Good Things in Small Packages: Jems, Hello Kitty, Sew Mini
Don't let their size fool you. These compact sewing machines aren't toys.
Sometimes you just want a small sewing machine. If you take your machine along to sewing class or your quilting group, it's nice to be able to carry it with one hand.
But even more important than being lightweight, a compact machine has to be able to sew well.
Here are some Janome machines which are light enough to take with you and small enough to fit on a little sewing table, but also give you the excellent stitch quality you need.
The Janome Jem Family
Several years ago we introduced a 3/4-size machine that offered the sturdy design and convenient features of larger (and more expensive) machines. The original Janome Jem sewing machine was a hit. We've expanded the current line with three machines:
Jem Platinum 760
This 3/4-size machine weighs just 12 pounds, but packs the full weight of other computerized sewing machines, incorporating advanced controls and a wide range of everyday functions. Read more about the Jem Platinum 760 sewing machine.
Jem Gold 3
A little workhorse that includes features like 10 stitches, a four-step buttonhole, built-in needle threader, one-hand thread cutter, and quick foot conversion. Includes a Free Quilting Kit (a $60 retail value). Read more about the Jem Gold 3.
Jem Gold Plus Trim and Stitch
To make this great machine even better, we added a Light Serging System (LSS) which lets you trim, sew, and finish seams in one easy step. Also includes 12 stitches, a four-step buttonhole, built-in needle threader, one-hand thread cutter and quick foot conversion. Read more about the Jem Gold Plus.
The little white cat with the bow in her hair has become a worldwide pop icon. The 12-lb.Janome Hello Kitty® sewing machine is a full-function 3/4 model. There's a free arm and a carry handle for easy portability. And the machine offers 11 stitches, including 2 stretch stitches and a built-in buttonhole. It's perfect for the first-time sewist. Read more about the Hello Kitty sewing machine.
The smallest sewing machine we make is the the Janome Sew Mini. At just 5 lbs. it's easy to take out, set up, and put away. It includes a straight stitch with four lengths and a zigzag with three widths. The top drop-in bobbin is easy to insert and remove. Available at major retailers.
The Artistic Sewing Suite - Create Something Amazing
This software package makes it easy to be excited about machine embroidery.
You love your Memory Craft embroidery machine because it enables you to customize any garment or sewing project. It opens up new creative options within your favorite hobby.
If that describes you, then you're going to be delighted to experience the new Artistic Sewing Suite. It's an exclusive software bundle that unites a wide range of sewing applications, such as appliqué, cutwork, embroidery, quilting, decorative stitching, and heat transfer.
At its core, the Artistic Sewing Suite is a graphics-driven program for creating embroidery designs. However, the specialized software goes further than traditional embroidery digitizing programs by providing an integrated cutwork feature. Utilizing special cutting needles, this unique capability allows you to turn your embroidery machine into an amazing new tool.
Cut intricate appliqué or quilting shapes in a fraction of the time; produce heirloom quality table linens in the hoop; create free-standing accessories for home décor; embellish ready to wear garments and accessories . . . the list is limited only by your imagination!
With the Artistic Sewing Suite, images can be imported from a wide range of sources – clip art, photos, personal artwork – and turned into stitchable designs for your embroidery machine. Over 3,000 built-in designs are included with the program, so you can get started right out of the box.
The Styles and Patterns tools artistically fill shapes and create distinctive embroidery designs; 353 Styles and 194 Patterns are included. Styles and Patterns can also be combined for thousands of additional possibilities.
Best of all, the program is intuitive and easy to learn.
The Easy Sequence feature creates perfect embroidery from imported drawings; it's not necessary to manipulate thread sequences to achieve amazing results. And, the software can determine the appropriate embroidery density all by itself thanks to five pre-set fabric categories and a wide range of fabric weights, which allow the design to be customized to the fabric.
Video: Using the Janome Ultimate Ruffler
It's the easiest way to do this sophisticated technique.
Ruffles are created when you gather together a longer piece of fabric often with the intent of sewing it to another, flat piece of fabric. Larger, folded ruffles are called pleats. There are lots of different projects that call for ruffles, from the edging around a pillow to the gathered waist of a skirt.
This embellishment adds a sophisticated look, but ruffles can be challenging, and time-consuming, to sew... unless you have a presser foot on your sewing machine that automatically does the gathering for you. Like the Janome Ultimate Ruffler.
It's called The Ultimate Ruffler because it's absolutely the easiest way to make ruffles and pleats with your sewing machine. To see how to attach it and use it watch The Ultimate Ruffler Video: Creating Ruffles And Pleats.
The standard depth of ruffles is two-to-one. So if you're sewing a twelve inch seam, you'll need twenty-four inches of your gathering fabric. But if you want a different look, the Ultimate Ruffler lets you control how many ruffles you have along your seam as well as how deep each one is. You can have a ruffle formed every stitch, every six stitches, or every twelve stitches. By turning a screw on the foot, you can adjust how much fabric is folded at each gather.
As with any new foot, you'll want to sew some test pieces before starting in on your project.
Serger Smarts: Create Your Own Serger Stitches
By working "outside of the box" you can adjust your serger settings to create a beautiful braid stitch.
For best results we recommend that your serger stitches should be set up according to specific guidelines--whether it's a four-thread overlock, a rolled hem, or a flatlock. Our serger manuals call for specific tension adjustments to achieve a balance of thread coverage on the fabric.
That got us thinking . . . what would happen if we didn't follow the recommendations? Would it be possible to make new stitches by tweaking the settings? The answer we found was, YES!
Playing with a Janome 1110DX serger, we were amazed with the unique results we were able to achieve by deviating from the recommended stitch settings. In the next few weeks, we'll be featuring some of the different stitches we created by adjusting our serger settings. (BTW, you can make these on any Janome serger.)
Our first unique stitch we've named the Braid Stitch. You create this stitch by putting decorative thread in both loopers and using only the right needle (use a size 14 needle for best results). The stitch brings both of the decorative threads to the top to form a mock braid. This is a great finish for a fleece throw.
To create this new stitch, make the following adjustments:
- Right Needle - set to 4
- Upper Looper - set to 9
- Lower Looper - set to 2
- Stitch Length - Between the "R" and 2
- Differential Feed - 1.0
- Disengage the stitch finger, or set to "R"
By mixing up your thread colors and textures, you can create a number of different effects with this one neat stitch!
Introducing the DC5100
When you're moving beyond beginner projects, this new machine is a great next step.
Back when you were a newbie sewist, you were happy just to get your straight stitch in a straight line. Now that you're diving into more intermediate level projects, here's a computerized machine with everything you need to grow in your skills.
The new Janome DC5100 sewing machine has a nice selection of stitches, lots of time-saving features, and a powerful motor to make your next project a big success.
The DC5100 has a total of 167 built in stitches, including 5 styles of one-step buttonholes, and a complete alphabet in upper and lower case. You can find your stitch quickly by opening the top cover and glancing at the stitch reference guide. Then use the touchpad to navigate on the easy-to-read LCD screen. Save your selections in the machine Memory, which can store up to 50 custom patterns.
You get power and precision at up to 820 stitches per minute. An automatic tension control and 7-piece feed dog ensure excellent stitch quality.
Lots of presser feet are included. The DC5100 comes with 11 snap-on feet, including a Blind Hem Foot, Even Feed Foot, Overedge Foot, Overcasting Foot, and Automatic Buttonhole Foot.
Other time saving features include a memorized needle up/down, drop feed, and a built-in Needle Threader. And to top it all off, the DC5100 comes with its own Hard Cover.
See a thorough review of the DC5100 at the Sewing Machines For Beginners blog.
New Book for New Sewists: Thread & Bobbin
New to sewing... or know someone who is?
A little book just hit the shelves that is perfect for you or the beginning sewist(s) in your lift. thread & bobbin: 21 simple sewing projects ($18, All American Crafts) is written by Janome America's own Alison Newman and her good friend and textile expert, Kaitlin Witte.
There are a variety of projects from quilts to aprons, purses to baby blocks. All have detailed, step-by-step instructions and illustrations. There's also a handy glossary of terms. Most of the items can easily be made in a weekend, some in just a few hours. It's a great book for beginners, but equally fun those more skilled because of the very cute ideas.
Video: Finishing A Raw Edge With The Overcast Foot M
Don't have a serger? Use this presser foot on your sewing machine to finish the raw edges of your fabric.
Seamstresses have used the overcast (also called overlock) stitch for centuries as a way to keep the unfinished edges of fabric from raveling. It's useful for heavy fabrics or when the edge has multiple layers like high loft batting; times when folding over and stitching the edge would be too bulky.
Many Janome sewing machines have this stitch built-in and when used with the Overcast Foot M, it gives a nicely finished edge that looks like it was done by a serger.
To see how to use this foot watch the Overcast Foot M Video: Finishing A Raw Edge. You'll see how to set up the foot on your machine and how to sew with the guide to finish your edge in one pass.
The Overcast Foot M is particularly good for finishing medium to heavyweight, easily-frayed woven fabrics such as tweed, gabardine, and linen.
To find out which Janome sewing machines can use the Overcast Foot M (ie., which machines have the overcast stitch), go to the machine's page and look under Accessories.
Under An Hour! Serged Scarf Hat
One of the great things about the 1100D and 1200D sergers is that they can create a Blanket Stitch.
This stitch is perfect for finishing the edges of quilts, blankets and fleece throws. It's a wonderful on a serger, because you can trim the edge and stitch in one quick and easy step.
Our serged scarf hat is a fast, fun project for anyone wanting to get acquainted with this stitch on their serger. Use vairegated thread, as we did in our sample, for a great decorative effect. The wide scarf with a built-in hat is perfect to keep you cozy on a chilly day. And with this winter's wild storms all over the USA, there are plenty chilly days left to put this warm fleece wrap to good use!
Clover Accessories at your Janome Dealer
Look for a wide selection of notions and innovative sewing aids from this Janome partner.
Clover has a variety of high quality products to help you sew and quilt. From traditional notions like their measuring and marking aids to unique items like their mini irons, Clover products are a big help when you sit down at your Janome sewing machine.
Here are a few of our favorites:
Mini Iron II - It's got all the heat of a regular iron in a tiny size. You can press hard-to-reach places and it's ideal for doing fusible products.
Bamboo Handle Tools - They feel good in your hand and bamboo has a nice, natural look. Includes tools like a seam ripper, and various tracing tools.
Bias tape and Bias tape makers - They have a nice selection. And their Quick Bias Tape saves you time because it can be easily ironed on to straight or curved fabric designs.
Yo-yo makers - Fabric yo-yos make a fun accent to all kinds of projects. Clover has quick yo-yo makers for all sizes. You can even make unusual shapes like shamrocks and butterflies.
Pom-pom makers - They're not just for ski hats anymore. Make small, large, or even heart-shaped pom-poms.
You can find Clover products at your local Janome Dealer. Selection will vary, depending on your retailer.
Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread
This assortment of 100% cotton thread is ideal for machine quilting.
Our experts are often asked, "Which brands of thread will work best for quilting on my Janome?"
When it comes to quilting, where your thread may be feeding through your sewing machine at 1,000 stitches per minute, not all threads are created equal. But there are a number of high quality brands that will give you excellent results when you use them for quilting. One of those is Iris thread made by Hilos.
Because Iris Thread runs so well in your Janome sewing machine, we've partnered with them to bring you Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread in a custom Horizon gift box, which includes 12 mini king spools of premium quilting thread, as well as individual mini king spools.
Quilting fabrics are usually made from 100% cotton, making pure cotton thread the traditional choice for your quilting machine. Iris quilting thread is highly mercerized, meaning it's had special processing to give it a smoother surface and improved luster.
When you put in extra hours to make your quilt project its very best, it makes good sense to use an excellent quality thread like Iris. Using top quality raw materials, Iris is the only company manufacturing this type of thread in North America. Their threads are known for strength, tenacity, brilliant sheen, and the ability to run smoothly in all major sewing and embroidery machines.
See the Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread assortment and single spools at your local, participating Janome Dealer.
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