A straight line. It seems like the most basic thing you can do when sewing. But we’re amazed by the number of comments and questions we get from S4H visitors who want to know how to do it better, easier, and more consistently. We don’t have any magical powers to make our seams and topstitching look great. What we do know is that using the right foot for the job is the real secret to a beautifully straight line. Because we’re an exclusive Janome studio, our specialty presser feet suggestions are from the Janome selection of accessories. Your machine manufacturer may have similar options for your make and model. In either situation, the recommendation is the same: investing in a specifically designed presser foot is well worth it. It makes the process less frustrating, you can finish a task quicker, and the results are more professional.
DIY sewing projects are rarely just two layers of quilting weight cotton floating through your machine with ease. In garment construction, pattern pieces can come together from all angles, overlapping layers and seams. With three dimensional projects, like bags, fabric baskets or heavy cushions with piping; bulk and thickness are everywhere! Keeping seams straight, needles from breaking, and fabric moving evenly under the needle is challenging (read: can make you want to throw it all out the window). But with the right presser feet and accessories, an understanding of seam grading, and the patience to go slowly and carefully, you can sew like a pro through thick and thin.
The word "only" gets kind of a bad rap. Maybe because it seems a little too close to "lonely," but the flip side is the heart of its true meaning: to focus on one thing. If you do one thing very, very well, then you are likely an expert. So it is with the Janome Memory Craft embroidery-only machines. Yes, they only do embroidery, but they do it expertly and with Janome's trademark ease-of-use. We chose the Memory Craft 500E to create this beautiful set of embroidered placemats and napkins, selecting two built-in florals and stitching them against a shear ribbon lattice on a 100% linen background.
Sometimes just a tiny touch of embroidery is the right look. Other times, you want it to be the focal point of a project. This spring shoulder bag is a beautiful combination of subtle style and dramatic design. A purchased skinny belt becomes the strap and a large, monochromatic embroidered medallion adorns the front pocket as well as the lining pocket, creating a secret pop of pretty on the inside.
Buttons are the perfect finishing accent to so many projects. Not to mention the fact they are also a very functional closure. But if you have to sew on a lot of buttons by hand, you might think twice about using them. I personally find sewing buttons by hand tedious, time-consuming, and I can sometimes have trouble getting them to look uniform. Sew4Home exclusive sewing machine sponsor, Janome America has come to our (and your) rescue. There's an easy method for sewing on buttons by machine. You can be sure they're securely attached, perfectly aligned, and once you've done one, your machine can use the same settings for multiple buttons of the same size.
A skosh, a wee bit, just a hair... sometimes, the distances we want to work with when sewing aren't quite as precise as the engraved inch and millimeter markings on our machines. Wouldn't it be great if there was a foot you could manually adjust to perfectly align with the exact distance you wanted? There is! The Janome Sliding Guide Foot has a perfectly balanced outboard guide you can smoothly slide to the right then lock into place, from ⅜" to 1⅛" from the center needle drop (10mm - 30mm). I love it when someone answers my "wouldn't-it-be-great" requests!
If you’re a Sew4Home regular, you know we are an exclusive Janome studio, which means we are lucky enough to use their amazing machines for all our projects. We’ve been Janome fans for YEARS (decades really) and have never found another line with better precision, power, innovation, and flexibility – from the top of the line all the way through to the introductory models. We’ve done a number of articles over the years on some of our favorite Janome presser feet, because using the right foot for the job is extremely important to the finished look of your project. Many people rarely change out their presser foot, often because they’re just not sure what to do with that bag o’ extra feet that came with their machine! Is that you?! Janome has tackled this “excuse” with a new Presser Foot Workbook series that gives you a working knowledge of their most popular feet – both standard and specialty and even the feet for the Cover Pro serger. Take a look at our overview, then visit your local Janome dealer for more information on how to build your own set.
Life can get a little sticky sometimes. In general, that statement covers a vast array of scenarios. But in the world of sewing, we’re usually talking about laminates, vinyls, faux leather, oil cloth, and the other sticky fabric substrates that look cool but can be challenging to sew. The surfaces of these specialty fabrics love to drag across your presser foot and/or needle plate, causing your stitching to bunch or break. Plus, with non-wovens, once you make a hole it’s there to stay. So the last thing you want are extra holes due to messed up seams. The Janome Ultra Glide Foot and its accompanying Needle Plate give you the ability to sew through your sticky situations like a hot knife through butter.
Going in circles doesn’t have to be a bad thing! In fact, when it comes to pretty stitching embellishments, the circle is always a winner. But… how on earth can you stitch in a truly perfect circle?! Even following a drawn line can lead to bumbles and bobbles. Our secret: the Janome Circular Sewing Attachment. It locks into position on the machine and works like a compass to sew a perfect circle every time. We’ve used it on some of our most popular projects, and although we do love it when you think we are just amazingly skilled and can do anything without even trying… we thought it was time to share our circle secret with a step-by-step tutorial that shows how easy it really is behind the scenes thanks to this cool tool.
Set this pretty kitty on your sofa to keep watch over the rest of your pillows. The bold silhouette with its sweet dimensional bow is truly the Cat’s Meow. Our original design was created to show off the amazing appliqué capabilities of the Janome machines, which have amazingly precise stitch quality, from the top-of-the-line sewing and embroidery powerhouses to the entry level compacts. We’re an exclusive Janome studio at Sew4Home, and it’s one of the top reasons our finished samples turn out so beautifully. Your sewing machine is the tool at the center of the process; it better have your back! That means a machine you can rely on to do what it needs to do easily – without any unnecessary frustration on your part. When you’re confident in your machine’s performance, it frees you to concentrate on your creativity.