JUKI Spotlight: Designing with Kiana Bonollo!

In this month’s spotlight, we are introducing Kiana Bonollo! Fashion designer, YouTuber, and TikToker, Kiana has grown in popularity in the last couple of years due to her videos showcasing apparel projects and behind-the-scene how-tos for new sewists. Follow along today as we talk to Kiana about her journey in sewing and how she grew to the 400k audience she has now!

Photo Credit: Kiana Bonollo

From a young age, Kiana always had a curiosity for sewing. Her earliest memory was borrowing her mother’s sewing machine and altering her clothes while creating skirts from scratch! Later on, she would take her first sewing class, a week-long course on sewing basics, where she began with making pillowcases like so many of us do. Following her interest, she went on to take apparel classes in high school, finding she had a true talent for the hobby and diving into the journey. She began learning how to create patterns and learning complex skills she hadn’t tried before. College would be no different; continuing her studies in the fashion design industry, she has continued to grow her skills and talent, creating new patterns and projects for her audience and shop.

Using fashion as a form of expression, Kiana loved that fashion design allowed you to imagine anything you wanted and create it. Like so many of us, she struggled with inspiration in the past but finds that her favorite work to design are those pieces that she knows she will wear and show off in the real world! Focusing on projects that bring her happiness, her patterns range from loungewear to evening wear, a versatile selection that her followers love. 

When asked about how she chooses which patterns will be sold, “It’s really important to me that I take into consideration what my customers are suggesting and asking of me, so if a lot of my customers are asking for a prom dress- I’m going to make them a prom dress.”

Following her ideas and likes, she pulls from her customer’s suggestions and creates projects that align with their wants and her taste. It’s here that she’s been able to compromise on what’s highly requested and what she truly enjoys designing, creating that relationship with her customers, so many shops want to build.

Kiana describes her style as “edgy, but still tailored and chic.” However, finding it boring to stick to one aesthetic, she likes to dabble outside her comfort zone and enjoys mixing different design styles and aesthetics to create fun looks! With so many different style aesthetics and designs, she doesn’t let one style hold her in a box.

Photo Credit: Kiana Bonollo

With an audience of over 400k across platforms, it’s amazing to see what was accomplished in a couple of short years. Kiana’s page quickly gained popularity by opening her YouTube account in May 2020 due to her easy-to-follow and straightforward “how-to” videos and project compilations. When she first began her online page, she would put in 40 hours a week designing, editing, and creating, treating it as a full-time job. Feeling she needed to give herself a real chance, she dived into her work and focused on her dreams of working in social media and fashion design.

“I never imagined that my audience would grow to the size it currently is so fast, and I’m so grateful for everyone who has subscribed and liked my channel and followed me.”

For those out there who want to raise their following, Kiana advises finding your strengths and taking advantage of them! With so many talented artists and sewists in the world, it can be hard to distinguish yourself sometimes, but finding what you can offer that’s different or better from those out there will help you stand out. Kiana, for example, is known for her videos teaching sewist techniques and how to create different projects, focusing on her strengths of being a technical sewist and the joy she finds in educating others on her favorite hobby.

And a recommendation she has out there for those building their skills in sewing? Invest in a high-quality machine that you can also grow in too! Finding a sewing machine that can handle heavy-duty fabrics and stitches quickly and versatilely is perfect for those learning. They can upgrade their projects and skills without needing to upgrade their machine.

Kiana’s sewing table is always ready to work with her machines! Using the JUKI DX-2000QVP and a QVP serger, she’s prepared to create her silk gowns, cotton loungewear, and more. She loves recommending this machine to her followers who are serious about starting their journey. She states they’re great choices for intermediate and advanced sewers alike.

Photo Credit: Kiana Bonollo

Currently, her sewing table is being used for project requests and suggestions submitted by her followers. With the current pandemic closing shop for fashion shows in many cities, she’s been focusing on her customer base before planning to create another collection. Waiting for the world to feel a little safer, Kiana hopes to continue once fashion shows are back!

Besides her current wish for the runways to come back, Kiana hopes to launch a fashion design course one day and sell her fashion line. But for now, she’ll keep busy creating content for her followers and expanding her current business. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for Kiana and her fashion line!

To keep up with Kiana and her journey, click her profile below. And the next time you want to learn some fun fashion sewing tips, check out Kiana’s YouTube here!

Check out more from Kiana below!

Learn more about Kiana here!

Etsy Shop: Click here to visit!

Instagram: Click here to check out her latest projects!

Tiktok: Click here to see behind the scenes!

JUKI Spotlight: Fashion for Dogs with Tiana Feng

What began as a fun project turned into a world of its own; meet Tiana Feng, the face behind The Bacon Collection and Bacon the Doggers! A digital marketer in the music industry and dog stylist by night, Tiana runs her little dog’s social media account under Bacon the Doggers. A miniature schnauzer who loves getting dressed and doing photoshoots with their mom, they love to feature dog fashion from creators all around the world!

Beginning in April of 2020, Tiana began to pick up sewing after finding herself with an abundance of free time due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. Between research on the internet and plenty of YouTube videos, she began creating projects and continued to learn new tricks as time passed. The opening of ‘The Bacon Collection’ last year was inspired by human luxury fashion and street fashion. Bacon’s style has always been clothing that even humans would want to wear!

“The Bacon Collection is inspired by human luxury fashion as well as street fashion. That’s kind of what Bacon’s style has always been.”

Bacon was a natural model at the young age of 3! The first day he came home, Bacon was dressed in a sweater and loved it. Thus, history was born, and Bacon became an influencer without even knowing it! Wanting to learn how to make clothes specifically for Bacon, Tiana began designing and creating clothing. As she continued to grow and spend more time focusing on her hobby, she found that selling her designs and dog fashion would be a great way to support her next project. Inspired by her puppy, ‘The Bacon Collection’ was founded.

Opening up her Etsy shop in May, it would take a month before her first order. Slow at first, her shop began to grow as other dog influencers learned about her fashion sales and increased her viewership! Ballooning over 500 sales in a year, Tiana continues to be shocked at her progress from picking up sewing last year to her life now.

Using her JUKI MO-654DE serger and JUKI HZL-F600, Tiana plans to continue dressing more dogs in fabulous clothing and hopes to one day collaborate with some human fashion brands on projects. If you are interested in dressing your pet in beautiful clothing check out The Bacon Collection! Shop and social info down below.

Tiana Feng’s Instagram: @Tianafeng

Bacon’s Instagram: @baconthedoggers

Shop Instagram: @thebaconcollection

Shop Link: http://thebaconcollection.com

Blog: https://baconthedoggers.com/collabs/

Celebrate Festival Season with JUKI!

With the summer sun finally here, it’s time to start celebrating! This year’s festival season is kicking back up, and we wanted to share fashion ideas for your looks. With festival trends coming and going, here are some great options for you to recreate.

Face masks

While festival season comes back with a bang amidst Covid, it’s always fun to be fashionably safe! If you’re planning to wear a face mask, we recommend looking into nylon and spandex fabric. These materials are waterproof and come in a variety of exciting colors, perfect for hot outdoor days. Cotton is also a great choice and allows you more creativity in the designs. On top of a protective mask, you can wear an additional mask to accent any outfit. The additional mask can be made with beautiful fabrics featuring intricate designs like lace or flashy designs with sequins or beads! Adding accessories to your mask is easy when you use our beading presser footer. Personalize your mask to represent you!

Upcycled Looks

With quarantine bringing new life into the sewing world, expect to see people with new pieces they’ve handcrafted! It’s a great experience when you find something old and upcycle it into a new fashion statement. Grab old pieces you enjoy and a sewing machine like the HZL-80HP-A that helps you create fashion that goes together beautifully. We recommend ideas like patchwork, upcycling dresses into a two-piece set, or turning plain t-shirts into funky outfits!

Small Mini Bags and Fanny Packs

Attend your next one with a comfortable mini purse or fanny pack that holds your essentials. Create them using intricate fabrics, faux fabrics, or add on embellishments to really wow! Creating beautiful bags is easy using a heavy-duty machine like our TL-2010Q. This sewing machine comes with accessories like our zipper attaching foot. We recommend fanny packs, tactical pouches, or cross-over slings when deciding to make a bag!

Bucket Hat

Bucket hats have made a comeback! Perfect for keeping shade while making a cute fashion statement, look into accessorizing with a bucket hat. Personalize by adding fun designs and embroidery using our Tajima Sai! Look into canvas or denim fabrics for the pieces on the inside for a sturdier feeling and clean look. A fun idea is to get your friends together and make matching ones!

Whether you’re going into festival season with the most outlandish outfits or a more toned back look, choose creativity and show up with your very own unique look!

Things you should know before you pick up sewing

Where do you start when you find yourself interested in a new hobby? You start looking up everything that has to do with it. You scroll through blogs, watch videos on YouTube to learn techniques and projects, and Pinterest becomes an obsession. Now, what do you do when it’s time to start? We have the answers for that!

Explore your options

The world of sewing and quilting is not singular. There are so many ways to immerse yourself; exploring different genres of sewing is something we recommend people should think about first.

Are you someone who thrives off fashion? Look into learning clothing construction! From creating one-of-a-kind swimsuits to beautiful dresses, the world of sewists who focus on creating personalized looks is a niche in itself. Make adding details easy with presser feet that are versatile for projects that require zippers or piping. Look into machines for fashion like the JUKI HZL-F600, which helps you create garments from start to finish. Fashion has no rules, and its purpose is to make you feel great in what you wear.

If you’re someone who enjoys interior decorating, look into sewing for home décor! Creating custom curtains, table runners, ottomans, and fabric ornament is easy with the TL-2010Q! This machine can handle thicker, heavier materials. Accessories like a piping foot and gathering foot can bring a sense of personalization to pieces like curtains or pillows! Learn about textiles and fabrics like velvet or leather that are durable for home use but still handle beautifully and bring comfort to your space.

One category that is a beloved hobby is quilting! A family tradition, quilting is perfect for those that want to create art on a different type of canvas. It’s a magnificent way to immerse yourself in various fabrics and textures and allows you to have free range in what you can create. A machine like the Haruka TL-18QVP is perfect for beginners. Built like our industrial machines, it can handle heavy fabrics well and has settings for regular sewing as well when you decide to venture out from quilts. Since traditional quilts are made with three layers, you’ll need to learn about pieced tops, insulation fabrics, and backing fabrics. Look into wadding fabrics for your insulation layer like polyester wadding or cotton/poly to keep the warmth. For backing fabric, look into a popular option, such as quilting cotton.

Upcycle

Personalization and recycling old clothing is something that everyone loves to do. If you’re someone who enjoys embroidery and personalization look into machines like the Ricoh Ri 100 or Tajima Sai. They’re easy to use for beginners who want to add graphics to pre-loved garments. Whether you’re printing images you’ve created onto clothing or embroidering your brand logo onto hats, anyone can feel welcomed to the world of sewing through the vast options of what you can do.

Take a class!

Once you have an idea of what kind of sewing you want to go into, look around for sewing classes and expos in your area! The best way to learn is to dive into the community of people that have been doing this for centuries. Check out your local sewing machine shop for classes near you! Also, check out JUKI’s page for training and in-store classes.

Fashion Designer In Studio

Visit your local dealers!

When it’s time to take your place in the sewing world, visit your local shops that sell sewing machines, accessories, fabrics, and more. Those in the community who work in these shops are a great resource when you’re learning. They offer information on the best sewing machine for you and your projects. Also, these experts can provide you with options on fabrics for your projects and can set you up with the tools for success. Don’t forget! Many locations that sell sewing and quilting machines offer classes as well, and there’s no better way to learn than to hang out with the professionals.

If you’re interested in sewing or quilting, take the time today to figure out what you want to create! It’ll bring you one step closer to the fun part: bringing your vision to life!

How Its Sewn with Nicole Chen

Nicole Chen
Asymmetrical Cotton Seersucker Dress by Nicole Chen

Hello everyone, today we’re excited to introduce a fellow JUKI Lover, Nicole Chen! Read on to learn more about Nicole’s journey on becoming a sewer in 2020 as she shares her experiences in picking up her new go-to hobby.

As a fashion retail buyer in New York and a student pursuing her fashion design certification by night, Nicole always loved the process of creating- and in her case, making clothing! During the beginning of quarantine, Nicole began documenting her sewing journey on social media including Instagram @Howitssewn and website Howitssewn.com for people to join her as she learns new techniques on each project.

“It’s my main creative outlet and makes me feel so happy and fulfilled, especially when I can see my improvement over time.”

Joining the wave of new sewers, she began by taking apart and upcycling her old clothes, giving them a new life. As she gradually improved with the help of videos, she designed and drafted original sewing patterns.

“I love the challenge and design freedom that self-drafting allows, but the process from pattern to clothing is a lot of trial and error. There is no escaping this, but each mistake teaches me something new!”

Floral Print Ruffled Linen Dress By Nicole Chen

As Nicole continued to grow, she ventured out to find inspiration for her projects. Her recommendation? Look into the Google Arts and Culture collection, an online museum created during quarantine. This application has helped people escape their homes and explore a beautiful and awe-inspiring online exhibit with artwork, images, and cultural artifacts from around the world. She explains it’s a free application allowing you access to gain inspiration from any fashion museum and art gallery they have on display. Her favorite artist to follow is Zimmermann, for their fun and flirty pieces, and Alexander McQueen, for their technically intricate clothing.

Early on in Nicole’s sewing journey, she told herself she would learn a new technique for every project she worked on as a way to challenge herself. Having an infinite amount of possibilities at her disposal, Nicole is currently learning about curves and movements of the human body and how to rein the designs she wants.

Nicole’s advice for newcomers? Sewing is 80% preparation and 20% actual sewing. Taking the time and care to prepare everything beforehand like fabrics, pattern truing, and cutting sets you up for a win!

A JUKI lover like us, Nicole invested in her first JUKI serger last year, the JUKI MO-654DE! After being recommended by friends and online sources, she claims it as one of her best sewing decisions, here’s some advice below from Nicole on how to choose the best serger for yourself.

Juki MO-654DE

“To save you the time, here are my top 3 aspects to look for in your first serger:

1. Color-Coded Threading System. The last thing you want is to spend half an hour changing your thread color. The 4-color coded system is great for visual learners and is super intuitive.

2. Adjustable Differential Feed. This is a must-have if you often work with knits and stretchy fabrics. This is the trick to create those beautiful lettuce hems!

3. High-Quality Knife Blade. This is, arguably, the most satisfying part of serging. A good blade will cut smoothly through your excess seam allowances and leave you with neatly finished edges.”

As the new year continues to bring in new sewers, we’re so excited to share with you their accomplishments. To learn more about Nicole and keep up with her quilting journey, follow her on Instagram today @HowItsSewn or her website HowItsSewn.com!