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Introduction to Sergers

Tuesday, 29 December 2009 9:00

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The Serger. Many who are new to sewing view this machine as mystical, and maybe slightly sinister. Judging by the name, you could confuse it for something (or someone) found in Marvel Comics. Even its other, more British name, gives it a wonderfully super-hero edge: The Overlocker. Sews by Day, Locks Seams by Night.

It’s true this machine can perform magic – at least watching one work gives you that impression. Don't be alarmed by the multiple thread spools or racing speed. With a few basic instructions, you'll be well on your way to learning how to use this versatile and fun machine. Plus, once you feel comfortable with a serger, you won't believe the time it saves in your sewing room!

How to Make Faux Mitered Corners

Tuesday, 22 December 2009 9:00

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This is a technique we've used in several tutorials, and it's been so popular, we thought it should be its very own project so you can refer to it whenever you need it. It's a great way to finish the edge of a blanket, a table runner, a wall hanging – just about any flat square or rectangle. Admit it ... you rubbed that satin blanket binding on your cheek and sucked your thumb, didn't you? Oh, wait, that was me. The technique takes a little practice, because you have to make sure you are catching both sides of the binding as you stitch. But I have great confidence in you, and I know you'll be binding everything in site in no time.

Vintage Rescue: The Denim Jacket Pillow

Friday, 18 December 2009 9:00

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Every once in awhile, I'll open my closet and see something that causes me to shake my head and wonder, "What on earth was I thinking, and why do I still have this?!" What seemed like a great idea at the time, would now be fashion suicide should I actually slip it on and leave the house. Sometimes the item goes straight into the Goodwill bag, but there are also times when my Vintage Rescue lightbulb goes on. I see beyond the jacket's silly majorette neckline and wild, stacked cuffs and envision what could be a cool home decor project. My denim jacket lives again as a whimsical throw pillow.

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Installing Cable Wire for Hanging Curtains

Tuesday, 01 December 2009 9:00

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I had to bring in the big guns for this project as my own 'power tool' experience leans more towards sewing machines than drills. So, I asked my husband Bob (who is always a good sport and really tall) to bring his years of experience as a builder to the table to show you how to install this very cool cable wire system. It's a great option for hanging lightweight, decorative curtains, which add height and drama to our Pretty Prints Teen Room. This type of system would also work well to create a room divider or even to hang a curtain for an especially long run of windows.

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Embroidery Week: The Many Ways to Get Embroidery Designs

Thursday, 19 November 2009 10:00

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So, you've been following our Embroidery Week articles, and now are excited to get started with your own fantastic embellishments. The next step is finding all those awesome designs. You'll be amazed at the amount of pre-digitized designs available and the many ways you can access them. Actually ... overwhelmed might be a better word. There are thousands of options; thousands-squared if you decide to learn how to create your very own designs. Read on to get a taste of just how easy, inexpensive and fun machine embroidery can be.

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Embroidery Week: Machine Embroidery Hoops

Wednesday, 18 November 2009 9:00

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Mesmerizing. That's what it's like the first time you watch an embroidery machine stitch out a design. Sure, you have to get everything set up and threaded, but once you push that Start button, whoa ... it just takes off on its own. Imagine if all you had to do was put ingredients in a bowl, then step back and watch them become a frosted three-layer cake. Whatever your task, having the right tools makes your work easier, and your success more assured. The most crucial accessory to successful machine embroidery is the hoop.

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Embroidery Week: Adding a Personal Touch to Hand-Crafted or Store-Bought Projects

Monday, 16 November 2009 9:00

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Embroidery adds an extra dimension to home decor projects. Literally. The raised stitches give a 3-D boost to flat fabric. The rich thread provides a pop of color and a dazzling sheen. Admit it. Embroidery is cool. If embroidery was a person, it would be Johnny Depp - flamboyant and scene stealing; but in a suave, charming, and fashionably dapper way.

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Sewing Setup for Teens

Tuesday, 10 November 2009 9:00

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Don't be fooled by teen stereotypes, even if there's one slumped on your couch with the remote and a bag of chips. The teenage years are a time for seeking independence, for creating personal style, for wanting to be noticed for what you wear, have and use. "I made this!" is a powerful statement for a teen. It's accomplishment, pride, ingenuity, and fun; all rolled up and tied with a bow.

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Tips for Mixing Prints

Wednesday, 28 October 2009 9:00

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There are so many talented fabric designers creating beautifully harmonious collections, mixing prints has become a snap. They've done the work for us. For most of our S4H projects, we've stuck fairly closely with one designer's collection, because possibilities are nearly endless, and a satisfying result is all but guaranteed. For our Pretty Prints Please projects, however, we used NINE prints, each from a different fabric collection. Here's how we did it, plus a few tips on mixing it up.

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