Fun and Easy Tote Bag using the Janome HD 3000BE

Recently, I had the pleasure of sewing on the new special Black Edition of the Janome HD 3000. I LOVE the look of this machine and took it along to a quilting retreat so I could really put it through it’s paces. HD stands for Heavy Duty so I specifically chose some projects where strength and durability would be key.

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First project to tackle was a tote bag.  I don’t know about you but I always seem to have SO much to carry with me: to retreats, classes, or running around town doing errands, (perhaps a little impulse shopping along the way, too) so a roomy tote is ideal to take along wherever I go.

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One of my favourite tote bag patterns is The Everyday Tote by Northcott. It’s a free download from their website and it’s ultra simple and versatile to customize. As well, it’s a great project for all skill levels and it can be done in a day. Yay!

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The photos above are of the sample I made for the classes I teach on The Everyday Tote, but, for the tote which I sewed at the retreat, I wanted to use the fabric I had quilted recently on the Janome Quilt Maker Pro 18 with Pro Stitcher Premium computer.

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While the original pattern of The Everyday Tote instructs to use a lining, I skipped that step so I saved a little time and fabric and could utilize more of the features of the Janome HD 3000BE.

The Janome HD 3000BE comes with the extra bonus of the Quilting Attachment kit,

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which includes 4 specialty presser feet, the Quilting Guide Bar and, my most favourite accessory, the adjustable Seam Guide, or Cloth Guide. This kit is also available separately so visit your local Janome dealer for more information.

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The adjustable Seam Guide/ Cloth Guide attaches into the bed of the machine with the included thumb screw and it allows you to achieve perfectly straight stitching. I chose to bind the edges of the front pocket I made for my tote so I used the Seam Guide/ Cloth Guide to help me stitch in the ditch between the pocket fabric and the checked binding. Worked perfectly!

Below, you see the adjustable Seam Guide/ Cloth Guide in use while I stitched parallel rows of straight lines through the many bulky layers of the handles.

I certainly appreciated the machine’s penchant for heavy duty sewing while I was constructing the handles for my tote:  4 layers of fabric in the seam allowances plus 2 layers of Pellon’s Flex-Foam, which I used to add strength, body and comfort to the handles. Lots of bulk but it sewed like a hot knife through butter!

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This was definitely a time to use my trusty Wonder Clips by Clover. SO much easier to use than pins!

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Since the Janome HD 3000BE comes with 8 snap on presser feet (not including those in the bonus Quilting Attachment kit), I could quickly and easily switch between them while constructing my tote. In the above photos I used the Overedge Foot for perfectly even edge-stitching about 1/8″ from each edge of the handles. You can see the little black metal guide at the side of the foot which allowed for such even stitching. I love having that little extra reassurance so I get the results I want, especially while sewing fast! Even though this foot was designed for a different purpose (which I’ll show a little later), I wanted to maximize all the options which came with the machine to show it’s versatility.

This was also the case when I switched to the Clear Buttonhole Foot to sew a narrow facing onto the inside of the tote. The Clear Buttonhole Foot is designed so you can manually make a buttonhole whatever length you wish, but I used it for a different purpose. Since the foot is clear plastic it allowed me better visibility and accuracy when sewing over my previous line of edge-stitching. Again, the Everyday Tote pattern says to use a lining, but I chose to customize my tote instead and sewed this little facing to finish the top raw edge of my tote.

I took this little video so you could see that even though I was edge-stitching through multiple layers: 4 layers of fabric and 2 layers for Flex-Foam in the handles, plus 2 layers of fabric in the accent trim, PLUS an additional 2 layers of fabric in the seam allowance, PLUS an additional 2 layers of the facing fabric in the seam allowance, the Janome HD 3000BE really stood up to it’s heavy duty name sake.

By the way, anyone every try sewing with one hand while holding your phone in the other hand trying to film it? NOT easy! The things I do for my job! lol!

I used the Clear Buttonhole Foot again when I top-stitched the pocket onto the front of the tote bag. I adjusted the blind hem stitch so it was very small and narrow and I stitched along the outside edge of the checked binding. I know this pocket will get a lot of use, so I opted to stitch in the ditch along the inner binding seam as well.

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The Clear Buttonhole Foot has a line marking in the front of the foot which lines up with the needle. (I’m sorry, it’s a little difficult to see on the fabric so my stiletto is pointing to the line) This marking helped keep my stitching just where I wanted it – in the ditch, even though this isn’t technically a “stitch in the ditch” foot. As I learned over the 4 days of sewing on this machine, there is A LOT of versatility to the Janome HD 3000BE.

Since I elected to omit a lining from my tote, I needed to finish the raw edges when it was time to sew the layers together. The Overedge Foot and corresponding stitch was the obvious choice as it mimics the professional look of a serger.

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I love that little red indicator which moves as you select any of the 18 built-in stitches. The chart on the inside of the top lid lists all the stitches, settings and presser feet to use for whatever kind of sewing you’d like to do.

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As I mentioned earlier, the stitch length and width are adjustable, too, so there’s even more flexibility.

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I SEW love this tote, especially since I had a hand in constructing even the fabric! It certainly came in handy when packing up from the retreat as I somehow collected even more goodies than I brought. Maybe the stops at three local quilt shops had a little something to do with it. lol!

In a future post I’ll share another project I constructed using the fabulous Janome HD 3000BE.  Visit your local Janome Dealer for more information.

 

About janomeman

SO many creative possibilities, SEW little time!! I'm so excited to share my love of sewing, quilting and creating with the world! Have fabric, will travel. : )
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