Digitizer Junior: Where The Magic Happens

12650996_1672980302976953_8194313700030895085_nDigitizer Junior is a simple user-friendly software to design embroidery. It is the ideal place to begin your embroidery adventure!

The program automatically converts images of objects to embroidery patterns. It has also built-in fonts to create the texts and monograms. The software can also serve as a converter of embroidery patterns from different formats to .jef suited for USHA Janome Machines.

 Few of Important functions which you can do with Usha Janome Digitizer to enhance your embroidery:
– Converting embroidery formats stored in emd, pes, pec, hus, vip, VP3, PCs, xxx, dst, jmt into embroidery patterns supported by JANOME machines
– 16 built-in fonts to create the texts and monograms to unleash your creativity (full edition of size, angle of depression, letters’ width, etc.) 
– 3D preview which helps in visualising the actual appearance of embroidery displayed on the selected hoop
– Simulation of embroidery on the computer screen 
– Choice of 12 different possible embroidery stitches(satin stitch with the regulation of its density and width, 5 weaving stitches with the regulation of theirs density, stitches length and angle of depression, 5 decorative stitches – also with full adjustment)
– Freedom of choosing the order of embroidery (which color will be embroidered as first, which as second)
– Rotation, resize, mirror reflections and editing of the built-in embroidery patterns
– Program saves the embroidery patterns in format .jef (suited for embroidery on JANOME machines) 
– UNDO/REDO functions
– Fabric choice on which the embroidery pattern will be embroidered (automatic compensation – program adds stitches to the fabric that are stretchy – so that the embroidery pattern is not deformed after embroidery) 
– Possibility of extending program Junior to the full version Digitizer MBX 



Ruffles have been around for a long time, from adorning dresses on the Shakespearean stage, where people said crazy things like “Blow, blow, thou winter wind! Thou art not so unkind” to Charlie Thereon sporting them recently on the Red Carpet. And it is probably safe to say that they will be around even after hell freezes over.

The only difference between Victorian and today’s Ruffles, is that it is so very easy to make them today by using the Ruffler attachment with your Usha Janome Sewing Machine. Do not get intimidated by its look, in fact its innovative design actually helps you to use the ruffle more easily. You can use this attachment to ruffle fabrics or pleat it to a desired fullness quickly and easily. Besides it also allows you to vary the size of the ruffles.

RufflerEven if you have never seen a Ruffler Foot before, follow these simple steps and you will soon be making be making ruffles fit to adorn Queen Victoria’s neck! Let’s begin by understanding the parts that make up this magical device that conjure up such imaginings.

Your Sewing Machine & the Ruffler

Now that you have a vague idea about its part, let’s attach it to your Usha Janome Sewing Machine. (Never mind if you cannot remember the name of all the parts, even we don’t!)

Attaching Ruffler to the Machine

  1. Thread the machine with polyester thread in needle and bobbin. Cotton thread has a tendency to break easily.
  2. Remove the current pressure foot by pressing the Foot Holder/Release Button.
  3. Raise the Needle Bar to the highest position.
  4. Position the Fork Arm (black curved piece) over the Needle Clamp Screw. Lower the Presser Foot bar and snap in place.

Needle Placement

  1. Lower the needle slowly to make sure that the needle clears the Needle Hole.
  2. If the needle does not clear the Needle Hole, loosen the Needle Hole Position screw to adjust the needle hole position. There are two Needle Hole Positioning screws. Refer to the diagram to move the position hole to the correct location.
  3. The Ruffler is now adapted to your sewing machine. This process only needs to be done onceruffler_2

If you are getting impatient to use your new Ruffler (who wouldn’t), you can jump to the Ruffling Technique section down below. However, we insist you go through the ‘Know Your Ruffler’ section right below, to have a better experience.

Know Your Ruffler

Ratchet Gear Feed Plate or Stitch Control

This is the part of the Ruffler with the numbers 1, 6 and 12. These settings will determine how often the Ruffling Blade (saw tooth edge) will gather or tuck. When set at 1, with eruffler_3ach needle penetration the Ruffling Blade will move creating a tiny gather. When set at 6, the Ruffling Blade will move and create a tuck every 6 stitches. When set at 12, the Ruffling Blade will move and create a tuck every 12 stitches. When set at the Star, no tucks will be sewn but a straight stitch is obtained

Ruffling Depth Adjust Screw 

The Ratchet Gear Feed Plate and Ruffler Depth Adjust Screw work hand-in-hand to create exactly the type of gathers or tucks desired. The Ruffler Depth Adjust Screw determines the depth of the tuck. When the screw is set at 1 the Ratchet Gear will take a tiny bite of the fabric. The higher the number the larger the bite. If tiny gathers are desired, set the Ratchet Gear at 1 and the Depth Adjust screw between 1 and 4.

Stitch Length 

Another important element to achieving beautiful ruffles is how long the stitch length is set on the sewing machine. The shorter the stitch length the tighter the ruffles. A stitch length of 5.0 is suggested when the Ratchet Gear Feed Plate is set at 1 and the Ruffling Depth Adjust Screw is at a higher number.


Place the fabric underneath the Ruffling Blade and above the Cloth Guide Plate. As you sew, the Ruffling Blade will move, creating a tuck, according to the adjustments made to the Gear Plate and Ruffling Depth. For best result, sew slowly

Cloth Guides

There are two diffruffler_6erent Cloth Guides on the Ruffler. One located in the front of the Ruffler and the second located on the right side. When the fabric is place in the Cloth Guide in the front a 1/4″ seam allowance is sewn. When placed in the Cloth Guide on the right, a 1″ seam allowance is sewn.

Ribbon Slot

The Ribbon Slot is located directly in front of the Needle Hole. This slot can be used to guide the ribbon or piping which can be sewn on while making a ruffle. The ribbon will not gather but the fabric it is sewn to will gather.

Ruffling Techniques 

The length of fabric needed to be cut would be determined by the amount of ruffling desired. It is best to always sew a test strip to determine length of fabric required. 1. Cut a strip of cotton fabric at least 18″. For a test strip cut the width at least 2″.

  1. For a gathered effect set the Ratchet Gear Plate on 1. Set the Ruffling Depth Screw to 1 or less.
  2. Set the stitch length on 2 – 2.5. Place the fabric under the Ruffling Blade and sew. 18″ of fabric should gather down to approximately 9″.
  3. Cut another strip of cotton fabric at least 18″ x 2″. Set the Ratchet Gear Plate on 6 and the Ruffling Depth Screw on 4. Stitch length 2.2. Place the fabric under the Ruffling Blade and sew. The fabric strip gathered down to approximately 12″.
  4. Test sew several lengths of fabric to see exactly what happened each time the Ratchet Gear Plate, Ruffling Depth Screw and stitch length settings are changed.
  5. Make a notebook, writing down the setting used for your samples for future reference.
  6. Once the ruffle is made, attach to the project with a straight stitch, right sides together.

And now you are ready to go. Next time we will teach you how to Ruffle around a Corner for a Pillow. Watch this Space.

Click to view the Usha Janome Ruffler
Explore other Usha Janome Attachments


Thread Art: Embroidery & Stitches in Time

American Quilt, 1840 (Brooklyn Museum)

American Quilt, 1840

“After all, a woman didn’t leave much behind in the world to show she’d been there. Even the children she bore and raised got their father’s name. But her quilts, now that was something she could pass on,” Sandra Dallas a reputed American voice once wrote. With all apologies to those quintessential Western words and quilting enthusiasts  we disagree, when it comes to the East. Especially in India thread art in form of embroidery are heirlooms – things of beauty, joy and truth, like Keats’ Grecian Urn.

The ancient Phulkari (flower work embroidery); the legendary Chikan craftsmanship (believed to be introduced by Nur Jahan); Kahsido work inspired by nature; the now trending mirror work embroidery – to name just a few. And who can ignore the elegance of Chinese Silk work embroidery. Yes, generations will come and go and your quilts will stay on, but eastern embroidery works are aesthetic creations not just pass me downs.

Eastern Emboridery work: Phulkari, Chikan, Mirror Work, Chinese Embroidery & Kashida

Eastern Embroidery work: Phulkari, Chikan, Mirror Work, Chinese Silk Embroidery & Kashida

However, times they are changing, the West has suddenly woken up to both Thread Art and Embroidery and have turned it into a fabulous medium of art – versatile and avant-garde, we are now looking at them from a whole new perspective. What punctuates our discussion now onward are a billion words, if each picture could be said to worth a thousand words.

The following piece is by Ana Teresa Barboza from Lima, Perú. Titled Suspension the artist uses Embroidery on cloth Knitted wool yarn.



While, the artwork of Annemieke Mein is unique. She combines fabric, paint and sewing threads to produce works that are realistically accurate. In the following piece titled Bulldog Ant, she uses Machine Embroidery along with applique, quilting and other techniques.

Bulldog Ant

Bulldog Ant

Inge Jacobsen uses thread work mostly on vintage commercial imagery using a Embroidery technique she has named ‘hijacking’ to throw new light on beauty and materialism – with a subtext that runs in every stitch. The work displayed below is a  Threaded Vogue Cover.

Vogue Cover

Vogue Cover

The last piece we present is by the Mondongo Argentina art collective, which includes artists Agustina Picasso, Manuel Mendanha, and Juliana Laffitte.The Untitled Portrait presented here uses various techniques created from Cotton threads on wood.

Untitled Portrait from 2008 Exhibits

Untitled Portrait from 2008 Exhibits

Wasn’t those thread and embroidery works breathtaking? Inspired?

Inspired enough to create your own pieces? Yes, we know most of you are not experts but like all of us yearn to be, when it comes to things we are passionate about. And here is where we can help you live your dream through our USHA Janome Memory Craft Embroidery Machines. Machines so technological developed and artistically inclined that they will help you weave your dreams come alive, be it an art piece or an embroidery work to adorn a dress. It is Embroidery on Autopilot! Well almost, imagination is a must though.



 To Know more and Get Started Click Here

Have Visited HAB, Yet?

The HABHere is a little secret for you, there is this amazing place in Mumbai called The HAB and another one at Kochi. Short for Haberdashery store , The HAB is perhaps the best Sewing R&D center in the country. But don’t let the dreaded abbreviation ‘R&D’ intimidate you because Research and Development is just one aspect of it. It was primarily set up by Usha to encourage sewing among people .

projectsDoesn’t matter whether you are a kid or a mother or a grandmother The HAB has tailored (pun intended) course for about everyone. You could start with something as simple as a Bookmark and move up the sewing ladder unto garments and home decor – anything is possible at The HAB. You dream it and we will teach you to weave your dreams into reality.

There are also short activities and workshops catering to various occasions from Father’s Day and Monsoon sessions to the upcoming Raksha Bandhan. An expert will take you step by step through these various workshops and activities, helping you create magic out of fabrics. These workshops can last for anything between 30 mins to 6 hours (spread over days if you want it that way).

And believe us The HAB is as glamorous as Sewing can get with its eloquent ambiance and highly advanced sewing and embroidery machines.

Thinking of picking up a new Hobby? Why not head to The HAB to unleash your creativity, we promise it will be more than worth it. To Check out what people are sewing, stitching  and creating Click Herebag

Address: The HAB, Opp Sahib Khatwara Darbar, Road no. 7, Linking Road, Khar (W)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Tel: 022 6127 4444

How To Make A Simple Frock

Fashion trends come and go but the little Girl’s Frock stays on, ever since its inception in the 12th century it has retained its iconic status against Spring, Fall and other fashion seasons that come and go. Though the original frock has undergone quite a few changes over time, the basic essence of the garment has stayed alive reinventing itself time and again – its latest avatar is cuteness personified. Mothers adore it, while little girls begin their love affair with fashion from their very first frock. So why not make a frock that will turn your daughter into a princess. Great idea? Yeah, let’s frock it!

Materials Required: Frock

  • Cotton Cloth: 1 pc 90 cm with 42 cm width
  • Brown paper: 1 Sheet  36”x46”
  • Satin Ribbon: 1 meter
  • Hooks: 3 pcs
  • Polyester thread matching the fabric colour: 1 Reel

Tools required:

  1. Marking pen
  2. Tailors chalk
  3. Measuring Tape
  4. Foot Scale
  5. French Seam Curve
  6. Scissors
  7. Pins
  8. Iron

Measurements *

Round Neck

Across Shoulder 10 inches
Chest 22 inches
Waist 18 inches
Length of Frock 22 inches
Body Length 10 inches

*Note:The following steps are for making a simple frock. However if one wants to make a frock of different size, the actual measurements can be filled in the following box and the formulas mention in the steps of construction can be used. Pattern making is a onetime exercise for a garment the pattern can be used repeatedly.

As usual with nearly every garment, we will begin with Pattern Making and follow the drafting process by cutting and then sewing.

Pattern Making

Take the piece of Brown paper measuring 36”x 46” size and fold it into half width-wise so that you your folded sheet measures 18”x 46”.
1Then mark a starting point at the corner as shown in the picture below:
2Draft for Armhole Line 

Measure and mark a point at 1/2 of Shoulder length (5 inches in our case) width-wise from the starting point.3

Next mark ¼ of Chest (measurement) less ½ inch (4.75” for us) from the starting point along the length of the fabric
4Draw a box joining the two points as shown below:5

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Silai School: Living With Dignity



Shivavathi lives in a small nondescript village that goes by the name of Tallavalasa in what used to be former Andhra Pradesh. Suffering from poverty without any source of income, life was cruel and hard, till she attended a seven day Silai School programme.  And her life changed overnight, rather in that one week, which not only gave her new skills but also the confidence to be an independent woman in a male dominated society.  Today she is a part-time faculty member at a Polytechnic!

Or take the story of Najira Gazi from Joyanagar West Bengal, who after attending the Silai School programme became a teacher in her village imparting sewing skills to other less-fortunate women like her. The fees she earned through these classes enabled her to continue her education, which she had given up earlier due to financial constrains.



There are many such heartwarming stories of a million Shivavathis’ and Najiras’ living unacknowledged in the many villages of India. Usha through its Silai School initiative is trying to empower these marginalized women to lead more respected lives.

The programme trains women over a seven day period on sewing, stitching and embroidery skills, along with basics of sewing machine repair. Every participant is also given an Usha Sewing machine free of cost to start a Silai School in their own village and impart sewing skills to others.

Ganga Devi

Ganga Devi

One of the significant features of this programme is its inclusiveness as it makes it a point to empower HIV positives, trans-genders and physically challenged women. For instance take Ganga Devi from Anantpur, who happens to be a handicapped. Her husband abandoned her because of her disability, leaving her without any source of income or respect. The Silai School programme helped her to earn a living and regain her dignity. Today she makes as much as Rs 5000 per month.

Nasiba Begum

Nasiba Begum

These may not be the archetypal rags to riches stories but nevertheless are life affirming ones, filled with hope and mended dreams, which had once broken. Like Nasiba Begum from Kashipur Orrisa, who weaved her own story of survival and today is an entrepreneur selling her brand of Blouses and Petticoats at the village market. Besides success need not always have monetary strings attached, sometimes it may simply involve love and respect. As Sushmita Das from Dahisadas Orissa and Rubina Begum from Khumtai Assam found out, not only did their sewing skills improve their economic status but also brought them recognition from their families.

We promise to bring to you many such inspiring stories from all across the sub-continent paying homage to the achievements of the down-trodden and the marginalized. Struggles which otherwise would have gone unrecorded. For their stories need to be told.

Sushmita Das & Rubina Begum

Sushmita Das & Rubina Begum

The Usha Silai School initiative was started in 2011, there are more than 3190 Silai Schools operating already across India, Nepal and Sri Lanka and the number is growing at about 1000 per year.

How To Make A Kurti

ImageSummer is back with a vengeance. There is no relief from the scorching heat even inside, shopping being a far shot. At the same time you have run out of all your cool summer Kurtis either to repetition or the Washing Machine.Besides staying at home is simply boring, there is not much you can do with the frequent power cuts. No shopping, no electricity and no cool Kurtis; life couldn’t have been more mundane.

To beat the heat without going shopping and to keep you indulged, here is a tutorial to make your own Kurti! It’s time to take out your sewing machine and upgrade your sewing skills. The tutorial may look long but it is very easy, just follow the instructions and you will end up with your own masterpiece, which you can flaunt.

Note: The following steps are for making a medium size Kurti. However if you want to make a kurti of different size, the actual measurements can be filled in the following box and the formulas mentioned in the steps below. Also note that Pattern making is a onetime exercise for a garment; the Kurti pattern once created can be used repeatedly.


Square Neck
Across Shoulder 14 inches
Chest 36 inches
Waist 28 inches
Hip 38 inches
Length of Top 25 inches

Materials Required

  1. Cotton Cloth: 1.35 meters with 42 inches width
  2. Brown Paper Sheet

Tools Required

  • Marking Pen
  • Chalk
  • Measuring tape
  • Foot Scale
  • French seam Curve
  • Hip Seam Curve
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Electric Iron
  • Polyester thread matching the fabric colour

 Pattern Making

Let us begin by creating a pattern.

Take a sheet of brown paper and cut it into 27 x 39 inches. Now fold the paper into half (width side). This will leave you with a sheet size of 13.5 x 39 inches.


Mark a starting point on the corner as shown below:


Now we will construct the various parts of the Kurti. Let’s begin with a draft for the Arm Hole and Chest Line.

Mark a point equal to half of the shoulder measurement from the starting point: 7 inches in our case  (for other sizes divide your Across Shoulder measurement by half)


Next mark a point at a length of ¼ of Chest measurement minus 1 inch, horizontally from the starting point: 8 inches in this case (for other sizes divide your Chest measurement by 4)


Join both the newly marked points as shown below:

ImageLet us move on and make the Chest line next. Divide your Chest measurements by ¼ and add 1.5 inches to it and make a new line as shown below. In our case this will be 10.5 inches.

ImageNow that you are getting pretty familiar with drafting let us tackle the length and waist lines. We will begin with the former.

Make a point for the full length of the Kurti at 25 inches from the starting point. This again could vary if you are making a bigger or smaller Kurti depending on the Top Length you want.


Next comes the Waist Line: Make another mark for the waist point at 15 inches from the starting point (this is the standard length for waist).


From the just marked waist point draw a waist line. It should measure ¼ of the waist measurement plus 2 inches: 9 inches in our case (divide your waist length by 4 and add 2 inches)


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