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How to Insert a Tuck or Push Lock Closure

Friday, 15 August 2014 1:00

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. 

How to Make a Buttonhole on Your Sewing Machine

Friday, 08 August 2014 1:00

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. 

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What Is Fabric Grain And How To Fix It If It's Off

Friday, 25 July 2014 1:00

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.

How to Make and Measure a Circle Without a Pattern

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 1:00

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.

How to Create an Inset Zipper

Tuesday, 15 July 2014 1:00

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. I'm sure you've 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 allows it to be recessed). When you want a professional look and the security of a full closure, you can't go wrong with the inset-set-in-recessed-Penelope zipper. Read on to see how easy it can be.

How to Insert a Flat Circle Into a Tube

Tuesday, 08 July 2014 1:00

This is not one of those square-peg-in-a-round-hole situations. But, if the idea of sewing a two-dimensional item (a flat circle) into a three-dimensional item (a tube) sounds like something from another dimension, read on. We've broken it down into a simple step-by-step process and even show you two different methods. 

How To Sew A Perfect “X” Box

Thursday, 03 July 2014 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. 

How To Help A Teen Start Sewing

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 1:00

Hopefully, you're reading this article for one of two reasons. Either you know a teen who really wants to start sewing, or you know one you'd like to inspire to start sewing. In both cases, you can help them on their way with a little guidance. In this day and age, when young adults seem to be devoted nearly full-time to social media apps, it's easy to think none of them could possibly be interested in something so archaic as sewing. But, while you weren't looking, sewing became cool. Read on for our Top Seven Tips to pave the way to a great experience for a young sewist. 

How to Insert a Magnetic Snap Closure

Wednesday, 11 June 2014 1:00

The magnetic snap is indispensable to the construction of purses, totes and bags. We've used them on dozens of Sew4Home projects and decided it was high time the technique had its very own tutorial. As with many notions and tools that add a unique professional finish, the steps for their use are themselves not necessarily difficult. The secret is having the time and patience to go through the instructions in the correct order, and with extra precision in your marking and measuring. 

How to Insert a Turn or Twist Lock Closure

Tuesday, 10 June 2014 1:00

The turn or twist lock closure is one of those finishing touches that looks so professional, it fools you into thinking it must be crazy hard to install. We're here to bust that myth wide open. We used this closure on our Ribbon Flap Shoulder Bag with Renaissance Ribbons. Centered within one of the ribbons, this little lock completed the bag with high-end style. Read on to see the easy steps to follow. The trick is to measure one, twice, three times to insure both halves of the closure are perfectly placed.

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