Time to give Dear ol' Dad his due! Father's Day is this Sunday, but there's still time to make him something special. Whether it's your own father, the father of your children, or the man who mentored you like a father; dads come in all shapes and sizes but they all love getting something handmade from the heart. We pulled a lucky seven group of S4H projects that are fast and easy to create but still have the perfect finished flair. And although they may not carry the same appeal as that set of wobbly ceramic coasters you made in fourth grade, they are great gift ideas.
Years ago the Thermos® company had the slogan, "Keeps hot things hot and cold things cold." You can't say it much better than that. Did you know there are fabrics that help you do the same thing? These aren't the heavy industrial materials that keep steelworkers, astronauts, and firefighters safe, but honest-to-goodness fabrics you can actually sew with.
Our first Retreat events have been such a blast! It’s a fabulous experience to be in new parts of the country with new sewing friends for a weekend of creativity. We gathered up a few photos from the first events, and will continue to share images with you as additional Retreats take place over the next months. A big, BIG thanks to our Hosting Dealers and of course – to all the enthusiastic attendees. Haven’t heard about these Retreats yet? Lean in!
We are thrilled and pretty dang proud to be featured in the Handmade for the Home Kitchen column of the Summer 2016 issue of Where Women Cook! Yes, you read that correctly: Cook. Not necessarily what you’re used to seeing here at the site, right?! But this beautiful magazine is a sister publication from our dear friend, Jo Packham, whom we met when we were one of the studios lucky enough to be profiled a few years back in Where Women Create. Jo reached out to us for this new column, and we were happy to jump at the opportunity. It’s her brainstorm (and a dandy one at that) to expose “foodies,” who love all the DIY aspects of creative meal preparation, to how much fun it can be to extend their creativity to sewing for the kitchen and the table. Maybe we can be “sewies”!
Often, the most exciting notions look rather nondescript inside their cardboard boxes and cellophane wrappers. Our goal with the Products We Love series is to break open the packaging, show you how to use these cool tools, and inspire you to add one or more to your own sewing basket. The Clover Hot Hemmer is one of the best little pressing tools we've come across in a long time. Although pressing is an incredibly important part of the construction process, we're not always happy to be hemming. But the Hot Hemmer helps keep all those narrow folds accurate without having to get your fingers too close to the iron. Nearly every time we feature this tool in our instructional photos, someone asks about it, so we knew it was time to make sure you had all the details.
You probably already know the rule of thumb for sewing machine needles: install a new one at the beginning of each project. 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. But it's just as important to choose the right kind of needle. This is information we like to run at least once a year because it's such a good reminder to us all. Our thanks to Janome America and Janome Canada for helping us with the fine points of machine needles.
Creating beautiful handmade projects is what we all love to do. However, we probably don’t put in quite as much effort thinking about how to keep them looking beautiful. So we spent some time with our clever friends at Dritz® to explore their Clothing Care category, coming away with nine products that help smooth, dry, repair, protect, and more. The majority of them are “multi-taskers" with additional uses outside the sewing room, including as travel solutions. Do you have your own unique uses for these types of products (your own "hacks" for the social-media-savvy)? We'd love to hear them. Leave us a comment below.
We first met Vanessa at the 2015 Fall Quilt Market in Houston, Texas where she was introducing her latest fabric collection for Moda Fabrics. She's a talented quilt maker, fabric designer, and somehow balances it all with being Mom to two young kids. Her fabrics have a fresh, upbeat feeling that make you want to shut yourself in your sewing room and create, create, create. In fact, her recently released Little Miss Sunshine collection inspired us to do just that. We created our own super cute Diamond Girl Apron.