffed animals that are made to embroider on the bellies or ears. Simply unzip the bottom, take out the pillow and hoop up the belly. Now, you’re ready to design and embroider a really one-of-a-kind gift that the recipient will love for years.

    Another great resource is www.wholesaleboutique.com. They have everything from lunch bags to backpacks to embroider. They even have boots!

    With a little time, thread and stabilizer at hand, you are ready to add your personal touch to whatever you decide to gift this year.

     

    Here are some other sources for blanks:

    www.embroiderthis.com
    www.discountembroideryblanks.com

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