A straight line. It seems like the most basic thing you can do when sewing. But we’re amazed by the number of comments and questions we get from S4H visitors who want to know how to do it better, easier, and more consistently. We don’t have any magical powers to make our seams and topstitching look great. What we do know is using the right foot for the job is the real secret to a beautifully straight line. Because we’re an exclusive Janome studio, our specialty presser feet suggestions are from the Janome selection of accessories. Your machine manufacturer may have similar options for your make and model. In either situation, the recommendation is the same: investing in a specifically designed presser foot is well worth it. It makes the process less frustrating, you can finish a task quicker, and the results are more professional.
May 14th is Mother’s Day. In case you’re still searching for a special gift, we’re here to help with five ideas to say, “Thanks!” For not telling Dad who scratched the smiley face into the car’s bumper. For believing I was beautiful in my braces and unfortunate side pony tail. For picking me up when I fell, brushing me off, and telling me I could do anything. Yep; she’s a mother like no other. Sew up a little extra love for Mom on her special day. All the suggestions below are fast and easy. Plus, we’ve included a special set of Mother’s Day free printable gift tags.
Perhaps best known as the provence of christening gowns and wedding ensembles, heirloom techniques can be brought into a variety of projects to add a bit of elegant detail. Sometimes, extra fancy is just what you need. We incorporated straight tucks, wave tucks, entredeux, and lush ruffles into our heirloom pillow. Following the tradition of neutral fabrics and embellishments, we selected a lovely ivory batiste, adding just a subtle element of contrast with the woven brown silk ribbon.
Prom and wedding season is upon us, which is always a great time to pull out the specialty fabrics for garments as well as home décor items. However, working with these fabrics does require a little special handling; they aren't always as user-friendly as good ol' cotton. We picked four of the most common categories: netting and tulle, organza, taffeta, and burlap; and provide some tips and techniques to make preparing, cutting, and sewing with them easier, faster, and frustration-free.
Heirloom is one of the oldest styles of specialty sewing. This precise and delicate type of stitching is said to have started in the late 1800s by French nuns who hand-stitched exquisite laces onto delicate fabrics for royal families. Their craftsmanship was so incredible, the resulting gowns and linens were painstakingly preserved and handed down from one generation to the next; hence an heirloom. You'll see the influence of heirloom stitching in a variety of high-end garments; most notably, special occasion finery, such as wedding dresses, christening gowns, and lingerie, as well as in the finest table linens. Today, with French nuns in short supply, we show you the basics of creating heirloom stitching with your sewing machine.
If you’ve ever hunted for terry cloth, you know it can be challenging to find. If you do finally locate some, color choice and weight options are likely to be minimal, and the quality can be iffy. Thanks to the softness experts at Shannon Fabrics, those worries are over. They offer a wonderful selection of premium terry cloth in different colors, weights, and even textures. Pick out your favorites to make our pair of classic shower wraps. There’s a full length wrap for women and a waist wrap for men. Great for yourself or as a snuggly gift. Drying off just got a lot more stylish.
Hardware is usually categorized on the functional side of sewing. It adds a professional finish and allows your project to snap, lock, clip, slip, buckle, and more. For this project, we moved hardware into the fashionable category, applying Dritz® grommets (large and extra large eyelets actually) and rivets to create a striking starburst design on the front of a bag. You get dimension and texture, plus the openings cut by the grommets allow a second color to peek through from the bag’s lining.
Don’t laugh. This next printable in our Cheat Card series is based on one of our most popular articles. Really! If you’ve been sewing forever, and work with fractions every day, it may seem crazy to you that someone wouldn’t know how to read a measuring tape. But if you step back for a moment, and look at that tape measure (or ruler for that matter) with the eyes of a new sewer, all those little unidentified marks might seem a bit intimidating. As one of our original commenters said, “Thank you so much for sharing this. I am definitely the kind of person who was too scared to ask a dumb question! You’ve made my life so much easier!”
One wedding accessory that has remained popular over the last few years is the bridal gown sash. We found them as a recommendation in wedding planning articles as well as for sale on a variety of sites, from high-end bridal specialty boutiques to Etsy. The going price was $200-$600 and up! With a few small cuts of luxury fabrics, such as lace, tulle, satin, and organza, along with some beautiful pearl or crystal beads, you can create your own custom wedding sash for much, much less. Plus, it will be perfect for your colors and your wedding. The key to creating a beautiful look, such as you see on our sample, is to experiment with color, texture and the placement of the flowers, beads and other embellishments until you get a look that's just right for the bride-to-be.
Broken zipper = broken heart! When a zipper doesn’t zip, not only does its name no longer have any meaning… it is a major frustration because it means something either won’t close or won’t open. The most common element to fail is the zipper slider; the good news is, this can also be the easier part to replace. The new Fix-A-Zipper™ replacement slider kits from Dritz® provide a simple, no-sew solution. Before you toss out your favorite bag or attempt to close up your fleece jacket with a row of chip clips, check out how quick and easy it is to do-it-yourself with Dritz®.