Adjusting stitch length isn't necessary for every project, but as you experiment with different types of fabrics and and start using stitches for embellishment as well as construction, a few quick tips will come in handy. When working with today's machines, which can zip along at up to 1000 stitches per minute, you can see how a little length goes a long way.
This is one article we like to bring back often because it's so important to be nice to your trusty sewing machine. Do you know the number one thing you can do to keep your sewing machine running smoothly? Clean out the lint! It's an unavoidable by-product of sewing. The more you sew, the more lint sifts into the guts of your machine. A little regular cleaning will keep your machine running smoothly. And a clean machine is also a quiet machine. Not only will periodic "care and feeding" help your machine to run better, it can also save you money in major repairs. Our thanks to Janome America for taking us through the important steps of regular maintenance you can do yourself in between trips to your dealer for more thorough cleaning and service.
I know I should be able to do math in my head; I also know I should eat more fruits and vegetables and actually use my gym membership. I could continue to pretend all these things are going to happen, or… I could find some little workarounds. Our Cheat Card is a handy reference table that converts common yardage amounts into inches and centimeters – no math-in-your-head required. It’s small enough to tuck into your wallet or tack up on the bulletin board in your sewing room.
Finishing the corners when you're making a narrow hem can be a challenge. Making a perfect 90˚ fold at each corner is one option, and often will work just fine. However, it can be tough to keep your raw edges tucked in, and bulky or slippery fabrics can cause you fits. Instead, our go-to finish option is the folded diagonal point corner: easy, tidy, and pretty from both sides.
There’s no research confirming a link between the classic yo-yo string toy and the fabric yo-yo, but they are both round, both peaked in popularity in the 1930s-40s in the United States, and both are pretty, dang fun! So, we’re happy to link them together as two points along a playful continuum. A fabric yo-yo is a small, ruched rosette. It’s most often associated with quilting, and antique yo-yo quilts can be quite stunning, but it’s a fun bit of dimensional embellishment that can be used on any number of projects. At it’s simplest, the yo-yo is just a small gathered circle. When cinched up tight it produces a smooth “button” effect on one side and a pretty rippled confection on the other. You can make them by hand, and we summarize those steps below, but we prefer to use the Clover Quick Yo-Yo Makers. These small plastic devices are incredibly affordable, and make the job of stitching yo-yos easier and more uniform.
Snaps are one of our favorite closures. They're small yet sturdy, like a cute little Corgi dog. But there's not always a lot of variety from which to choose. You can usually find nickel or brass, and the Western favorite: pretty pearl head snaps, every once in awhile, maybe a rhinestone alternative. But that's where the decorative options usually ended. So when Babyville snaps hit the market a few years ago, their bright colors and cute cover designs were an instant hit. They were immediately snapped up for their decorative flair. We've used them on several Sew4Home projects, and now we have a full tutorial dedicated to showing you just how easy they are to insert.
There’s something about the word fussy that sounds negative. We assume it means someone or something is being difficult, like a toddler turning up her nose at broccoli or the lawnmower that won't start unless you first pull the cord halfway and stand on one foot. But, words mean different things depending on the situation, and in the world of sewing, fussy can be a compliment and a fussy cut is a beautiful thing.
There are lots of ways to find what you're looking for at Sew4Home. Scroll through the home page teasers. Browse and click the main navigation tabs. Look in our Project Index. Or simply search by key word. But sometimes, it's nice to simply have one handy list of links to refer to in a specific category. We've pulled together our top ten articles that show a variety of ways you can keep things closed.
We love to gather with friends and family to share good food and conversation. We enjoy gathering with like-minded folks to attend concerts and other events. In these contexts, gathering is fun and easy. By comparison, in sewing... gathering is often known as daunting or simply too time-consuming! We believe all gathering should be fun and easy and aim to change the perception of gathering with a sewing machine. After reading this tutorial, we bet you’ll be inviting your sewing friends over to convince them just how easy it is to gather fabric. If you do this, we think you should call it "gatherers gathering on gathers!"
I call this a "flat top" zipper. I've also heard it referred to as a set-in zipper and a recessed zipper. You can make up your very own name; the Penelope Zipper would be one option. You've undoubtedly seen this type of zipper on loads of handbags and totes. It sits below the top of the bag, running flat across the top (thus the vote for my name), featuring tabs at either end (making it easy to zip open and shut), and is secured to the bag's lining with a simple facing (which is what allows it to be recessed). When you want a professional look plus the security of a full closure, you can't go wrong with the inset-flat top-set-in-recessed-Penelope zipper. Read on to see how easy it can be.