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Quick Tip: Working With PUL (Polyurethane Laminate)

Tuesday, 20 July 2010 9:00

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What is soft, pliable, and waterproof; can withstand fairly high temperatures; and holds up to a lot of use? Like me, your first guess might have been those dang swimming pool noodles you always buy too many of and then never know what to do with once summer is over. But... the real answer is: PUL, polyurethane laminate if you wish to be formal. The broad category refers to any fabric with a polyurethane laminated to a base fabric. Most common is a polyester knit fabric laminated to a thin waterproof, non-breathable polyurethane backing. Originally developed for use in the medical industry, it's very durable and very popular right now for folks making diapers, diaper covers, changing pads, bibs, training pants, and outside the world of babies, it's often used to create reusable sandwich, snack and lunch bags. As with most man-made fabrics, there are some tips and techniques that make sewing with PUL easier.

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How To Attach Metal Rivets On Sewing Projects

Thursday, 15 July 2010 9:00

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They're everywhere. Airliners have rivets. The pockets of your Levis® have rivets. Frogs make the sound, "rrriiiiiivvvet." That last example probably isn't applicable, but it kinda makes you wonder, doesn't it? Not only are rivets ubiquitous, they look super professional when used on a sewing project. Rivets also have a very logical purpose: they hold loads of thick layers together at points where it would be impossible to stitch with a sewing machine.

Donna Babylon: Quick Tip – How To Find & Work With Design Repeats

Tuesday, 29 June 2010 9:00

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Your project calls for a panel of fabric two or even three times wider than the fabric you bought at the store. No problem. You're going to sew multiple widths together to get the bigger width you need. But you can't just start cutting widths of your fabric. The pattern isn't going to match up and/or your beautiful design motif is going to end up in the wrong place on your project. Instead of wasting expensive fabric through trial and error, you need to figure out your cuts based on the fabric's design repeat.

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Donna Babylon: Quick Tip – Make A Perfect Match When A Seam Goes Through A Design

Tuesday, 22 June 2010 9:00

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'Matchmaker, Matchmaker, make me a match,' the girls sang in Fiddler On The Roof . They wanted husbands. But they could just as well have been singing about matching up both sides of a seam when goes through the middle of a design. Both kinds of matches can be tricky to pull off. And even worse, they're obvious to everybody when not done correctly.

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How to Apply Metal Snaps to Fabric

Wednesday, 16 June 2010 10:00

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For some sewing applications, there's nothing that works quite as well as a metal snap. They're easier to use than buttons and more durable than Velcro. That's why they're used in everything from mountain climbing jackets, to yacht covers, to baby clothes. Just think how long it would take an NBA player to jump up from the bench and get into the game, if he didn't have "quick release" sweat pants with snaps running up both sides. He'd probably fall into the stands trying to pull his sweats off over those big shoes. Installing snaps is pretty simple. You just take a series of tiny metal rings (which can be set up twenty wrong ways and only one right way) line them up within a millimeter of perfection, and then crush the whole assemblage together as hard as you can through several layers of fabric. What could possibly go wrong?

Donna Babylon: Quick Tip – Joining Fabric Widths to Make an Extra Wide Panel

Wednesday, 09 June 2010 9:00

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I call it, 'The Great Divide.' Your window valance needs to be 82" wide, but your home decor fabric is only 54" wide. If you just sew an additional 28" onto one side, that'll make the fabric's design repeat look totally wacky. So... do you put off sewing the valance until they come out with 82" wide fabric? No, because then you'd also have to give up sewing duvet covers, curtains, slip covers and anything else requiring fabric wider than what comes off the bolt. It's time to ask our friend, and home décor expert, Donna Babylon. She explains that when you join fabric widths to make an extra wide panel, you need to make sure it's added to either side of the center fabric piece and it's done symmetrically – the same on both sides of the center point.

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Donna Babylon: Quick Tip – How To Tell If Your Fabric Is "On Grain"

Tuesday, 01 June 2010 9:00

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It's something you might not have noticed until you started sewing. The pattern on a printed fabric is not always lined up with the grain of the fabric (the up-and-down and side-to-side direction of the thread -- the warp and weft). Back when all patterns were woven into fabrics this wasn't a problem because the weave was the pattern. But now with most patterns being printed onto the fabric after it's woven, the 'registration' can be off a little. Or a lot. And that can wreak havoc with your sewing.

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How to Measure for a Round Tablecloth

Wednesday, 21 April 2010 10:00

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One of the most common questions we get here at Sew4Home is how to measure for different projects. In particular, we had a number of folks who wanted to know an easy way to measure and make a simple ROUND tablecloth. Rather than go round-and-round with it ourselves, we turned to our friend and home décor expert, Donna Babylon for a few of her professional tips.

How to Sew on Buttons by Machine

Wednesday, 31 March 2010 9:00

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Sewing on buttons by hand is one of my least favorite tasks. But, I LOVE using buttons on my projects. I had a dilemma. That's why I was so excited when I learned how easy it is to sew buttons using my sewing machine – and you don't need a fancy one to do it. As long as your sewing machine can do a zigzag stitch, and the feed dogs can be lowered, you can sew on buttons galore by machine!

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