Janome Maker – Ange Hamilton

 

Happily married with two children and living in a converted shed on acreage about an hour outside Canberra, Ange Hamilton dreams about building an energy passive house and being self sufficient. She’s also a passionate sewist with a home full of handmade comfy cushions and snuggly quilts!

Ange found time to take five with us and share her sewing story.

How did your sewing journey begin?

I had sewing lessons in high school but didn’t enjoy it in the slightest. We spent two months sewing a pair of shorts in horrible fabric that in the end didn’t fit me and went straight to the bin!

After the birth of my daughter, I struggled to find dresses in prints that I liked, at a price I could afford. So I decided to try my hand at making my own clothes again and bought my first sewing machine 8 years ago.

I enrolled in a basic dressmaking class at a local fabric store – which was a great introduction to sewing – and spent the next few years making clothes for my children. It was also a great skill to have after my 18 month old daughter was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and needed to spend 6 months in a hip spica cast (a cast from chest down to both ankles) and then a brace.

Unfortunately along with having a little toddler stuck in a frog leg position we also couldn’t find any clothes to fit her. So I used my sewing skills to make her pants that we could pull over her head like a skirt and then button up over her cast. It was wonderful to have a hobby that I loved and also meant I could help my little girl gain her confidence back as it stopped strangers staring at her whenever we left the house.

What do you make now?

As my children got older they preferred shop bought clothes over handmade ones which meant I was free to discover a new type of sewing – patchwork!

One of my favourite fabric designers Tasha Noel , had a great blog which had links to lots of other fabulous patchwork bloggers like Amy Sinibaldi from Nana Company and Kerri Horsley from Lovely Little Handmades. From their accounts I discovered the quilting community on Instagram.

I initially made small projects like purses, cushions and single quilt block wall hangings which is why when I joined Instagram I named my account A Little Patchwork. I still love working on small scrappy projects, using lots of fabric from various collections but in the last year I have also started sewing larger projects such as quilts.

Where do you sew?

Living in a tiny space in a converted shed means space is at a premium. For the first few years after we moved I sewed standing up at the kitchen bench and would have to pack everything away to prepare meals. I now have a dedicated space underneath our stairs in a corner of the lounge!

Ikea has made this very workable, as I use the Norden drop leaf table for my sewing machine (when I’m sewing I prop both sides up so I have space for my cutting mat) and all my fabric and tools are on Raskog utility carts which I can push under the lower stair section when I’m not using them.

Where do you get ideas?

Instagram is a huge inspiration for me! I don’t have time to attend quilt guild meetings but the quilting community is so generous and supportive I feel like I am part of a global guild. It’s a great platform for being inspired by the fabric or project choice of others but its also fantastic if you want advice on how to learn a new technique or pattern.

I also borrow a lot of quilt books from the library and spend way too much time on Pinterest.

What’s a typical day like for you?

On weekdays I get up at 5am to get my children ready for school and myself ready for work. Then we spend most afternoons racing to after school activities like swimming and ballet.

The weekends are our family time and often spent working on our home or garden. However everyday I always make time for sewing, whether that is grabbing a few minutes on the sewing machine while dinner cooks or hand sewing in the evenings on the couch while we watch TV.

Then and now – has your sewing style/technique changed much?

Practicing sewing every day has meant my sewing techniques have definitely improved. I have also come to understand the importance of using the right tool for the right job (like the difference using a rotary cutter and a 1/4 inch seam foot make when it comes to getting accurate quilt blocks).

What are you currently working on?

I am looking forward to making a Christmas themed quilt using Heather Ross’ latest collection Sugar Plum. I also want to start making gifts like foldover pouches and totes for Christmas, as this year I’m hoping to be super organised rather than panic sewing on Christmas Eve…

Any future plans?

The next technique I want to learn is free motion quilting – it was one of the main reasons I was drawn to buying a Janome Memory Craft!

Your best sewing advice is…

Embrace the imperfection.

When you fixate on getting a perfect finish it can often prevent you from finishing which means you end up having a pile of unfinished projects in a cupboard rather than a slightly wobbly finished quilt for your family to snuggle under.

Share something people don’t know about you…

I am a huge fan of Kylie Minogue – I have been ever since she first appeared on Henderson Kids in the late 1980s. My love for Kylie has now been passed on to my children and we are all hoping she’ll tour Australia again soon!

Follow Ange on Instagram and her blog – A Little Patchwork.

 

Janome Maker – Julie Hall

 

Julie Hall bought her first sewing machine, a Janome, when she was 14 and has never looked back since. Today, the mother of two has expanded her sewing passion to creating machine embroidery designs. In-between time spent at the computer working with Digitizer software, test sewing and putting together designs, Julie is a regular exhibitor at craft shows where you can find her embroidery design creations for sale.

Today, we share an inspiring chat with Julie about how she got into embroidery design, her family support and current project.

 

How did you find your way into embroidery design? 

My background is actually in Computers. Whilst I always sewed as a hobby, upon leaving school, I went to business college and trained as a secretary. Throughout my secretarial career, I developed a love of computers, and moved into Computer Training, teaching people how to use different software programmes.

When I stopped working to raise my family, I started my business selling machine embroidery designs, and we have grown the business from there.

How long have you been sewing for?

I honestly don’t remember a time that I wasn’t sewing.  I can remember Mum letting my sister and I use her machine with some decorative stitches to make denim bags, and I would have been 9 or 10, but I brought my first sewing machine, a Janome in 1986 when I was 14, and have never looked back.

Your mum must have been a strong influence in your sewing journey…

Mum has probably been my biggest sewing influence. Mum always made our clothes when we were young, and taught us to sew on her knee. I can remember always having the nicest dresses at church on a Sunday. When the 80s/90s brought cheaper clothing into Australia, Mum discovered patchwork, and brought that love over to us as well. In the late 90’s, a friend of mine brought the Janome 9000, and I would watch her stitching out amazing designs.

Tell us about your sewing projects…

My passion with sewing is to create machine embroidery designs for home sewing machines. I began stitching things for my nieces and nephew, and then moved up to being able to create designs for my own children. I love making quilts using machine embroidery designs, but I also use my embroidery machine for creating amazing gifts for family and friends, and embellishing clothing.

Does your family support your hobby?

I have the most amazing family support. When I moved in with my husband, he immediately cleared a room out for me so that I could have a sewing room. We have an embroidered Christmas shirt tradition in our family, and over the years I have used my Digitizer software to create shirts in his favourite sci-fi characters.

My children are now in on the act as well, with my daughters loving creating their own designs and watching them stitch out, and loving being able to create gifts for their friends!

Where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration comes in so many different forms. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest, Facebook and Google, looking at colour trends and fashion trends. I also love checking out what is happening in different magazines and articles from around the world. I go to a lot of craft shows and am always looking at what others are doing for trends and ideas.

Where do you create? We bet you have your own dedicated room…

I absolutely have a dedicated space. I have just finished house extensions which gave me a 20m2 space (still not enough!). Until then, I was in a 12m2 bedroom. I now have a row of tables with all of my machines, my computer set up, and my cutting table can actually fold all the way out now.

What does a typical day for you involve? 

A typical day for me is getting hubby and kids off to work and school, and then getting into the sewing room. Depending on what I am working on, it may be a lot of time spent at the computer, working with my Digitizer software on new designs, or it might be all about the test sewing and putting together of designs.

I try and keep my day to finishing when the kids come home from school so that I can spend time with them, but honestly, when inspiration strikes, I have to move.

Share with us your current project…

Currently I am working on a set of sea animal designs. I am loving using all of the beautiful fill stitches included with the Digitizer software, and how it can make a design look like you have used fabric for applique, whilst only using thread.

Any sewing advice for us?

Be fearless and have a go. In the privacy of your own sewing room, it doesn’t matter if you stuff up the design, but it does matter if you don’t try.

Keep up to date with Julie’s work on her website and Instagram.

 

Artistic Edge Digital Cutter – Accessory Of The Month July 2018

 

The Artistic Edge offers you an endless options for every kind of crafter! The included Artistic SimpleCut software can do much more than just basic editing. Scrapbookers will love the ability to create custom shapes; quilters will love creating one-step appliqué and decorators will love the projects that they can create for the home. Using the included software you will be able to make, create or alter your designs to create an endless amount of projects that will be individual just for you. There are two option of cutter which include the 15’’ or 12’’ machine. The options are endless with the included blades and mats to start creating with.

This Accessory of the Month has a bonus project for you to make using the Artistic Edge Digital Cutter.

Download brochure here

 

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.

 

Janome Maker – Amanda Adams

 

Museum educator by day, sassy sewist by night, Australian maker Amanda Adams has a pretty full schedule. The self-taught dressmaker has been sewing for 7 years, churning out amazing new wardrobe pieces for herself, and taking Instagram by storm with her #bpSewvember – a photo a day challenge.

We recently caught up with Amanda to learn more about her sewing life.

When did you start sewing?

My mum showed me the basics of using a sewing machine in my 90s-grunge teen years and I made up a few basic skirts while at uni. Work and life got in the way and I forgot about sewing until it was time to make my wedding dress.

After seeing a gorgeous dress that there was no way I could afford I spent three months working with a talented friend of mine to sew up my frock. It was such a joyful, creative and collaborative experience and I was hooked.

Armed with Google, YouTube and penchant for asking questions at fabrics stores, I have been slowly teaching myself the fun of taking pieces of cloth and creating something amazing.

What do you create?

I generally create pieces for my wardrobe. Sewing allows me to experiment with styles, designs and fabric I would not think to try in ready to wear. I’ve made corsets, jeans, swimsuits and lots more for the sheer joy of trying something new. But let me be clear – they are not always wins!

Tell us where you find ideas…

I find a lot of my inspiration online via Instagram, blogs and Pinterest. There are so many talented sewists out there! I also check out ready-to-wear and have been known to take a stealth photo when I’m out and about if I see someone is something cool.

Has your style changed much over the years?

I think my personal style has definitely evolved throughout my sewing journey. I used to favour a lot of vintage inspired fit and flare dresses in big prints. I’m now embracing the solid fabric, subtler prints and a focus on comfort and interesting design lines.

My sewing style has evolved as well. While I still love a quick sewing win (all hail the power of the knit fabric!) I also enjoy working on fit and finish. There is something satisfying about slowing down and investing time into a garment that you will be loving and wearing for years.

What’s a typical day like for you?

My days are pretty similar – dog walk, work, run, hang with my husband, check out what’s happening on Instagram and some sewing.

With moving house and starting a new job in the last couple of months, I’ve really embraced the power of sewing snippets.  I put an alarm on my phone for 15 minutes and have a ninja sew before or after work. It’s amazing how much you can get done!

We heard you are getting a new sewing room…

We’re in the process of unpacking in our new house and I am slowly setting the space up. My new sewing room has amazing light and lots of room to move. I’m looking forward to working out where everything will go and to nail down some good storage solutions.

What’s next on your sewing list?

I’ve got far too many projects on the burner! A fitted blazer for work, a velvet wrap dress for a wedding and I recently splurged on a kit to make a Pendleton wool clutch bag. Also I’ve just completed a course on drafting a pants block so after I finish the final tweaks on that I am going on a pants making binge. Just you wait!

Your best sewing advice is…

Press those seams! And don’t forget sewing is meant to be fun. If it’s frustrating you it’s time to put the project down and have some gin.

Share something people don’t know about you…

I studied Mandarin Chinese for nine years!

Follow Amanda’s sewing journey on Instagram and her blog – Bimble & Pimble.

 

Janome Australia Launches One-Push Air Threading System

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JANOME AUSTRALIA WEDNESDAY JUNE 20, 2018: Janome, a leading innovator and global leader in sewing machines have launched the highly anticipated AirThread 2000D Professional overlocker.

Janome AirThread 2000D Professional unites ease-of-use with the specialised function of an advanced overlocker. The machine features a new threading system with a lever ratchet mechanism that uses a blast of air to blow the threads through the loopers. Combined with a built-in needle threader, AirThread 2000D Professional is our easiest overlocker to thread.

The user-friendly design also extends to the dials, easily accessed without a side cover. Users can easily adjust the cutting width to ensure stitches sit correctly on the edge of the fabric, even on curves whether the fabric is bulky or fine. The cleverly integrated stitch length and differential feed dials can be adjusted to the perfect setting for your fabric whether sewing stretch or lightweight fabrics.

Jojo Yamada, Managing Director, Janome Australia said, “We are confident that this new, top of the line, heavy duty overlocker will win the hearts of professional tailors and dedicated home sewists alike. The technology we use is robust and reliable; it will redefine the sewing experience for users, allowing them to be more creative, productive and precise.”

The AirThread 2000D Professional will be released on June 20, 2018 in Australia. Contact your local Janome retailer to learn more about the new product or to book a time to preview the machine in person. Visit www.janome.com.au for further information and to locate your local retailer.

Click here to download the Janome AirThread 2000D Professional Press Release in pdf.

Cover Hem Guide Attachment – Accessory Of The Month June 2018

 

Created to be use with the Janome CoverPro machines this excellent attachment makes hemming a breeze. The hemming guide folds over a consistent width of fabric for you, making it easy to form hems, cuffs and other finished edges. When sewing the hem of a tubular item such as a skirt, you can press the release button as you near the finish to release the guide and then finish the rest of the hem. Working with the attachment enables for movement to still be possible in the hem of the garment once complete.

This Accessory of the Month has a bonus project for you to make using the Cover Hem Guide Attachment.

Download brochure here

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

You asked. We answered. Here are some of our frequently asked questions…

Frequently Asked Question #4: How many stores does Janome Australia own? Actually, none. All Janome stockists are independently owned businesses. From sewing shops to fabric boutiques, electrical specialist stores to gift shops and embroidery speciality chains, there is a wealth of knowledge and diversified expertise in our dealer network.

Frequently Asked Question #18: My machine needs a repair. Why is this not covered under warranty even though it is less than one year old? Depending on the issue and how it occurred, not all repairs are covered under Janome warranty. Wear and tear on expendable parts such as needles, light bulbs and bobbin cases are not covered under warranty as these parts can commonly require replacement from time to time*.

*For full terms and conditions, click here. This policy is in addition to your statutory rights.

Frequently Asked Question #7: Help! My dealer store has moved. Who should I contact for support now? Did you know that Janome has over 170 dealers Australia wide? You can visit any store in our dealer network to get help and support no matter where you originally purchased your Janome machine. Click here to find a list of authorised dealers closest to you.

Plus you can sign up to our hugely popular newsletter to receive monthly tips and advice on Janome products.

Frequently Asked Question #11: Can Janome software operate on an Apple Mac? Yes, Janome software will run on a Mac but Windows will need to be installed on the Mac. Contact Apple support centre form more information about how to do this. Software will need to be purchased to enable the Mac to run as both a PC and Mac operating system.

 

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