A skosh, a wee bit, just a hair... sometimes, the distances we want to work with in 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!
One of things we are asked about on a regular basis is sergers. For many people, even seasoned sewers, they are equal parts tantalizing and terrifying. They can do so many cool things at once: seam, trim, and finish – all at lightning speed. But to make it happen, there are a lot of threads working together and… knives! Luckily, the benefits should outweigh your apprehensions. Adding a serger to your sewing room arsenal is a great way to save time and give your seams a professional quality finish. We put together our top five reasons for making a serger your sewing machine’s newest companion.
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 of our very first articles on Sew4Home was how to go about selecting the right thread for your project. It's still one of the most important topics to talk about; after all, thread is what's holding everything together! We worked with our friends at Coats to put together a handy overview that can help you understand not only the standard choices, but some of the specialty options as well. It was the dawn of the 1800s when Patrick Clark developed a method of twisting cotton yarns together to produce a thread so strong and smooth it could replace the natural silk used in the looms of the day. Coats continues to produce some of the best thread in the business.
We love it when the delivery dude shows up with a box from Dritz® because great new products are likely to be inside! The clever minds at Dritz® are always working on new ways to make our sewing and crafting better, easier, and more fun. Today we're showcasing five new items we liked and think you will too. You can find Dritz® notions at in-store and online retailers everywhere.
The Janome Flower Stitch Attachment is the flower girl of the sewing accessory world, allowing you to sprinkle pretty posies over any project. The attachment fits Janome low shank sewing machines with a maximum stitch width of 7mm. It is not compatible with machines that include embroidery, have the Janome AcuFeed™ or AcuFeed Flex™ systems, or feature a maximum 9mm stitch width. What a fun and easy way to add little decorative stitch touches in pretty thread colors!
Before she became a fabulous fabric designer, Lori Holt of Bee In My Bonnet was a quilting teacher. This not only gave her a chance to pass on her skills to a new generation of creative sewers and crafters, she also identified two things that consistently frustrate beginners: 1) fabric pieces turned the wrong way, and 2) not being able to keep an accurate seam allowance. Putting her inventive mind to work, Lori developed two simple tools to help solve these problems and make it easier to be precise, confident, and ultimately more creative... and they're not just for beginners! You'll love her Portable Design Boards and Sew Easy! Seam Guides. Our thanks to Fat Quarter Shop for bringing both cool tools to our attention so we can share the news with you.
The Artistic Edge Digital Cutter makes it easy to get creative with your sewing projects in ways that simply weren't possible before. If you look just at what it does in appliqué – one of its many capabilities – you're going to think of dozens... maybe hundreds of ways to use it. That's not an exaggeration. We've been immersing ourselves in everything this updated cutter can do, and it's almost overwhelming. If you have an embroidery machine, you're going to want to take a serious look at how the Edge can expand what you can do. If you don't have an embroidery machine, the Edge may just make you want to get one – immediately.
Thank you for your support! Words to live by when you're deciding how best to interface a project. Interfacing is one of those behind-the-scenes sewing materials that gives your projects a professional finish. You've probably heard of it, but maybe you don't know exactly what it is, what it does, or how best to choose the correct type for the job. This category is so large and varied, it's impractical to tackle everything at once, which is why we're focusing this article on the most common choices for bags and totes. You'll love the handy, printable chart we developed with our friends at Fabric Depot. Print out one copy to post in your sewing room and another to use when you shop. If you like the information here, leave us a comment below and let us know which additional interfacing categories you'd like us to review.
Since early this year, we've been having fun playing with several of the exclusive new fabric collections from Hawthorne Threads. Owners, Charlie and Lindsay Prezzano took the leap into the fabric design waters with both feet... that would be four feet with a running start. The motifs themselves have been lovely, and to top it off, they print their fabrics on-site using the latest digital technology. The process is very precise and the resulting cotton prints have sharp lines and vivid colors. And speaking of colors... today we're using the Hawthorne Threads online experience to show you a bit of what happens behind the scenes when we build a Sew4Home project. The Hawthorne Threads site navigation, and the way they've structured their integrated color palettes, is well-thought-out, user friendly, and built with creativity in mind.
In the past, there have been entire accessory systems to achieve this unique embellishment technique, sometimes referred to "yarn embroidery." Now, with the Janome Free Motion Couching Foot Set, you can do it with a simple change of your presser foot. It results in a cool textured effect and is very easy to do... like drawing with yarn. We're already scheming on possible uses for future projects.