We've been asked numerous times by Sew4Home readers, "How do you get your double rows of stitching so perfectly even?" We've quietly given out our secret to several of you. But now we've decided it's time to reveal it to the world. The way to get perfectly even, super close, double rows of stitching is... to use a twin needle. If you're one of those people who think twin needles are way too complicated, you're in for a very pleasant surprise: twice the stitching is half as hard as you might imagine!
About a month ago, we ran a survey to find out what you'd like to see on Sew4Home. We were curious what you would like to make. Which projects are the ones that not only inspire you to turn on your machine, but also make you want to share that project with your friends and family? Are there techniques you've always wondered about? Is there a tool or notion you wish you knew how to use? We wanted to make sure we continued to bring our fans and followers the type of inspiration and information you're looking for. This is the first in our series of answers to your requests. One of the top comments was really a multi-part wish: many folks asked about basic sewing techniques: zippers, buttonholes, hand stitches, gathering, fussy cutting, etc. Lo and behold... we had answered the majority of these questions already, but realized the various articles were spread out over several categories and might be hard to find, so we decided to collect them in one handy article you can refer to any time.
A blind hem is exactly what it sounds like: a hem with stitches you barely notice. It's perfect for window coverings or anywhere you want a clean finished edge. When I first started sewing, attaining a perfect blind hem was like finding the Holy Grail. And then a funny thing happened, I practiced it a few times, and realized it was really easy. It's sort of like learning to use chopsticks – at first it seems so awkward and difficult and then, suddenly, it's second nature. Try a blind hem and you'll never drop a wad of sticky rice in your lap again.
We use this technique over and over... and over again, because in home décor, as in life, you never know what's around the next corner. Actually, in home décor, it's usually just another corner. Making a perfect 90˚ fold at your corners is one option, and often that works just fine. But this technique gives you nine simple steps to creating a much cleaner, prettier corner. The tutorial shows the steps for a ¼" double fold hem, and it is dandy for exactly that, however, you can use the same steps for wider hems.
Snaps - they're easier to use than buttons and more durable than Velcro. So why don't more people use them? Because they are scared to death of that giant plier thingy you gotta use to attach them. S4H to the rescue! We make it easy to understand, holding your hand every step of the way so you won't be frightened. The first time we ran this tutorial, the comments flooded in, thanking us for finally making this very handy tool understandable. Snap it up!
Today's tip was an instant hit when it posted last summer because it gets a gold star in every important category: 1) makes a tedious task easier, 2) makes a tedious task faster, and 3) does #1 and #2 economically! A simple, inexpensive pair of hemostats (a locking clamp you probably recognize form the TV show, ER) is extremely useful when you need to turn long, narrow tubes right side out. And as an extra bonus, we throw in a companion tip: an easy, fast, cheap way to improve how you iron all those long, narrow tubes.
It's Things2Learn week at Sew4Home! One of the comments we hear over and over again is how much you love to learn new techniques and/or refresh your basic skills. So we went back into our archives and found our top five tips and techniques. First up: our detailed tutorial on bias tape. The official definition of bias is "an oblique or diagonal line." Bias tape is a strip of fabric that's been cut at a 45˚ angle to the weave or grain. This gives it a little bit of stretchiness, making it possible to go around corners without bunching up. Brush up on how to make it and how to attach it.