A perfect match might be difficult to find in the world of relationships, but in sewing: we have you covered! When you want a pocket's motif to precisely align with the panel on which it sits, all you need is a little extra fabric, some tissue paper, and those tracing skills you learned back in kindergarten.
DIY sewing projects are rarely just two layers of quilting weight cotton floating through your machine with ease. In garment construction, pattern pieces can come together from all angles, overlapping layers and seams. With three dimensional projects, like bags, fabric baskets or heavy cushions with piping; bulk and thickness are everywhere! Keeping seams straight, needles from breaking, and fabric moving evenly under the needle is challenging (read: can make you want to throw it all out the window). But with the right presser feet and accessories, an understanding of seam grading, and the patience to go slowly and carefully, you can sew like a pro through thick and thin.
One of the most common requests we receive is for help selecting the best thread for a project. The types from which you can choose can seem almost endless when you’re staring at the hundreds of pretty spools at your favorite retailer. We turned to our friends, Ellen March and Pamela Cox from Sulky America for some expert advice – particularly about cotton thread options. Read on for their insights and information as well as to find out which myths they’re bustin’.
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.
“I don’t have time for that.” “No one will notice.” “I’ll fix it later.” A million excuses usually lead to a million regrets. We all make mistakes, and sometimes stuff just happens beyond our control. But some mistakes can be avoided with proper planning, attention to detail, and the wisdom to slow down. It’s no surprise that one of the most famous adages about time management comes from the world of sewing: “A stitch in time, saves nine!” Recently, a stark distinction has developed between handmade and homemade. Handmade carries the stamp of artisan craftsmanship – pride in a job well done. Homemade has the connotation of something slapdash and cheap – just good enough to get by. To us … if it’s created with your own two hands, you deserve to be proud of the results, so we prefer to think of it as professional or unprofessional. Read on for the ten most common mistakes to avoid to make sure you go pro!
There you stand in the fabric store, staring at that giant display of bias tapes and bindings in front of you, the shiny cellophane packages glinting in their neat, color coordinated rows. Single fold, double fold, blanket, quilt. Geeze! What's what? Do you just throw a dart and hope for the best? No! You study your Sew4Home Sizing ID Chart and get exactly what you really need.
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 buttons 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 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.
Puckered seams. Misaligned panels. If you’ve ever tried to work with fabric cuts are that are not straight and true, you know why it’s so important to square-up your fabric. This is a technique that belongs in everyone’s sewing toolbox. Read on for our easy folding, aligning, and cutting tips plus ruler recommendations.
A skosh, a wee bit, just a hair... sometimes, the distances we want to work with when 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!
If you’re a Sew4Home regular, you know we are an exclusive Janome studio, which means we are lucky enough to use their amazing machines for all our projects. We’ve been Janome fans for YEARS (decades really) and have never found another line with better precision, power, innovation, and flexibility – from the top of the line all the way through to the introductory models. We’ve done a number of articles over the years on some of our favorite Janome presser feet, because using the right foot for the job is extremely important to the finished look of your project. Many people rarely change out their presser foot, often because they’re just not sure what to do with that bag o’ extra feet that came with their machine! Is that you?! Janome has tackled this “excuse” with a new Presser Foot Workbook series that gives you a working knowledge of their most popular feet – both standard and specialty and even the feet for the Cover Pro serger. Take a look at our overview, then visit your local Janome dealer for more information on how to build your own set.