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How to Sew with Rick Rack: The Most Terrific of Trims

Thursday, 23 June 2016 1:00

Rick rack or rickrack or ricrac, however you spell it, there’s no denying it’s been at the top of the trim list for near 200 years. Earliest mentions of this wavy wonder date back to the mid-1800s! At its most simplified, rick rack is defined as a flat, narrow woven braid in a zig zag form. It was originally known as “waved crochet braid.” That’s right! Rick rack’s history is not as homespun as you might think. Rick rack was a preferred trim for fancy handwork in the late-19th and early-20th century, a sought-after component of crocheted lace designs. Because the harsh laundry methods of the time involved boiling-hot water, grated lye soap, and large wooden paddles, the durability of rick rack made it a favorite with seamstresses who were tasked with applying or repairing the much more delicate laces. From elegant lace gowns to prairie pinafores, it’s a trim that’s weathered the test of time and we have the best tips for adding it to today’s projects. 

A Tufting Tutorial: Dritz Home Decor

Thursday, 16 June 2016 1:00

The definition of tufting is pretty simple: make depressions at regular intervals in a cushion by passing a thread through and pulling it taut. And really, it is that simple. If (and there is always an “if” isn’t there?) you have the right tools and make sure you measure and mark with precision. Thanks to the creative minds at Dritz®, you can easily get all the tools you need to make things easy. We show you the techniques to use those tools to do stitch tufting and button tufting on a standard cushion width, as well as how to tackle bolster tufting with those extra long needles… they’re not as scary as they might look! 

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How to Perfectly Match a Pocket to a Background Panel

Friday, 06 May 2016 1:00

A perfect match might be difficult to find in the world of relationships, but in sewing: we gotcha covered! When you want a pocket to precisely align with the panel on which it sits, all you need is a little extra fabric, some tissue paper, and those tracing skills you learned back in kindergarten. 

Tiny Tucks with a Quarter Inch Seam Foot

Tuesday, 03 May 2016 1:00

Narrow tucks, called pintucks when they are super-duper narrow, are most well-known in the world of heirloom sewing, but they can add a lovely bit of detail to many kinds of projects. You can create this look quickly and easily with your Quarter Inch Seam foot. Tucks can be sewn in thread to match the fabric for a classic tone-on-tone look. Switch to a contrasting thread for extra detail along the stitch line. Or, accent with decorative stitching between tucks on directly on top of each tuck.

How to Sew An X Box to Secure Straps & More

Wednesday, 30 March 2016 1:00

You can't play Sonic Generations with this type of "X Box," but you can use it in your sewing projects to secure all types of straps and narrow panels. It's simply a stitched box with an "X" through the middle. This stitching pattern provides a high level of strength and stability, and when done with precision, it also adds a pretty detail. Try it with a contrasting thread color for extra emphasis. In the industrial world of strapping, the X Box is often at the heart of rigging, where it's meant to hold extreme loads, such as in a parachute harness. You'd want to research online to learn how to create this unique specialty stitch. Here at Sew4Home, we're using it in a decorative fashion to help hold an apron strap in place or a handle on a bag. So while a tight bond is certainly achieved, the most demanding function of the home sewing X Box is to look smooth and even. 

How to Insert a Rectangular Base into a Tube

Wednesday, 23 March 2016 1:00

Sewing a rectangle into a tube rings of “square peg in a round hole” hopelessness. And yet, it’s one of the most common techniques when creating bags, boxes, and baskets. If you want a flat, stable base, an inset base panel is the go-to option. To make this geometric magic happen doesn’t take a hammer, but it does require careful measuring and marking upfront, and sewing each side independently during construction. Follow our easy steps to achieve an expert finish.

How to Sew On a Button by Hand

Wednesday, 16 March 2016 1:00

Picking out buttons for your sewing projects is fun! But, let's be frank... sewing on those buttons is not quite as fun. It's kind of the "cleaning toilets" of the sewing world – a dirty job, but one that is very worth it in the end. The up-side of button sewing is that it's relatively quick and easy, and there's no sponge involved. Our button sewing tutorial explains the basics.

Quick Tip: Topstitching versus Edgestitching

Wednesday, 09 March 2016 1:00

As a writer and editor, I’m a bit of a “word geek.” I love all the crazy intricacies, like the subtle but important difference between further and farther, fewer and less or lie and lay. Yes, I am one of those annoying people… and a devastating opponent in Scrabble. There are a couple terms in sewing that get tossed about interchangeably: topstitching and edgestitching. They are similar but different animals, each with its own distinct purposes. The images above of our Five-Pocket Canvas Bag feature a variety of beautiful and precise topstitching and edgestitching.

How to Cut Large Fabric Panels in One Fell Swoop

Wednesday, 02 March 2016 1:00

There are a lot of home décor projects that require cutting large panels of fabrics, such as curtains, throws, and tablecloths. When you're short on space, this can be a bit of a challenge. So here's a little folding-and-cutting trick to make it easier, faster, more compact ... and actually, more precise. Remember making paper snowflakes as a kid? You fold, fold, fold, and then cut, cut, cut. Same basic concept, but without the swiss cheese effect. Grab your rotary cutter and mat and let's slice!

Quick Tip: How Tapered Corners Make Square Pillows

Tuesday, 23 February 2016 1:00

The square pillow – it's a decorating staple and a great way to freshen up a room. You pick your favorite fabric, measure carefully, and cut two perfect squares. You sew the seams, pivoting at each corner with precision, and insert the pillow form. You set the finished pillow on the sofa, and... Hey! That pillow doesn't look square! Instead of crisp straight edges, the sides curve in toward the center and the corners are floppy. Use this quick tip to learn how a slight curve can create a better square.

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