We love to gather with friends and family to share good food and conversation. We enjoy gathering with like-minded folks to attend concerts and other events. In these contexts, gathering is fun and easy. By comparison, in sewing... gathering is often known as daunting or simply too time-consuming! We believe all gathering should be fun and easy, and we aim to change the perception of gathering with a sewing machine. After reading this tutorial, we bet you’ll be inviting all your sewing friends over to convince them just how easy it is to gather fabric. If you do this, we think you should call it "gatherers gathering on gathers!"
One of our most popular S4H series is our Sewing Cheat Cards. Each card covers an important, need-to-know sewing tip or technique in a handy business card size: 2” wide x 3½” high. That’s small enough to tuck into your wallet or tack up on the bulletin board in your sewing space. All the individual Cheat Cards are still available on the site (simply use the site's Search Box to search on 'Cheat Card' in general or use any of the specific titles listed below to browse via the Search or through our Project Index), but we’d gotten numerous requests to offer a full set of six. So that’s just what we did. Since this is National Sewing Month, it seemed like the perfect time to remind you of them all. You can download a set for yourself and all your friends instantly from our Sew4HomeShop on Etsy.
One of the hallmarks of a professional job is when the inside of your project looks as great as the outside. We have a full four-part series, and this tutorial (number 3 of 4) reviews a couple of the more unique options: the mock (or false) French seam and the French wrapped seam. The mock French seam uses a standard straight stitch, the French wrapped seam takes the straight stitch in combination with a zig zag stitch. These are basic stitches you'll find on any sewing machine, which means there’s no reason not to incorporate them into your seam finishes toolbox.
The stars do not always align. The square peg does not fit the round hole. Sometimes the perfect webbing or strapping you’ve selected for a shoulder bag or similar project is simply too dang wide for the D-ring or Swivel Hook you really want/need to use. Try this quick trick to bring your wide webbing down to size.
If you are new to sewing, some of the terminology can be confusing. Doesn't "bolt" mean to run away? Cutting something on the "bias" just sounds offensive. And, "feed dogs" seems more like a command than a sewing machine part. Trying to understand exactly what the various terms mean, how they work, and especially when to use them may seem daunting. But, as you learn each one, they'll become commonplace, and soon "nap" will mean more than dropping off for a little snooze. Today, we meet: understitching, which is not a seam done in a sneaky or under-handed manner and/or by Underdog. Read on to find out what it really is.
One of the most satisfying things in the world of DIY is when you get to overcome the mystery of “how the heck do they do that?!” You know what we mean. You’re looking at a home décor item, thinking, “I really need one of those, but it is WAY too expensive for my budget. I wish I could do it myself, but… how the heck do they do that?!” Prepare to be satisfied (and inspired). We’re taking a look at Decorative Nails and Decorative Nailhead Trim with the upholstery experts at Dritz® Home. They make adding this high-end detail incredibly easy. And, it’s not just for upholstery make-overs. Imagine adding these metal accents to furniture, frames and other accessories, even doors and ceilings. Oh yeah! We’re about to hit the nail on the head!
The square pillow – it's a decorating staple and a great way to freshen up a room. You pick your favorite fabric, measure carefully, and cut two perfect squares. You sew the seams, pivoting at each corner with precision, and insert the pillow form. You set the finished pillow on the sofa, and... Hey! That pillow doesn't look square! Instead of crisp straight edges, the sides curve in toward the center and the corners are floppy. Use this quick pro tip to learn how a slight curve can create a better square.
Window coverings seem to be one of our most basic needs. As soon as you get some sort of shelter, you're looking for a way to cover the windows for privacy. In college, I simply used push-pins to hold a sheet across my apartment's bedroom window. I let it hang down at night, and during the day I held it back with a binder clip from my Economics textbook. Not very stylish, but at least it blocked the view of the dumpsters. Now I know window coverings are a great DIY project; and simple enough for the beginning sewer. Straight edges. Simple, straight stitches. The individual steps couldn't be easier. But even the most basic curtain project can go awry without some good planning. And the most important part of that planning is knowing how to take proper measurements.
Narrow tucks, called pintucks when they are super-duper narrow, are most often used in the world of heirloom sewing, but they can add a lovely bit of detail to many other types of projects. You can create this look quickly and easily with your Quarter Inch Seam foot. Tucks can be sewn in thread to match the fabric for a classic tone-on-tone look. Or, switch to a contrasting thread for extra detail along the stitch line. For even more embellishment, amp up the accent with decorative stitching between tucks or directly on top of each tuck.
There's always a certain amount of hemming and hawing about having to hem. Just about every project you do includes some sort of a hem, and there are so many techniques from which to choose. There is the simple double-turn hem, blind hem, faced hem, covered hem, taped hem, curved hem, single hem, narrow hem, cuffed hem, and bias hem. Then there are all the special hemming techniques for certain fabric types, such as leather, fur or lace, as well as projects with scalloped edges or pleats. Whew! But even with all these choices, there is one particular type of hem we receive more questions about than any of the others: the rolled hem. Since it's at the top of our You Asked 4 It list, let's get rollin'.