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  • 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!




  • 7/7/2021

    Christmas in July is a time-honored tradition that started July 25, 1933, at a camp in Brevard, NC.  You can read more about its origin on the Southern Living website  HERE.

    Janome Maker Melanie Call from A Bit of Scrap Stuff has started the Good Tiding Quilt Along to get your Christmas in July celebration and your Christmas sewing started early! 


    A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog #ABitofScrapStuff #GoodTidingsQAL #GoodTidingsQuilt #Rileyblakedesigns

    Hi Janome Friends! It's Melanie Call from A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog or @ABitofScrapStuff . I'm a Janome Maker that sews and quilts with the Janome Continental M7 ... it's an amazing machine for quilt piecing AND free motion quilting!

    I'm so excited to host the Good Tidings FREE Quilt Along that starts on July 7th. I will be sharing the Good Tidings Quilt Pattern section each week starting Wednesday, July 7th - on my A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog.  PLUS there will be prizes from Riley Blake Designs, Fat Quarter Shop, and Oliso so be sure to join in!

    A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog #ABitofScrapStuff #GoodTidingsQAL #GoodTidingsQuilt #Rileyblakedesigns

    All About Christmas designed by J.Wecker Frisch for Riley Blake Designs is perfect for the Good Tidings Quilt. I loved being able to fussy cut the Christmas Typography fabric for the star block centers. The Story  fabric was perfect for the large border.

    A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog #ABitofScrapStuff #GoodTidingsQAL #GoodTidingsQuilt #Rileyblakedesigns

    Gather Up your fabric so you can start cutting on July 7th

    --- Good Tidings Quilt Fabric Requirements --- 
    • (9) Fat eighths or 1/8 yard cut Star Points
    • 1/2 yard * Star center [* 1 yard if fussy cutting fabric *If using Christmas Typography - make sure there are 3 full repeats of CHRISTMAS for fussy cutting.]
    • 3/4 yard background
    • 1/4 yard red patchwork corners
    • 1/4 yard green patchwork corners
    • 1/2 yard black patchwork corners
    • 2/3 yard sashing
    • 1/8 yard sashing corner
    • 2/3 yard inner border
    • 1 1/4 yard outer border  [* 2 yards if fussy cutting fabric]
    • 2/3 yard binding
    • 4 yards backing

    *Fabrics used in cover quilt --- Riley Blake Designs – All About Christmas (available HERE)
    A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog #ABitofScrapStuff #GoodTidingsQAL #GoodTidingsQuilt #Rileyblakedesigns

    I hope you can join in for the Good Tidings Quilt Along! I can't wait to see your fabric selections! Be sure to share your fabric pulls on Instagram with #GoodTidingsQAL
    I'll be back on July 7th with Cutting Instructions.
    A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog #ABitofScrapStuff #GoodTidingsQAL #GoodTidingsQuilt #Rileyblakedesigns
    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! 
    Be sure to keep tuned in to what Melanie is creating by visiting:

    My Blog: A Bit of Scrap Stuff - https://abitofscrapstuff.blogspot.com My Quilt Patterns - https://www.etsy.com/shop/ABitofScrapStuff My Instagram: @ABitofScrapStuff -https://www.instagram.com/abitofscrapstuff/

  • 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!


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