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.
Often, the most exciting notions look rather nondescript inside their cardboard boxes and cellophane wrappers. Our goal with the Products We Love series is to break open the packaging, show you how to use these cool tools, and inspire you to add one or more to your own sewing basket. The Clover Hot Hemmer is one of the best little pressing tools we've come across in a long time. Although pressing is an incredibly important part of the construction process, we're not always happy to be hemming. But the Hot Hemmer helps keep all those narrow folds accurate without having to get your fingers too close to the iron. Nearly every time we feature this tool in our instructional photos, someone asks about it, so we knew it was time to make sure you had all the details.
You probably already know the rule of thumb for sewing machine needles: install a new one at the beginning of each project. When a needle is piercing your fabric at 600 to 1,000 stitches per minute, small things like a dulled point or an eye that's beginning to wear, can make a big difference in the quality of your stitches. But it's just as important to choose the right kind of needle. This is information we like to run at least once a year because it's such a good reminder to us all. Our thanks to Janome America and Janome Canada for helping us with the fine points of machine needles.
Creating beautiful handmade projects is what we all love to do. However, we probably don’t put in quite as much effort thinking about how to keep them looking beautiful. So we spent some time with our clever friends at Dritz® to explore their Clothing Care category, coming away with nine products that help smooth, dry, repair, protect, and more. The majority of them are “multi-taskers" with additional uses outside the sewing room, including as travel solutions. Do you have your own unique uses for these types of products (your own "hacks" for the social-media-savvy)? We'd love to hear them. Leave us a comment below.
A skosh, a wee bit, just a hair... sometimes, the distances we want to work with in sewing aren't quite as precise as the engraved inch and millimeter markings on our machines. Wouldn't it be great if there was a foot you could manually adjust to perfectly align with the exact distance you wanted? There is! The Janome Sliding Guide Foot has a perfectly balanced outboard guide you can smoothly slide to the right then lock into place, from ⅜" to 1⅛" from the center needle drop (10mm - 30mm). I love it when someone answers my "wouldn't-it-be-great" requests!
One of things we are asked about on a regular basis is sergers. For many people, even seasoned sewers, they are equal parts tantalizing and terrifying. They can do so many cool things at once: seam, trim, and finish – all at lightning speed. But to make it happen, there are a lot of threads working together and… knives! Luckily, the benefits should outweigh your apprehensions. Adding a serger to your sewing room arsenal is a great way to save time and give your seams a professional quality finish. We put together our top five reasons for making a serger your sewing machine’s newest companion.
There are hundreds of thousands of thread spools in the world (I think "bazillions" is actually the technical term). How on earth do you know which one to choose? It's part science – what the manufacturers have designed the thread to do, and part art – what you like about the look and feel of the thread. One of our very first articles on Sew4Home was how to go about selecting the right thread for your project. It's still one of the most important topics to talk about; after all, thread is what's holding everything together! We worked with our friends at Coats to put together a handy overview that can help you understand not only the standard choices, but some of the specialty options as well. It was the dawn of the 1800s when Patrick Clark developed a method of twisting cotton yarns together to produce a thread so strong and smooth it could replace the natural silk used in the looms of the day. Coats continues to produce some of the best thread in the business.
We love it when the delivery dude shows up with a box from Dritz® because great new products are likely to be inside! The clever minds at Dritz® are always working on new ways to make our sewing and crafting better, easier, and more fun. Today we're showcasing five new items we liked and think you will too. You can find Dritz® notions at in-store and online retailers everywhere.
The Janome Flower Stitch Attachment is the flower girl of the sewing accessory world, allowing you to sprinkle pretty posies over any project. The attachment fits Janome low shank sewing machines with a maximum stitch width of 7mm. It is not compatible with machines that include embroidery, have the Janome AcuFeed™ or AcuFeed Flex™ systems, or feature a maximum 9mm stitch width. What a fun and easy way to add little decorative stitch touches in pretty thread colors!
Before she became a fabulous fabric designer, Lori Holt of Bee In My Bonnet was a quilting teacher. This not only gave her a chance to pass on her skills to a new generation of creative sewers and crafters, she also identified two things that consistently frustrate beginners: 1) fabric pieces turned the wrong way, and 2) not being able to keep an accurate seam allowance. Putting her inventive mind to work, Lori developed two simple tools to help solve these problems and make it easier to be precise, confident, and ultimately more creative... and they're not just for beginners! You'll love her Portable Design Boards and Sew Easy! Seam Guides. Our thanks to Fat Quarter Shop for bringing both cool tools to our attention so we can share the news with you.