These days, when you can see six amazing things on YouTube before breakfast, it’s bold to use the word "wonder" in a product name. So when we got our hands on a set of Clover Wonder Clips from our friends at Fabric Depot, we wondered what could be so special about a little plastic clip to merit the W word in its name. Then we used them. Within minutes, we had to come up with a revised title for our review: To Have And To Hold: How Clover Wonder Clips Beat Pins And Make Sewing Easier.
In the Sew4Home studios, we’re dedicated fans of Janome sewing machines and sergers; in fact, they're our exclusive sewing machine sponsor. So we were delighted when Janome offered us a brand new Skyline S5 to test drive! They call the machine, "Anything but Average," and we could certainly see why. This computerized sewing machine has many features previously found only on Janome’s most top-of-the-line models. And like all the Janome models, the precision and ease-of-use right out of the box doesn't disappoint.
We're pleased to welcome Fabric Depot as a new sponsor to Sew4Home. This amazing fabric retailer is in our own backyard here in the Pacific Northwest, in an enormous "candy store" of a location in Portland, Oregon with over 20,000 fabrics from home dec to quilting to bridal and more. But there's also a complete Fabric Depot website, recently updated, revamped, and very easy to navigate. Not only will we be working with their incredible variety of fabric, we'll also be introducing you to some of the favorite, useful notions we've found at Fabric Depot. Often, the most exciting notions look rather nondescript inside their cardboard boxes and cellophane wrappers. Our goal is to break open the packaging, show you how to use these cool tools, and inspire you to add one or more to your own sewing basket. Following our how-to articles will be great projects that showcase the notions. Today, we're happy to be hemming. The Clover Hot Hemmer is one of the best little pressing tools we've come across in a long time.
I have to admit the first thing that drew me to this product was the name. How could you not want to learn more about something called Getta Grip?! Getta Grip® Sewing Clips are the brainchild of designer and fashion illustrator, Paul Gallo. They are now packaged and available from Dritz, which means they're affordable and easy to find just about anywhere. One thing you're always trying to do in sewing is "hold it together." Mentally - sure, there are days, but we're talking about keeping layers from shifting, forming flat fabric around a dimensional shape, or stopping specialty fabrics from slip, sliding away. These clips hold fast but won't damage the surface they're gripping.
Many folks learn to appreciate foam padding after trying to sleep on the bumpy floor of a tent. If this has happened to you, I bet you would have paid anything for just a 1" thick camping pad. In the indoor world of home décor, foam is also roundly appreciated. It makes it easy to create nearly any kind of cushion you want. The only limits to what you can do with foam: 1) finding it, and 2) affording it. To get the proper type of denser foam in larger sizes, you usually have to go to a special foam store. I love my "foam dude" and he will cut me just about any shape I need. But the price, yikes! Enough foam for a lounge chair pad could be over a hundred bucks. So we were very pleased to learn that our friends at Fairfield had come out with a line of foam with three important qualities: 1) the resilience you need for decor projects, 2) an affordable price, and 3) you can find it at over 1,400 Walmart stores – just grab and go.
To say life would be hard without pillows would be putting it mildly. Where else would we hide a tooth for the Tooth Fairy? What else would we hit each other with in a harmless fight? Beyond their practical function as a headrest when we sleep and a way to soften hard furniture when we sit, pillows can be a dramatic decorating accent and are among the easiest projects to sew. We have dozens of pillow projects for you to choose from right here at Sew4Home. For this article, we thought we'd pull together everything you need to know before launching into pillow making: a little history, the basic types, and what we recommend stuffing inside. We heartily endorse the huge variety of Fairfield pillow inserts and fillers, and jumped at the chance to have them sponsor this article. We didn't even have to sleep on it.
Your project instructions call for two yards of 60" wide fabric, but the fabric you want to use is 45" wide. Hmmm... attempting to dredge up that old math lesson in proportions is probably not going to happen on the fly. Instead, print out our handy conversion chart for those times you don't have a pattern envelope with a yardage conversion table.
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 used only cute little hotel shampoos. However, for some sewers, especially beginning sewers, their set of tools is about at the same level as the free repair kit. If that's the case with you sewing basket, you have some shopping to do. Having better quality accessories 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.
Years ago the Thermos® company had the slogan, "Keeps hot things hot and cold things cold." You can't say it much better than that. Did you know there are fabrics that help you do the same thing? These aren't the heavy industrial materials that keep steelworkers, astronauts, and firefighters safe, but honest-to-goodness fabrics you can actually sew with.
The job of the presser foot on your sewing machine is to hold the fabric against the feed dogs and guide it in a straight line as you sew. That's why you have to raise the presser foot when you want to move your fabric out from under the needle. You can do quite a lot of sewing with just the standard foot that came with your machine, however, some techniques can be a bit of a challenge with this very basic foot. That's when it helps to know about all the great specialty feet that are available. Sewing machine feet come in a wide array of designs; picking the right one for the job can make things go so much easier and faster, and can also give you much more professional looking results.