Quality ribbons are little bits of beauty. In our Sew4Home studios, the go-to choice is Renaissance Ribbons. How would you like to get a package of these gorgeous ribbons every month… as well as fabulous project ideas for how to use them? Renaissance Ribbons has just launched their first ever Ribbon Lovers' Club! These are the breathtaking woven Jacquard ribbons for which Renaissance is famous. Read on to find out how you can get your own little bits of beauty each and every month!
The majority of projects you encounter require at least a bit of hand stitching. Often, it’s the final seam closure after turning a project right side out. The goal is to make your hand stitching as invisible as possible. Although it’s tempting to rush through this last bit of stitching, the Pro Secret is to take a little extra time to create a clean finish. The most common (and quick) hand stitching choice is usually the Whip Stitch, but it doesn’t yield the best look. We recommend the Ladder or Slip Stitch.
"Give us the tools and we will finish the job." Winston Churchill. One of the signs of a truly well-made project is that it looks nearly as good on the inside as it does on the outside. Finishing a project's inside raw edges will not only elevate the final appearance, it will also elevate your sewing skills to a new level. In general, the purpose of any seam finish is to prevent fray-prone fabrics from raveling beyond the seam, which would then leave a hole in your sewn project. It also helps reduce bulk on certain fabrics, such as fleece. And, finishing stitches always provide added strength to a seam and the fabric's edge. However, it's often only about the look, and most professionals recommend you finish fabrics that don’t even appear to require it.
Caution! You’re entering the 3-D Zone – but you won’t need those dorky glasses… and I promise nothing will appear to fly out of the screen at your head! We’re working in 3-D with a new product from our friends at Indygo Junction: Fabriflair™. If you’re familiar with English Paper Piecing, you’re two-steps ahead already. Fabriflair™ is dimensional paper piecing. We’re delighted to have Fabriflair™ creator, Amy Barickman of Indygo Junction onboard with a Guest Tutorial. She’s sharing some of her favorite cutting and stitching techniques, and she has a discount coupon code for Sew4Home visitors to use on any of the five Fabriflair™ kits.
“Wait a minute,” I shout, pulling the phone away from my ear. “TokyoMilk? You mean like the hand cream I have sitting right here on my desk? That TokyoMilk? She’s doing a fabric collection for Coats? (sounds of screaming and phone dropping).” This is a reenactment of the excitement that ran through the Sew4Home studios when our pals at Coats told us about their latest designer collaboration with Margot Elena. Margot is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Margot Elena Companies & Collections. She is the design and marketing mind behind several cult-classic, niche beauty brands, including TokyoMilk, Lollia, Library of Flowers, and her newest creation, The Cottage Greenhouse. To her long list of accomplishments, she now adds: Fabric Designer. Today, you'll get to meet Margot through our interview and find out a little bit about the inspiration behind her first collection, Neptune and the Mermaid. You’ll also learn a few of her personal secrets to color mixing and matching, and discover why Margot never designs and drives.
No matter what kind of sewing you like to do, there are times you must use a hand needle and thread. It could be for something simple, such as sewing on a button, stitching an opening closed, or tacking a strap in place. Or, you can move up the hand-sewing food chain to beautifully intricate techniques, like hand embroidery or hand quilting. Learn our favorite tips to help eliminate knots and tangles, and keep those stitches flowing smoothly.
That is one delicious sounding title, isn’t it? But before you start searching in your baking cabinet for ingredients, this recipe is all about a fast and easy way to create perfect half square triangles to mix and match into a variety of gorgeous blocks. You may have heard about the Cake Mix Recipe Cards and Cupcake Mix Recipe Cards from Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co. for Moda Fabrics, which are designed to perfectly fit the popular 10” x 10” layer cake squares as well as the 5” x 5” charm pack squares. It’s triangle paper taken to a new level! This newest set of recipe cards has been created for the exclusive Fat Quarter Shop 5” x 10” Jolly Bar pre-cuts. These unique pattern overlays allow you to stitch directly through the pre-marked paper, using their guidelines for precise stitching and cutting. Tear away the paper when you’re done to reveal your perfect finished squares.
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.
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!