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!

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.

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.

Let’s Talk Fabric

As a sewist, you know the importance of choosing suitable fabric for your project and how it can significantly affect your finished product! Today JUKI Lovers, we’re going to go over different fabric types and how to choose the right one for your project.

Quilting Cotton
The most common fabric you’re going to find in big stores is quilting cotton. A light to medium fabric, this material is made of cotton and woven, making it a popular choice for quilting projects. Keep in mind, this material is not the best for clothing construction on most projects. While it can create structured shirts well like a button-down, if you’re looking for a look that has more stretch, flow, or drapes, this fabric wouldn’t work best.

Linen
Linen fabric is a slightly different fabric from cotton. While similar as both are plant-based, the linen fabrics tend to be very soft and very breathable. Linen is best for warmer temperatures and is done in a plain weave. Some linen fabrics will have a noticeable color variation due to the threads that created the material. It’s well known to drape nicely, and it softens after washes creating the perfect comfort material for the winter times. Still, it’s best to keep in mind linen proneness to shrinking.

Silky Solids and Prints
When you’re looking for something bright or eye-catching, silky solids and prints are a bold choice. This material drapes well and has two options for construction. One silk material is made of polyester, a high-quality dupe of the original silk created from cocoons. When creating blouses or dresses, the structure of the material gives the proper flow and accentuates nicely. Choose this material when wanting to create light, loose clothing.

Canvas
Canvas fabrics come in different styles, but it’s primarily a solid material best used for home décor projects, theatre set designing, and bags. Canvas can also be best used for home furniture projects because of the soft material and works well on footrests and ottomans. Of course, this material can also be used for painting and other art projects. Keep canvas in your fabric drawer as it is an incredibly versatile fabric for many hobbies!

Chiffon
When creating beautiful and frilly pieces, chiffon is a charming choice! Woven sheer fabric is perfect for creating skirts with a flow and can also be used for home décor such as curtains. Always keep in mind when using chiffon for clothing that the material can be complex for new sewers to work with due to its proneness to frame and be shifty. We recommend testing with a small piece of fabric and adjusting your settings as you go.

Twill
Making curtains? Twill is the perfect fabric for that project! Twill is a fabric created out of cotton or cotton spandex and is best used for dress pants, home décor, and bags. Twill is created using a twill weave and is generally woven with threads of only one color. Perfect for curtains, the material is thick and drapes well with low wrinkles creating a cleaner look in your space.

Flannel
Flannel garments rise from their slumber during the colder seasons due to their comfort and warmth. Woven cotton is brushed on or both sides creating this fuzzy and soft texture that allows warmth to be kept. This material is excellent when designing winter pajamas or cozy outfits for the fall. Using this soft material, you can also create warm blankets and quilts for the family.

With so many materials and fabrics available for sewers out there, we want to make sure you’re choosing the right one! What are some fabrics you’ve worked with that you love using?