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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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You Deserve Some Fun: Plan Now for Fall & Winter Sewing Escape Retreats

Thursday, 11 August 2016 1:25


Because you deserve to learn some great new techniques. Because you deserve to make a fabulous new project… or two or three. Because you (and all your sewing friends) deserve a great getaway. We could go on and on, but you get the idea. Retreat events are gearing up across the country. Register now to join us at one near you. Because you deserve it! 

Sew Sampler Quilting Box Program from Fat Quarter Shop

Tuesday, 09 August 2016 1:00

In this world of digital everything – including those crazy Pokemon critters everyone is hunting like zombies at a full moon – isn’t it delightful when an actual package arrives in your real mailbox?! As lovers of sewing and craft, we’re all about creating authentic items with our own two hands. Virtual will never trump tactile in this world. Which is why we love Fat Quarter Shop’s Sew Sampler Quilting Box program. We gave you a sneak peek of these mystery boxes when they debuted this past April. Since then, four amazing boxes have landed in members’ mailboxes, each one as terrific as the the last. 

Sewing Vocabulary: Test Your Skills, Impress Your Friends

Tuesday, 26 July 2016 1:00

Any endeavor that turns into a passion comes with its own set of terms, phrases, abbreviations, and secret handshakes. Well, maybe they don’t all have a secret handshake… maybe just a decoder ring. Sewing is no different, and although we do try to make sure we define the more unusual words we sometimes toss around, we can forget now and then. So, we pulled together the Top Twenty Terms that come into play on a regular basic. We’ve alphabetized them into a mini glossary. If you’re a pro, buzz through and see how many you know without peeking. If you’re just getting started, these are great vocabulary builders and awesome to throw into the conversation to startle any non-sewing friends who might be eavesdropping. “I was simply unable move forward without dropping my feed dogs.”  

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