Beads have always been a favorite embellishment of mine. I think it's because they can add dimension and texture and color in one fell swoop. But my-oh-my, putting them on is a struggle and a half. Hand sewing in an option, if you have a few spare days. And machine sewing can be like trying to ride your bike over a field of BBs (no... I haven't actually done that, but I know it would be tricky and very slippery). Luckily for me (and my bicycle), our friends at Janome have a cool set of presser feet made exactly for what I want to do: quickly attach strands of beads of various widths. Can a glittering gown for next year's Oscars be far behind?!
One of our very first articles on Sew4Home (way back in the old days of 2009!) 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're happy to announce one of the newest S4H supporters is the venerable Coats & Clark - purveyors, for nearly 200 years, of some of the best thread in the business. 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. We worked with Coats & Clark to update our thread information to help you understand not only the standard choices, but some of the specialty options as well.
There you stand in the fabric store, that giant display of bias tapes and bindings in front of you, its 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 bring your Sew4Home Cheat Sheet with you and get exactly what you really need.
You know how they are always comparing cool new things to sliced bread and mouse traps? To me, neither of these items rank very high on the cool-o-meter on their own, so I don't quite understand their intrinsic comparison value. Even so, they are easily blown away by the product we just finished testing here at S4H: the Simplicity Bias Tape Maker . It's cooler than a piece of sliced bread caught in a better mouse trap, which ranks it at the very tip-top of the cool-o-meter. As those of you who are frequent visitors know, we love using binding on our projects, especially custom binding in great coordinating fabrics. However, we don't love the rather tedious process of actually making that beautiful custom binding. So, when we got the opportunity to give this automatic binding maker a try, we were thrilled... and a little bit giggly with anticipation.