Janome Maker – Julie Hall


Julie Hall bought her first sewing machine, a Janome, when she was 14 and has never looked back since. Today, the mother of two has expanded her sewing passion to creating machine embroidery designs. In-between time spent at the computer working with Digitizer software, test sewing and putting together designs, Julie is a regular exhibitor at craft shows where you can find her embroidery design creations for sale.

Today, we share an inspiring chat with Julie about how she got into embroidery design, her family support and current project.


How did you find your way into embroidery design? 

My background is actually in Computers. Whilst I always sewed as a hobby, upon leaving school, I went to business college and trained as a secretary. Throughout my secretarial career, I developed a love of computers, and moved into Computer Training, teaching people how to use different software programmes.

When I stopped working to raise my family, I started my business selling machine embroidery designs, and we have grown the business from there.

How long have you been sewing for?

I honestly don’t remember a time that I wasn’t sewing.  I can remember Mum letting my sister and I use her machine with some decorative stitches to make denim bags, and I would have been 9 or 10, but I brought my first sewing machine, a Janome in 1986 when I was 14, and have never looked back.

Your mum must have been a strong influence in your sewing journey…

Mum has probably been my biggest sewing influence. Mum always made our clothes when we were young, and taught us to sew on her knee. I can remember always having the nicest dresses at church on a Sunday. When the 80s/90s brought cheaper clothing into Australia, Mum discovered patchwork, and brought that love over to us as well. In the late 90’s, a friend of mine brought the Janome 9000, and I would watch her stitching out amazing designs.

Tell us about your sewing projects…

My passion with sewing is to create machine embroidery designs for home sewing machines. I began stitching things for my nieces and nephew, and then moved up to being able to create designs for my own children. I love making quilts using machine embroidery designs, but I also use my embroidery machine for creating amazing gifts for family and friends, and embellishing clothing.

Does your family support your hobby?

I have the most amazing family support. When I moved in with my husband, he immediately cleared a room out for me so that I could have a sewing room. We have an embroidered Christmas shirt tradition in our family, and over the years I have used my Digitizer software to create shirts in his favourite sci-fi characters.

My children are now in on the act as well, with my daughters loving creating their own designs and watching them stitch out, and loving being able to create gifts for their friends!

Where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration comes in so many different forms. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest, Facebook and Google, looking at colour trends and fashion trends. I also love checking out what is happening in different magazines and articles from around the world. I go to a lot of craft shows and am always looking at what others are doing for trends and ideas.

Where do you create? We bet you have your own dedicated room…

I absolutely have a dedicated space. I have just finished house extensions which gave me a 20m2 space (still not enough!). Until then, I was in a 12m2 bedroom. I now have a row of tables with all of my machines, my computer set up, and my cutting table can actually fold all the way out now.

What does a typical day for you involve? 

A typical day for me is getting hubby and kids off to work and school, and then getting into the sewing room. Depending on what I am working on, it may be a lot of time spent at the computer, working with my Digitizer software on new designs, or it might be all about the test sewing and putting together of designs.

I try and keep my day to finishing when the kids come home from school so that I can spend time with them, but honestly, when inspiration strikes, I have to move.

Share with us your current project…

Currently I am working on a set of sea animal designs. I am loving using all of the beautiful fill stitches included with the Digitizer software, and how it can make a design look like you have used fabric for applique, whilst only using thread.

Any sewing advice for us?

Be fearless and have a go. In the privacy of your own sewing room, it doesn’t matter if you stuff up the design, but it does matter if you don’t try.

Keep up to date with Julie’s work on her website and Instagram.


Artistic Edge Digital Cutter – Accessory Of The Month July 2018


The Artistic Edge offers you an endless options for every kind of crafter! The included Artistic SimpleCut software can do much more than just basic editing. Scrapbookers will love the ability to create custom shapes; quilters will love creating one-step appliqué and decorators will love the projects that they can create for the home. Using the included software you will be able to make, create or alter your designs to create an endless amount of projects that will be individual just for you. There are two option of cutter which include the 15’’ or 12’’ machine. The options are endless with the included blades and mats to start creating with.

This Accessory of the Month has a bonus project for you to make using the Artistic Edge Digital Cutter.

Download brochure here


4 Signs You Need An Overlocker


Can’t make up your mind on whether to add an overlocker to your sewing machine collection? Here are 4 signs to help you decide:


Do you sew mostly garments?

Let’s face it, unfinished garment seams, especially on woven fabrics, aren’t durable over time. Eventually the fabric will fray, showing the unfinished edges and sometimes your seams will start to unravel. (That’s the beginning of the end for your handmade garment!)

If you look at your store-bought clothes you will most likely notice the flawless edge of the seams. This is where the brilliant work of an overlocker comes into play – it stitches and trims away excess fabric along the edge all at once!

The overlocker can be set up to complete many finishes by simply adjusting the settings to suit your project. Investing in an overlocker will make your garments stand the test of time, while making them look professionally constructed.


Do you have limited time to sew?

Granted, not all of us are full-time home sewists. Some of us are lucky if we can have an uninterrupted stitching session while the kiddos are napping, or have a ninja sew straight after getting home from our full-time job. If your sewing time is limited, an overlocker can help you whiz through your projects quickly and efficiently.

An overlocker can be used for many finishes including construction of garments, through to finishing off the edges of fabric that will then be seamed on the sewing machine. In particular, the overlocker is useful for knit and stretch fabrics, as it helps to guide and seam these fabrics that are often difficult to sew using a sewing machine.


Do you have trouble with the edges of your seamed fabrics rolling after sewing with the sewing machine?

Does the fabric rolling in the seam allowance on the edge of your knit garment drive you batty? If you have experienced this before, you will know that it becomes difficult to sew other intersecting seams and creates an unnecessary bulk to your work.

Overlockers can help with this issue as the knit/stretch fabrics feed through with the help of the differential feed and allow you to create a nice flat seam allowance. Your waistbands and side seams will look a lot neater and sit more comfortably when you wear your garment.


Do you enjoy sewing home décor or accessorizing your home?

The overlocker can be used for more than just garment sewing. Have you ever wanted to work with fabrics that might end up needing to be washed or used frequently, and you worry about how they will cope?

The overlocker can be perfect for this as you can finish the edges of your pillows and other home deco items so that they are reinforced and secure for laundering and daily use. With an overlock, you can stitch up lovely rolled hems to finish off your table linens, gathers for beautiful ruffles on pillows and so much more! The extra strength that is given when using the overlocker on the seams allows for a longer life to your handmade sewing projects.


One thing is for sure, once you decide to invest in an overlocker, it quickly becomes very difficult to imagine life without it! An overlocker can be the perfect addition for everyone. Contact an authorised Janome stockist today for a demonstration on the range of Janome overlockers to see how much your sewing experience can be improved with this versatile machine.