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Sewing Tool Box

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There are lots of straight lines in sewing, but we love the circle. In fact, in my humble opinion, the circle is the Queen of the geometric shapes. Don't get me wrong; I like all those squares, rectangles, triangles, octagons, and whatnot; but the circle is the coolest of the bunch: smooth and pretty and
We based our tutorial on the words we hear whenever we receive questions about this topic: "How do you figure out how much fabric you need?" "How do you cut all the strips?" "How do you sew all the strips together?" "How do you put it on your project so it looks smooth and pretty?"
  No matter what kind of sewing you like to do, there are times you must use a hand needle and thread. It could be for something simple, such as sewing on a button, stitching an opening closed, or tacking a strap in place. Or, you can move up the hand-sewing food chain to beautifully
One of top rules of sewing success: Start each new project with a new needle! When a needle is piercing your fabric at 600 to 1,000 stitches per minute, small things like a dulled point or an eye that's beginning to wear can make a big difference in the quality of your stitches, which means
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:
Don’t laugh. This 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
I know I should be able to do math in my head; I also know I should eat more fruits and vegetables and actually use my gym membership. I could continue to pretend all these things are going to happen, or… I could find some little workarounds. Our Cheat Card is a handy reference table that
This one tutorial gives you all the basics you need to create the first of what will likely be many, many zipper pouches. Even if the mere mention of a zipper gives you the heebie-jeebies, there’s no better way to calm those fears than to master the Classic Zipper Pouch. We added a custom metal
Accurate pressing is one of the most important parts of the construction process. Having a tool that holds precise, narrow folds and clean angles is critical. And, if that tool allows you to do that without your fingers getting dangerously close to the iron, it’s a must-have in our book! One of our favorite pressing
In our quest to continue bringing you the information you’re searching for, we’ve been partnering with some of our pals in the sewing community to provide guest features on garment sewing. This is an area we don’t currently focus on at Sew4Home but for which we get a lot of inquiries. It’s not that we
Hopefully, you're reading this article for one of two reasons. Either you know a teen who really wants to start sewing, or you know one you'd like to inspire to start sewing. In both cases, you can help them on their way with a little guidance. In this day and age, when young adults seem

Tufting are those depressions made at regular intervals in a cushion by passing a thread through and pulling it taut. Simple, right? It can be. Start with the right tools and make sure you measure and mark with precision.

When you walk into a fabric store, you'll notice most fabric is wrapped around cardboard bolts that stand upright on shelves or racks. What you may not notice is that at the end each bolt is a label that provides important information about the fabric. If you want 100% cotton, read the label so you
Sewing a rectangle into a tube rings of “square peg in a round hole” hopelessness. And yet, it’s one of the most common techniques when creating bags, boxes, and baskets. If you want a flat, stable base, an inset base panel is the go-to option. To make this geometric magic happen doesn’t take a hammer,
Pleats are the origami of the sewing world. And although you don't usually need to fold one into the shape of a swan, there are a wide variety of pretty pleats that add distinct visual and textural embellishments for both home décor as well as garment sewing. Each type provides a different look based on
Sewing is a continually evolving art. Learning new and interesting techniques is one of the best ways to build upon your current knowledge. It keeps your skills fresh and your ideas lively. We have two great how-to articles on binding in general: Bias Binding: Figuring Yardage, Cutting, Making and Attaching and A Complete Step-by-Step for Binding Quilts
There are hundreds of thousands of thread spools in the world (I think "bazillions" is actually the technical term). How on earth do you know which one to choose? It's part science – what the manufacturers have designed the thread to do, and part art – what you like about the look and feel of the thread. One
For some sewing applications, there's nothing that works quite as well as a metal snap. They're easier to use than buttons and more durable than Velcro®. That's why they're used in everything from mountain climbing jackets, to yacht covers, to baby clothes. Just think how long it would take an NBA player to jump up
Here's a common scenario: you buy a new garment, wear it once, wash it once, and... it is now two sizes too small! Some of us also use this phenomenon to explain why our once-favorite pants no longer fit. Although extra bowls of ice cream are the likely culprit in scenario #2, the guilty party
Appliqué is the process of stitching a small layer of fabric, usually in a unique shape, onto a larger base fabric. It's a great way to personalize your project while also adding unique color, texture, pattern... or all of the above. Would you like a bumblebee flying across your pillow? Does your little boy want

There are two major curves you encounter in sewing: inward or concave and outward or convex. The key to a smooth result with both is an accurate seam allowance, proper clipping, and careful pressing. Learn how.

As we enter the final phase of making a quilt, you should be proud of all you've learned thus far. If you think back to Part 1 of this Series, you may have been skeptical about adding "how to quilt" to your sewing toolbox of skills. Now you can see it was simply a case
We're back for the second half of our piecing tutorial – part Four of our Five-part Quilting Basics series. Quilters are very resourceful and innovative. You can see this trait revealed in some of the popular quick-piecing methods that have been developed over time. The mindset behind each is to save thread and/or time. They
In quilting, there are special techniques used to sew patchwork pieces into blocks, then assemble those blocks into a quilt. The precise execution of these techniques is paramount to a beautifully finished quilt. It's similar to putting together a puzzle; each piece has to fit perfectly in order for the larger picture to come into view.
You saw the appropriate tools and other stuff needed for basic quilting in Part 1. You leaned how to properly (and safely) rotary cut your fabric for patchwork piecing in Part 2. Now, you get to discover how to use those pieces you cut (squares, rectangles and triangles) to create some of the most popular
Quilts start out as lots o' little pieces. So it makes sense the first thing you should learn about in quilting is how to cut your fabric! If you ask any quilter what she/he feels is the best cutting tool for the job, the answer will be: a rotary cutter. Many compare it to a
The word "quilt" or "quilting" has many different meanings. It's a special word because it can be both a noun and a verb. Quilting can describe the overall craft itself. What type of sewing do you like? I like to quilt, or I like quilting. It can also mean the act of quilting, which is
We've made it to the finish of our seam finishes! In this final installment of the series, we venture into the world of the Hong Kong Finish and the Bound Seam finish. If you're not a 'finishing aficionado' (don't feel bad... few people claim that title), you may have been under the impression these techniques
We are not yet finished with our series of finishes! If you've been following along, you know we are working through the ways to make the inside of your projects look as great as the outside. Today, we're moving into a couple more unique options: the mock (or false) French seam and the French wrapped
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