Welcome to our newest series and our first creative contest! We've partnered with our friends at Fairfield Processing (the makers of Poly-Fil® and all kinds of other soft stuff) to bring you ten days of fun. We have six pillow projects packed with personality, four interesting articles with product news and helpful techniques, and throughout it all: The Great Pillow Personality Contest! Make a pillow with pizzazz and you could win lots of great Fairfield inserts and fillers to make lots more pillows. Plus, the winning pillows will be featured here on Sew4Home! Read on for more details, then come back each day for new stuff about the soft stuff. Today, we give you a little history about the family company where it all started and is still happening.
THIS CONTEST ENDED 08/31/12. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO ENTERED.
Nine tutorials plus five techniques plus today's Great Giveaway equals three weeks of beauty and imagination. We hope you've enjoyed the Romantic Bedroom Retreat series with Rowan & FreeSpirit Fabric as much as we have. It was a challenge to take four new, and somewhat disparate collections, and bring them together into a harmonious theme, as well as blend in a variety of fabric substrates, such as voile, cotton sateen and laminates. But the result was well worth the work; we loved the final look of the Bedroom Retreat, and we were so happy to read all your comments and know you loved it too! The goal of this series was to give you the tools, inspiration and confidence to mix and match designers, fabrics and substrates to create your own unique look for a single project or an entire room. Today, we bring you TWO big bundles of fabric, allowing two lucky Sew4Home commenters to do just that: take what they've learned and enhance their own space. Our two winners, drawn at random, will both receive two yards each of thirteen different fabrics from within the collections featured in our series (yep, do the math; that's 26 yards each). It's a treasure chest of inspiration! No wait... it's TWO treasure chests!!
Okay - true confession time. In school, I was a theater rat... always in plays and musicals, always taking artsy-fartsy classes, including "How To Mime" or, as I remember it, "How To Pretend You're Stuck In A Box And Look Foolish Doing It." It's true, unless you're Marcel Marceau, you look really silly doing mime. So... no mime today. But, we are still making a box. In particular, a boxed corner. This is a sewing technique everyone should have in her/his arsenal. The boxed corner creates space in something that would otherwise be flat. For example, in a tote bag, you have a lot more room to put all your stuff if you create boxed corners. Basically, any sewn corner can be turned into a boxed corner with a few simple steps.
THIS CONTEST ENDED 08/24/12. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO ENTERED.
There are the Seven Wonders of the World, and then... there are the Seven Weekend Wonders of Sew4Home. Our seven are magnificent in their ability to be very pretty projects you can whip out in a weekend. We chose a casual summer theme, so each one is a perfect way to spend a sunny weekend. Our thanks to Series Sponsor: Fabric.com for providing the fabric and notions to make it all happen, as well as the support to help us continue to bring all these great ideas to you for FREE! And... it doesn't stop at "free." Today, Fabric.com celebrates ten days of Weekend Wonders with a seriously Wonderful prize package. One lucky S4H visitor will receive everything pictured above. From a Deluxe SideWinder bobbin winder to a dozen cutie-pie buttons, it's a bundle of terrific goodies for your sewing space. Total prize retail value: over $295!
Whether you’re a novice or advanced sewer, you’ve likely heard the term "basting." And, we don't mean the yummy Thanksgiving turkey technique! In sewing, basting is a temporary straight stitch used to hold layers together until a final stitch is sewn. Since it’s a long, loose stitch, a basting stitch removes easily after sewing is complete. In this tutorial, we’ll explain 1) how to determine if your sewing machine has a basting stitch, 2) when to use a basting stitch in your sewing projects, and 3) why hand basting is sometimes needed as well.
It’s a wee bit of an understatement to say there are lots of sewing trims. In fact, if you were to lay all of the trims available end to end, they'd likely cover the earth! But choice is what we love, isn't it? It adds the spice to our sewing life. And, a room like our Romantic Bedroom Retreat, sponsored by Rowan and FreeSpirit Fabrics, cries out for some extra special embellishments. If you’ve been a Sew4Home reader for a while, you may have read our original tutorial on Terrific Trims. Since then, we’ve developed more project ideas using different kinds of sewing trims – some trendy, some traditional. A perfect example is the current Romantic Retreat projects for which we dove into the upholstery trim section to find an unbelievable assortment of tasseled and beaded trims and fringe. Another recent example was our experimental trim week with Simplicity; we designed two fashionable handbags (links are provided at the end of the article for these and other trim-focused projects) around “new” metal trims. This lead to our popular tutorial: Adding Metal Trims to Sewing Projects. Between these and others, we realized it was time for a Terrific Trims update.
Creating a lush and luxurious Romantic Bedroom Retreat is the perfect opportunity to incorporate a few of the wide variety of trims available. We added dense chainette fringe to our Coverlet and elegant tasseled fringe with crystal accents on both our Valance and Bolster. Plus we have piping and more in upcoming tutorials. These options just prick the surface of the variety of trims available both in-store and online. They always look so beautiful wrapped around their little bolts, rows and rows from which to choose. But many people shy away from using these gorgeous embellishments because they're unsure how to sew them in place. We have more information on the trims themselves coming up later in the Romantic Retreat series. Today, we’re here to help you understand how to use your sewing machine, and the specialty feet (as well as standard feet) available, to sew all kinds of trims.
There's always a certain amount of hemming and hawing about having to hem. Just about every project you do includes some sort of a hem, and there are so many from which to choose. There is the simple double-turn hem, the blind hem, faced hem, covered hem, taped hem, curved hem, single hem, narrow hem, cuffed hem and bias hem. Then there are all the special hemming techniques for certain fabric types, such as leather, fur and lace, as well as projects with scalloped edges or pleats. Whew! But with even with these choices, there is one particular type of hem we receive more questions about than any of the others: the rolled hem. Our current Romantic Retreat series with Westminster Fibers Lifestyle Fabrics includes projects that incorporate a number of different substrates, from sateen to voile to laminates. A rolled hem may just come in handy, so let's get rollin'.
I often tell people fabric collections are kind of like the "Garanimals" (remember them?!) of the sewing world. If you stay within a designer's collection, you can be more confident everything will look great together. Many sewers mix between collections all the time, especially quilters. However, it can be intimidating, and the results can be less than stellar without a rationale for making choices. But, when done successfully, it is certainly possible to combine designers and collections to come up with a wonderfully unique look. In fact, our Romantic Bedroom Retreat series with Rowan & FreeSpirit Fabrics bends and perhaps breaks a few "rules" of mixing patterns and color. For an eclectic room like we've built, this is not only okay, it may be the only way to reach your goal. In fact, it's okay on many levels. If you have the belief and courage to do this successfully, you can create something that far exceeds what you would get if you strictly followed all the rules. From an entire room to an individual project, whatever you're working on, having the confidence to look at all the possibilities gives you wide-open potential for creativity.
As part of our Weekend Wonders series with Fabric.com, we have a couple technique tutorials designed to make those Wonders go more smoothly, look more professional, and... simply give you an upper hand when it comes to impressing friends with your vast sewing knowledge. Making a flat felled (or flat fell) seam is a detail with a place in history as well as a place in the world of professional seam finishes. You can find references to the flat felled seam technique in vintage as well as hand sewing (once the only way to sew anything!). And, if you look down right now at the inside seam of your jeans, you'll see a trademark flat felled seam.