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Simply Color by Vanessa Christenson: Preshrinking 101

Tuesday, 04 September 2012 3:00

Here's a common scenario: you buy a new garment, wear it once, wash it once, and... it is now two sizes too small! Some of us also use this phenomenon to explain why our once-favorite pants no longer fit. Although extra bowls of ice cream are likely the culprit in scenario #2, the guilty party behind scenario #1 is: improper preshrinking! Garment manufacturers often cut corners by skipping the preshrinking step in their construction process. You shouldn't make the same mistake. In the world of sewing and quilting, the ongoing great debate is: "Do you preshrink (or prewash) fabric before sewing with it or not?!" We’ve done our famous S4H research on the subject, and the resounding advice from professionals, and those who have learned the hard way (yes... we're in that bunch) is YES! Read on for the details, methods and best products to try. 


Simply Color by Vanessa Christenson for Moda: Garment Covers

Monday, 03 September 2012 3:00

Welcome to our latest series with Moda Fabrics, celebrating the new Simply Color collection by Vanessa Christenson. I was excited to get to meet Vanessa at Spring Quilt Market in Kansas City, and talk with her about our plans for this series. Even though she was getting over a bad head cold, she was just delightful. I would caption her photo, "Bundle o' Creative Energy." As the doting mama to four little darlings, Vanessa somehow also finds time to be a designer, author, quilter, sewer... oh for goodness sakes, let's just say: doer of many things. One of Vanessa's passions is organizing. She admits she doesn't always win the clutter war, but she loves to do battle. So, we decided our Simply Color series would have an organizational theme. We kick off two weeks of colorful inspiration today with our easy Garment Covers. These are a great way to keep clothes clean and dust-free in your closet. Many folks leave dry cleaning bags on garments, but watch out... these plastic bags can cause fabrics to yellow and many emit unhealthy chemical fumes. Plus, they've long been known to be a hazard to children and pets. Our covers are reusable and washable. They finish at approximately 32", but you could certainly extend or shorten the length of the skirt to best match the items in your wardrobe. 


Pillow Personality with Fairfield Processing: Secret Pocket Pillow

Friday, 24 August 2012 3:00

All our projects here at Sew4Home focus on the fabric, because the right combination of color and design makes all the difference between a project that turns out so-so and one that is decidedly so-cool. But every so often, a fabric arrives in our hands that demands to be made into something particularly unique. Such was the case when we received a Layer Cake of Moda's collection, Get A Clue With Nancy Drew®. Senior Designer, Alicia Thommas took one look at this collection, and memories flooded back of hiding under the covers with a flashlight to read just one more chapter of The Secret of the Old Clock or The Clue of the Velvet Mask. And so... today's Secret Pocket Pillow was born. Hidden in the pillow's four patchwork quadrants are four pockets to hold your most secret treasures.


Pillow Personality with Fairfield Processing: Playful Stuffed Crocodile

Wednesday, 22 August 2012 3:00

"Tick Tock, Cap'n... Tick, Tock... someone is coming!" I don't know about you, but I spent a good chunk of my childhood hoping, wishing, dreaming I could fly like Peter Pan. I never actually jumped off the roof of the garden shed, but... I climbed up there and thought about it! Today, our Pillow Personality is: Playful. We've created a wonderfully sneaky crocodile, our homage to the creepy croc in Peter Pan who was forever stalking Captain Hook. Minky Dot and low nap fleece are the perfect pair for the top and bottom of Mr. Croc. Two widths of rick rack form his teeth and spine. And, we chose Fairfield's luxuriously silky Poly-Fil® Supreme Fiberfill as our stuffing. The texture is wonderful for toys, plus it's washable and non-allergenic. Although he looks complex, our crocodile takes just a little while. And, the pattern is a free download! "I was never to see Peter Pan again. Now I tell his story to my children and they will tell it to their children, and so it will go on - for all children grow up... Except one."


Pillow Personality with Fairfield Processing: How to Make and Attach Piping For Pillows & More

Tuesday, 21 August 2012 3:00

Search the Internet for “how to make piping," and you're likely to find yourself smack dab in the middle of a cake decorating class. It seems learning to pipe frosting into something decorative is a highly sought-after skill. Well, so is making and attaching piping to sewn projects! Watch out, cake decorators; next time you search, you'll find yourself smack dab in the middle of a Sew4Home tutorial.   


Pillow Personality with Fairfield Processing: Piped Bench Cushion

Monday, 20 August 2012 3:00

A bench cushion is one of the top projects new sewers list as the decorating puzzle that finally got them thinking about making something on their own rather than buying. Standard bench cushions are certainly available in stores, but I think we can all agree that they never, ever, ever fit right. This is a hard-and-fast truth, just like Jamoca® Almond Fudge is the best Baskins-Robbins® ice cream flavor is a truth (don't cross me on this one... I used to work there in high school!). 


Pillow Personality with Fairfield Processing: EZ Zippered Pet Bed

Friday, 17 August 2012 3:00

No pillow series would be complete without a little something for the furry members of the family. Official test-pup, Sandy the Welsh Corgi, declared it to be the perfect place to catch 40 (to 400) winks. There's an easy-to-insert plastic zipper in one side so you can remove the cover and toss it in the wash. The finished size is about 27" x 36", which makes it good for a small to medium size dog or a couple giant cats. You can expand, or reduce, the dimensions as needed to best fit your best friend.


Pillow Personality with Fairfield Processing: Pillow Stuffing Tips & Tricks

Thursday, 16 August 2012 3:00

Is there anything worse than a lumpy pillow? Well... yes, there are probably lots of things worse, but ya gotta admit, a lumpy pillow is a real bummer. You may be under the assumption all fiber filling is created equal, and that you just punch it in to the pillow cover like you're stuffing the Thanksgiving turkey. Well, take a step back S4H Stuffing Students, today we'll discuss types of filling, quality cues to look for on the label, stuffing tool recommendations, and how to properly stuff your next pillow (or other stuffed project) so it looks super smooth and professional. 


Pillow Personality with Fairfield Processing: Modern Fussy Cut Pillow

Wednesday, 15 August 2012 3:00

A pillow doesn't need a lot of extra fol-de-rol to have plenty of personality. (Okay... the Cinderella lovers can sing along with me now: "All the sensible people of this world will say, fol-de-rol and fiddle-dee-de and fiddley, faddley foddle... all the wishes in the world are poppy cock and twoddle.") Today's pillow is super simple: cut, sew, stuff - done. The tricks are to find the perfect fabric, spend the extra time to fussy-cut your squares to best showcase the motif, then pick a super cushy insert, like Fairfield's Feather-Fil® for that high-end, karate-choppable look. 


Pillow Personality with Fairfield Processing: Romantic Lace Lumbar

Tuesday, 14 August 2012 3:00

Floriography is the language of flowers. No... your tulips are not outside talking to one another. Floriography, most common in the Victorian era, allowed individuals to send coded messages to one another via flowers and floral arrangements. These secret bouquets expressed feelings that could never be spoken in public. The nuances of the language are now mostly forgotten, but red roses still imply passionate, romantic love, which is the personality of today's pillow. By combining two tapestry style fabrics with vintage lace and buttons, we created a pretty red roses pillow that softly whispers its undying devotion.



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