The preferred way to stitch garments and other projects when using sewing machines is to begin with a good pattern. Patterns not only provide templates for cutting out pieces of fabric; they also provide other essential instructions to help sewers create great projects. Since many of these directives come in the form of symbols, it is important to learn what the symbols mean before cutting any fabric that will be used for sewing on Janome sewing machines like the Janome DC2014.

Grain Line

Appearing as a line with arrows on both ends, the grain line symbol is placed on the pattern to indicate which direction the fabric grain should run for each piece. To use it, determine the fabric grain, then lay the pattern so the arrows point along the grain.

Fold Line

Sometimes a pattern must be placed on a fold in the fabric. This is indicated by a symbol that looks like curved grain line arrows with another parallel line underneath. The symbol is aligned with the fold in the fabric for correct positioning.

Cut Line

Designated by a line with a pair of scissors, the cut line indicates where fabric should be cut out to create the necessary pieces for the project. On patterns designed for multiple sizes, there may be more than one cut line; therefore, it is important to determine which size is the correct one to use before actually cutting the material.

Stitching Line

The stitching line is a continuous, broken line that designates where the fabric should be sewn when using a sewing machine like the Janome DC2014. Stitching lines usually appear inward of cut lines. On patterns that can be used for multiple sizes, there will usually be multiple stitching lines for each size.

Adjustment Lines

Two heavy lines running parallel to each other are adjustment lines. These marks point out exactly where to adjust the pattern for length or width so the garment can be tailored for the person who will wear the finished garment.

Notches, Dots, and Squares

Notches are triangular symbols that indicate where a notch must be cut in the fabric for matching certain seams. Dots and squares mark certain places on the fabric that must be matched together so the garment is uniform. All of these marks must be transferred onto the fabric piece before it is cut to maintain proper alignment when stitching with Janome sewing machines.

Dart Marks

This symbol shows where a dart must be sewn in the fabric, and how large it should be. It is designated as two solid, angled lines that come to a point with a straight, broken line directly between them. Dart marks should also be transferred directly onto the fabric in order to create straight and even darts that are in the right position.

Zipper Lines

Patterns requiring a zipper will have a mark showing where the zipper should be positioned and its length. This symbol appears as a line with small triangles on both sides that point inward toward the line. Zipper marks should be transferred to the fabric to help ensure the zipper is correctly positioned.

Buttonhole and Button Marks

Buttonhole marks consist of a small line with shorter lines positioned perpendicularly at the top and bottom. The cross marks indicate the top and bottom of the buttonhole cut and the length of the hole. Button placement is indicated with an "x." These marks should also be transferred right onto the fabric for proper layout.

The key to obtaining the best results with garments and any other items sewn on a Janome DC2014 or on other, is in understanding and following the pattern. All of the symbols that appear on a pattern provide important instructions that must be followed so the item being sewn will come together the way as it was designed. With a working knowledge of what the various symbols mean, those who sew should have few issues making beautiful garments on their own Janome sewing machines!

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