Planning and Creating Your Wardrobe

Scrolling through social media and seeing crafts created by talented creators inspires us to create new projects! As a result, extravagant dresses, costumes, and more have made their way onto our timelines. Today, we’re going to talk about planning and designing your day-to-day wardrobe with special occasion pieces.

As we approach the holidays and the new year, it’s always a fun time to work on yourself. Starting with your wardrobe is a great way to boost your confidence and sewing skills! The significant part of keeping in mind is that re-working your wardrobe doesn’t mean starting from scratch, but using sustainable plans like working with what you have now and creating those pieces that will make it more you.

The first step in creating your closet is planning what clothes you need and what outfits to keep. A mistake some make is finding a pattern or design that they love but wouldn’t see themselves wearing it. Keep your style in mind when it’s time to start re-working your current closet and finding new patterns.

Identify what’s in the closet and what’s missing.

Many times we’ll find ourselves getting ready and thinking, “I have nothing to wear!” It’s so frustrating. Start with going through your closet and reviewing what pieces you love and which you would toss. Next, figure out why those pieces are not enjoyable. Is it the fabric? The style? Keep these thoughts in mind and write them down. Once you start refreshing your closet, you’ll remember what pieces didn’t make the cut. In addition, some well-loved clothing items may be getting tossed because they have a hole or don’t fit. Can you fix it? If there’s a piece you love that may need hemming or fixing, set these aside and use them as projects to think about later.

Once you’ve evaluated what you have, think about what’s missing! For example, are you full-on tops and can’t find bottoms that match? Do you have more staying home clothes than going out clothes? Seeing what’s missing is the first step in deciding what gaps need to be filled.

Planning the Wardrobe

Start with your style! Think of what fits make you feel your best and what colors bring out your happiness. Keep in mind fabric and what fabrics might bring you discomfort compared to those that feel like a perfect fit. It’s great to get out of your comfort zone, but make sure you’ll love and wear what you create. Once you find your color pallet and style, we recommend creating a board, like on Pinterest, with inspiration for what you would like to make. Using your board as a resource is a great tool when you start shopping for fabric and patterns. It’s a reminder of what you’re looking for and a great referral tool when designing. Be true to yourself, and keep in mind what patterns will truly fit your body well and make you feel confident!

We highly recommend organizing and going through your current patterns before purchasing new ones. Read through past choices and see which styles were your favorite. Figure out why some patterns didn’t make the cut, and keep that in mind when choosing your next one. A ring binder is a great way to organize your patterns and is simple to browse through. Organizing these is also a great way to plan what patterns you’ll need and allow you to plan your projects.

Planning your closet can seem overwhelming, which is why we recommend making a list! Decide what projects you want to create and write them down in the order you want them done. This will be a great base once you begin on the re-design of your wardrobe. We know planning is an important step, so a great resource we recommend is a planning sheet! Attached here, you can use this project planning sheet to prepare your projects properly. Think of it as a tool when creating, allowing you to plan supplies, pattern choice, fabric choice, and design. This will set the base for your project and help you keep track of the project with ease.

Buying what you need

With our inboxes filled with sales on fabrics, notions, and more, it may seem easy to impulse buy. But, sometimes we’ll see a piece of beautiful fabric and can’t wait to purchase it, only not to know what to create with it! Keep your inspiration reference nearby when you start buying so that you stay on track for fabrics and designs you’ll enjoy wearing on a day-to-day basis.

Grab your inspiration board and find those pieces that make sense! It’s best to start with a pattern, and from there buying the notions and fabric you’ll need. The best thing to know is that patterns will include supplies for the project and is a great reference. Keep in mind to create a closet that suits you and purchase fabrics that go with your color pallet and fabric material that is comfortable.

When finding patterns, think of your body shape and what cuts the best work. While patterns can be edited to tailor you, it’s best to start with one that already suits your look best.

We hope that this inspires you to create your wardrobe one day! We hope this encourages you to think about what to make, get some inspiration boards made, and then go out and stock up on those patterns and fabrics! Building your wardrobe is a fantastic journey in building your skills and confidence, and we can’t wait to see what you create! So what is your next wardrobe project going to be?

Clean Up with JUKI!

When was the last time you gave your machine some TLC? Today we’re going to go over some general tips on how to keep your sewing machine maintained and ready to sew! If your machine needs a deep cleaning, take it to a nearby sewing machine technician.

Let’s start with the basics: cleaning, oiling, and changing the needle.

External Cleaning

The best place to start cleaning is the outside of your machine. Turn all power off and unplug your machine before removing the needle and presser foot. This is a safety precaution to save you from being pricked.

Grab a microfiber cloth and dampen just a little and get to work! Stay away from using any harsh chemicals on your machine or solvents. We recommend a small amount of dissolved detergent or dish soap if you find a stain that won’t come out.

For those hard-to-reach spaces, we recommend using your craft pipe cleaner. It’s best to do this at a slow pace to avoid unnecessary damage to your machine, especially near a spot with wires. This way, you can avoid bending or wrongly adjusting anything.

Internal Cleaning

Once the outside of your machine is looking clean, let’s move on to the needle plate area. While each machine is different, your manuals will display how to remove your needle plate. If you find yourself without a physical manual, remember JUKI places digital manuals on our websites.

Begin by removing the screws from your needle plate using a T-shape screwdriver. Next, place the screws somewhere safe and secure. We don’t want to lose any!

Once you have removed the needle plate and secured your screws, it’s time to dust! Here we recommend using the brush your machine comes with or grabbing that craft pipe cleaner to remove the lint and dust. If you find any loose threads, use your tweezer to capture those stray strands slowly.

*Never use canned air on your machine. This will cause dirt and lint to be pushed further into your machine rather than clean it.*

Once you’ve dusted the general area, it’s time to focus on your bobbin area. Your first step is to remove the bobbin case and shuttle hook. Once that’s removed, you’ll be able to clean the space behind it where lint and dust fall. Remember to be gentle in the process, your machine has many parts and tricks, and it’s best to go slow and easy when cleaning.

Our best recommendation is to service your machine regularly. A professional sewing machine technician will safely clean out those spots you might have missed and access parts we wouldn’t recommend doing yourself.

Needle Plate & Bobbin Area for DX-4000QVP

Oiling

The first thing to know about oiling is not all machines will need it. The best place to find your answer is in your manual. Remember, if you find yourself with a lost manual, JUKI uploads our machine manuals on our website!

Something to keep in mind is that non-computerized machines, like our TL series, need regular oiling. However, our machines like the DX series are computerized and self-lubricating, so you do not need oil.

We recommend checking out our video here for maintenance and lubrication knowledge for our TL series.

If your machine requires oiling, your JUKI machine will come with a plastic container of sewing machine oil. You can also purchase this from your local sewing machine shops. Remember, your manual is your best friend! Requirements on where and how can be found there when it comes time to oil. We recommend applying one drop of oil to each arrow point shown above for every 4 to 8 hours of sewing. Use machine oil (New Defrix Oil No. 1) or similar supplied with the machine.

Changing the Needle

One of the most important things you can do is change your needle. Needles can dull, get bent, and become damaged, and it’s one of the most significant factors in your machine performance. We recommend changing your needle every 8 hours of usage or starting a new project.

A tip to keep in mind is that the flat side of the needle will usually face away from you on our DX series machines and face towards the right on our TL machines.  Recommend checking your manual. Always confirm that your needle is pushed up and that your screw is tightened to secure the needle in place.

Remember, depending on your project and fabrics is how you choose your needle. You want to make sure you’re using the right one for the job between different types of needles and sizes. This will lower the chances of needle breakage and machine error. Things to consider when choosing your needle are the fabric type, project idea, and thread.

When it comes to maintaining your machines, it’s best to take your time and go slow. If you’re ever in doubt about how to clean your machine, visit us on our JUKI Home Sewing Youtube page here.

You’ll be able to find maintenance videos on many of our machines and more! Don’t forget to stay tuned as we continue to launch new videos on JUKI machines and more.

How To Read A Pattern

We know how daunting it can be to use sewing patterns for the first time. No worries! We are here to help. Today, we are diving into the basics of how to read a sewing pattern. Follow along as we review the basic info you will need, as well as tips to keep in mind.

Let’s Begin!

Start by looking at the instructions section of the booklet or file. This section is loaded with information such as helpful tips before getting started and the best material to use for your project.

Find the Style Lines

When you open up your new pattern, look at the flat, drawn designs to get a better idea of whether this project is the right one for you. It’s a more accurate representation of what you will be sewing and less distracting than the 3D image usually shown at the front of the kit.

Think About Your Sewing Level!

Many patterns will indicate a level of difficulty for example if you’re a beginner, lean towards projects marked as “easy” because these will have a better guide on how to construct your project. They’ll indicate the right tools for each step and showcase how to properly do certain steps. For those that have more experience and feel they’re above the “easy” patterns, there are many options to choose from as well.

As you continue to grow your sewing skills, you’ll be able to explore more advanced patterns. We recommend checking out nearby sewing classes and checking out construction books to help! Don’t rely on one thing to grow. Continue to find different ways of creating projects through blogs, classes, and social media.

Check Out Fabric Suggestions

The best part about patterns is many give you the layout for what tools you’ll need on your new project. Many will suggest a fabric that is well suited to the pattern, whether it be because of durability, stretch, or material feel. Using the encouraged fabric will also get you closer to the desired look.

Once you have more experience in sewing, feel free to experiment with different fabrics! Sometimes, leaving the path and venturing out to try new fabrics in a project that called for something different can surprise you, or at least give you a lesson on why something won’t work next time.

Keeping Up with Yardage

Pattern designers will include fabric yardages to give you an idea of how much fabric you will need. While this should account for pre-wash shrinkage, we recommend buying at least 5-10% more than you’ll need. Think of this as a safe route in case your measurement needs to be higher for your fit or you want extra fabric for accessorizing a clothing project.

A hot tip is to pay attention to the width of the fabric. While the average width is usually 60″ or 44″, you can come across narrower fabrics. When this happens, keep in mind to buy more yardage to accommodate all the pattern pieces.

Don’t Forget Your Thread and Notions!

Patterns will include a list of notions you need for your project like elastic, zippers, and more. Add these to your shopping list!

Size Chart

The first mistake many make is trying to create sizing based on what people buy at the store! Located on your pattern, you will find a size key or chart that helps you choose the right lines for your size.

Make sure to create your project off your body measurements. Don’t worry if your measurements seem off that charts, charts are only averages, and many will experience this! Remember your size is always changing and it’s best to do this every month or so. We recommend determining the size to sew using different measurements for different pieces of clothing:

•          Top/dresses: Use chest (or high bust) circumference

•            Pants: Use the hips girth (meaning widest girth under the belt, usually around the seat)

•            Skirts: Use natural waist (even if the skirt will then sit in a low or high waist)

Time for the Pattern Pieces!

Check for which pieces need printing. Some patterns may include pieces for simple shapes that you cut by measurement only.

Read Your Symbols

Symbols are how the designer communicates with you through their patterns! These symbols will show you how to place the pattern, access where the grainline is, what pieces need to align, and more. Refer to the symbol chart and mark when transferring the sewing pattern onto the fabric.

Let’s get to Cutting!

Now there are two ways you can cut. One method is by placing the pieces on top of the fabric and cut from there. However, many times this technique can waste a lot of fabric! Another way to do this is simply to place your cut-out pattern pieces on top of the fabric and play a game of Tetris by fitting the pieces. Make sure to follow the lines, and you’ll save fabric while getting the project done.

We hope this helps you the next time you decide to pick up a pattern book. Don’t forget to tag us on social media when you create a project using your favorite pattern book!

It’s National Sewing Month!

It’s National Sewing Month!

It’s National Sewing Month, JUKI Lovers! In 1982, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed September as National Sewing Month, “in recognition of the importance of home sewing to our Nation,” however, there are so many forms of home sewing! Between embroidery, garment sewing, home décor, quilting, and more, there is no shortage in your options for how to create.

Today, we wanted to celebrate one of the many ways you sew, quilting! A complex sewing category that so many enjoy, quilting is such a popular form of sewing that all types of fabrics, notions, sewing machines and accessories have been created to make quilting more fun for you! That is why we put together our top five quilting accessories for you.

Look below as we go over our top accessories that promise to make your quilting experience a better and more enjoyable time each time you use them.

Quilting Foot

Included with our longarms and beloved J-150QVP, our Quilting Foot is a must-have when quilting! Used for free-motion sewing and ruler work, the quilting foot has a distance of ¼” (6.5mm) from the needle entry point to the outer edge. Create beautiful quilts or home décor with your quilting foot.

Open Toe Foot

Are you working on small designs and need more visibility? Look into our Open Toe Foot! Open at the front so that the needle area is easy to see, this presser foot is useful for quilting small designs or anytime visual of the needle area is needed. Use this the next time you’re creating intricate designs on your quilt and home décor for a cleaner finish!

Glide Foot

When it comes to working on three-dimensional projects or working with applique, it’s best to use our Glide Foot! A bowl-shaped foot is intended to be used for quilting when gliding along with applique and other three-dimensional embellishments. Perfect for when you’re creating accessorized quilts and adding beautiful embellishments like ribbons!

Couching Foot

Use unusual and fun threads the next time you’re quilting with our Couching Foot! Used for sewing decorative thread, yarn, and much more, this set includes two different sizes of couching foot. If you have thick threads that do not fit in a needle, textured thread that would shred, decorative cords, yarn, or trims; all these can be sewn with this accessory in your arsenal! Use this accessory the next time you want to elevate your quilt.

Rulers

Use your quilting ruler as a template when stitching designs! By combining basic lines and shapes, you can create various patterns that will wow you and your loved ones. Be sure to use your ruler together with the presser foot! There are different options on what shapes you can choose to work with that will help you create those designs you are thinking of. Look into our JUKI ruler sets that come with five different rulers giving you a vast array of ways to create patterns.

It’s important to have the right tools when you need them! That’s why we recommend looking into what accessories your machines can have on hand. The next time you’re starting a quilt, think of what different accessories you have and how you can use them on your next project!

Body Talk

Today we’re going to talk about your body types JUKI Lovers! Do you ever feel like clothes look great on hangers but don’t flatter your own body? Our number one trick is remembering that it’s essential to style your body first and then worry about the clothing style. Make clothing that fits you perfectly, and give yourself that confidence you want!

People come in all different shapes and sizes, creating their fitting challenges. But don’t worry, with the clothing you sew and the body types your sewing for in mind, you can truly make a difference in any fashion statement.

Below we dived into some different body types and the best way to style and sew for them. Take a look and see what new ideas this might bring you!

Finding your Body Type

It’s always best to start with figuring out which body type matches you most. Use our cheat sheet below and see which one best resembles you! It’s 100% better to get a piece that fits you well after sewing for hours over your new project.

Sewing and Accessorizing for Your Body Type

The Teardrop Body
The teardrop body, also known as the A-types, becomes wider from the hip down. If you’re someone who wants to accentuate the top of your body, use bright color fabrics and prints; for the lower body, focus on muted tones. This will help your upper body stand out! You can also add decorative stitching around the bust and shoulders for an extra pop. If you find yourself wanting to accentuate your legs, look into designing pants with long straight wales or skirts that have open slits. Try to avoid vertical lines and bands, yokes, and hemlines at the full hip.

The Hourglass Body
Hourglass figures are known for their narrow waist and similar sizing in the bust and hips area. It’s best to maintain a balance in your outfits by avoiding the addition of volume to shoulders and hips. Try selecting patterns that follow natural curves and allow you to emphasize your waist. Try to avoid styles that conceal or widen the waist. Simple things like tucking in your shirt or wearing wide-legged boot cut jeans are great ways to complement the body.

The Figure Eight (8) Body
These body figures often have rounded shoulders, sturdy hips, a slender waist, and a short upper body. Usually having a larger bust and curves, we recommend accentuating your features by creating beautiful belts that outline your waist. Creating projects like pencil skirts for yourself or using fabrics with a fluid drape are perfect ways to sew for yourself! A practice we recommend is using contrasting colors at your waistline to accentuate or choosing styles and patterns that sit at your natural waistline. Balance your style by adding interest with volume found in ruffles using gathering techniques. Try to avoid boxy, loose styles that conceal the waist.

The Oval Body
There are many ways to accentuate the oval body shape, like narrowing your waist with styles that use vertical or diagonal details at the body’s center. Break up the waist and hip using vertical line designs. Try to avoid pieces that are bright or light since these shine at the waist. Draw attention to your shoulders and hips by adding dimension with volume using gathers or ruffles. Avoid using designs that widen the shoulders and go towards pieces that balance out your look. Accentuate your legs by creating your own slit skirts or straight dress patterns to create a more extended look.

The Keystone Body
Usually obtaining a more athletic build, keystone body shapes are built with shoulders that are broader than the hips. Depending on which you prefer to accentuate the waist or shoulders, you can follow different design paths. Using design patterns for skirts with bright colors or patterns is a great way to bring attention to your lower body. If you want to accentuate your upper body, try to stay at hip length to focus on your waist. Embrace your looks with halter tops and diagonal shoulder seam lines, but avoid shoulders with sleeve-cap detail or padding.

The Column Body
The column body tends to have shoulders and hips more or less the same width and less of a defined waist, but for those that want a defined waist, it’s easier than you think! Use tricks to make your upper body look longer with tops that stop at your waist. Using tight jeans instead of looser ones will help accentuate the waist better as well. Look into patterns that offer knee-length dresses to make yourself seem taller. A great tip is equaling out your shoulder and hips to narrow the waistline. Using diagonal lines at the shoulder and hem, direct people to see toward your center front. Avoid using contrasting colors at the waist to create a more balanced look.

When you create with the idea in mind to match your clothing style with your figure or body style, you will create projects that have you enjoy clothing construction for yourself more. Remember to keep a balance between your frame and fashion. Focus on playing up the parts of your body you enjoy and create pieces that drive focus away from those features you don’t want to emphasize. We hope you enjoyed these suggestions! Have fun with fashion.