I love those little emergency sewing kits they have at hotels. They're a life saver if you lose a button right before an important meeting or have another kind of "wardrobe malfunction." But I wouldn't dream of using them for my regular sewing – anymore than I'd open a hair salon that only carried those cute little hotel shampoos. However, for some sewers, especially beginning sewers, their set of tools is at about the same level as the free repair kit. If that's the case with your sewing basket, you have some shopping to do. Having better quality tools and notions actually helps you achieve better results on your projects. It can make the difference between a project that was fun to create and you're proud to display, and one you feel like hurling out the window. This is also a great article to share with friends who are just learning to sew. Helping them collect the right basic tools is one of the best ways to make sure they start off on the right foot.
If you’re a Sew4Home regular, you know we don’t traditionally present a lot of projects in the wearables category. Of course, there are all our super popular aprons and a few other easy items, but in terms of fitted garments, we tend to leave those to other experts. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t love to make things for ourselves in our spare time. And, yes, a) we do make things for ourselves (now and then) and b) we do have spare time (a wee bit), which is why we were excited to play with the My Double Deluxe Dressform by Dritz®. These beauties actually arrived at our studios a couple months ago, and we’ve been putting them through their paces, but saved our article until now in order to suggest that a Dritz® dress form just might be the perfect holiday gift for your favorite garment sewer – or yourself!
There are lots of embellishment ideas out there, but for our money, it just doesn’t get much more fun and versatile than pom poms and tassels. If you’re a regular Sew4Home follower, you know we’re fans of both, and have already done our own step-by-step tutorials on making each. But we’re always up for learning new ways, and so were quite captivated with this all-in-one kit from Boye that makes poms and tassels in a huge variety of sizes. Our super creative friend, Michele Muska sent us the kit to try along with a bunch of samples she’s made using the tools. It’s an embellishment explosion!
Whether you make your own binding tape or purchase packaged bias tape, a cleanly bound edge is the perfect finish for so many projects. It’s definitely one of our favorites. However, getting a smooth and even edge along a skinny binding can be challenging. And we all know, the first thing that will keep you up at night is wavy topstitching. Well, there are probably other things keeping you up at night, but we’re kind of obsessed with straight seams. Hallelujah, there’s a new specialty presser foot from Janome that is letting us get a bit more shut eye: the Taping Guide Foot!
Fluffy poms are great for any number of projects. We've used them to add extra whimsy to an already fun project, as well as to juxtapose a bit of casualness against the elegance of fine cotton or velvet - kind of like wearing Converse® high-tops with a tuxedo. A little bit of levity can add just the right touch. Whether you need one great pom or dozens, a Clover Pom Pom Maker simplifies the task, and each one will be as perfectly puffy as the next. Find some yarn and get ready to get fluffy.
Quality ribbons are little bits of beauty. In our Sew4Home studios, the go-to choice is Renaissance Ribbons. How would you like to get a package of these gorgeous ribbons every month… as well as fabulous project ideas for how to use them? Renaissance Ribbons has just launched their first ever Ribbon Lovers' Club! These are the breathtaking woven Jacquard ribbons for which Renaissance is famous. Read on to find out how you can get your own little bits of beauty each and every month!
That is one delicious sounding title, isn’t it? But before you start searching in your baking cabinet for ingredients, this recipe is all about a fast and easy way to create perfect half square triangles to mix and match into a variety of gorgeous blocks. You may have heard about the Cake Mix Recipe Cards and Cupcake Mix Recipe Cards from Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co. for Moda Fabrics, which are designed to perfectly fit the popular 10” x 10” layer cake squares as well as the 5” x 5” charm pack squares. It’s triangle paper taken to a new level! This newest set of recipe cards has been created for the exclusive Fat Quarter Shop 5” x 10” Jolly Bar pre-cuts. These unique pattern overlays allow you to stitch directly through the pre-marked paper, using their guidelines for precise stitching and cutting. Tear away the paper when you’re done to reveal your perfect finished squares.
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®.
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. For more basic sewing machines, it's a fun and easy way to add little decorative stitch touches in pretty thread colors!
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, we hadn't pinpointed the right tool to make securing these add-ons easy enough for all levels of sewers. Thanks to our friends at Dritz®, we have our 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.