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Topstitching and Edgestitching: How to Add a Professional Finishing Touch

Wednesday, 13 November 2019 1:00

Projects shown above (clockwise from upper left corner): Crossbody Bucket Carryall, Tailgate Apron, Faux Leather ShopperFaux Cowhide Pillow

By definition, topstitching is a seam that appears on the right side of a project, usually running ⅛" or more from, and parallel to, another seam. It can be done in a coordinating thread color for decoration or a matching thread color for stabilization. A cousin of topstitching is edgestitching, which is defined as a row of stitching on the very edge of a garment, normally ⅛” or less from the edge. It provides a crisp edge for facings, collars, pockets or any situation where you want a tight, professional finish along a seamed edge. Edgestitching is usually done in thread to match the fabric but that’s not a hard-and-fast rule. Whether for embellishment or assembly, stitching that is visible from the right side is an important detail and its precision can make or break the final outcome of your project. We've collected our favorite tools and techniques to help you achieve tip top topstitching and enviable edgestitching.

Turning and Pressing Skinny Ties and Straps

Thursday, 07 November 2019 1:00

Do you ever watch those TV hospital shows and think, "I could do that"? Maybe not be an actual, real-life doctor. But you could wear a white coat, carry a stethoscope, and yell, "Get me a C-Spine, Chem 7, and a V-Fib!" I have no idea what any of those terms mean. They're just fun to shout. To get you just a little bit closer to your doctor daydreams, we're here to show you how one of the medical devices you saw Dr. Greene use every week can also be a big help in your sewing room. It's called a hemostat, and it's basically a locking clamp shaped like a long pair of scissors. (Probably what Dr. Greene wanted when he yelled, "Clamp!") A hemostat is extremely useful when you need to turn long, narrow tubes right side out.

Slim Messenger Bag: New Etsy Shop Pattern

Monday, 28 October 2019 1:00

Tall and slim, this handsome messenger bag is a casual, fun style that’s great for everyday and anywhere you need to go. It works well for either guys or gals. Originally released as part of the Sew4Home Maker’s Club; this bag pattern is now available exclusively in the S4H Etsy Shop. Our thorough step-by-step instructions cover how to create two types of straps, insert push locks, add piping, plus more professional details that will take your bag making skills to the next level. 

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Products We Love: Pillow Talk Book and Kits by Edyta Sitar

Thursday, 24 October 2019 1:00

Who loves pillows? We love pillows! Actually, we think it’s safe to say that everyone loves pillows. How could you not? They’re soft and pretty, and their flat surface is the perfect foundation for design. The lovely and creative, Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts has taken that pillow top design to a wonderful new level in Pillow Talk, her latest book with It’s Sew Emma. Read on to take a look inside at the 25 eye-popping pillows and discover the 25 companion Pillow Talk fabric kits available starting this month at Fat Quarter Shop. 

How to Narrow Wide Webbing to Fit Small Hardware

Tuesday, 22 October 2019 1:00

The stars do not always align. The square peg does not fit the round hole. Sometimes the perfect webbing or strapping you’ve selected for a shoulder bag or similar project is simply too darn wide for the D-ring or Swivel Hook you really want/need to use. Try this quick trick to bring your wide webbing down to size.

How to Make and Install Inset Zippers

Thursday, 17 October 2019 1:00

We call this a "flat top" zipper. We've also heard it referred to as a set-in zipper and a recessed zipper. You can make up your very own name; the Penelope Zipper would be one option. You've undoubtedly seen this type of zipper on loads of handbags and totes. It sits below the top of the bag, running flat across the top (thus the vote for my name), featuring tabs at either end (to hold on to, making it easy to zip open and shut), and is secured to the bag's lining with a simple facing (which is what allows it to be recessed). When you want a professional look plus the security of a full closure, you can't go wrong with the inset-flat top-set-in-recessed-Penelope zipper. Read on to see how easy it can be.

Halloween Fun with Dritz Cheesecloth + Six Everyday Uses

Wednesday, 16 October 2019 1:00

At the risk of sounding a little cheesy, don’t you love it when you re-discover a been-around-forever kind of product that is inexpensive, natural, re-usable, and super versatile? May we re-introduce you to: Dritz Cheesecloth. This time of year, it’s a super fun Halloween decorating material, but it’s also a year-round option for cooking, cleaning, crafting, and more. 

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Products We Love: The Oliso Mini Project Iron

Monday, 14 October 2019 1:00

Have you ever seen anyone so happy about ironing? Yep, that’s me in the photo above with our new Oliso Mini Project Iron. This little marvel started hitting online and in-store retail outlets just this past summer, and we’ve been waiting to get our hands on one. Now that we have, we are not letting go. We love the full-size Oliso irons we use in our studios, but my-oh-my – this mighty mini is a new favorite. 

How to Make Darts to Create Contours

Tuesday, 08 October 2019 1:00

You may be familiar with darts as those pointy things you throw at a dartboard on the wall of your favorite pub. Although they don't fly, darts in sewing are still vital components of the overall sewn project. For the most part, sewing darts look quite similar to their gaming counterpart. They are wide on one end and pointy on the other. Pub darts are all about a smooth trajectory and pinpoint accuracy. Sewing darts are also big on smooth lines and precise points, but their function is all about shape. No matter what kind of sewing you do, sooner or later, you will likely have to sew a dart. Throwing darts... you can do on your own time.

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