One of top rules of sewing success: Start each new project with a new needle! When a needle is piercing your fabric at 600 to 1,000 stitches per minute, small things like a dulled point or an eye that's beginning to wear can make a big difference in the quality of your stitches, which means a big difference in the quality of your finished project. Our latest sewing Cheat Card summarizes some of the important basics behind selecting the right needle for the job.
Seam grading is like stair-stepping. Don't worry, it's not the aerobic kind from the gym. It's the process of turning a standard seam allowance into layered tiers of fabric. The result is less bulk, which means a smoother finish from the right side. It's another one those very basic techniques that can make all the difference in the professional look of your project. It is done by hand, so it can be a bit time consuming based on the length of the seam being trimmed, but it makes a tremendous difference. Bulky, lumpy seams are not very pretty. Crisp, flat seams are best!
THIS GREAT GIVEAWAY CLOSED 06/16/17. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED.
This long holiday weekend is the traditional kick-off to summer, and what better way to celebrate than with a picnic?! But, we seem to have forgotten the hotdogs and lemonade! Instead, our picnic basket is filled with nine gorgeous fabric cuts and an adorable Fat Quarter Shop collectible storage tin. Read on to find out how you can enter to win.
A HUGE thank you to the nearly 1,500 Sew4Home visitors who took a few minutes to answer our recent You Asked 4 It survey. We want to make sure we’re bringing you the type of inspiration and information you're looking for, and these responses will be a big help as we build our future editorial calendars. Take a look at some of the results.
There is a lot of sitting involved in sewing, which can lead to aches and pains not to mention a few extra pounds due to inactivity. It’s a widespread problem and a hot topic on many fronts since anyone who works at a computer for long periods of time is also likely to suffer. Obviously, investing in ergonomic chairs and amazing sewing stations can work wonders, but that isn’t in everyone’s budget. Instead, we took a look at 10 ways to Stay Fit While You Sit, using what you already have… most importantly – your own body!
A straight line. It seems like the most basic thing you can do when sewing. But we’re amazed by the number of comments and questions we get from S4H visitors who want to know how to do it better, easier, and more consistently. We don’t have any magical powers to make our seams and topstitching look great. What we do know is using the right foot for the job is the real secret to a beautifully straight line. Because we’re an exclusive Janome studio, our specialty presser feet suggestions are from the Janome selection of accessories. Your machine manufacturer may have similar options for your make and model. In either situation, the recommendation is the same: investing in a specifically designed presser foot is well worth it. It makes the process less frustrating, you can finish a task quicker, and the results are more professional.
May 14th is Mother’s Day. In case you’re still searching for a special gift, we’re here to help with five ideas to say, “Thanks!” For not telling Dad who scratched the smiley face into the car’s bumper. For believing I was beautiful in my braces and unfortunate side pony tail. For picking me up when I fell, brushing me off, and telling me I could do anything. Yep; she’s a mother like no other. Sew up a little extra love for Mom on her special day. All the suggestions below are fast and easy. Plus, we’ve included a special set of Mother’s Day free printable gift tags.
Prom and wedding season is upon us, which is always a great time to pull out the specialty fabrics for garments as well as home décor items. However, working with these fabrics does require a little special handling; they aren't always as user-friendly as good ol' cotton. We picked four of the most common categories: netting and tulle, organza, taffeta, and burlap; and provide some tips and techniques to make preparing, cutting, and sewing with them easier, faster, and frustration-free.
Heirloom is one of the oldest styles of specialty sewing. This precise and delicate type of stitching is said to have started in the late 1800s by French nuns who hand-stitched exquisite laces onto delicate fabrics for royal families. Their craftsmanship was so incredible, the resulting gowns and linens were painstakingly preserved and handed down from one generation to the next; hence an heirloom. You'll see the influence of heirloom stitching in a variety of high-end garments; most notably, special occasion finery, such as wedding dresses, christening gowns, and lingerie, as well as in the finest table linens. Today, with French nuns in short supply, we show you the basics of creating heirloom stitching with your sewing machine.
Don’t laugh. This next printable in our Cheat Card series is based on one of our most popular articles. Really! If you’ve been sewing forever, and work with fractions every day, it may seem crazy to you that someone wouldn’t know how to read a measuring tape. But if you step back for a moment, and look at that tape measure (or ruler for that matter) with the eyes of a new sewer, all those little unidentified marks might seem a bit intimidating. As one of our original commenters said, “Thank you so much for sharing this. I am definitely the kind of person who was too scared to ask a dumb question! You’ve made my life so much easier!”