Buttonholes With A Snug Fit

 

When it comes to buttonholes, the perfect fit is key. Long gone are the days when you need to manually mark out the size of each buttonhole, making it a guessing game as to whether you’ll actually have a reliable closure on your garments.

Many of Janome’s modern sewing machines today come equipped with a one-step buttonhole foot and a stabilizer plate for effortless buttonhole creation. You can sew buttonholes of the appropriate size by simply placing your button into the button holder of the foot and pushing the clamp right up against the button. The foot will measure the size of your button and ensure the buttonhole is made to the correct size.

Button placed into the foot – this does the sizing of the buttonhole automatically for you.

When the buttonhole foot is attached to the buttonhole stabilizer plate, the machine will feed various kinds of fabric and uneven layers more smoothly instead of eating the fabric or causing the needle to get stuck in position.

If you have an older model, you might have a one-step buttonhole foot which looks similar to the one pictured below, except that it may not have the more advanced feature of lengthening or shortening the buttonhole.

This upgraded one-step buttonhole foot comes standard with all 9mm Janome sewing machine models. Basically, it allows you to tweak the length of your buttonhole slightly to accommodate knit/stretch fabrics or domed buttons.

By adjusting the screw to the left or right, the marker will move to L – for long, or S –  for short, thereby increasing or decreasing the buttonhole length.

When working with knit fabrics, such as a stretchy T-shirt which may be more prone to tugs and pulls or get stretched during a machine wash cycle, a slightly shorter buttonhole will ensure the button remains securely in place once buttoned.

A shorter buttonhole on knit fabric can prevent the button from slipping out.

On the other hand, if you’re dealing with heavy fabric or using domed, thicker, or handmade buttons, you may require a larger button hole.

Have you ever measured your button, sewn your buttonhole, only to find that it still isn’t big enough?

This is often the case when the thickness of the button hasn’t been taken into consideration. For example, a dome shaped button might be 1/2″ wide from end to end, but if you measure across the dome you will notice that it is slightly longer.

To take the thickness of the button into account just add a little length to your buttonhole to accommodate the button. You can adjust your one-step buttonhole foot slightly by adjusting the marker to the L position.

The upgraded one-step buttonhole foot and stabilizer plate are great tools to have for making all the difference when sewing buttonholes.

If your machine does not come with them or is not of a compatible model, you are most welcome to discuss your options with an authorised Janome stockist, who might suggest upgrading to a machine which offers these fantastic features.

 

Janome’s Easy Set Bobbin

 

Sewing 101 – threading comes before sewing.

Threading the needle on the sewing machine is pretty straight forward for most of us, it’s threading the bobbin that’s a bit tricky at times.

 

Front-loading bobbin

First on the scene were the front-loading bobbin style where you put the bobbin into a metal bobbin case before inserting it into the bobbin slot, which is usually tucked away behind the accessory box on the front of the machine

Front loading machines can be challenging for some but luckily the drop-in or top-loading style bobbins came along, giving you an added choice in purchasing a front or top-loading modern sewing machine.

 

Top-loading bobbin

Found in most modern sewing machines, top-loading bobbins are easier to remove and replace, with the added benefit of a transparent cover so you can see just how much thread is left without opening the machine.

Threading a top-loading bobbin generally involves 4 steps:

  1. Remove the bobbin cover plate. Place the bobbin in the case with the thread running counter-clockwise or form the letter “P” for Perfect.

     janome top loading drop in bobbin

  2. Thread through the flat tension spring starting at the first notch (1) and draw the thread to the left until it slips into the second notch (2). Pull out at least 4” of thread to use in the next step.

     janome top loading drop in bobbin

  3. Hold on to the machine thread (needle thread) while turning the handwheel to raise and lower the needle. This will pick up the bobbin thread – look for a little loop of bobbin thread just under the presser foot. Pinch this loop and pull gently to bring up the entire bobbin thread. Pull both threads to the back of the machine, under the presser foot.
    janome top loading drop in bobbin

  4. Pop the bobbin cover plate back on and now you’re ready to sew!

The top loading system is great… but can it be even simpler? Can we skip the hassle of step 3 completely?

Glad you asked because that’s the new Janome easy set bobbin.

 

Janome’s easy set bobbin

With the easy set bobbin all you have to do is to drop in your bobbin, making sure it’s in the correct counter-clockwise direction, pull the thread along the guides, then pop the cover back on.

Yup, that’s all there is – it even cuts the excess bobbin thread for you!

 

janome easy set top loading drop in bobbin

The easy set bobbin style is on the following models – MC15000QM, MC15000, MC14000, MC12000, MC9900, MC9450QCP, MC9400QCP, MC8900QCP Special Edition, MC8200QCP Special Edition, MC6700P, Skyline Series (S9, S7, S6, S5, S3), DM7200, Sewist 780DC, Sewist 740DC, DC6100, DC6050, DC6030, DC3200.

High Light

 

Having trouble sewing in the dark, or trying to light match a thread to your fabric? The Janome High LightTM is a nifty little feature that brightens up your entire work space.

The retractable lamp pulls out to give direct light at the needle area, allowing you to work shadow-free on your project. You can also adjust and angle the light to shine exactly where you need it.

 

High LightTM is available on selected Janome sewing machine models including MC15000 Quilt Maker, MC14000, MC12000 and MC9400QCP.

Visit an authorised Janome stockist today to see it for yourself.

Stitch Tapering

 

Ever wish you could turn a corner with a decorative stitch? Or tailor the beginning and end of a decorative stitch to create customised shapes and frames?

Welcome to the world of Stitch Tapering.

stitch tapering janome

By adjusting the angle of taper, you can easily create original decorative borders and motifs.

Janome’s Stitch Tapering function is a fantastic feature that lets you customize a decorative stitch for extra design detail. Top-stitching, applique or cornering can benefit from the professional degree of finishing that a tapered stitch can provide.

stitch tapering janome 2

Take your pick from a broad selection of taper-ready stitches and set your desired stitch angle at 30, 45, 60, 90 or 120 to suit your sewing needs.

With the Horizon Memory Craft 15000 Quilt Maker, this specialised technique is further revolutionized with an industry-first mirror image tapering mode, allowing you to create design stitches with mirror image pattern, needle position and tapering angle. You can also set the number of pattern repeats and preview the pattern on screen before stitching, giving you ultimate precision and control.

Stitch Tapering function is available on Horizon Memory Craft 15000 Quilt Maker and the Skyline S9.

Visit an authorised Janome stockist today to find out more.

What Makes a Quilting Machine Different from a Sewing Machine?

 

Whether you’re an advanced free motion quilter or just dipping your toes into quilting for the first time, having the right machine makes all the difference.

While you can use just about use any regular sewing machine for quilting (a quilting machine is a sewing machine after all!), a quilting machine has a variety of add-ons and capabilities that really separate the two.

On our blog today, let’s take a look at some of the most important features you’ll want to consider if you’re planning to quilt on a regular basis.

1) Work space

One of the most obvious differences between a standard sewing machines and a quilting machine is the amount of workspace on the machine.

This is measured by the “throat” of the machine, which is directly determined by the length of the machine itself – the longer the machine, the wider the throat, the larger the workarea.

For basic sewing needs and easy home décor projects, a large table with ample work space/throat is more of a luxury than a need. But with bulky projects, such as quilts, the throat space becomes pretty important, hence quilting machines generally offer a much larger work area.

2) Extension Table

If you want even more workspace on your machine, an extension table will give you that room to move and maneuver as you’re quilting.

Designed to fit snugly against your sewing machine, the extra work surface is perfect for machine quilting and sewing on borders and bindings.

Many machines in our quilting range come with the Extension Table accessory, however it’s also available as an optional accessory within the Janome range of genuine parts and accessories.

3) Janome AcuFeed™ System

Ever find your sewing machine stitching everything perfectly from the top but upon flipping over your work, you find bunching or puckering? That’s not entirely uncommon for quilters who often work with multiple layers and heavy fabric.

Janome’s exclusive AcuFeed™ System is designed to move layers of your project together under the needle with perfect precision from both the top and bottom. This feature works great for everything from piecing to hemming to quilting and any sewing requiring precise control.

The AcuFeed™ System is available on MC15000 Quilt Maker, MC15000, MC14000, MC12000, MC9400QCP, MC8900QCP, MC8200QCP, MC8200QC, MC6700P, MC6600P, Skyline S9, Skyline S7 machines.

4) Foot Option: Quarter Inch Foot

When machine piecing a quilt top, a quarter inch seam allowance is ideal. The quarter inch piecing foot helps to achieve quilting accuracy and is also used specifically for quilting projects that typically have a narrow seam allowance.

Many machines in our quilting range come with this foot, however it’s also available as an optional accessory within the Janome range of genuine parts and accessories. Also, available is an AcuFeed Quarter Inch Foot.

5) Foot Option: Darning or Free Motion Foot

For free motion quilting, the most effective foot to use is the free motion or darning foot.

This foot ensures proper stitch formation, minimizes skipped stitches and puckering and also protects your fingers while you move the fabric freely under the needle. It’s especially beneficial to those just learning how to do free hand quilting. The open toe version greatly improves visibility of stitches and is especially popular with quilters. To achieve the best results when free motioning, set your needle to left needle position.

Many machines in our quilting range come with this foot, however it’s also available as an optional accessory within the Janome range of genuine parts and accessories.

6) Foot Option: Walking Foot (also known as Even Feed Foot)

If your machine doesn’t have AcuFeed™ System, don’t fret; let the Walking Foot save the day.

The walking foot is essentially a second pair of feed dogs for the top of your project to give you the extra help needed to feed through multiple layers, heavy fabrics and those difficult to sew slippery fabrics . It’s also fantastic to use when quilting in straight lines!

Many machines in our quilting range come with this foot, however it’s also available as an optional accessory within the Janome range of genuine parts and accessories.

7) Number of Stitches

Decorative stitches may not be your go-to stitch for quilting, but they can be just the thing that takes your quilt from, “That’s very nice,” to “Wow! You made that?”

Quilting with decorative stitches is a great way to add an accent to your quilt especially along a border. You can also use decorative stitching to quilt your quilt sandwich.

Some of our machines in the quilting range have over 200 built-in stitches to choose from including MC15000 Quilt Maker, MC14000, MC9400QCP and MC6700P machines.

8) Sewing Speed & Stability

If you are a serious quilter or quilt for a living, then a high-speed machine is definitely worth considering.

Some of our fastest machines in the market includes the MC6700P, MC6600, 1600P-QC, MC15000 Quilt Maker, MC14000 and MC9400QCP with the capability of zapping through projects at speeds of up to 1600 SPM.

Because these machines can sew at such great speeds, the machines themselves are designed to be extremely sturdy and built to withstand the speed of the motor. They offer stability features like extra wide flat bed and a generous workspace – all great features you want in a quilting machine.

From the casual sewist to the seasoned seamstress, there’s a sewing machine for every maker. Discover Janome’s huge range of products designed with an array of intuitive features to suit every budget and skill level. Visit an authorised Janome stockist today to find out more.

 

4 Signs You Need An Overlocker

 

Can’t make up your mind on whether to add an overlocker to your sewing machine collection? Here are 4 signs to help you decide:

 

Do you sew mostly garments?

Let’s face it, unfinished garment seams, especially on woven fabrics, aren’t durable over time. Eventually the fabric will fray, showing the unfinished edges and sometimes your seams will start to unravel. (That’s the beginning of the end for your handmade garment!)

If you look at your store-bought clothes you will most likely notice the flawless edge of the seams. This is where the brilliant work of an overlocker comes into play – it stitches and trims away excess fabric along the edge all at once!

The overlocker can be set up to complete many finishes by simply adjusting the settings to suit your project. Investing in an overlocker will make your garments stand the test of time, while making them look professionally constructed.

 

Do you have limited time to sew?

Granted, not all of us are full-time home sewists. Some of us are lucky if we can have an uninterrupted stitching session while the kiddos are napping, or have a ninja sew straight after getting home from our full-time job. If your sewing time is limited, an overlocker can help you whiz through your projects quickly and efficiently.

An overlocker can be used for many finishes including construction of garments, through to finishing off the edges of fabric that will then be seamed on the sewing machine. In particular, the overlocker is useful for knit and stretch fabrics, as it helps to guide and seam these fabrics that are often difficult to sew using a sewing machine.

 

Do you have trouble with the edges of your seamed fabrics rolling after sewing with the sewing machine?

Does the fabric rolling in the seam allowance on the edge of your knit garment drive you batty? If you have experienced this before, you will know that it becomes difficult to sew other intersecting seams and creates an unnecessary bulk to your work.

Overlockers can help with this issue as the knit/stretch fabrics feed through with the help of the differential feed and allow you to create a nice flat seam allowance. Your waistbands and side seams will look a lot neater and sit more comfortably when you wear your garment.

 

Do you enjoy sewing home décor or accessorizing your home?

The overlocker can be used for more than just garment sewing. Have you ever wanted to work with fabrics that might end up needing to be washed or used frequently, and you worry about how they will cope?

The overlocker can be perfect for this as you can finish the edges of your pillows and other home deco items so that they are reinforced and secure for laundering and daily use. With an overlock, you can stitch up lovely rolled hems to finish off your table linens, gathers for beautiful ruffles on pillows and so much more! The extra strength that is given when using the overlocker on the seams allows for a longer life to your handmade sewing projects.

 

One thing is for sure, once you decide to invest in an overlocker, it quickly becomes very difficult to imagine life without it! An overlocker can be the perfect addition for everyone. Contact an authorised Janome stockist today for a demonstration on the range of Janome overlockers to see how much your sewing experience can be improved with this versatile machine.

 

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