I chose to make a shirt as my first Janome project because I started 2020 sewing shirts. Sewing shirts gave me joy and creative freedom, things I wanted to bring into my sewing in 2021. Well we all know how 2020 evolved! Even though it was an incredibly challenging year, I want to bring that same hope and creative energy into my sewing in 2021.
Now I can make a shirt in my sleep I've made so many! The challenge was how to choose a fabric and style that best showcased the functions of my Janome 9450QCP. While this machine is typically used by Quilters, I think it's a dream sewing machine for Fashion Sewists too. Probably for the same reasons that Quilters love it. A spacious sewing bed of 15.5" so that any garment can be sewn easily without having to bunch it up or push it through the opening. All of the extra lighting. The feet that are included with the machine to help make any sewing job easier. Plus all of the additional features built in to assist with creating an amazing garment.
I chose to use my tried 'n true (TNT) princess seamed, back yoke shirt pattern and a plaid fabric from my fabric collection. I added some appliques to the shirt from my notions collection. As I started working on the project, I began calling the shirt, "The Plaid Peacock Wonder!" Y'all know I tend to name all of my shirts based on either the fabric or a technique used during construction. This one is of course named after the fabric and the applique.
3 yards of a cotton print purchased from Chic Fabrics
Appliques purchased from Amazon (just type in appliques and a bunch will come up!)
10 - 5/8" red buttons purchased from Pacific Trimmings
Midweight fusible interfacing from Steinlauf & Stoeller
Some Construction Details ~
The first thing you need to know about working with plaids is that you need to take your time. Matching is not something you can rush through if you want to get a good match on your finished garment!
The second is carefully cutting the pattern out. I use the single method - not folding the fabric in half but placing it as one layer on my cutting table. Placing the pattern pieces on singly to match the plaid at key points. After making sure each pattern piece is placed next to each other so that the plaid matches across all of the seams (matching notches on your pattern if they have it) I carefully cut out the pattern pieces.
I also add some bias elements to a make. I think it adds visual interest. For this shirt, I cut the shirt front bands and the sleeves on the bias. The collar and collar stand were cut to emphasis the red stripe of the plaid.
Each piece is carefully pinned matching the plaids before taking it to the sewing machine. During this process, I sew the shirt in sections usually starting with the back and moving towards the front.
For this project, I used several different feet and plates on my 9450 sewing machine. I used the AccuFeed Dual Feed Foot, my straight stitch plate and the straight stitch foot that I borrowed from my Janome 8900QCP. I'm sure you're wondering why I borrowed the foot? Well, I've made special markings on the foot that I didn't want to duplicate. I love that the feet are interchangeable between the two machines!
I use my straight stitch foot and the plate whenever I make a shirt. I like the smaller opening on the plate so fabric doesn't slip into the bobbin area AND the control I have when stitching seams. Of course the amazing buttonhole foot with the stabilizer attached was used to make the 12 buttonholes down the front of the shirt. I thought the ease of use for the buttonhole foot on the 8900 was great but on the 9450 it's even easier and simpler to follow!
However, the appliques I applied required the most time and effort. First placement was important. This was accomplished by adding a bit of stitch witchery to the back of the appliques when placing them on the shirt front and back. A good press and then the shirt front and shirt back were taken to the sewing machine for the appliques to be sewn down.
Using the normal plate and foot A, I slowly applied the appliques using a small stitch of 2.6 on my machine. I was grateful for the needle up & down button, as well as, the button that raises and lowers the foot. The fact that the machine is so precise when it stops was vital to getting the appliques on perfectly.
After sewing the appliques on, the rest of the shirt came together easily. As I machine stitched the hem, I was thrilled with the speed of the machine!
So a few more photos of the shirt ~
Finally, making the shirt on the Janome 9450 was easy to accomplish due to the extra feet and sewing plates. I'm looking forward to all of the other garments I'm going to create with this machine.
As I stated earlier, this was my first Janome make for the Janome blog. Thus all of the references to my Janome 9450's capabilities and links to the feet I used to make this garment. This was my first and last make of 2021 in the sewing loft! Everything else that's been shared this year was sewn or completed after this make.
These posts are part of the requirements for being a Janome Maker. I'm unapologetically happy about repping this machine because I've been sewing on a Janome machine for at least two decades!
...as always more later!