We get a lot of questions about zippers. They seem to live at the top of many people's lists of Sewing Phobias (ziphobia!). In an effort to calm these fears, we already have three step-by-step tutorials for inserting standard zippers, tackling invisible zippers, and putting in an inset zipper. We're adding to the zipper toolbox with the following zip-tips for how to put a conventional zipper into a circular opening.
I'm a little behind the curve when it comes to reality TV. I just recently discovered a new competitive sport of which I had no previous knowledge: Extreme Couponing, which must be what Extreme Skateboarders do on their days off. Although far from extreme, I am a coupon clipper; I even keep the ones that spit out like some sort of crazy jackpot with my grocery receipt. They all end up in a kitchen drawer, which is usually where they are when I really need them. If I do manage to remember to bring them to the store, it's so hard to find the one I need, I often just give up. Our solution is this pretty Coupon Wallet. It has seven pockets so you can sort coupons, frequent shopper punch cards, gift cards, and more into specific sections. Now they will be easy to find, and therefore, easy to use. Never pay full price again!
Pillowcases are always fast and fun, and they make a great beginner project. We have lots of easy options in the Sew4Home Project Index, several of which we've linked to below, but we've also gotten a number of requests to demonstrate a construction technique known as "burrito style." It creates nicely finished seams inside and out with an easy roll-and-turn method. We used prints from the licensed Frozen® fabric collection from our friends at Fabric Depot.
For some sewing applications, there's nothing that works quite as well as a metal snap. They're easier to use than buttons and more durable than Velcro®. That's why they're used in everything from mountain climbing jackets, to yacht covers, to baby clothes. Just think how long it would take an NBA player to jump up from the bench and get into the game if he didn't have those "quick release" sweat pants with snaps running up both sides. He'd probably fall into the stands trying to pull his sweats off over his giant shoes. Installing snaps is pretty simple. You just take a series of tiny metal rings (which can be set up twenty wrong ways and only one right way) line them up within a millimeter of perfection, and then crush the whole assemblage together as hard as you can through several layers of fabric. What could possibly go wrong?
"Whoooooooo wants lunch?!" Our adorable appliquéd owl placemats make mealtime fun for kids... or just those of us who are kids at heart! We provide templates for all four owl designs along with detailed step-by-step instructions for how to layer and stitch. Each owl pal has its own personality, thanks to their expressive eyes and whether they're hopping, perching, flying or tumbling. The fabric selection for all the pieces also adds style and sass. We dug through our scrap stash for a blend of fall colors. Each owl features one tiny print and one coordinating solid.
Once upon a time there was a beautiful baby with golden curls. Admirers came from far and wide with gifts of soft, cozy blankets; each visitor trying to out-do the one who came before. The beautiful baby smiled and laughed and shook her golden curls. She loved all the blankets, declaring each one to be, "Just Right!" We offer you the Goldilocks of baby receiving blanket options: Baby Bear Decorative Stitch Blanket, Mama Bear Rick Rack Blanket, and Papa Bear Bound Edge Blanket.
We're often asked for more projects that can be done by beginners or used as projects to help teach someone to sew - especially a child. Wish granted. We have three wonderful pillow projects we've dubbed Xtra EZ. Not only are the steps themselves just that: extra easy, we've also made sure there are specific techniques that help build a beginner's sewing tool box. This pillow shows the tools and tricks to create a simple patchwork design and illustrates the most basic of pillow closures: the envelope back. You'll also find links below for the coordinating ponytail bolster and the perky pom-pom pillow, both of which have other fun, Xtra EZ tips to learn.
Your scrap basket may not include leather, but you might be surprised where you can find bits and pieces of real leather. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have Tandy Leather, which has several retail locations as well as online shopping. Their retail stores extend across the country and even internationally. Check out the store locator to see if there's one in your area. Or, you may have a similar outlet; any larger company that creates leather goods probably offers scraps for sale. If not, browse local vintage and re-sale shops for leather vests, larger purses, and other leather products you can repurpose. In addition, you can always choose to substitute faux leather. These half-square triangles go together in a snap. And the soft wool-felt backing makes them safe for any surface.
To be perfectly honest, I hate to cover up my windows. Staring out into the world is one of my favorite pastimes. But, I also realize you need a little privacy and some protection from the sun. And, the softness of curtains and drapes adds a distinct coziness to a room. Okay -- window coverings win! In true Sew4Home fashion, these pretty tab-top curtains are very easy to make. Clever seaming gives you fully lined, finished panels with no visible stitching on the sides. And, we go through all the equations needed to figure out the correct width and height for your windows.
The new "tiny house" movement has nothing on dorm life, where living space shrinks to the bare minimum and you're welcomed to the world of the communal bathroom. For kids heading off to college, it's often the first experience in condensing all their belongings to fit into a small shared space. Let them use this great looking, super functional round caddy to keep bath necessities together in one handy organizer that's easy to tote back and forth. We worked with our friends at Fabric Depot to select a heavier-weight Oxford Cloth in a fun dot pattern; it reminded us of happy little soap bubbles. The pretty exterior is paired with a water repellent nylon for the lining.