Lingerie & Lace: Tips to Make It Easier


Have you ever wanted to create stunning intimate apparel, only to find yourself frustrated with a pile of wasted lace and elastic? This post is for you! This spring we’ll be sharing two different types of intimate apparel that you will love to make for yourself.  First up is a stretch lace bralette. This type of garment can be very comfortable for sleeping in or for wearing as a camisole underneath a sweater or blouse. With just a couple of tricks and tools, you’ll find yourself making these in a rainbow of colors!

I used a pattern from Made for Mermaids, a fabulous indie pattern company in the US. Their patterns come in a wide range of sizing, making it simple to find one that fits your exact body shape and size (because no two are alike, right?) M4M has a whole collection of intimate apparel patterns, including the Bridgette Bralette.

Screenshot (470)

I pulled some “Pink Beauty” Galloon Lace (slightly stretchy lace with a scalloped edge) and matching picot elastic (narrow elastic with a fancy edge) from a local online shop Kiss My Stash Fabric Co and went to work!


The other materials I gathered were the following: a fabric glue stick (my fave is my Fons & Porter refillable stick), some Blue Tip Janome needles and, of course, matching thread.


Before we start assembling, however, let’s talk machine settings just for a moment. Most sewing machines have a built in stitch that is perfect for stretch lace lingerie. On the Skyline 9, it’s #6 in the utility section. The stitch looks like a tiny lightening bolt. When it is used with lingerie, it’s best to have a very narrow width for stability and strength. I suggest a 0.5 width setting, and a 2.0 length setting for construction seams, and a 2.0 width/2.0 length for top-stitching. Lingerie needs to be able to move in all directions, so these settings allow for that.  I found using the A foot also to be beneficial, as it’s width is perfect for a 3/8″ seam allowance. Sewing right along the edge with the stretch lace allowed it to move properly without bunching and getting stuck.

Blue Tip Needles are slightly ballpoint and separate the fibers of the lace instead of piercing the fabric and creating holes. Click here for an excellent post on our needles.


The fabric glue stick is a lifesaver, in my opinion lol. Many fabrics that are used for intimate apparel are quite delicate and can be ruined with pins, so I like to use a little dab of glue in the seam allowance and clips when I need a little more help. It also makes the construction go a little faster and allows you to wiggle the pieces as necessary for accuracy. Attaching picot elastic with the glue stick is also very helpful. Most picot elastic is very narrow, and is difficult to anchor with a clip or pin. Glue to the rescue!


There are two ways that you can attach picot elastic to a garment. The first way is to place it underneath the edge of the fabric and top-stitch into place. This is handy for matching up a decorative edge and hiding the elastic behind your fabric. The second way is excellent for raw edges – right sides together, stitch, turn and top-stitch. We are all very familiar with that method, right? Attaching it this way allows for the pretty edge to show and gives it a polished finished look.



Sewing stretch lace lingerie is fun and can be very addicting! Have fun creating some intimate apparel that will leave you feeling amazing and confident.


Until next time,



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YAY!!!!! The Sewing show in Victoria only happens every second year and 2019 is the year. So mark your calendar or enter the dates into your phone: MARCH 8th & 9th at Pearkes Arena on Tillicum Road, Victoria is where we will all be…….SEE YOU THERE …..on the Janome  Sawyers Sewing Centre  booth.

Here is the link for further information; brochure, class information, etc.  

Kathy Schroter of Snip and Stitch Sewing Centre in Nanaimo will have a booth at the show: she and staff member Cathy Martino have organized a Fashion show featuring Jalie patterns; other patterns from Sewing Workshop Collection and Sandra Betzina as well as Vogue patterns and garments modelled by Ron Collins! This is sure to be a big hit. Yours truly will also be modelling some garments in this fashion show so make sure you head on over to the Fashion Stage at the times listed in the pic above! This will be fun as well as offering garment sewing inspiration and tips.


Thanks to Sawyers for providing our easy to use Janome machines in the classroom.

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Spotlight on Janome Dealer – Island Sewing, Campbell River, BC

Island Sewing Centre is a family run business, Christa, Danielle and Peter have loads of expertise to share in the heart of Campbell River, BC. A diverse group of knowledge makes Island Sewing a success. The store has been open for 7 years, with a great clientele and an  awesome selection of fabric.

There was an inventive way of getting discounts when I was there. There were little gnomes all throughout the store with coloured dots underneath which determined your purchase discount.
Great display of Janome’s variety of sewing machines.
We had a great room to hold classes in. Teaching clients new tips, tricks or concepts is so much fun. I also learn so much from all of you.
There was an awesome selection of unique fabrics.

While the store offers online sales, the personal touch is great. You will find an impressive inventory, good prices and great customer care. Really enjoyed my visit to Island Sewing and looking forward to returning.


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My first date with Serge!

Serge is simple, clean and compact in design!

I must make a confession… though I have sewed since I was 16 I have never tried a serger. I know, I know… how is this possible?

Recently a friend showed me how to use one. It seemed simple… sew and cut a finished edge at the same time.  Pretty straightforward but what would I, who mostly quilted, ever use it for? This is how I went years without becoming acquainted with all the tricks and talents that a serger like Serge can do.

Meet Serge! or at least the box that contains Serge

Flash forward… now I have a serger… and I have decided to name him Serge… Serge the Serger. The only way to learn something new is to dive right in.

And if you are also unfamiliar with sergers, please follow along as we get acquainted! Let’s get started and free Serge from the box. Let me tell you Serge is solid! I have learned that the heavier your sewing machine, the better… it means there is more metal for your money and less plastic. If you would like to get all the serious specs on Serge, the link below will lead you to his home page.

First things first… always start with the manual. I know you may be very savvy with sewing and impatient to get started (I know I am, not necessarily savvy, but just a tad impatient) but eventually you are going to have to refer to the manual so you might as well check it out now. Everything you need to know about Serge is contained within.

the instruction book aka manual can be your best friend

The next thing you should do is figure out what accessories Serge is equipped with. Handily kept inside the waste catcher is a box that holds your accessories.

accessory box and handy waste catcher
all the bits and bobs

Next let’s open up all the sections and get a look at the working parts. Lots of space to thread here and easy to access.

After we took a look at the accessories and opened things up, I checked what other surprises Serge had in store and I was delighted to discover that he has colour coding! I love a good colour code and this one is to help you keep track of which thread is which…… something I appreciate. I have heard that threading a serger can be intimidating, but with colours to help you out, how can you go wrong?

love a good colour code!

This is only the beginning of my relationship with Serge, stay tuned to this blog to see more of our sewing adventures! Now I am off to Pinterest to discover all the projects that we can create together.

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Our new monthly series: Janome Machine model of the month sure generated suggestions for which models you would like to see in this slot. We will try to accommodate your requests though we will be concentrating on new and current models for the next little while……mainly as we have so many NEW ones to share with you…….but please stay tuned for your favourite model. This month we feature the brand new Janome Skyline S6 

We already have a range of Janome Skyline models: the S3; S5; S7 and S9.…….we welcome an addition to this very popular line of machines: the Skyline S6 with our new and very pleasing Indigo blue colour accents.

The Skyline S6 boasts the following great features:

  • 196 Built-In Stitches
  • 10 One-Step Buttonholes
  • 4 Alphabets
  • Top Loading 9mm Full Rotary Hook
  • 91 Needle Positions
  • 6 Ultra-Bright LED lights
  • Automatic Thread Tension
  • Built-In Advanced Needle Threader
  • Backlit Digital LCD Screen
  • Easy Set Bobbin
  • Easy Bobbin Winding Plate with Thread Cutter
  • Memorized Needle Up/Down
  • Automatic Presser Foot Lift
  • Automatic Thread Cutter
  • AcuFeed™ Flex Layered Fabric Feeding System  
  • One-Step Needle Plate Conversion
  • the same extra space for all manner of sewing projects – 8.25 inches of working machine bed space to the right of the needle.
  • New threading guide #7

  • the bobbins and scissors which come with the machine are blue…we like this thoughtful detail.

As usual, the feet and accessories which come with the S6 are generous and practical


If you have not had a chance to see or try out this wonderful new addition to the Skyline range?…… do pop into the Janome booth next month (March) at the Victoria show or Abbotsford show. We will be very happy to show it to you………Or visit your local Janome dealer for more information about this model.



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Janome Coverpro 2000CPX: Differential & length dial interaction

We are thrilled to offer you some expert hints and tips from Chrystal McCart, our Janome Canada artisan living in Northern Ontario, and who sews on our Janome 2000CPX and our Janome Skyline S7.  We think you will benefit from this post as we often get asked questions pertaining to this topic.  You can find Chrystal on Instagram and Facebook Ed. 

The Janome Coverpro 2000CPX is a coverstitch machine that will take your projects to a professional level. It can make a decent hem be the perfect hem.

But before you start racing through hem after hem enjoying how easy the Coverpro makes them, it’s smart to take the time to understand the machine, and how different settings interact and affect one another.

The two numbered dials on the right hand side of the Coverpro 2000CPX machine are the differential feed (bottom dial) & the stitch length (top dial).

Stitch Length: How close together each stitch is.

Differential Feed: How much speed/pressure is being exerted on to the fabric.

A fine balance between these two is required for each type of fabric, as well as to accommodate varying thickness. ie, two layers vs four layers.

Stitch length plays a very special role when it comes to making it over thick seams smoothly and with ease. By shortening your stitch length slightly, and going slowly with a light touch of the pedal, you can go over very thick seam joints without jumping or skipping stitches, nor see a visible difference on the hem once completed. This trick comes in very handy when at an intersection of 4 seams all folded over!

This is a green cotton spandex fabric (95% cotton, 5% spandex), with two way stretch and recovery. It is folded over to showcase how the stitches interact as they would on a Hem. I am showing how the results on a two needle hem. The needle tensions are set to 5 (middle), and the Looper tension is set to Tight.

With differential set to 1.5, you can see how Increasing the stitch length from 1-4, not only affects the length of the stitch, but also the width. This is because the stitches are being pulled over the length of the fabric as you stitch, and with this, the hem is losing its elasticity; You cannot stretch threads that are already pulled taut.

Your differential Feed dial should be viewed as your secret weapon. Adjustments to this dial will fix a multitude of problems you may encounter such as Wavy Hems, Horizontal Stretch, Gathering & Tunneling.

For the perfect hem on the Janome Coverpro 2000 CPX, it is easy, and only involves adjusting these two dials! Beautiful hems are in your future!


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You will find a good number of posts on the Artistic Edge Digital cutter in the archives of janomelife. Here is just one of them in which our Janome Canada Artisan Kim Jamieson-Hirst outlines what this cutter does.  It is easy to do a search in the search box to the right of the screen to find these posts. Most were focusing on the 15 inch cutter with its 15 inch square cutting mats and WIFI capability.

However, today we bring you the ease and joys of owning a 12 inch Artistic Edge Digital cutter…….it is essentially the same as the 15 inch cutter except that the mats are 12 inch square and there is no WIFI connection. No matter, there is a USB cable to connect the computer to the cutter and it includes the same Simple Cut software which is incredible and gives you all you need to “drive” your digital cutter.  And a great benefit is the price point……you will be pleasantly surprized at the deal your local Janome dealer may be able to offer you on this equipment.

Cut fabric, paper, card stock, template materials for crystals, stencil plastic, vinyl (self- adhesive and iron – on); wood, metal and more…….add practical and labour saving techniques to what you already do with your sewing and/or embroidery machine…….Have you seen how this can cut applique fabric as well as digitizing the applique stitch to stitch down the applique in the hoop? If not……well you need to see this. I can quite honestly say that I doubt I will ever do applique any other way!

Text and crown were cut on the Artistic Edge 15 Digital cutter and appliqued with a satin stitch. The embroidered block set on point was embroidered on the Janome Mc15000 and is a Kennys Kreations design

Just one of the many hundreds of applique stitches which can be used for applique-in-the-hoop with Simple Cut software. I really like this one…looks a bit like lace.

Snowflake was a cut out with the Artistic Edge digital cutter and then appliqued-in-the-hoop with stitches digitized in the Simple Cut software which comes included with the Artistic Digital cutter.

Have you Edged yet? If not, you are missing out on a fabulous tool for adding so much to your sewing, embroidery and crafting. Visit you local Janome Dealer today for more information.





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Quilting with different textures and fabrics


I did a good clean/purge of my sewing studio recently. Marie Kondo style – for real, there were big bags leaving my quilting studio!! It was a little scary but I’m happy I did it. In the process I uncovered a lot of quilting projects that need to be finished + some fabric I forgot I had.


Bailey is checking out this quilting project that I just finished. I found this panel when I was cleaning up during the great purge of January 2019. I added some accent fabric on each side, and backing – and voila, a little cute little quilt for my daughter to use to keep warm while the car is warming up!

When I think about what my favourite type of sewing projects are, quilting is definitely right up there. I had been sewing for a long, long time (decades) before I ever attempted my first quilt. In the beginning of my foray into quilting, my type-A personality needed structure and a pattern, which there are a lot of, before I could jump in. Somewhere along the way, I figured out some basics and have been freestyling more quilts these days – or taking inspiration from one pattern and pairing it with some ideas in my head to make it personal and unique.

And for a while I stuck to mainly quilting cotton for my material but recently I have been branching out.


To finish off this quilt, I used some material I uncovered in the purge for the backing. Have you sewn with minky fabric before? It tends to “stick” and not glide nicely along one’s sewing tables.

The Acufeed Flex Foot rarely leaves my Janome Skyline S7 these days. When I was stitching in the ditch to secure my quilt top to the backing, it definitely helped make sure the top cotton fabric moved at the same speed as the minky.


A while back I shared with you my recycled, repurposed jean quilt, made from jeans long past their wearable days. I love that all the fabric for this quilt project came from something I could have thrown out (which probably has some link back to my first statement on today’s blog about having SO MUCH to clear out of my quilting studio… but we will save that convo for another time).


I’ve also been experimenting with another interesting textile for quilting that has a nod to another area of my life I’m heavily involved in – dog shows! When you attend dog shows, if you attend enough and do well, you generally get lots and lots of ribbons and rosettes. These memories are wonderful, but what do you do with all of them?

This is a work in progress but here’s my take on dog show a memory quilt. (This one is for a friend in case you’re wondering why that’s not a basset – which is my breed.)


These ribbons are slippery and shiny and ensuring they don’t move around too much when sewing is critical.


I love this extra touch of the personal photo that will be incorporated into the finished quilt. I actually printed on fabric using my inkjet printer.


I’m still undecided how everything will come together, but this is definitely one of the most unique and personal quilts I’ve ever made… using some very non-traditional “fabrics.”


DSCF5187What is the most interesting/odd fabric or textile you have ever used for quilting? How often do you use your Janome Acufeed Flex Foot/Walking Foot? Have you ever made a memory quilt?



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Did you know there is a NEW software available that turns your decorative stitches into embroidery files? It’s called AcuStitch and turns 117 different machine decorative stitches into machine embroidery files in your choice of 17 different shapes. It is fun and very easy to use. Please see the Janome bulletin on this link or at the bottom of this post for further information such as which Janome embroidery machines are compatible with this software…..there is quite a long list of Janome models – which is good news.

I created a project for you so that you can explore the software and make a throw pillow. You’ll need to gather the following materials:

16 – 5″ squares (8 patterned, 8 solid)

.5m coordinating fabric

20″ pillow form (mine is from Ikea)

Embroidery thread and stabilizer, fabric glue, velcro

I followed a really great tutorial on making Drunkard’s Path blocks from 5″ squares. You can find it here. (No sense in reinventing the wheel, right?)

After I embroidered my blocks, I added a 2.25″ strip of fabric to all the sides and did a envelope style back with a velcro closure. To make the envelope back, you need two pieces of fabric for your backing that are 16″x20″, and 8″x20″. Fold up and hem 1″ on the long sides, and then attach the hook side of the velcro to the smaller side of the backing. I used fabric glue to hold it in place before I stitched it down. Once that was done, I pinned it to the front of the pillow and put the loop velcro on top of the hook side and applied fabric glue. Then I placed the larger side of the envelope closure on top, lining up the bottom corners and then pressing down where the velcro was to get the right placement.


IMG_9476Once I had my blocks ready, I opened up my software to play with AcuStitch. I love that it has the same screen layout as other Janome software programs as  that made it simple to master the basics. Screenshot (453)

When you first open the software, you select which machine you have. Since I have a Skyline 9, it shows me the three available hoops that fit my machine. Across the very top is the ‘new’, ‘open’, ‘save’ and ‘print’ functions, as well as a drop down menu on the AcuStitch icon. This gives you access to the same functions as the short cuts, as well as access to the Stitch Reference Chart (which I highly recommend printing out).Screenshot (457)

The next set of menus is called the Quick Access Toolbar. This has several tabs where you can place, modify and view your design.

Screenshot (454)

The ‘Home” tab shows your hoop, the layouts, design, and monogram options. This is also where you would write your design when ready. Once you click on the shape you are wanting, you can open the stitching files and choose the stitch you want to use.

Screenshot (455)

‘Edit’ lets you fine tune the details, remove unwanted designs, change the colors, add text and arrange the layout and sewing order of the embroidery.

Screenshot (456)

‘View’ shows you the different options for looking at your design and setting up your working area.

And Stitch Composer is also included in the installation of the software CD so you can create your own new stitches and then arrange them in all these lovely shapes.

Of course, it’s much easier to see how to use the software, so we have a video that shows how to use the software to create 4 different designs, and then see them stitched out. Click here to watch it. (This video is longer than my previous videos, so settle in with a nice, hot beverage!)


I hope you have lots of fun playing with your new AcuStitch software, available for purchase from your local authorized Janome dealer.

PLEASE NOTE: This software had not yet arrived in Canada at the time of publishing this janomelife post.  It is on order and due to arrive at the end of February 2019 Part# 202-419-008. You are most welcome to place an order with your local Janome dealer and ask them to call you when it arrives. 

AND if you come to one of the upcoming sewing shows in Canada where we will be on the Janome booth, you are more than welcome to ask us to show it to you on our laptop(s)…..We are so excited about it we are “itching” to share it with you! 

If you are resident outside of Canada, please check with your local Janome dealer for availability of this software in your country. 

Here is more info on this brand new software:

Until next time,


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Just look at what an 8 year old did with Janome AcuSketch APP, an embroidery machine and a serger!

Nanna had her girls for a sleepover recently and a certain rather creative 8 year old created the following project with a little coaching from her Nanna.

First up was to draw a picture. She does this all the time for me (you should see my fridge…I need more magnets) She chose to draw a fish.

A simple felt tip pen fish on paper.

Next up was to take a photo of the drawing to get it into the iPad – easy as click.

Now open up Janome AcuSketch App and import the photo if taken with iPad camera OR  simply open AcuSketch app and take a pic IN the app using the little camera icon. The fish drawing then appears on the AcuSketch app screen:

Next up: sketch in the APP: no problem for our 8 year old…..she just used our lovely Janome stylus pen to trace around her fish in exactly the same way she had just drawn it with a felt tip pen. Of course, she could also have drawn it directly onto the App screen without doing the felt tip pen drawing.

Next up: turn the sketch into stitches. There is a choice of FOUR different types of stitches: single straight stitching as in the FREE APP or use stem, zig-zag or triple straight stitching if you have purchased the IN APP additional stitches. Our 8 year old chose stem stitch.

Embroidery done – INSTANTLY  digitized by touching one screen icon.

Now we are ready for the embroidery machine……… we need to first send this fish to the embroidery machine. Please note that ACUSKETCH APP may be used by ANY Janome embroidery machine owner… do not have to have one of our WIFI capable models. CAN be used with the Janome MC500E for instance. So AcuSketch APP is NOT limited to the Janome MC15000 and the Skyline S9.

Good to know, right? All you need do is email the design to yourself and then save it onto a USB stick at your computer to pop into your embroidery machine to stitch. Sure….it is easier to just send a design wirelessly out of the iPad to the Janome Mc15000 or Skyline S9  BUT AcuSketch APP CAN be used for our other embroidery machines too. Bonus!

There our fish magically “sailed through the air” to our Janome MC15000!


Embroidery all done……you should have seen her little face at this point…….So pleased to see her drawing now stitched in front of her eyes!

Next up was cutting the backing fabric for the little pillow. Nanna did this as she is still a little nervous to let her little one use her rotary cutter. I have nasty visions of a severed finger tip and what I might then have to say to my daughter – imagine the horror scenario?!

Do you have any advice on teaching little ones how to safely use a rotary cutter? Or is 8 years still a little early?

She is such a sport – she had never used a serger before but Nanna coached a little again and she was off and running …….or perhaps it is just that the Janome AT2000D is so easy to use – even an 8 year old can do it!! And she was fascinated by the air threading. Both her and her sister said “ SO cool!”

Front & back serged together …….so easy and we had lots of smiles on her sweet little face.

Next up was snipping the serger tails. TIP: our little leftie was struggling so with Nanna’s right-hand scissors so I bought her a pair of these lovely soft handle scissors (Karen Kay Buckley brand) and they mould to her left hand – bingo! Thank you Cindy of Cindy’s Threadworks for these scissors – you were right. They worked for our little leftie.

Turning the pillow out to the right side and using a chopstick to poke the corners. Next was to raid Nanna’s stash of pillow stuffing and sew the hole closed.

She was so proud of her achievement! High tech App and embroidery? No sweat for a kid who knew exactly where to find pics of Daddy on Mummy’s cell phone when she was just 18 months old………this technology is all a walk in the park for her!  And it really is not that hard for us more mature, possibly not so tech savvy people either!

Have you introduced a special young person to the joys of sewing?

Have you had the joy of watching creativity blossom and grow in a little loved one?

I have – and it feels so very good.

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