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Monday, 26 September 2011 05:00

Fabric Trends For Fall 2011: What Are They Predicting?

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270-fall-2011-fabric-trendsThese are the kinds of materials showing up on the runways.

A little while ago we linked to predictions of what Fall's big color trends will be. Today, we're looking at predictions for fabric. With our shortened fashion cycles, it won't be long before (some) runway trends are showing up in the pattern catalogs.

BecomeGorgeous.com has a report on what fashion designers are showing. We've paired each kind of fabric with the presser foot or other accessory you'll need to sew them.

Shearling (sheepskin that's been recently shorn)
Quote: "This is probably the hottest must-have fabric trend of the season."
Sewing Tip: Use a Leather Needle and sturdy upholstery thread.

Fur (often faux)
Quote: "Furry footwear, furry skirts and pants, and even a head-to-toe furry outfit, Yeti-style, could be seen at the Chanel runway show."
Sewing Tip: Use a Universal Needle and standard foot.

Knits
Quote: "This season, knits could be seen in so many runway shows . . ."
Sewing Tip: Use a coverstitch machine or a serger.

Velvet
Quote: "Rich velvet made a strong comeback for fall/winter 2010-2011."
Sewing Tip: Use the Roller Foot. Watch the video on how to use it on velvet.

Lace
Quote: "Lace is the feminine element that sweetens any outfit . . ."
Sewing Tip: On your 1200D serger use your Cover Hem Foot with the Lace Attachment Guide.

See The Fabric Predictions

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Friday, 23 September 2011 05:00

Checking In With The Janome Gals + A Couple New Charitable Sewing Ideas

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269-sewinggood-charitable-sewing-ideasIf you're able to sew for others, your help is needed by a number of organizations.

There's a lot of charitable sewing that happens outside of a non-profit organization. Often, a sewist hears someone else needs clothing or a quilt and just makes it for them. That's how it worked when our Janome Gals sewed the new nursery for the foster family. (See Jami, Debbie, and Kathy's latests posts on the experience, including how they used the new Horizon MC12000.)

But for an ongoing need, or if you're going to distribute the sewn items to a lot of people, you need the structure and follow-through of an organization.

The SewingGood blog has been bringing attention to both kinds of sewing for others. Below are some recent stories of creativity being used for compassion.

If you want to help, be sure to visit their page of organizations who could use your help right now.

Recent Sewing Good Stories

-Victoria Findlay Wolfe is a professional quilter trying to collect 700 quilts for displaced families in New York.
Read her story.

-A group of Sacramento sewists is working with an organization to make dresses to protect little girls in third world countries.
Read their story

-Sew Much Comfort has been providing custom custom-made adaptive clothing at no cost, to injured service members from all branches of the military.
Read their story.

-A doctor's wife makes baby items for her husband's patients who have conquered drug addiction.
Read her story

Visit SewingGood.com

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Thursday, 22 September 2011 05:00

Janome Poll: Sergers--Have One, Want One, or Scared of That!?

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268-sergers-pollHow do you REALLY feel about sergers? Cast your vote in our poll.

A serger is a machine that sews an overlocking stitch, using loopers instead of a bobbin to form the stitch. In 1881, the Merrow Machine Company invented the first machine that could do an overlock.

The modern serger (still called an "overlocker" in much of a world) combines various overlocking stitches with the ability trim the edge of the fabric at the same time. You can sew a seam, trim the fabric, and finish the raw edge in one step. When using knit fabrics, you are able to construct items such as garments very quickly and with a professional-looking finish. Your Janome Dealer has a variety of sergers, from the economical Magnolia 7034D to the advanced 12000D.  

Some sewists couldn't live without their serger. But others, because of its multiple needles, loopers and tension adjustments, think a serger is too complex for them. 

Here at Janome America, we love sergers, and think it's time for more information about them. But what about you? Let us know how you feel about sergers by voting in our Janome Poll. We'll post the results of the poll next week. Plus, your feedback will help us decide what type of serger tips, techniques and detailed information would be helpful to you. 

Go To Our Serger Poll

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Wednesday, 21 September 2011 05:00

Sewn With Love: Lisa Graves' "WordSakes" Baby Quilt Uses Janome Digitizing Software

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267-swl-wordsakes-baby-quilt-by-lisa-gravesShe used her own technique for doing the quilting and embroidery all in the hoop.

Lisa Graves, who does custom embroidery in Keswick, Ontario, Canada, was planning on making this quilt for a friend's baby. But after she found inspiration for the design from her unborn son, she kept it for him.

The "Wordsakes Baby Quilt" was created using Janome Digitizer software and the Memory Craft 11000 Special Edition. And it's a beautiful example of sewing with love.

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Tuesday, 20 September 2011 05:00

Video: Sewing On A Ring With The Button Sewing Foot

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260-sewing-on-a-ring-button-sewing-foot-videoDon't sew on rings by hand. Use this foot and a simple technique.

The Button Sewing Foot has two bars that attach to the foot shank to provide extra stability. And it also has a textured, rubber sleeve to hold the button securely in place while sewing. You can use it for sewing on two hole buttons and for sewing on four hole buttons.

But you can also use it to attach rings of various sizes.

Attaching A Ring With The Button Sewing Foot

  1. To attach the foot, slide the bar onto the back of the presser foot holder and then lower it to snap the foot into place.
  2. Some Janome machines have a button sew-on feature, which will automatically lower the feed dogs. Or you can use a zigzag stitch but be sure to the lower feed dogs manually.
  3. Move the ring into position under the foot so that when the needle is in the left position, it will penetrate just outside the ring.
  4. Using the handwheel, move the needle until you see where it will penetrate on the inside of the ring. Adjust your stitch width if necessary.
  5. Sew down the ring. The machine will automatically tie off the thread.
  6. Raise the needle and cut the thread.
  7. Repeat this process to anchor the ring at a second point.


To see this demonstrated, watch Button Sewing Foot Video: Sewing On A Ring.

The Button Sewing Foot can also be used to attach snaps, hooks and eyes, and even flowers. It's compatible with top loading Janome machines. If you have a front loading machine, use Button Sewing Foot (front loading machines). Ask your Janome Dealer to help you find the right foot for your machine. 

Watch Video On Attaching Rings

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Monday, 19 September 2011 05:00

Horizon Memory Craft 12000: What Are People Saying?

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266-mc12000-people-are-talkingA few comments from people who've worked on the new machine.

Janome Dealers flew in from around the world to learn about the Horizon Memory Craft 12000. After nearly a week of intense training, they went back to their stores and shared on their blogs what they thought about the new machine.

"I was very excited to see the new machine LIVE. I think you are going to love it . . . You are able to leave the embroidery arm on when sewing and this makes an even deeper sewing area. The sharpness of the color screen is awesome, so bright and bold in color. Love it!!!!"

"(T)he new Janome “top of the line” Horizon Memory Craft 12000 has kept me enthusiastic about sewing. The new machine has features I never thought possible in a sewing/embroidery machine. To try to impart all of the information I learned about the Janome 12000 in this brief blog post would be impossible. Instead, I will compose a number of blog posts over the next few weeks, featuring one or two amazing benefits in each post."

"It seems really fantastically designed, and has a few features to make insomniac sewists/embroiderers happy--a 'stealth' mode that allows you to turn off the noises it makes, all those LED lights, the magnifier in just the perfect place..."

For more first-hand impressions of the new machine, visit SewingGood.com where they have a new blog post by Jami, one of the "Janome Gals" from the introduction video. She gives some insight into the foster family's situation and also talks about doing embroidery on the MC12000.

Find Out More About The MC12000

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Friday, 16 September 2011 05:00

Janome Heritage: The Memory Craft 3000

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265-janome-heritage-mc3000This solid performer made computerized stitching affordable.

Back in 1997 it was possible to get a computerized sewing machine, one that would allow you to program custom stitch combinations. But you'd expect to pay a premium price.

So when Janome introduced the Memory Craft 3000--a computerized machine at an affordable price--it soon became a favorite.

The MC3000 allowed you to combine its 30 built-in stitches in combinations of up to 50 stitches. All just by pushing a few buttons. It also featured nifty features like an easy-to-read LCD display, a needle threader, Auto Lock key, and an Up/Down needle position.

But even more important than advanced electronics, the MC3000 was a sturdy machine with the power to sew through the thickest fabrics. And it could speed along at 820 stitches per minute with excellent stitch quality. If you own this machine you can still get the manual as a PDF in our Retired Machine section. Go to the MC3000 page and look under Specifications.

Today, you can get a computerized Janome that's even more affordable. The DC1050 computerized sewing machine features 50 built-in stitches and 820 spm. The 3160QDC sewing machine is also computerized, featuring 60 stitches, 6 one-step buttonholes, and Janome's Exclusive Superior Plus Feed System. And the DC5100 computerized sewing machine comes with 167 built-in stitches, including an alphabet and 5 one-step buttonholes, and a touchpad for easy navigation.

See them all at your Janome Dealer.

Find out more about the DC5100

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Thursday, 15 September 2011 05:00

A Precise Way to Guide Pinstitching Next to Lace

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264-a-precise-way-to-guide-pinstitching-next-to-laceUse the Seven-Groove Pintuck foot to pinstitch with speed and accuracy

We already know a Pintuck foot can create rows of beautifully formed and perfectly spaced pintucks, but there are a wide range of other applications as well. For this, snap on the Seven-Groove Pintuck foot, part of the Pintuck Foot Set, to create Precise Pinstitching next to Lace.

  1. Choose a Blanket Stitch.
  2. Adjust the stitch width to 2.0 and the length to 2.5.
  3. Insert a size #16 Wing needle (for lightweight fabrics such as batiste) or a size #19 wing needle (for medium weight fabrics like linen).
  4. Thread the machine with 80-weight cotton thread.
  5. Place the right side of the center opening of the Pintuck foot next to the heading of the lace. Allow the Pintuck foot to ride next to the heading of the lace as you sew. the left swing of the stitch will penetrate the lace and the right Straight Stitch will sew in the fabric.

Find More Great Janome Techniques

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Wednesday, 14 September 2011 05:00

What Will Be This Fall's Big Color Trends?

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263-fall-2011-big-color-trendsAnd how do they come up with the fabric pallette forecast?

Fall is when the latest fashions make their debut. But it's also when the people who monitor style come up with their predictions for the trendiest color combinations for the following year. We'll see them in clothing, on furniture, and at the fabric store.

You might suspect otherwise, but there's no single authority that hands down a verdict on what colors many of the big retailers will be carrying in their fall lines. And, like a weather report, the predictions are updated as collections are rolled out.

Fashionising.com has been monitoring two different color forecasts, one for clothing and one for textiles. (See the actual colors on their blog.) But where they get their info is also interesting.

For the garment industry, they get their fall/winter 2011 colour trends from Design Options, a trend forecasting company from Southern California.

For textiles, they get their predictions from Spin Expo, an international trade fair for yarns, fibres, knitwear and knitted fabrics that is held in both New York and Shanghai. 

See The Predictions For Fall Colors

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Tuesday, 13 September 2011 05:00

Video: Sewing High Loft Batting With The Even Feed Foot (Walking Foot)

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259-sewing-high-loft-batting-even-feed-foot-videoThis foot will help you to quilt through thick layers with ease.

Thick batting makes for a wonderfully full quilt. But when you try to stitch multiple layers--especially if they're thick--they tend to shift, with the layers nearest the feed dogs getting out ahead.

To solve this problem you use a foot that feeds the fabric from the top at exactly the same pace as the bottom. You want to use the Even Feed Foot (also called the Walking Foot). Using upper feed dogs, it walks both layers through at the same speed so you end up with perfectly matching ends.

Using The Even Feed Foot To Quilt High Loft Batting

  1. To install the foot, you must first remove the foot and ankle of the All-Purpose foot.
  2. In order for the Even Feed foot to work, the bar must be placed above the needle screw.
  3. Then tighten the foot screw to ensure it is properly seated on the machine.
  4. Choose a straight stitch. We're sewing on high loft batting so we've adjusted the stitch length to 2.8.
  5. As you sew, the feed dogs on the foot pull the fabric through at the same rate as the feed dogs underneath.


 When you're done, you have nice even stitches.

To see this demonstrated watch Even Feed Foot (Walking Foot) Video: Sewing High Loft Batting.

The Even Feed Foot shown in the video is for embroidery machines. There is also an Even Feed Foot for low shank, top loading models and another for front loading machines.

See your Janome Dealer to find out which one will work with your machine.

Watch How To Use The Even Feed Foot On High Loft Batting

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