One of the most common requests we receive is for help selecting the best thread for a project. The types from which you can choose can seem almost endless when you’re staring at the hundreds of pretty spools at your favorite retailer. We turned to our friends, Ellen March and Pamela Cox from Sulky America for some expert advice – particularly about cotton thread options. Read on for their insights and information as well as to find out which myths they’re bustin’.
There you stand in the fabric store, staring at that giant display of bias tapes and bindings in front of you, the shiny cellophane packages glinting in their neat, color coordinated rows. Single fold, double fold, blanket, quilt. Geeze! What's what? Do you just throw a dart and hope for the best? No! You study your Sew4Home Sizing ID Chart and get exactly what you really need.
A skosh, a wee bit, just a hair... sometimes, the distances we want to work with when sewing aren't quite as precise as the engraved inch and millimeter markings on our machines. Wouldn't it be great if there was a foot you could manually adjust to perfectly align with the exact distance you wanted? There is! The Janome Sliding Guide Foot has a perfectly balanced outboard guide you can smoothly slide to the right then lock into place, from ⅜" to 1⅛" from the center needle drop (10mm - 30mm). I love it when someone answers my "wouldn't-it-be-great" requests!
If you’re a Sew4Home regular, you know we are an exclusive Janome studio, which means we are lucky enough to use their amazing machines for all our projects. We’ve been Janome fans for YEARS (decades really) and have never found another line with better precision, power, innovation, and flexibility – from the top of the line all the way through to the introductory models. We’ve done a number of articles over the years on some of our favorite Janome presser feet, because using the right foot for the job is extremely important to the finished look of your project. Many people rarely change out their presser foot, often because they’re just not sure what to do with that bag o’ extra feet that came with their machine! Is that you?! Janome has tackled this “excuse” with a new Presser Foot Workbook series that gives you a working knowledge of their most popular feet – both standard and specialty and even the feet for the Cover Pro serger. Take a look at our overview, then visit your local Janome dealer for more information on how to build your own set.
Life can get a little sticky sometimes. In general, that statement covers a vast array of scenarios. But in the world of sewing, we’re usually talking about laminates, vinyls, faux leather, oil cloth, and the other sticky fabric substrates that look cool but can be challenging to sew. The surfaces of these specialty fabrics love to drag across your presser foot and/or needle plate, causing your stitching to bunch or break. Plus, with non-wovens, once you make a hole it’s there to stay. So the last thing you want are extra holes due to messed up seams. The Janome Ultra Glide Foot and its accompanying Needle Plate give you the ability to sew through your sticky situations like a hot knife through butter.
“Up against the wall.” “We’re stuck on you.” “If these walls could talk.” The introductory lines came fast and furiously for this article about the new designer wallpaper from Hawthorne Supply Co.. But what it finally came down to was: Wow. Just. Wow. We’ve always loved wallpaper – just not putting up wallpaper. In fact, the closest I’ve ever come to physically harming another person was during the installation of wallpaper in my son’s nursery. So when we saw the news this past November about the Peel and Stick Wallpaper from Hawthorne Supply Co., we were thrilled. Read on for all the details and direct links for shopping and buying. Because it’s from the creative minds at Hawthorne Supply Co., you know it will be easy to browse, of the highest quality, and pretty, pretty, pretty!
Pleats have been with us for centuries as a functional and/or decorative way to reduce the size of a piece of fabric. They are firmly ensconced in fashion sewing, but are also perfect in numerous home décor applications, like bed skirts, window treatments, and table linens. We’ve even incorporated them as unique embellishments on a petite purse and a decorator pillow. Their only drawback… they are rather “fussy” to create; your measuring, marking, and folding have to be very precise (read: very time consuming). But where challenges exist, the creative brains of the sewing world step in with a solution. Our friend, Claudia Buchanan of Home Sewing Depot sent us her Quick Pleater tools to test. Read on to see how we made quick work of both knife pleats and box pleats.
We are big on bags here at Sew4Home, which means we're always on the lookout for cool bag accessories; such as closures, handles, hardware, and more. One look we love is the addition of leather and faux leather handles (both pre-drilled and un-drilled), as well as medallions and patches. But, it can be a challenge to find the right tool to make securing these add-ons easy for all levels of sewers. Thanks to our friends at Dritz®, we have our go-to solution: The Speedy Stitcher® from Dritz Home, a sewing awl kit that makes attaching these kind of cool items, as well as many other tasks, fast and easy.
If a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, I'm guessing this three-in-one presser foot is easily worth a bird, a hand and a bush. We love a cool accessory that does several things, and the Janome Clear View Quilting Foot and Guide Set is one of our favorite multi-tasking tools. It comes with two guides: the Quarter Inch Guide and the Ditch Stitch Guide. The foot itself is clearly marked with red guide lines for ⅛" and ¼" seam allowances, as well as cornering marks for both ⅛" and ¼" seams in front and behind the needle drop. The foot is super easy to use and very lightweight. But be careful, the little guides are the Barbie® shoes of sewing; they could very easily get lost. Keep everything together in a little plastic bag. And don't let the name fool you; even though it says "quilting" on the package, this foot comes in handy for any project that requires precise seaming or topstitching. The foot is available in both standard width (7mm) as well as wide width (9mm).
Sergers. For some, the word alone can send them screaming into the darkest corners of their sewing rooms. “The threading… not the threading… make it stop!” Well, perhaps that’s a wee bit dramatic, but the fear of threading the loopers on a serger, “Sergiothreadaphobia” as it is known in medical circles, keeps many a sewer from adding this powerful tool to their compliment of machines. If you’re a regular Sew4Home follower, you know we are an all-Janome studio, and so we are thrilled to tell you about their newest serger: the Airthread 2000D Professional – Serging Simplified. Available now at Authorized Janome Dealers in the US and Canada.