We've been asked numerous times by Sew4Home visitors, "How do you get your double rows of stitching so perfectly even?" We've quietly given out our secret to several of you. But now we've decided it's time to reveal it to the world. The way to get perfectly even, super close, double rows of stitching is... to use a twin needle. If you're one of those people who think twin needles are way too complicated, you're in for a very pleasant surprise: twice the stitching is half as hard as you might imagine.
Rick rack or rickrack or ricrac, however you spell it, there’s no denying it’s been at the top of the trim list for near 200 years. Earliest mentions of this wavy wonder date back to the mid-1800s! At its most simplified, rick rack is defined as a flat, narrow woven braid in a zig zag form. It was originally known as “waved crochet braid.” That’s right! Rick rack’s history is not as homespun as you might think. Rick rack was a preferred trim for fancy handwork in the late-19th and early-20th century, a sought-after component of crocheted lace designs. Because the harsh laundry methods of the time involved boiling-hot water, grated lye soap, and large wooden paddles, the durability of rick rack made it a favorite with seamstresses who were tasked with applying or repairing the much more delicate laces. From elegant lace gowns to prairie pinafores, it’s a trim that’s weathered the test of time and we have the best tips for adding it to today’s projects.
A straight line. It seems like the most basic thing you can do when sewing. But we’re amazed by the number of comments and questions we get from S4H visitors who want to know how to do it better, easier, and more consistently. We don’t have any magical powers to make our seams and topstitching look great. What we do know is that using the right foot for the job is the real secret to a beautifully straight line. Because we’re an exclusive Janome studio, our specialty presser feet suggestions are from the Janome selection of accessories. Your machine manufacturer may have similar options for your make and model. In either situation, the recommendation is the same: investing in a specifically designed presser foot is well worth it. It makes the process less frustrating, you can finish a task quicker, and the results are more professional.
Most sewing projects require at least a small amount of hand sewing. If you've left an opening in a seam to turn an item right side out, you may need to hand stitch the opening closed. Hems are often hand stitched. Or, you might need to hand stitch a facing in place. Whatever the task, a bit of hand stitching comes in... well, "handy." We've outlined the tools needed along with seven of the most common stitches. Simple drawings and steps show how to do each one.
A perfect match might be difficult to find in the world of relationships, but in sewing: we have you covered! When you want a pocket's motif to precisely align with the panel on which it sits, all you need is a little extra fabric, some tissue paper, and those tracing skills you learned back in kindergarten.
DIY sewing projects are rarely just two layers of quilting weight cotton floating through your machine with ease. In garment construction, pattern pieces can come together from all angles, overlapping layers and seams. With three dimensional projects, like bags, fabric baskets or heavy cushions with piping; bulk and thickness are everywhere! Keeping seams straight, needles from breaking, and fabric moving evenly under the needle is challenging (read: can make you want to throw it all out the window). But with the right presser feet and accessories, an understanding of seam grading, and the patience to go slowly and carefully, you can sew like a pro through thick and thin.
The right finishes make projects go more smoothly, look more professional, and give you an upper hand when it comes to impressing friends with your vast sewing knowledge! Making a flat felled (or flat fell) seam is a detail with a place in history as well as a place in the world of professional seam finishes. You can find references to the flat felled seam technique in vintage as well as hand sewing (once the only way to sew anything). And, if you look down right now at the inside seam of your jeans, you'll see a trademark flat felled seam.
Buttons are the perfect finishing accent to so many projects. Not to mention the fact they are also a very functional closure. But if you have to sew on a lot of buttons by hand, you might think twice about using them. I personally find sewing buttons by hand tedious, time-consuming, and I can sometimes have trouble getting them to look uniform. Sew4Home exclusive sewing machine sponsor, Janome America has come to our (and your) rescue. There's an easy method for sewing on buttons by machine. You can be sure they're securely attached, perfectly aligned, and once you've done one, your machine can use the same settings for multiple buttons of the same size.
Puckered seams. Misaligned panels. If you’ve ever tried to work with fabric cuts are that are not straight and true, you know why it’s so important to square-up your fabric. This is a technique that belongs in everyone’s sewing toolbox. Read on for our easy folding, aligning, and cutting tips plus ruler recommendations.
Going in circles doesn’t have to be a bad thing! In fact, when it comes to pretty stitching embellishments, the circle is always a winner. But… how on earth can you stitch in a truly perfect circle?! Even following a drawn line can lead to bumbles and bobbles. Our secret: the Janome Circular Sewing Attachment. It locks into position on the machine and works like a compass to sew a perfect circle every time. We’ve used it on some of our most popular projects, and although we do love it when you think we are just amazingly skilled and can do anything without even trying… we thought it was time to share our circle secret with a step-by-step tutorial that shows how easy it really is behind the scenes thanks to this cool tool.