Welcome back to our Back-to-School Dress Sew-Along, sponsored by our friends at Janome! We are so happy that you have joined us! We are creating an adorable back-to-school dress (sizes 4–8) designed by Alicia Welcher, assistant editor of Classic Sewing magazine. In this second lesson, we’ll make the piping, sleeves, and collars (including adding the optional machine embroidery). While you may use any machine, our sew-along instructions highlight the new Janome Continental M17 sewing and embroidery machine, AcuAssist app, Embroidery Link app, and many other interactive features. As part of this sew-along, you also have the chance to win a Janome Travel Mate 16 sewing machine, which features mechanical sewing at its finest! Visit our sew-along homepage to learn more about these two great machines, enter the giveaway, catch up on lesson 1, and more.
Note: For best results, please download the files on a computer and NOT a mobile device.
Note: The dress patterns and machine embroidery designs are included in Lesson 1.
1. If not using pre-made piping, use the 1-1/2” bias strips and baby piping cord to create piping in the following lengths.
a. One strip 32” for the yoke. Note: You will need to sew strips together to achieve this length. Cut one strip in half and attach each half to opposite ends of a second strip so that you do not have a join in the middle of the piping.
b. Two strips 17” for the collars
c. Two strips 13” for the sleeves
2. Using a piping trimming ruler, trim the seam allowances of the collar piping to 1/2” and the seam allowances of the yoke and sleeve piping to 3/8”.
Collars: Block Preparation
1. Fuse the 12” x 6” rectangles of fusible interfacing to the wrong side of two 12” x 6” collar blocks. The two blocks without interfacing will be used for the lining.
2. Trace a left collar onto one interfaced 12” x 6” rectangle of collar fabric. Transfer embroidery center and shoulder marking to traced collar. Mark the top of the embroidery crosshair with a “T” (see photo 6).
3. Trace a right collar onto one interfaced 12” x 6” rectangle of collar fabric. Transfer embroidery center and shoulder marking to traced collar. Mark the top of the embroidery crosshair with a “T”.
The design will be stitched as-is on the left collar (as you are looking at it, not as it is worn) and will be mirror-imaged for the right collar.
Loading the Design
Load the design on the machine using your favorite method. My favorite method is using the Embroidery Link app because I can do so from the comfort of my living room couch while finishing my morning coffee! While my coffee is brewing, I head downstairs to my studio to turn on my Continental M17 and retrieve my iPad. Then I head for the couch with my coffee and plan my sewing day.
Using the Embroidery Link app to load the design:
1. Transfer the design, Collar Roses, to your device. This process will vary by device and user. I keep all of my embroidery designs in iCloud Drive and can easily access them via my phone, laptop and iPad.
2. Open the Embroidery Link app and touch Designs. If your Continental M17 is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your device, it will show on the left under your device (photo 1).
3. Touch the My Designs folder, then touch the Import Designs icon at the top of the screen (large plus sign). Locate the design, Collar Roses, and touch it. Confirm that you want to copy it to the My Designs folder.
4. Touch the Collar Roses embroidery design (photo 2) and Send to Machine. I chose “Built-In Drive” as my location as I will be sending the design to the machine twice, once as-is and once mirror-imaged. I left this design named Collar Roses (photo 3).
5. Touch the Collar Roses embroidery design again (see photo 2). Touch Edit Design.
6. Touch the Select Object icon (the first one) at the bottom of the screen. Touch the Select All icon (circle and triangle inside a box), then touch the directional icon. Touch the mirror image left-to-right icon (photo 4).
7. Touch the Send to Machine icon in the upper right corner of the screen. Select Built-In Drive (see photo 3) and change the name to MI Collar Roses. Touch Send.
8. To ensure that the designs are on your machine, touch Built-In Drive under ContinentalM17 (photo 5).
Placing and Stitching the Design
1. Hoop sticky tear-away stabilizer in your choice of hoop. You can use a smaller hoop and stitch each collar separately or you can use a larger hoop and stitch both collars in the same hoop. For my Janome Continental M17, I used the RE20d hoop and stitched both collars.
2. Adhere the left collar to the stabilizer with the embroidery marking in the lower half of the hoop. Have the “T” toward the top of the hoop and the vertical line aligned with the vertical center of the hoop (photo 6). Note: Placement of embroidery crosshair does not need to be perfect as we will use the Janome AcuSetter app to achieve perfect placement.
3. The two black marks on each corner of the hoop need to show to ensure perfect placement. The collar is most likely hiding at least two of these marks. If so, open the hoop and remove the inner hoop. Replace the inner hoop on top of the collar in approximately the same place and close the hoop (photo 7). Alternately, you can fold the collar out of the way of the black marks just to take the photo in step 7 and then unfold back into original position. Just make sure that you do not cover the drawn embroidery crosshair.
4. Ensure that your machine and your device are both connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
5. Pull up the design, Collar Roses, on the machine and ensure that the machine is in Ready to Sew mode and that you have selected the correct hoop.
6. Open the Janome AcuSetter app on your device. The first time you use the app, it will guide you through a tour showing you how to use the app. If you need to view the tour again later, it is available through the info button at the top of the screen.
7. Select your sewing machine and touch the Receive icon. A photo of the hoop will show on your screen. Place the device horizontally over the physical hoop until the center of the target icon turns green (photo 8). Maneuver the device until the hoop on the screen matches the physical hoop. Touch the camera icon to take a photo.
8. Touch a black embroidery hoop mark in one corner of the photo (photo 9) and use the magnifier in the middle of the screen to match the mark with that of the hoop (photo 10). Once all 8 marks are aligned, touch Next.
9. The embroidery design with vertical and horizontal center lines will appear over the photo (photo 11). Use the arrows at the top and side of the photo to move the lines to match the lines drawn on the collar. Use the angle arrows at the bottom to angle the lines to match the lines drawn on the collar (photo 12). Once all lines match, touch Next.
10. Check the placement of the design without the crosshairs showing (photo 13). If it is correct, touch Send. If it is not, touch Back and adjust.
11. The design on the screen of the machine will move to the new location (photo 14).
12. Attach the hoop and stitch the design using the following colors. Note: Colors 2 and 3 are stitched separately so that you can add shading to the flower if desired.
Color 1: Green
Color 2: Red
Color 3: Red
Color 4: Light Grey
13. Remove the inner hoop, but do not remove the collar from the stabilizer. Fold the top of the collar down out of the way and adhere the right collar to the stabilizer in the upper half of the hoop. Have the “T” toward the top of the hoop and the vertical line aligned with the vertical center of the hoop (photo 15).
14. Delete the design from the screen of the machine, load the mirror-imaged design and ensure that the machine is in Ready to Sew mode. If you did not use Embroidery Link to create a mirror-imaged design, re-load the original design and mirror-image it on the screen in Edit mode.
15. On your device, completely close and re-open the AcuSetter app.
16. Repeat steps 7 through 12 to embroider the right collar.
17. Carefully remove the collars from the stabilizer. Tear away any excess stabilizer from the back of the design. Press well, face down into a padded surface.
Note: Using a 3/8” seam allowance (as noted on the pattern) would result in a perfectly sized collar that has no trim. We are adding piping, so we need to adjust the seam allowance to 1/2” to create a perfectly sized collar that includes the 1/8” piped edges. This adjustment will only be made to the outside edges where the piping will be included, not to the neckline edge.
1. Locate the piping for the collars. Ensure that the seam allowance has been trimmed to 1/2”.
2. Place the piping to the outside edges of the collars, aligning the raw edge of the piping with the drawn line of the collar. Glue in place. Clip the seam allowance at the corners to allow the piping to turn the corner nicely. Allow approximately 1” of piping to extend at the beginning and at the end (photo 16).
3. Using a narrow piping foot (preferred) or zipper foot, stitch the piping to the collar with the needle positioned slightly away from the piping cord.
4. Place the lining blocks right sides together with the collar blocks. Pin in place.
5. With the collar block on top, stitch through both layers with the needle positioned against the piping cord.
6. Stitch again approximately 1/8” away from the last row of stitching.
7. Cut the collars out right next to this second row of stitching. Trim the corners. Do not cut the neck edge at this time (photo 17).
8. Turn the collars right side out and use a point turner to ensure that all collar points are well turned. Press well.
9. Use the collar pattern to double-check the drawn line at the neck edge and re-draw if necessary. Trim the neck edges on the drawn lines (photo 18).
10. Remove 3/8” of piping cord from each end of the piping.
1. Locate the piping for the sleeves. Ensure that the seam allowance has been trimmed to 3/8”.
2. Place one strip of piping to the hem edge of one sleeve, aligning the raw edges of the piping to the raw edge of the sleeve. Allow the piping to extend from the sleeve at the beginning and the end.
3. Using a narrow piping foot (preferred) or zipper foot, stitch the piping to the collar with the needle positioned slightly away from the piping cord (photo 19).
4. Place the sleeve lining right sides together with the sleeve. The piping will be sandwiched between the sleeve and the sleeve lining. Pin in place.
5. With the sleeve on top, stitch through both layers with the needle positioned against the piping cord.
6. Stitch again approximately 1/16 – 1/8” away from the last row of stitching. Trim the seam allowance right next to this second row of stitching (photo 20).
7. Press the seam allowance toward the sleeve lining. Understitch the seam allowance to the lining (photo 21).
8. Trim the piping even with the sides of the sleeve and remove 3/8” of piping cord from each end of the piping.
9. Fold the sleeve/sleeve lining in half, aligning the underarms – lining to lining and sleeve to sleeve (photo 22). Stitch the underarm seams.
10. Fold the sleeve lining into the sleeve and press well.
11. Run two rows of easing stitches between the notches at the top of each sleeve, through both layers (SL=3.5). Run the first row at 1/2” and the second at 1/4” from the raw edge (photo 23).
That’s all for Lesson 2! Join us next week for Lesson 3, where we will create the yoke.
More About the Janome Continental M17
Janome is proud to introduce the Next Generation Combo machine, which combines the top features of their most decorated machines to maximize your creative potential. The largest sewing area in the industry is matched with the largest embroidery space. High-Definition Quilting, and the Fastest Sewing speeds, are just a few of the 100 reasons to love this new model. The 10″ high-definition color touch screen, plus ergonomically located line of sight screen, make stitch changes and embroidery easy and enjoyable. Introducing new features such as the Thumbwheel function means you can delicately control the needle position to finish those intricate sewing projects.
Over 1,200 built-in embroidery designs and the largest embroidery hoop in the industry at 30″ opens up a whole new world of design capabilities. Five included embroidery hoops to use with built-in programs from monogramming to sashiko and everything in between. Janome original features such as AcuFeed, QuiltBlockAdvisor, and Artistic Digitizer are included. Let the Continental M17 take you to the highest level of your creative abilities.
Hi-Definition Embroidery Features We Love
Embroidery will never be the same with 1,230 built-in embroidery designs, including designer collections, our largest embroidery hoop ever at 11.3” x 18.2”, created with carbon fiber infused plastic for strength and durability. Wireless embroidery functionality is achieved through AcuAssist, and there is even a Screensaver app to personalize your machine. Features that you have come to know, such as the magnetic hoop, combined with new features such as the easy tightening lever, are like having an extra hand to set your fabric and stabilizer. An embroidery positioning marker uses a laser to show your needle position on the fabric below to see where your needle will strike before stitching begins. All this plus extra storage compartments conveniently located in the extension table arms to store all of your sewing and embroidery accessories.
Check back next week to learn about more of the features we love on this machine!