Technology can be a wonderful thing. The ability to have immediate access to a sewing pattern is one of those wonderful things... unless you run into trouble with printing. We've answered countless emails from users who have fairly simple issues – an old version of Adobe Reader, or failure to properly set their Page Scaling. We can't solve every issue, but this guide summarizes how to print our PDF patterns, as well as how to assemble patterns that require more than one page.
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 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 perfectly 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.
Top: Sew4Home’s Liz Johnson and Bradley Mitchell, Director of Marketing at Aurifil, discuss the new 80wt Aurifil Egyptian cotton thread on FaceBook Live (check out the full video for yourself from our Facebook page). Middle: One of the fabulous quilts at the Timeless Treasures booth. Bottom: Liz signing our new Sew4Home Bags & Totes book at the Prym/Dritz booth.
It’s Halloween and we’re up to our spooky eyeballs in the newest and coolest the sewing and craft industry has to offer. Fall Quilt Market in Houston, Texas is a huge, swirling annual adventure of fabric collections, product innovations, bunches o’ books, and a chance to meet some needle and thread rock stars in person! We spent the last four days immersed in this wonderfulness and have some fun sneak peeks to share with you today.
I love those little emergency sewing kits they have at hotels. They're a life saver if you lose a button right before an important meeting or have another kind of "wardrobe malfunction." But I wouldn't dream of using them for my regular sewing – anymore than I'd open a hair salon that only carried those cute little hotel shampoos. However, for some sewers, especially beginning sewers, their set of tools is at about the same level as the free repair kit. If that's the case with your sewing basket, you have some shopping to do. Having better quality tools and notions actually helps you achieve better results on your projects. It can make the difference between a project that was fun to create and you're proud to display, and one you feel like hurling out the window. This is also a great article to share with friends who are just learning to sew. Helping them collect the right basic tools is one of the best ways to make sure they start off on the right foot.
A blind hem is exactly what it sounds like: a hem with stitches you barely notice. It's perfect for window coverings, the hem at the bottom of a garment, or anywhere you want a clean finished edge. When I first started sewing, attaining a perfect blind hem was like finding the Holy Grail. And then a funny thing happened, I practiced it a few times, and realized it was really easy. It's sort of like learning to use chopsticks – at first it seems so awkward and difficult and then, suddenly, it's second nature. Try a blind hem and you'll never drop a wad of sticky rice in your lap again. This is one of our most popular techniques ever on Sew4Home; so much so, we try to re-run it at least once a year in order to stamp out the fear of blind hems for both new and returning visitors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.