I love those little emergency sewing kits they have at hotels. They're a life saver if you lose a button right before an important meeting or have another kind of "wardrobe malfunction." But I wouldn't dream of using them for my regular sewing – anymore than I'd open a hair salon that used only cute little hotel shampoos. However, for some sewers, especially beginning sewers, their set of tools is about at the same level as the free repair kit. If that's the case with you sewing basket, you have some shopping to do. Having better quality accessories and notions actually helps you achieve better results on your projects. It can make the difference between a project that was fun to create and you're proud to display, and one you feel like hurling out the window.
Decorative stitches are tiny pieces of thread art. Sometimes when I look at them, I can't believe a single threaded needle made such an intricate design. But even though I love them, I often forget to use them. We get so caught up in the seams of a project's construction, decorative stitches can get overlooked. We wanted a way to keep some of our favorite stitches top-of-mind, so we did a little decorative stitch sampler then framed it as sewing room artwork. Super fast, super simple, and the prefect colorful reminder.
Fat Quarters were the first specialty pre-cut on the market, and are still the most common. At 18" high x 22" wide, their format makes them a quilter's best fabric friend. Our friends at It's Sew Emma Patterns are here to prove it once again with a brand new book: Fat Quarter Style – 12 Quilts That Never Go Out of Style. We were excited to get two early copies – one to read, enjoy and keep; and one to give away to a lucky Sew4Home visitor. Read on to find out what makes a Fat Quarter "fat," why it makes cutting so much more flexible, and glimpse some of the great quilt patterns this book has to offer.
We've all seen this popular little clasp. It's the go-to closure on everything from casual backpacks to high-end handbags. As with anything that includes moving parts, and may involve tools to install, it can seem intimidating. You might opt instead for a simple button closure, a snap, or simply hope a flap stays put on its own. Here's the secret about this two-part lock: it's actually quite easy to put in. The key is confirming the placement of both halves, but that's just a matter of careful measuring and double-checking. So what are you waiting for? On the next project that features a flap or strap to secure – go pro with a tuck lock.
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.
Most of us understand how to sew on a button. If not, we have tutorials on sewing them on by hand as well as by machine. Pretty darn easy either way, and not scary at all. But buttonholes are a whole different matter. At the end of your project, after you've put in so much work, it's time to put in the buttonholes. You should be happy you're almost done. But for many of us, beads of sweat start to form across our brows and we wonder, "Am I about to ruin everything by botching the buttonholes?" Well, you can stop sweating, because it's really not that hard once you break it down into individual steps.
You might have heard the term, "fabric grain." It sounds like it could be a breakfast cereal just for sewists. But in reality, it's a technical term that describes the direction your fabric has been woven. It's important to know which way the grain is running. Because, fabric that is off-grain when you are cutting pattern pieces can cause your completed project to stretch out of shape. We're here to give you a better understanding of fabric grain and some tips on how to straighten it.
The circle is, in my 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. But 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), and 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.
THIS GREAT GIVEAWAY CLOSED 07/23/14. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED.
Perhaps you were too bored to notice, but July is National Anti-Boredom Month. Of course truly creative people never get bored... right? Either that or we are very creative in our excuses for why we might be momentarily distracted at school, at work, on the weekend, even in the middle of the night when we can’t sleep. In the fight against lethargy, Sew4Home offers you an Anti-Boredom Great Giveaway. We have a wonderful book by Tula Pink plus some very interesting fabric pre-cuts: the perfect pair to turn idleness into inspiration.