Part #2 of Shirt-Making Details

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a men’s casual dress shirt I sewed here on janomelife. I shared some tips and showed some of the Janome presser feet and accessories I used which helped make the process easier, with more professional results.


As a proud owner of the Top-of-the-Line Janome MC 15000 Quiltmaker, I love that my machine comes with SOOOOOOOOOOOOO many presser feet and accessories, BUT, did you know that many of those same Janome presser feet and accessories are available for your machine as well?  As always, check your instruction manual and with your Janome dealer to be sure you get the correct size and type of foot for your machine, for example high shank or low shank; 5mm width, 7mm width or 9mm width.

One such accessory which came with my machine but will work with quite a few other Janome machines, like the Janome MC 6700P, and the new Janome 4300 QDC, for example, is the Janome AcuView Optic Magnifier. I think of it as “cheater” glasses for my machine.


With three strengths of magnification available, you can greatly improve your accuracy when you can really zoom in see where you’re stitching. I especially appreciate using these when I’m sewing late at night and my eyes are tired, or I’m straining to see black thread on black fabric, for example. How about when trying to thread the needle with a finicky, pesky thread like fine mono-filament invisible thread? Yes, most of our Janome machines have fabulous needle threaders, but sometimes the threads are just too thick or too unruly to be tamed and you have no choice but to thread by hand. It’s a quick, easy process with the help of the Janome AcuView Optic Magnifier.


The post of the magnifier slips up into position near the back of the needle bar, around where the side thread cutter is on many machines. You likely didn’t even realize that little slot may be there. Carefully tip your machine back to have a look.


The fun part of sewing your own garments is that YOU are the designer, and you can make modifications and add details when the commercial pattern doesn’t call for it. A little detail I like adding to pockets, belt loops; any area subject to extra wear and tear, is a bar tack; little zig-zag stitches to reinforce the area, as shown at the top of the pocket opening in the photo below. I’m fortunate to have this stitch built-in to my Janome MC 15000 Quiltmaker, but, with a few minor adjustments, pretty-much any Janome sewing machine is capable of achieving the same result.


The stitching is just as neat and clean on the inside as it is on the outside, which elevates your sewing from “home-made” to professional. One of my early sewing mentors, Shirley Adams of The Sewing Connection, which aired on PBS in the 1990’s (she had a Janome MC 9000!) used to say, “Home-made is only good when it comes from the kitchen.” I agree.


Good pressing techniques also help achieve a more professional finish. I rolled and pressed just a bit, less than 1/8″, of the upper collar to the backside, or under collar, then Top-Stitched 1/4″ away, as shown the photo below. This is a standard shirt-making detail which ensures that the collar seam is not visible when the collar is folded down into position. It’s a little detail, but an important detail, which some patterns neglect to mention.


One of the last steps is the Hem, and there are many Janome presser feet available which help you sew a neat, clean finish. One of my favourites is the Janome Edge-Guide foot, which has an adjustable guide to set. I pressed my hem over twice then top-stitched.


It’s easier, more enjoyable to sew and you’ll achieve better, more professional results when you have the right sewing tools in your arsenal. Janome definitely helps every step of the way!

What will you create with your Janome machines today?

Happy Sewing!



About janomeman

As Janome Canada's National Consumer Education Manager, I'm SEW excited to share my love of sewing, quilting and all things creative with everyone at our fabulous new Janome Sewing and Learning Centre in Oakville, ON. Have an idea for a class, or to be put onto our mailing list, E-mail me at
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1 Response to Part #2 of Shirt-Making Details

  1. judelz says:

    I’d love to see some videos of inserting the magnifier and rolling and topstitching the collar.


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