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 aim to change the perception of gathering with a sewing machine. After reading this tutorial, we bet you’ll be inviting 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!"
I call this a "flat top" zipper. I've also heard it referred to as a set-in zipper and a recessed zipper. You can make up your very own name; the Penelope Zipper would be one option. You've undoubtedly seen this type of zipper on loads of handbags and totes. It sits below the top of the bag, running flat across the top (thus the vote for my name), featuring tabs at either end (making it easy to zip open and shut), and is secured to the bag's lining with a simple facing (which is what allows it to be recessed). When you want a professional look plus the security of a full closure, you can't go wrong with the inset-flat top-set-in-recessed-Penelope zipper. Read on to see how easy it can be.
This is not one of those square-peg-in-a-round-hole situations. But, if the idea of sewing a two-dimensional item (a flat circle) into a three-dimensional item (a tube) sounds like something from another dimension altogether, read on. We've broken it down into a simple step-by-step process and even show you two different methods.
Technology can be a wonderful thing. The ability to have immediate access to a sewing pattern is one of those wonderful things... unless you run into trouble with printing. We've answered countless emails from users who have fairly simple issues – an old version of Adobe Reader, or failure to properly set their Page Scaling. We can't solve every issue, but this guide summarizes how to print our PDF patterns, as well as how to assemble patterns that require more than one page.
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 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 perfectly 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.
A blind hem is exactly what it sounds like: a hem with stitches you barely notice. It's perfect for window coverings, the hem at the bottom of a garment, or anywhere you want a clean finished edge. When I first started sewing, attaining a perfect blind hem was like finding the Holy Grail. And then a funny thing happened, I practiced it a few times, and realized it was really easy. It's sort of like learning to use chopsticks – at first it seems so awkward and difficult and then, suddenly, it's second nature. Try a blind hem and you'll never drop a wad of sticky rice in your lap again. This is one of our most popular techniques ever on Sew4Home; so much so, we try to re-run it at least once a year in order to stamp out the fear of blind hems for both new and returning visitors.
Sewing is an art. But it does rely on science and technology as well. And then there's math with all those fractions and geometry. But most importantly... there's your machine! A good machine makes the difference – not only in the sewing experience but in the professional look of the finished project. Janome America is the exclusive sewing machine sponsor of Sew4Home and we love our studio Janomes. When you have a great machine, you can literally forget about it, and put your full concentration on the art of sewing. To borrow a line from Janome that explains this phenomenon: the easier the tools, the more creative you become. Janome machines are precise and reliable from the top of the line to the most basic entry level model. One of the very first articles we did on Sew4Home explained the parts of a basic sewing machine. We've updated that article to benefit of all the new sewing enthusiasts out there. Plus, it never hurts for any of us to dust off our skills and knowledge.
Zzzzzzzzip it! We love the sound, the look, and the functionality of zippers. But most of us are not so in love with installing them in our sewing projects. In fact, there's probably no sewing technique more dreaded than learning how to properly install a zipper. If you're a regular S4H visitor, you know that's a challenge we can't walk away from. Today, you are going to learn how to master the most conventional zipper technique. Once you’ve done so, one warning: anyone who finds out about your new skill will be dropping off all kinds of items with broken zippers on your front porch. Ha! Pull them inside, and teach them how to do it themselves! The steps shown below are for a "conventional" zipper as you might use on a garment – where the fabric meets along the center of the zipper teeth, concealing them.
In our quest to continue bringing you the information you’re searching for, we’ve been partnering with some of our pals in the sewing community to provide guest features on garment sewing. This is an area we don’t currently focus on at Sew4Home but for which we get a lot of inquiries. It’s not that we don’t love garment sewing; we just haven’t made the leap yet into full sets of sized patterns. Until we jump, our skilled friends are excellent resources and very kind to share their knowledge. In this article, we turn to master educator, Nancy Fiedler of Janome America. Nancy’s helped us with several techniques on S4H, such as grading seams, sewing a zipper in a circle, cornering with decorative stitches, and more. Our thanks to her for collecting her top five garment tips to share.
Okay - true confession time. In school, I was a theater rat... always in plays and musicals, always taking artsy-fartsy classes, including "How To Mime" or, as I remember it, "How To Pretend You're Stuck In A Box And Look Foolish Doing It." Unless you're Marcel Marceau, you look really silly doing mime. So... no mime today. But, we are still making a box. In particular, a boxed corner. This is a sewing technique everyone should have in her/his arsenal. The boxed corner creates space in something that would otherwise be flat. For example, in a bag, you'll have a lot more room to stash your stuff if you create boxed corners. Basically, any sewn corner can be turned into a boxed corner with a few simple steps. We show you the two most common methods.