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Preshrinking: Learn the What, Why, When and How

Wednesday, 10 June 2015 1:00

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 the likely 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 some popular products to try. 

Chiffon Scarves - Serged or Sequined

Tuesday, 09 June 2015 1:00

A great scarf can elevate an outfit from drab to dynamic in an instant. However, really nice scarves don't come cheap at the department store or boutique. Here's a little fashion secret: scarves are SUPER easy to make, and you can find amazing selections of the ultimate scarf fabric: chiffon for as low as $4.00 a yard! We have two designs for you to try. If you have a serger, cut on the bias and create a ripply "lettuce edge" all around. For your sewing machine, go long and lovely with a rolled hem and hand sewn sequins all around.

ScrapBusters: Flatware Pockets for Outdoor Dining

Monday, 08 June 2015 1:00

Today is the first article in our Sew It Up 4 Summer series: new and classic projects that are quick to create and a perfect choice for summer fun in the sun. One of the best parts of warm weather is moving meals outside. You can have a picnic on your own porch or patio. When dining al fresco, keep forks clean and napkins from blowing away with our cute little flatware pockets.

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How to Prevent Thread Tangles in Hand Sewing

Thursday, 04 June 2015 1:00

No matter what kind of sewing you like to do, there are times you must use a hand needle and thread. It could be for something simple, such as sewing on a button, stitching an opening closed, or tacking a strap in place. Or, you can move up the hand-sewing food chain to beautifully intricate techniques, like hand embroidery or hand quilting. Learn our favorite tips to help eliminate knots and tangles, and keep those stitches flowing smoothly.

Soft & Stuff-able Fabric Shopping Bags

Wednesday, 03 June 2015 1:00

As more and more stores up their recycling commitment (some entire cities have banned plastic bags), it's becoming pretty common to have to bring your own shopping bags. Fabric bags are the go-to alternative and widely available, particularly the heavier, structured bags. Lightweight, flexible bags that would best replace plastic can be harder to come by. Luckily, you're a clever sewing person and can make your own... with a little help from your friends at Sew4Home.

Shower Curtain with Pom Pom Valance

Tuesday, 02 June 2015 1:00

This beautiful shower curtain is guaranteed to improve your singing in the shower by 110%. We're not sure how we will ever back up that claim, but since everyone figures they sound like Beyonce when the water's running, how can we go wrong? We chose two coordinating Waverly Sun N Shade fabrics: one with a bold motif for the main curtain, the other in a smaller design for the valance. Pom poms provide a pop of color. Toss that plain plastic shower curtain and go for gorgeous instead.

Decorative Stitch Piping Frames Appliqué Pillow: Janome America

Monday, 01 June 2015 1:00

We're always thinking about new ways to use all the great decorative stitches available on our Janome machines. This pillow features them in a unique way that makes ordinary piping pop. You start with jumbo half inch piping, which requires a wide fabric strip as a wrap. This fabric strip becomes the base for two rows of bold decorative stitching. We used the full 9mm stitch width available on our Janome Skyline S5. When wrapped around the piping cord, these stitches create a striking embellishment that beautifully frames the entire pillow. 

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Ring Bearer's Pillow with Woven Ribbons

Friday, 29 May 2015 1:00

In Ancient Egypt, pillows were a sign of wealth and prestige and were often used to carry ornamental items, such as precious jewels. The amount of money a family had determined the number of jewel-covered pillows on display. Similarly, the Romans used pillows to present precious items to a bride and groom during the wedding ceremony. A page would be selected to bring in pillows laden with gifts during the ceremony. Royal families would present the couple with crowns brought in on a pillow. Today, the pillow continues as the traditional way to transport wedding rings down the aisle, usually in the shaky hands of the bride's or groom's youngest male relative. This pretty version is made from intricately woven ribbons.

Door Draft Guard

Thursday, 28 May 2015 1:00

These handy energy savers aren't just for winter! In the summer, they can help keep the cool in and the heat out. They also reduce outside dust, noise and odors! We used a summery combination of colorful home décor fabrics. You could choose a pairing to best match your own interior design. This Door Draft Guard would make a great housewarming (or would that be "house-cooling") gift. But, remember, the filler can be quite heavy (we used dried beans). It would likely be easier to just wrap up the outer covering. You could then include instructions on how and with what to fill the tube. 

Bias Tape Cheat Sheet

Wednesday, 27 May 2015 1:00

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There you stand in the fabric store, staring at that giant display of bias tapes and bindings in front of you, the shiny cellophane packages glinting in their neat, color coordinated rows. Single fold, double fold, blanket, quilt. Geeze! What's what? Do you just throw a dart and hope for the best? No! You study your Sew4Home Cheat Sheet and get exactly what you really need.

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