No matter what type of sewing you do; garments, quilting, bag making, etc. accuracy often plays a very important function in the overall success of the project. Pieces won’t line up; garments won’t fit right if the seam allowance isn’t sewn at the correct measurement as indicated on the pattern.
Janome has many tools; presser feet and cloth guides to help keep that seam allowance a correct, consistent width. One of the most useful and versatile tools is the metal Janome Cloth Guide which attaches to the needle plate with a small screw, or the bed of the machine with a slightly longer screw. The cloth guide, also known as a Seam Guide, is adjustable, so position it at 5/8″ for your garment patterns; 1/2″ for your home dec or tote bags projects; or 1/4″ for quilt piecing. It’s sew versatile!
There are many types of Janome Cloth Guides for the various machine models, as described in this previous Janome Life blog. The metal Cloth Guide is the most universal as any sewing machine with a threaded screw hole in the needle plate or in the bed of the machine can use this type of Cloth Guide.
Many machines come with this metal Cloth Guide, such the fabulous Janome HD-9 and Janome HD-9BE Black Edition.
The metal Cloth Guide also comes included in the Janome Quilting Attachment Kit, which is available separately, but also comes as a BONUS included in many models, such as the Janome 3160 QOV-C, Janome 4120 QDC, Janome 5300QDC – the list goes on! Double check with your Janome dealer for details.
I was recently piecing a quilt top together and turned to my trusty Janome HD-9 with metal Cloth Guide to help make short work of the process. At 1600 stitches per minute, I LOVE the speed of the Janome HD-9 and almost always use the included metal Cloth Guide to keep my seams accurate at such a high speed.
All Janome sewing machines have markings on the needle plate which help you line up your fabric as needed. Aligning the Cloth Guide with the 1/4″ mark is super simple. It’s always a good idea to do a test sew to be sure the Cloth Guide is positioned exactly where you need it.
If it’s off just a bit simply loosen the screw, move the guide, and tighten the screw again. Use a screwdriver if you need to make sure the guide stays securely in place.
When aligned with the 1/4″ mark on the Janome HD-9, the Janome Cloth Guide is just to the right of the feed dogs.
There’s just enough room for my seam ripper to fit in between the presser foot and the Cloth Guide.
If you need that special “scant” 1/4″, no problem; it’s super simple to achieve! Loosen the screw and slide the Cloth Guide closer to the presser foot. In my case with the Janome HD-9, I slid the guide to snug up against the presser foot, then tightened the screw again.
For the blocks I was piecing, I did not need to use a scant 1/4″ seam allowance, so I positioned the Cloth Guide against the 1/4″ marking on the needle plate. It worked out beautifully! When seamed together, my pieces; 1.5″ x 3″ light and 3″x 3″ print, finished at exactly 4″x 3″ as desired. The seamline is exactly at the 1 1/4″ markings on the ruler, so I know I’m good to proceed with piecing my blocks together to finish my quilt top.
I LOVE using the Janome Cloth Guides as they definitely help improve my accuracy, making me a better sewist than I actually am, especially when I sew “pedal to the metal” as I always prefer to do! lol!
Thank you for the straight forward and detailed explanation of how to properly use this metal cloth guide. It was included in my Janome Quilting Attachment Kit with my Janome machine purchase but I haven’t tried it yet. I could definitely use some help to achieve consistent 1/4” seams and after your post today, I will unpackaged it and practice with it!
YAY! Thank you for your feedback, Susan. This is exactly one of the goals of the Janome Life blog; to help share the Janome love with tips, tricks and techniques so sewists can get the most from their Janome machines and accessories. Thank you for sharing!
Great tip.. I will definitely check with my dealer to find this attachment for my Janome 6700. This will help make my quarter inch seems consistent. Also what’s the name and brand of the ruler you’re using I have so much trouble with my eyes this is very easy to read.
Hi Judy. This metal cloth guide is ideal to use with the MC6700P! I use “Quilt in a Day” rotary cutting rulers as I find them much easier to read than other brands, and I love Eleanor Burns, the creator of Quilt in a Day. She got me hooked on quilting 30 years ago, lol! Happy Sewing!