As part of the Fabric.com Everything Old is New Again series, we are delving in to one of the oldest styles of specialty sewing: heirloom. This precise and delicate type of stitching is said to have begun in the late 1800s by French nuns, who hand-stitched exquisite laces to delicate fabrics for royal families. Their craftsmanship was so incredible, the resulting gowns and linens were painstakingly preserved and handed down from one generation to the next; hence an heirloom. You'll see the influence of heirloom stitching in a variety of high-end garments, especially special occasion finery, such as wedding dresses, christening gowns, and lingerie; as well as in the finest table linens. Today, with French nuns in short supply, we show you the basics of creating heirloom stitching with your sewing machine.
For many of you out there, childhood memories of "shiny-like" fabrics around the home probably revolve around upholstered chairs (that made you sweat if you sat too long), tablecloths (often with a blurry gingham pattern printed on them), appliance covers (that one with the giant, scary chicken on it that covered the toaster), etc. They were usually horrible colors and/or patterns, and certainly lackluster in design. However, they were durable and easy to clean (great when kids were involved!). Today, you'll find many of your favorite fabric designers are beginning to offer a portion of their current collections in a laminated substrate. These new offerings are a far cry from those we remember. They're pretty and pliable... but they'll probably still make you sweat if you sit on them too long!
In between the simplicity of gathering and the intricacy of hand-smocking, lives one of our favorite texturing techniques: elastic shirring. You've probably owned a garment or two with shirring on the bodice or sleeve edge. It was the style on those iconic 1970s peasant dresses, and it's making a strong comeback in this season's fashion. Shirring is a great sewing technique to learn, and easy-peasy too! And just like the little boy with a hammer, for whom everything becomes a nail... once you learn how to do shirring, we guarantee there will be all kinds of projects that need this pretty, rumply, stretchy touch of texture.
Most of the time, sewing is all about soft things, from beautiful fabrics to cushy pillow inserts. However, every so often, something hard comes along. It's not there to torment you, it's a way to inject an interesting new texture into the mix.This week, we experimented with two of Simplicity's unique metal trims from their Project Runway collection. You'll see the eye-popping results in Wednesday's and Thursday's projects. Today, you'll learn tips to make working with these trims easier, as well as techniques to give you the most professional finish.
If you are new to sewing, some of the terminology can be confusing. Doesn't "bolt" mean to run away? Cutting something on the "bias" just sounds mean. And, "feed dogs" seems more like a command than a sewing machine part. Trying to understand the various terms, exactly what they mean, how they work, and especially when to use them may seem daunting. But, as you learn each one, they'll become commonplace, and soon "nap" will mean more than dropping off for a little snooze. Today, we meet: understitching, which is not a seam done in a sneaky or under-handed manner and/or by Underdog. Read on to find out what it really is.
One of the very first people we profiled in our Creative People We Love series was Ms. Heather Jones. Ours is a long lasting love! When we originally met Heather, we knew her as the beauty and brains behind Olive & Ollie, a site specializing in some of the most adorable children's clothing we'd ever seen. And although O&O is still a creative outlet for Heather, most recently, she has been making quite a name for herself in the world of Modern Quilting: winning numerous contests, getting ready to debut her own line of Modern Quilting patterns, becoming a member of the Riley Blake Design Team, and just last week, doing another guest appearance on Quilting Arts TV. We feel very, very special and lucky that Heather found the time to create today's awesome Guest Tutorial on one of her specialties: Straight Line Quilting. Enjoy... and be watching this woman; there are certainly more amazing things to come!
We use binding on many projects here at Sew4Home, and we always get lots of compliments about how nice it looks. We also get lots of questions about how we managed to pull that off! So, we decided to write a comprehensive binding tutorial you can refer to over and over. We cover how to cut your binding fabric, which way to press it, how to join it at the ends, and how to actually sew it to your project. If you're an "old hand" at the binding biz, this will be a nice refresher. If you're brand new, we encourage you to take each part of the process step by step. Before you know it, you'll be an "old hand" too.
One of the common areas of sewing frustration, especially if you're new, is the corner. Those pesky four corners create any square or rectangular item, like the home décor standard: the pillow! In reality, any time you sew two pieces together then turn them right side out, that turned-out seam becomes the clean, finished edge you ( and everyone else) will see. The number one goal when sewing a corner is to be precise. You must stop and pivot at the exact point where the seam allowances on the two sides intersect. This precision stitching, when combined with proper trimming of the excess fabric from the seam allowance, will create a beautiful sharp point and smooth edge every time.
The cherry on top of the ice cream sundae has landed. As the final piece in our popular Half Moon Modern Sewing Room series, Moda Fabrics has sponsored the official Sew4Home full-color, 28-page Sewing Basics Resource Guide. It's our holiday gift to you! Learn the basic parts of a sewing machine. Check out the lists of what to look for in sewing machine needles, cutting tools, thread and more. Find step-by-step instructions for several technique basics, like simple hems and buttons. It's an absolute must for the beginning sewing enthusiast and a great little refresher course for us all. You can always learn something new – right?! Download our handy guide absolutely free. It would make an amazing stocking stuffer!
Back in the 1970s I wanted my mom to buy me a real leather jacket. Unfortunately, she was only prepared to spend for one made of synthetic leather. As much as I wanted to believe it looked genuine, it just looked fake. Today's fake - excuse me, faux - leather looks so much more like the real thing. And, not only is faux leather less expensive than genuine leather, it's also easier to sew with. We give you the simple tricks and tools.