Piece A Cake Dress Project

April 7th, 2014

Acrobat Download the Instructions (PDF)

Acrobat Download the Pattern (PDF)

Click to go to our Videos Page to view Anna's Piece-A-Cake Baby Dress project highlights video.

A personal note from Anna Maria:

I am so happy to introduce the Piece-A-Cake baby dress! After sewing for my kiddos for years (and years) I have come to rely on simple patterns that are not overwhelmed with details. This one is the perfect opportunity to play with favorite fabrics, add details and even to make a batch of them at once. I also really appreciate that in just a couple of hours my little one can have a new dress ready to go. That is helpful when she seems to grow from one size to another in about that much time!

As you can see from the photos, the abbreviated length of the dress gives an older baby plenty of wiggle room once she is on the go. Because of the easy-going shape, the same little frock that acts as a dress now will be just as sweet as a top later this fall over little baby jeans and under a cozy sweater.

The short or long sleeve option and the classic peasant neckline keeps the styling options open for any time of year. Just a switch up of fabric types and sleeve length, pairing it with leggings or cute little bloomers, will take the one pattern through every season. I made several of the short sleeve versions for Mary Anna out of soft and lightweight cotton voile in the 3 month size when she was first born. The elastic neckline and buttery soft fabric made it so simple to slip on over a onesie during the summer months. She instantly had a sweet little outfit ready for visits from family and friends.

The version shown here is made out of a quilting cotton from my newest collection of fabrics, Pretty Potent, arriving in stores now. I have two more for her sitting on my ironing board waiting for a the final hem step. Speaking of hem, this pattern and the video that we produced for you will teach you how to use the blind hem foot on your machine for a really nice finish. This is the perfect time to sit down and watch how simple the process of making a blind hem is, especially if you have never tried it. It is much easier than it seems, and you will probably get hooked on making all your hems blind hems! My Janome machines make this fool proof and beautiful.

Enjoy the pattern & and I can't wait to see your Piece-A-Cakes!!

xo, Anna Maria

NOTE: To view PDFs you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is a free program.

Heirloom Stocking

December 12th, 2013

Acrobat Download the Heirloom Stocking PDF

ZIPClick Here to Download Anna's Embroidery Design

Click to go to our Videos Page to view Anna's Heirloom Stocking project highlights video.

A personal note from Anna Maria:

If there were ever a project that served a real need in my house, it's this one! Okay, need could be a slight overstatement, but I have been wanting to create handmade stockings for my family for years. Anticipating Christmas typically has me over-planning just a bit (a ton), and I've always felt the stockings should be entirely made by hand... as in hand-stitched or embroidered. I do love that so much.

While designing my most recent collection of fabrics, Dowry, I had my hands on many special heirlooms. I decided it was time to take advantage of my family's gorgeous handwork tradition for more than just the fabric collection. Enter the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 15000. I feel so lucky to have had the chance to test-drive this machine, as well as to have many other Janome machines living in my sewing studio every day. The MC15000 had the inspiring technology I needed to turn my stocking daydreams into reality.

This Heirloom Stocking pattern has been such a special project for me since it is inspired by the beautiful hand-loomed blanket my Yiayia Eleni made some 60 years ago in Greece. It has been my joy to marry a centuries-old craft with the most modern technology available in a home sewing machine to design the embroidery.

The talented team at Janome America helped me translate my Yiayia's deer design into an embroidery motif (similar to my Lineage fabric). We used the Digitizer MBX software, which I can't wait to play with more! The results really exceeded my expectations, and the thought of being able to make something for everyone this year, using this meaningful artwork vignette, was thrilling. Any doubts I had about the stockings not being hand-embroidered quickly vanished. I realized that by using the machine embroidery, I could actually accomplish all of them this year!

I quickly settled on a full spectrum of embroidery colors on cream linen so everyone's could be a little different. After I selected nine thread colors from which to choose, I let each of the kids pick the color he/she wanted. I told my husband what color he wanted and swiped the magenta for myself. All the stockings are made from FreeSpirit Fabric's solid linen in Vanilla. One of the really fun parts was choosing the colorful linings to coordinate with the stitched design. I used a variety of mostly tonal fabrics from Dowry and True Colors. And then, I was having so much fun with the embroidery, I decided the back of the stockings should have each person's name. This also meant there wouldn't be a chance to argue next year over whose color was whose!

You'll see by watching the video how simple these stockings are to make, and how fun the embroidery is to watch! I feel so lucky to have a simple way to keep some heirlooms alive in my family while plotting what I'm going to embroider next. I think you'll feel the same.

Thanks to Janome, I'm thrilled to have the chance to offer this free embroidery design to you in a variety of the major embroidery formats. Click here to download.

A few notes on the project: I specified an interfacing for the stabilization of the embroidery, then I kept this stabilizer intact throughout the sewing to give the stocking a good amount of body. If you are using a heavier material that you would rather not interface, you could simply substitute a stabilizer which can be removed after the embroidery is complete. Also, I lengthened the leg of the stocking by a few inches for my stockings so the cuff could be a little deeper than the video version.

I hope you enjoy this stocking pattern and video! Now I think it's time to go make my house smell as cheerful as it looks... baklava anyone?

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas!

xo, Anna Maria

NOTE: To view PDFs you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is a free program.

Right Turn Bag Project

May 21st, 2013

Acrobat Download the Instructions (PDF)

Click to go to our Videos Page to view Anna's Right Turn Bag project highlights video.

NOTE: To view PDFs you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is a free program.

Pleasant Pathway Shorts Project

May 3rd, 2013

Acrobat Download the Instructions (PDF)

Acrobat Download the Pattern (PDF)

Click to go to our Videos Page to view Anna's Pleasant Pathways Shorts project highlights video.

NOTE: To view PDFs you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is a free program.

The Paper Fan Dress

August 5th, 2012

Acrobat Download the The Paper Fan Dress PDF

Hello Janome pals!

I am so thrilled to be able to share this new free pattern that I've designed for you! The Paper Fan Dress is ready for your sewing pleasure! My original inspirations for this dress were drawn from one of my favorite paintings by John Singer Sargent. I only took one direct, simple cue from the high-waisted style of the dresses the girls in the painting are wearing.

Also, the detail of the paper lanterns shown in the painting called to mind the paper fans I made as a child in the hot weather, which eventually had me naming this dress as such and including pleats into the design. More than through specific details, though, this painting inspired me mostly by how it at once illustrates the simplicity of childhood pleasures and the splendor of a summer evening. So more than anything, I wanted to design a frock that would be lightweight, fuss-free and very versatile to help little girls enjoy all that summer offers.

I made this dress using the Janome 4120 QDC, which is such a little workhorse of a machine. It hums along so smoothly, and the buttonholes are that the attachment makes are absolutely perfect. There are a few steps that require going through quite a few layers of pleats, but no one told the k=machine that, because they breezed right through. We are polishing off the final edits to the highlights video, so check back on my Janome page for that next week. I think the videos, while they don't cover the whole process, definitely share some insight into the process that hopefully you'll find helpful.

I hope you're enjoying these goreous summer days, and I look forward to sharing more with you soon!

Anna Maria

NOTE: To view PDFs you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is a free program.

Anna Maria's Patchwork Prism Quilt and coordinating Patchwork Prism Pillow Sham Variation

March 27th 2011

Acrobat Download the Quilt (PDF)

Acrobat Download the Pillow Sham Variation (PDF)

Click to go to our Videos Page to view Anna's Patchwork Prism Quilt project highlights video.

A personal note from Anna:
Did I ever have fun making this! I am so excited to introduce you to the Patchwork Prism Quilt. This quilt uses all of my favorite tricks: a full spectrum, simple piecing and an awesome machine. I made this quilt using my Janome Horizon 7700 QCP, which was especially great because I chose to machine quilt this beauty. I've had a chance to teach a few workshops with this pattern and I think we've all learned a great deal about fabric selection and color. You can see pictures from these workshops in the Events section of this website.

Once you've made your Patchwork Prism quilt, we'd love to see it! Upload a picture to our Janome +AM group at Flickr!

Happy Sewing!

Anna Maria

NOTE: To view PDFs you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is a free program.