There are our famous Sew4Home aprons, various scarves, a few PJ pants, helpful tutorials on basic techniques, like pleats and darts… but really – we only dip our pinky toes into the waters of garment sewing. That doesn’t mean we don’t love it; we’ve just yet to set sail with full sets of sized patterns. Options are being researched, but in the meantime, we’ve made a new commitment to partner with some of our pals in the sewing community to bring you garment-focused guest features. First out of the chute: the amazing Ms. Kim Niedzwiecki aka Go-Go Kim of My Go-Go Life. We are all so lucky to have chosen sewing and craft as our hobby/passion/addiction. The sewing community is simply incredible, made up of women and men who are the most outgoing, caring, sharing folks we’ve ever met. Kim is right up there in our top tier. She’s full of life and brimming with energy and ideas. A quilter extraordinaire, she recently entered the world of garment sewing. She’s still alive to tell the tale, and has agreed to do just that, offering up her experiences, pearls of wisdom, and encouragement for you to do the same.
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.
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!
Time to give Dear ol' Dad his due! Father's Day is this Sunday, but there's still time to make him something special. Whether it's your own father, the father of your children, or the man who mentored you like a father; dads come in all shapes and sizes but they all love getting something handmade from the heart. We pulled a lucky seven group of S4H projects that are fast and easy to create but still have the perfect finished flair. And although they may not carry the same appeal as that set of wobbly ceramic coasters you made in fourth grade, they are great gift ideas.
Years ago the Thermos® company had the slogan, "Keeps hot things hot and cold things cold." You can't say it much better than that. Did you know there are fabrics that help you do the same thing? These aren't the heavy industrial materials that keep steelworkers, astronauts, and firefighters safe, but honest-to-goodness fabrics you can actually sew with.
Our first Retreat events have been such a blast! It’s a fabulous experience to be in new parts of the country with new sewing friends for a weekend of creativity. We gathered up a few photos from the first events, and will continue to share images with you as additional Retreats take place over the next months. A big, BIG thanks to our Hosting Dealers and of course – to all the enthusiastic attendees. Haven’t heard about these Retreats yet? Lean in!
We are thrilled and pretty dang proud to be featured in the Handmade for the Home Kitchen column of the Summer 2016 issue of Where Women Cook! Yes, you read that correctly: Cook. Not necessarily what you’re used to seeing here at the site, right?! But this beautiful magazine is a sister publication from our dear friend, Jo Packham, whom we met when we were one of the studios lucky enough to be profiled a few years back in Where Women Create. Jo reached out to us for this new column, and we were happy to jump at the opportunity. It’s her brainstorm (and a dandy one at that) to expose “foodies,” who love all the DIY aspects of creative meal preparation, to how much fun it can be to extend their creativity to sewing for the kitchen and the table. Maybe we can be “sewies”!
Often, the most exciting notions look rather nondescript inside their cardboard boxes and cellophane wrappers. Our goal with the Products We Love series is to break open the packaging, show you how to use these cool tools, and inspire you to add one or more to your own sewing basket. The Clover Hot Hemmer is one of the best little pressing tools we've come across in a long time. Although pressing is an incredibly important part of the construction process, we're not always happy to be hemming. But the Hot Hemmer helps keep all those narrow folds accurate without having to get your fingers too close to the iron. Nearly every time we feature this tool in our instructional photos, someone asks about it, so we knew it was time to make sure you had all the details.
You probably already know the rule of thumb for sewing machine needles: install a new one at the beginning of each project. When a needle is piercing your fabric at 600 to 1,000 stitches per minute, small things like a dulled point or an eye that's beginning to wear, can make a big difference in the quality of your stitches. But it's just as important to choose the right kind of needle. This is information we like to run at least once a year because it's such a good reminder to us all. Our thanks to Janome America and Janome Canada for helping us with the fine points of machine needles.