In our 2016 Sewing resolutions, we teased you a little bit about this new adventure. Our number one resolution was: To connect with YOU in even more ways. Today, we're pleased to announce one of the most exciting ways we'll be doing just that this year: the Sew4Home Sewing Escape sewing retreat. We've partnered with Janome America as well as some of our favorite providers of notions, fabric, and sewing tools to bring the Sew4Home experience directly to you in fun-filled, multi-day events.
Pleats are the origami of the sewing world. And although you don't usually need to fold one into the shape of a swan, there are a wide variety of pretty pleats that add distinct visual and textural embellishments for both home décor as well as garment sewing. Each type provides a different look based on how it's formed. You can make: knife pleats, knife pleats in two directions, box pleats, inverted box pleats, inverted box pleats with a separate underlay, accordion pleats, sunray pleats, and wave pleats. In this tutorial, we're focusing on a box pleat and its identical yet opposite cousin, the inverted box pleat.
We hope you've enjoyed our week of superb softness with three different blanket projects and a helpful Sewing with Cuddle how-to article. Our thanks to Fabric Depot and Shannon Fabrics for providing all the fabric as well as their expertise in working with this luxury plush fabric. To cap things off, we have a Great Giveaway designed to get you started on some soft sewing of your own. We have three Cuddle Cake bundles for three lucky Sew4home visitors. Each contains twenty 10" x 10" squares in a coordinated colorway.
If you've ever touched quality plush fabric, you've probably made this sound: "Ohhhhhh, ahhhhhh." You're also likely to have immediately stroked your cheek with this wonderfully soft fabric. Luxury plush goes by several names. Many people refer to it generically as Minky, but that is actually a brand name, much like Kleenex® is a brand name for facial tissue. For this article, we're referring to it as "Cuddle," which is the name given to the category by industry leader, Shannon Fabrics. The fabric gives a fabulous softness to a wide variety of projects, from toys to pillows to blankets and more (we loved using it for a soft fitted crib sheet). It's not a difficult fabric to sew with, but to create the very best results, it helps to have a few tips and tricks under your belt prior to jumping in. And doesn't jumping into a huge pile of Cuddle sound like a wonderful thing? "Ohhhhhh, ahhhhhhh!"
Seam grading is like stair-stepping. Don't worry, it's not the aerobic kind from the gym. It's the process of turning a standard seam allowance into layered tiers of fabric. The result is less bulk, which means a smoother finish from the right side. It's another one those very basic techniques that can make all the difference in the professional look of your project. It is done by hand, so it can be a bit time consuming based on the length of the seam being trimmed, but it makes a tremendous difference. Bulky, lumpy seams simply are not very pretty.
Here at Sew4home, we're all about helping you learn techniques to make your sewing faster, easier, and more fun. But we certainly can't cover all the tools and tricks. So we're always on the lookout for additional resources to send your way. The recently updated Video Tutorial Library from our friends at Dritz® has over 30 short videos that teach you how to use a variety of their products. We've watched them all, and have a review of some of our favorites. You'll want to bookmark this handy YouTube channel to increase your notions know-how!
Little pieces of fabric sewn together. That's truly quilting at its most basic, but its just as crazy as describing cooking as: tasty bits of food mixed together. The creativity (and the love) is in the who, what, when, where, and why of how it all happens. Our Quilting Basics series is designed to help beginning quilters get rollin'. We explain the fundamentals of quilting, including the various tools you’ll need (and may already have), cutting techniques, how to create quilt blocks from basic shapes, piecing tips and techniques, and actual quilt stitching. One disclaimer: enter at your own risk; quilting can be addictive.
Love That Fabric is our periodic review of some of the freshest, most fabulous fabrics we've spotted. The series was always a fan favorite, but had been on a bit of a hiatus. Now, thanks to visitor and sponsor requests, it's back and we're ready to fall in love all over again! The Series returns with two new collections from Moda fabrics. One is a mix of modern essentials, the other a nostalgic beauty in creamy, sweet-dreamy colors.
"Give us the tools and we will finish the job." Winston Churchill. One of the signs of a truly well-made project is that it looks nearly as good on the inside as it does on the outside. Finishing a project's inside raw edges will not only elevate the final appearance, it will also elevate your sewing skills to a new level. In general, the purpose of any seam finish is to prevent fray-prone fabrics from raveling beyond the seam, which would then leave a hole in your sewn project. It also helps to reduce bulk on certain fabrics, like fleece. And, finishing stitches always provide added strength to a seam and the fabric edge. However, it's often just about the look, and most professionals recommend you even finish fabrics that don’t appear to require it.
It's time to regroup, revitalize, and reclaim your sewing ambitions. We've put together our Top Five goals for 2016, and we'd like to know yours. We're even willing to reward your sewing dreams with a Great Giveaway. We have a Beautiful (yep, that's beautiful with a capital B) thread box from Aurifil Thread to award to one lucky Sew4Home resolution-maker. One note: Finishing all unfinished projects does not count as a real resolution .
THIS GREAT GIVEAWAY CLOSED 01/10/16. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED.