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Products We Love: The Clover Hot Ruler

Wednesday, 05 October 2016 1:00

Accurate pressing is one of the most important parts of the construction process. Having a tool that holds precise, narrow folds and clean angles is critical. And, if that tool allows you to do that without your fingers getting dangerously close to the iron, it’s a must-have in our book! One of our favorite pressing tools, the Clover Hot Hemmer has a new friend: the Hot Ruler. This 2½” x 10” ruler is part of the Press Perfect collection by Joan Hawley for Clover, and is made of the same super thin, heat resistant nylon fiberboard with a special non-slip surface. 

Out-Of-The-Box Basics: ID the Main Parts of a Sewing Machine

Tuesday, 27 September 2016 1:00

Sewing is an art. But it does rely on science and technology as well. And then there's math with all those fractions and geometry. But most importantly... there's your machine! A good machine makes the difference – not only in the sewing experience but in the professional look of the finished project. Janome America is the exclusive sewing machine sponsor of Sew4Home and we love our studio Janomes. When you have a great machine, you can literally forget about it, and put your full concentration on the art of sewing. To borrow a line from Janome that explains this phenomenon: the easier the tools, the more creative you become. Janome machines are precise and reliable from the top of the line to the most basic entry level model. One of the very first articles we did on Sew4Home explained the parts of a basic sewing machine. We've updated that article to benefit of all the new sewing enthusiasts out there. Plus, it never hurts for any of us to dust off our skills and knowledge. 

Products We Love: Janome Ribbon Sewing Guide

Tuesday, 20 September 2016 1:00


Here is your word for the day: plethora. As in, "a whole bunch." As in, "With such a plethora of ribbon options on the market today, why would I want even more?" Because you can. The Janome Ribbon Sewing Guide allows you to stitch directly on ribbon up to 1" wide, so you can personalize the color and design of your ribbon accents and create exactly the look you want and need.

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How to Install a Conventional Zipper

Thursday, 15 September 2016 1:00

Zzzzzzzzip it! We love the sound, the look, and the functionality of zippers. But most of us are not so in love with installing them in our sewing projects. In fact, there's probably no sewing technique more dreaded than learning how to properly install a zipper. If you're a regular S4H visitor, you know that's a challenge we can't walk away from. Today, you are going to learn how to master the most conventional zipper technique. Once you’ve done so, one warning: anyone who finds out about your new skill will be dropping off all kinds of items with broken zippers on your front porch. Ha! Pull them inside, and teach them how to do it themselves! The steps shown below are for a "conventional" zipper as you might use on a garment – where the fabric meets along the center of the zipper teeth, concealing them.

My Top 5 Garment Sewing Secrets: Nancy Fiedler of Janome America

Thursday, 08 September 2016 1:00

In our quest to continue bringing you the information you’re searching for, we’ve been partnering with some of our pals in the sewing community to provide guest features on garment sewing. This is an area we don’t currently focus on at Sew4Home but for which we get a lot of inquiries. It’s not that we don’t love garment sewing; we just haven’t made the leap yet into full sets of sized patterns. Until we jump, our skilled friends are excellent resources and very kind to share their knowledge. In this article, we turn to master educator, Nancy Fiedler of Janome America. Nancy’s helped us with several techniques on S4H, such as grading seams, sewing a zipper in a circle, cornering with decorative stitches, and more. Our thanks to her for collecting her top five garment tips to share. 

Sew4Home’s Bags and Totes Book is Coming October 10th

Wednesday, 31 August 2016 1:00

Our debut date is right around the corner, and publisher Fons & Porter has given us the thumbs-up to provide some sneak peeks into our upcoming book over the next few weeks. We thought an excellent way to do this would be to give you hints about What You’ll Make as well as What You’ll Learn. There are ten cool carryalls, and of course, we have tips and techniques to help each one get a sleek, professional finish. 

How to Box Corners

Tuesday, 30 August 2016 1:00

Okay - true confession time. In school, I was a theater rat... always in plays and musicals, always taking artsy-fartsy classes, including "How To Mime" or, as I remember it, "How To Pretend You're Stuck In A Box And Look Foolish Doing It." Unless you're Marcel Marceau, you look really silly doing mime. So... no mime today. But, we are still making a box. In particular, a boxed corner. This is a sewing technique everyone should have in her/his arsenal. The boxed corner creates space in something that would otherwise be flat. For example, in a bag, you'll have a lot more room to stash your stuff if you create boxed corners. Basically, any sewn corner can be turned into a boxed corner with a few simple steps. We show you the two most common methods.

Drapery Tapes from Dritz: The Fastest Way to Finish Curtains

Monday, 29 August 2016 1:00

Window coverings are often one of the first DIY home décor projects people attempt. And rightly so; they’re usually simple panels with just a few hems – fast, easy and so much more affordable than off-the-shelf options. However, figuring out how best to hang those pretty panels can be more of a challenge. Dritz® Home products to the rescue! They offer three drapery tape options that solve the most common hanging alternatives: Rod Loop Tape, Clip Ring Tape, and Iron-On Shirring Tape. We made a mini sample to test each product and were very happy with how quickly everything went together. Read on to find out more. And you know that blank window you’ve been staring at for months? It could have its very own curtain in no time at all. 

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Make and Measure a Circle Without a Pattern

Thursday, 25 August 2016 1:00

The circle is, in my humble opinion, the Queen of the geometric shapes. Don't get me wrong; I like all those squares, rectangles, triangles, octagons, and whatnot; but the circle is the coolest of the bunch: smooth and pretty and endlessly useful. However, trying to draw a perfect circle without a pattern is a challenge, and figuring out the proper size of an opening into which a circle can be inserted requires working with Pi (or π), which is not the delicious kind you can eat with a bit of ice cream. We're here today to help you with the steps you've forgotten since high school geometry class (or maybe never learned because you were too busy passing notes with Susan Ellery!). We'll show you the parts of a circle, how wide to cut fabric to fit a circle, and how to draw a circle without a pattern. We've also included a handy conversion from decimals to inches, which is necessary when working with Pi.

Pattern Drafting & Grading: Guest Tutorial from Sis Boom

Tuesday, 16 August 2016 1:00

One of our goals for 2016 is a commitment to partner with some of our pals in the sewing community to bring you guest features on garment sewing, since that is not an area we currently focus on at Sew4Home (you never know what the future will bring). Garments generally require complex, multi-piece patterns in a variety of sizes, which sounds intimidating – right? Carla Crim, from Scientific Seamstress and Jennifer Paganelli’s Sis Boom eBooks and ePatterns, is here to help demystify the process of creating the patterns that come together to make something beautiful to wear. We found the techniques fascinating, and it certainly inspired us to give it a try. But, just in case you can’t see yourself making your own patterns, Sis Boom has offered Sew4Home visitors a 25% discount on all the beautiful ePatterns currently available in their online shop! Read on to learn more about drafting and grading and to find your coupon code. 

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