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.
We love embellishing projects with gorgeous ribbons. One reason is that we have such amazing choices from our friends and sponsor, Renaissance Ribbons. Another is because ribbons inject wonderful color and texture. Third, they're very easy to work with. Since we use them often, we're always thinking about new and unique ways to apply them. Today's quick tip shows you how to use standard piping cord to make ribbon pop off the surface.
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 with even with 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'.
Remember how scary it was to raise your hand in school and ask what you feared would be a "stupid" question? Hopefully we've moved beyond that childhood fear. Questions are great because they lead to answers, and answers are meant to be shared. Today's quick measuring tip came from a question in a visitor's email. Someone needed help figuring out what all those tiny marks are on a standard tape measure. We deal in fractions every day and are forever measuring quarters and eighths and sixteenths and whatnot. It all seems second nature to us! But when we stepped back and looked at our trusty tape with the eyes of someone brand new to sewing, we saw this question was indeed quite valid... there are a lot of marks with no identification. We came up with three handy charts to help decipher those little black lines. Download them to keep handy at your sewing station as quick reference tools.
Sewing is a continually evolving art. Learning new and interesting techniques is one of the best ways to build upon your current knowledge. It keeps your skills fresh and your ideas lively. We have two great how-to articles on binding in general: Bias Binding: Figuring Yardage, Cutting, Making and Attaching and A Complete Step-by-Stpe for Binding Quilts & Throws. In this article, we're continuing our journey down the binding path to a "sub-set" technique called: continuous bias binding. It's a little bit like the ancient art of origami. You start out with a flat square (or rectangle), and after a few folds and flips here and there, you have something completely different, very dimensional, and quite useful.
One of the common areas of sewing frustration, especially if you're new, is the corner. Those pesky four corners create any square or rectangular item, like the home décor standard: the pillow! In reality, any time you sew two pieces together then turn them right side out, that turned-out seam becomes the clean, finished edge you (and everyone else) will see. The number one goal when sewing a corner is to be precise. You must stop and pivot at the exact point where the seam allowances on the two sides intersect. This precision stitching, when combined with proper trimming of the excess fabric from the seam allowance, will create a beautiful sharp point and smooth edge every time.
We are big on bags here at Sew4Home, which means we're always on the lookout for cool bag accessories; such as closures, handles, hardware and more. One thing we've been wanting to try is the addition of leather and faux leather pre-drilled handles, medallions and patches. But, we hadn't pinpointed the right tool to make securing these add-ons easy enough for all levels of sewers. Thanks to our friends at Dritz, we now have our solution: The Speedy Stitcher® from Dritz Home, a sewing awl kit that makes attaching these kind of cool items, as well as many other tasks, fast and easy.
Buttons, whether functional or just decorative, are a favorite element on Sew4Home projects, but we know you start rolling your eyes when you think about having to break out the needle and thread to sew on button after button. For some reason, button-sewing is stuck in our psyche as a dreaded, time-consuming task. We’re here to tell you that need not be true! Read on to learn our favorite, super speedy, five-step process to perfect buttons.
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.
Microwavable heating pads with organic fillers are a wonderful way to soothe sore muscles or just warm up on a cold day. Their combination of toasty warmth and good smell are a natural remedy you can enjoy every day without side effects. The warming pad project we did here at Sew4Home is one of the most popular gift items ever featured. Most likely, it's because they're not only functional, they're also really easy to make. Everybody who makes them seems to have a favorite filler. So we thought we'd do a little testing to see if we could find out which one is best.