Often, the most exciting notions look rather nondescript inside their cardboard boxes and cellophane wrappers. Our goal with the Products We Love series is to break open the packaging, show you how to use these cool tools, and inspire you to add one or more to your own sewing basket. The Clover Hot Hemmer is one of the best little pressing tools we've come across in a long time. Although pressing is an incredibly important part of the construction process, we're not always happy to be hemming. But the Hot Hemmer helps keep all those narrow folds accurate without having to get your fingers too close to the iron. Nearly every time we feature this tool in our instructional photos, someone asks about it, so we knew it was time to make sure you had all the details.
You probably already know the rule of thumb for sewing machine needles: install a new one at the beginning of each project. 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. But it's just as important to choose the right kind of needle. This is information we like to run at least once a year because it's such a good reminder to us all. Our thanks to Janome America and Janome Canada for helping us with the fine points of machine needles.
Creating beautiful handmade projects is what we all love to do. However, we probably don’t put in quite as much effort thinking about how to keep them looking beautiful. So we spent some time with our clever friends at Dritz® to explore their Clothing Care category, coming away with nine products that help smooth, dry, repair, protect, and more. The majority of them are “multi-taskers" with additional uses outside the sewing room, including as travel solutions. Do you have your own unique uses for these types of products (your own "hacks" for the social-media-savvy)? We'd love to hear them. Leave us a comment below.
We first met Vanessa at the 2015 Fall Quilt Market in Houston, Texas where she was introducing her latest fabric collection for Moda Fabrics. She's a talented quilt maker, fabric designer, and somehow balances it all with being Mom to two young kids. Her fabrics have a fresh, upbeat feeling that make you want to shut yourself in your sewing room and create, create, create. In fact, her recently released Little Miss Sunshine collection inspired us to do just that. We created our own super cute Diamond Girl Apron.
A skosh, a wee bit, just a hair... sometimes, the distances we want to work with in sewing aren't quite as precise as the engraved inch and millimeter markings on our machines. Wouldn't it be great if there was a foot you could manually adjust to perfectly align with the exact distance you wanted? There is! The Janome Sliding Guide Foot has a perfectly balanced outboard guide you can smoothly slide to the right then lock into place, from ⅜" to 1⅛" from the center needle drop (10mm - 30mm). I love it when someone answers my "wouldn't-it-be-great" requests!
I believe one of the top jobs of any mom is helping her kids avoid “the last minute.” Remember those gentle reminders to start things early, which gradually turned less gentle, the closer the deadline loomed? She tried to warn us, but did we listen? Usually not; probably because the panicked screaming coming out of our mouths the night before the Science Fair was drowning out her suggestions. This Sunday is Mother’s Day, but there’s still time to make something special. We’ve collected five Sew4Home classic projects you can easily finish in an afternoon, using fabric you likely have on hand. You can tell her you’ve been planning for weeks… and she’ll pretend to believe you.
Narrow tucks, called pintucks when they are super-duper narrow, are most well-known in the world of heirloom sewing, but they can add a lovely bit of detail to many kinds 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. Switch to a contrasting thread for extra detail along the stitch line. Or, accent with decorative stitching between tucks on directly on top of each tuck.
THE GREAT GIVEAWAY PORTION OF THIS ARTICLE CLOSED AT MIDNIGHT 05/20/16. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED.
We’ve had so much fun this week with fresh projects in new Moda fabric. Today, to wrap everything up, we have three additional collections that we didn’t use this time around but can’t wait to dig into for future inspiration. There's also have a set of cute custom gift tags you can download and print for Mother’s Day (and more). Plus, FIVE lucky Sew4Home visitors (one for each day of Moda Moms Week) are going to be winners in our Moda Take The Cake Great Giveaway.
Ribbons and bows… is there anything happier?! Our friends from The Ribbon Retreat are here with a Guest Tutorial showing you how to make bright and colorful bow tie bows in several styles. Our thanks to The Ribbon Retreat and especially to Michelle, their blog coordinator for providing these step-by-step instructions.