When you're hemming fabric -- whether for table linens, curtains, or clothes -- accuracy is important. Ensure good results and save time with this technique: To make a 1-inch hem, for example, draw a line on card stock, 1 inch in from an edge. Place the card stock on fabric, with line parallel to fabric edge. Fold fabric over card stock, aligning fabric edge with line; press with an iron. Repeat, folding and pressing again to encase the raw edge. Stitch hem to secure.
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With just a little retrofitting, an old-fashioned Mason jar can become a new sewing kit with a built-in pincushion on top. To begin, separate the lid's sealer and screw cap. Trace around sealer on cardboard. Using a compass, draw another circle on linen or cotton, 1 inch larger in diameter than the first. Cut out both circles; make cushion by placing batting between fabric and cardboard. Turn screw cap upside down, and apply hot glue to inside edge of rim; quickly press cushion into lid until cloth protrudes smoothly above screw cap's opening and cardboard is flush against rim. Apply hot glue around edge of cardboard, fold over excess fabric, and press down. Glue top of sealer to cardboard. Fill jar.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, August 2006
With nothing more than a needle, some thread, a few ribbons, and four buttons, you can revamp an old apron into a convertible one that frees up your hands to cut flowers. The pocket can also be used as a place to stash a pair of gardening gloves.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, June 2011
A hot-water bottle is one of life's little luxuries. A soft felt sleeve makes it even cozier -- and a great gift. Cut two pieces of 10-by-15-inch felt, sew three sides, and turn it inside out. Insert the bottle and cinch the top with ribbon.
Cashmere blanket, by Umrao Cashmere, from abchome.com.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, February 2011
Use this tailor's trick whenever you need to cut a straight line through a woven fabric such as cotton or linen. Tease several threads loose at the point where you'll make the initial cut. Then gently pull out the threads to create a trail of perfectly aligned holes in the fabric, which can then guide your shears.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, April 2008
Here's an easy way to give new life to old terra-cotta pots you have around the shed: Paint them to create coordinating stripes. Using masking tape in various widths, mark a simple striped design on the pot. In a well-ventilated area, spray the exterior and the rim (and any accompanying saucers) with weatherproof spray paint; let dry completely. Peel off tape.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, February 2008
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