A circle has 360˚ – we all learned that in school, but we didn’t always learn how to use those 30 dozen degrees to create the angles that make up some of our favorite shapes. Our latest Sew4Home Cheat Card is the third installment in our Basics Shapes trio. It focuses on the most common angles used in sewing and how, with just a trusty protractor and some basic math, you can create your own custom paper piecing shapes, five and six pointed star appliqués, triangles, squares, pentagons, hexagons, octagons, and more.
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.
Whether you’re a novice or an advanced sewer, you’ve likely heard the term "basting." And, we don't mean the yummy Thanksgiving turkey technique! In sewing, basting is a temporary straight stitch used to hold layers together until a final stitch is sewn. Since it’s a long, loose stitch, a basting stitch removes easily after sewing is complete. In this tutorial, we’ll explain 1) how to determine if your sewing machine has a basting stitch, 2) when to use a basting stitch in your sewing projects, and 3) why hand basting is sometimes needed as well.
We've all seen this popular little clasp. It's the go-to closure on everything from casual backpacks to high-end handbags. As with anything that includes moving parts, and may involve tools to install, it can seem intimidating. You might opt instead for a simple button closure, a snap, or simply hope a flap stays put on its own. Here's the secret about this two-part lock: it's actually quite easy to put in. The key is confirming the placement of both halves, but that's just a matter of careful measuring and double-checking. So what are you waiting for? On the next project that features a flap or strap to secure – go pro with a tuck lock.
In honor of Halloween, we'd like to remind you of some ghastly things we all try to get away with when we think no one is looking. The sewing police aren't going to haul you away for these minor infractions, but they are little tricks we try to pull for which we should get no treats! Kind of like convincing yourself chocolate is part of the dairy food group. If you want the very best results, kicking your bad habits to the curb is important. Which of these are you guilty of? What other ones would you add?
It’s always exciting to begin a new sewing project. We’re eager to get started, and test stitching can feel like a roadblock to the creativity to come. However, ripping out a bad seam or ruining an expensive piece of fabric with a gnarl of thread is an even greater roadblock. Taking just a few minutes at the beginning of every project to test your stitches is another Quick Tip that leads to a pro finish.
Our recent Basic Shapes Cheat Card #1 brought you fun facts about the smooth curves of The Circle. Time to straighten up and fly right with the most common of the angular geometric shapes. Are these all of them? Not at all, but they are the ones you are likely to come across in your sewing projects and patterns. If you wanted to know more about obtuse angles, rhomboids, and parallelograms… you should have paid better attention in Mr. Crutchfield's math class. Oh he saw you passing notes, yes he did.
There are lots of straight lines in sewing, but we love the circle. In fact, in my humble opinion, the circle is the Queen of the geometric shapes. Don't get me wrong; I like all those squares, rectangles, triangles, octagons, and whatnot; but the circle is the coolest of the bunch: smooth and pretty and endlessly useful. Our latest sewing Cheat Card explains the parts of a circle and why you need Pi (not pie).
We were going to call this tutorial: Bias Binding: Basics & Beyond, however, we decided to forgo the clever alliteration and instead focus on the key words we hear whenever we receive questions about this topic: "How do you figure out how much fabric you need?" "How do you cut all the strips?" "How do you sew all the strips together?" "How do you put it on your project so it looks smooth and pretty?" "Why is the sky blue?" It's time to collect all the scattered tips and information into one updated article. We'll address all four of the most common questions: yardage, cutting, making, and attaching. You're on your own for the blue skies!
Want to know the long and the short of it?! Making an adjustable strap can seem like a magic rope trick with all the weaving and threading this way and that. But, it’s really quite an easy technique and makes the strap so much more useful. Lengthen to wear cross body, shorten for a shoulder strap or to hand carry. The technique also works great for instrument straps. We show you the easy steps, using handy Dritz® hardware.