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The most amazing thing, reviewed! {Janome Skyline S5}

2015 August 27

Getting a sewing machine upgrade is so exciting! I plan to get it, then it’s on my desk, I open the box, sit down at it and (always) I’m stumped as to what to do first - it happens every time. There are so many new things to do! Should you start with a straight stitch? Test the automatic buttonhole on random fabric? Make a zillion tiny labels with words on them? This is where I usually start to sew a new project and find out – Wow, everything is so much simpler than it was on my last machine!

Sewing does not require a fancy machine, you can sew amazing things on a budget machine, it’s 100% possible. What this professional level machine will do is help you sew the same things – just in a better way! Like I said in my last post – the Janome Skyline S5 makes your life sew much easier! They have seriously thought of everything. Every button is where I want it to be, it has a huge number of stitches, needle positions, loads of storage, cutters everywhere – the list goes on.

As a disclaimer before I begin,  Janome has kindly allowed me to borrow this loaner machine on a 1 year contract and I am so grateful to them!  I want to say again, as with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion. I have bought and worked with Janome products for 90% of my sewing life and used their products long before they contacted me. I am so happy to give them a great review because I already love and support this product. They’re my favorite and I’d love for them to be your favorite too!

On with the review. There is no way to write a comprehensive review of the Skyline S5 after only two weeks of using it, but here’s a first go at it! (This machine does so many things I would recommend heading over to check out the list of features, because I won’t be able to cover all of them here.)

I was stumped when sorting out which Janome machine might be best to work with. I’m not exclusively a quilter, garment sewer, or a bag maker… I sew a bit of everything. In the end the Janome Skyline S5 was the best fit. When prepping to write this review, I chose lots of different types of projects to make. The goal was to use many different settings and types of fabric. It even got me excited about trying to empty my mending pile! I’ve worked on knit leggings, sewn a woven cotton shirt, hemmed heavier weight shorts and pieced a few quilt blocks.

Body of the Machine:

  • It is hefty, light enough to carry, but don’t plan to go far! I like the weight – you can sew super fast and there’s very little vibration, if any. My last machine was lighter and would move around some at higher speeds.
  • Storage! I love to be organized and everything that came in the box (except the instructions and knee lift lever) fit inside the machine.
  • The presser foot lever is wide and easy to find on the back of the machine.
  • It came with a soft cover, with pockets for your rulers, scissors etc.
Bobbins, Threading, Tension:
  • The bobbin winder has 5 built in cutters underneath to use before you wind it! And a separate one for when you have filled the bobbin. This is what I mean when I say Janome has thought of everything!
  • While we are on the topic, there is another cutter where you install the (easy access drop-in) bobbin, and the usual one on the side of the machine for when you don’t use the thread cutter button.
  • Threading the machine is similar in all Janome machines and I am so thankful for that! It has an automatic needle threader that works every time. I may soon forget how to get thread through the eye of a needle by hand!
  • The tension is set with a simple dial on top of the machine. I LOVE that it has an Auto Tension setting. I haven’t had change it at all yet!
  • As an aside, one thing I cannot do on any of my Janome machines is turn up the tension to gather fabric. On lots of machines if the tension is set higher the fabric will naturally gather as you sew. Not sure why, but it is easily fixed. If you hold the thread lightly as it comes off the spool it gives it enough tension that it gathers “automatically”.
Stitch Settings:
  • The 170 built in stitches are likely more than I’ll ever be able to use!
  • It has a 9mm stitch width (just less than 3/8″) allowing for amazing use of the 91 stitch positions. Craziness!
  • My kids had lots of fun thinking of things I should spell/draw with the monogram and decorative stitches. Cars, hearts, stars, scissors, thread anyone?
  • The machine allows you to memorize stitches and will stitch them in order by itself, just press the Start/Stop button to run the programmed stitches!
How it Sews:
  • Smooth and quiet! I had a friend over the other day and that was her first comment.
  • The 6 built-in LED lights help you brightly see every detail in what you are doing.
  • Super responsive foot pedal. I can stop and start this machine quickly whenever I want. It is more responsive than my 2030QDC.
  • It has an automatic thread cutter button. I’ll admit it, I still grin whenever I press it – a lovely little mechanical noise – lift the presser foot and pull your fabric away. No scissors necessary!
  • It is possible to run the machine without using the foot pedal – just by pressing the Start/Stop button. I’ve tried it and so far failed miserably, but lots of sewers swear by it! Practice?!
  • I love the wide general sewing foot. The edge of the foot is at the 3/8″ mark as opposed to the 1/4″ mark on my 2030QDC. I think this extra width likely helps feed the fabric through more evenly, especially good when sewing knits!
Quilting:
  • I used the 1/4″ quilting foot to piece a few quilt blocks. I was familiar with this from my other machine. The difference (sew much easier!) with the Skyline S5 is the 1/4″ stitch setting. Clip on the foot, set your stitch and sew, always knowing your needle is exactly 1/4″ from the edge! With my other Janome I kept a sticky note with the stitch position on it so I wouldn’t forget.
  • A walking foot and free motion foot are included as well. I haven’t had a chance to use them yet, but they come with the machine.
  • Raising and lowering the feed dogs is so easy. Just flip the switch on the side of the machine.
Sewing Knits:
I use this as a bit of a gauge for a sewing machine. Knits can be a bit trickier to sew because they stretch under the presser foot. Simpler knit sewing makes me happy!
  • Sewing knits just works better with a 7-piece feed dog. I have one on my other machine as well and it pulls the fabric through a lot smoother – it helps eliminate some of the extra stretching you tend to get when sewing knit fabric. Hemming is not so scary anymore!
  • Double-needle stitching is fun on this machine as well. I used an extra long stitch of 4 or so to hem a pile of holey-kneed leggings into bike shorts for the summer. This machine even has a setting for a double needle! I assume this setting makes it impossible to choose a stitch that will cause the needles to break?
More Things:
  • One of my favorite things about the Janome machines I’ve owned is that they arrived with tons of extra feet. I have never had to buy a foot for any of my machines! Walking feet, free motion, rolled hem foot, zipper foot… the list goes on!
  • I am excited that the presser foot pressure is easily changed. It’s adjustable with a dial on the top of the machine. I would love to take some time to play with it and see what difference it makes.
  • Though I’ve never used a straight stitch needle plate, the instructions say it is great for lightweight fabrics and piecing. I’ll have to give it a shot. This machine comes with this extra needle plate and it only requires pulling an easily accessed lever to remove the current one before switching. They go on by pressing a specially marked dot on the plate. My youngest was fascinated that she could see the insides of the machine, so we had fun with that one! It also allows for easy cleaning – one less reason to procrastinate.
  • I found the Video and Booklet Instructions to be really helpful. Watching a video helps with things like winding the bobbin and installing it properly.

Argh – I never even got to talk about the locking stitch, needle up/down, knee lift bar, digital LCD screen, angled markings on the needle plate… the Start/Stop button even reacts to how you press it, allowing you to speed up and slow down. I could go on and on….

As a way of finishing up this review, it’s important to say that never in my life would I have thought I’d be sewing on a machine like this long-term. I’m being spoiled rotten over here! I know some of you cannot imagine ever owning a professional caliber machine, do not be discouraged! You can sew almost anything on a budget machine that has a straight stitch and a zig-zag. I hacked my budget machine for many years before I upgraded last summer. Find the tricks you can use to make it work for you! And, if you can – upgrade a little at a time – you never know how far you will get! (Oh, and get a Janome!)

What would you like to see this machine do? I’d love to know if you have a project idea for me. Something I could try and then review for you?

Hey, thanks for reading to the bottom of the post. Join me for “thread ride” so you don’t miss more great content!

So, the most amazing thing happened…

2015 August 26

The fall is nearing and feels like a good time for reflection, and some exciting news for the future! This summer has been full – full of warm weather, full of work, full of family and friends, and full of my kids! They were home all summer, causing this online life to take more breaks. All with good reason I think! As we approach the start to a new school year, it’s time again to take stock of where this blog has been and where it is going.

I LOVE writing, and taking photos and I love sharing my life with you. So many things have happened over the life of Thread Riding Hood, many over the past year… many, many of them through amazing connections and emails that have landed “randomly” in my inbox. Off the top of my head:

Working with Cloud9 Fabrics to produce the Time Warp Tote tutorial. Meeting & planning with Elizabeth Olwen and Warp & Weft to promote the Wildwood fabric collection. Posting the Forest Glen Satchel pattern, and you all started buying it! Teaching my first workshop. Being part of the Indiesew Summer Collection blog hop. Working with fabric designers and indie pattern makers. Writing monthly posts for the Craftsy sewing blog….

I cannot even say how grateful I am to be working with this blog’s sponsors, their ads allow me to keep up this amazing hobby-turned-job. And to you… I am so, so thankful for your support! I never, ever, envisioned that I would be able to accomplish all of these things here. All of it is truly a dream for me. I am so grateful to all of you for being my sounding board and allowing me to continue writing.

I still look back in amazement that this has all happened because I started writing about something I am passionate about and love, and discovered that you love it too! (Your support of my sponsors and companies I work with is so appreciated!)

With that I have one more exciting thing to tell you about. A month or so ago Janome Canada contacted me to ask if I would talk to them about working on a project together. I think I jumped out of my chair and ran (literally) to tell everyone the good news! (I also think I sounded a bit crazy also when I talked to Debbie, from their Vancouver office, on the phone later on that week. Argh. I am blaming my love of sewing for that!)

I am sure I’ll be talking more about this new partnership in the future, but for now I am so excited to introduce you to my new on-loan machine – the Janome Skyline S5. *squeeeeeee!*

I am super-excited to work with Janome! It is so satisfying to work with a company that I already know and love – and already use on a daily basis! Now 4 Janome machines live at my house + the new Skyline makes 5! After a first very low cost Singer, I upgraded to a Janome SUV1122. My husband bought a 2030QDC last year for my birthday, and a Kenmore serger (made by Janome), came for Christmas. We also just bought our youngest a Janome New Home 1/2 size machine for her birthday – it’s so cute!  Since the Skyline S5 is an on-loan machine, they will all stay with me for now, just in case I need to return it someday.

I will be posting a first review of the Janome Skyline S5 in the next few days, but my first impression is… *Surprise!* I LOVE this machine. It makes my sewing life sew much easier! (Sorry, not sorry for the pun!) 

Before I go, I’ve got an important question for you!

What would you name this machine?This S5 doesn’t have a proper name yet – and I think she deserves one. I thought it would be fun to get your help and we can all name her together. Comment below with your name suggestions – yes, she’s a girl! I’ll put up a poll soon with some top favorites and get my kids to throw in a few too. I’m so excited to see what wins!

Thank you for reading the whole post! Join me for “thread ride”, don’t miss more great content!

Pinterest, Visible Mending & my Bucket List {all together now}

2015 August 19

I have a problem with Pinterest – it causes me to want to do ALL THE THINGS. You know what I mean right?! The likelihood of my ever finishing all of my pins is currently somewhere in the “never in a million years” range. Yikes! I recently got the chance to review an amazing subscription box and accomplish a bucket list project, so I took it… and now I get to share a fun new product with you today. (Disclaimer: Cannonball Collective sent me this kit in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own – as usual. This truly was a great experience.)

I’ve been seeing a ton of visible mending happening on the interwebs lately. Along with an increased focus on hand mending, hand sewing, slow sewing – reusing and recycling fabrics. When I got an email from Cannonball Collective asking if I would like to try  out their Revival Issue, Torn and Frayed Cannonball Kit… I thought it was a great way to get to do some visible mending. But I have to admit it was the chance to use these Merchant and Mills products that made me say “Yes, Please!”

I got the box sooner than expected, Canadian shipping usually takes longer when things come here from the US. Great start! It was soooo hard to wait for the right sunny day to open the box and get some good photos. Unpacking it I wondered how I got to be so fortunate as to have all of these great quality sewing products landing in my mailbox. Fabulous Japanese sourced fabrics, thread and a super well designed ‘zine full of great inspiration – they call it “ignition” which is a great word for it! There’s even gum (melon flavoured) from Japan included just for fun.

I’m a sucker for marketing and branding – how things look – and this ticks all the boxes. It looks amazing and is well thought through. Best part is this box is all about visible mending. I’ve been looking for an opportunity to fix my favorite jeans. They got a huge hole in the knee and I think everyone was tired of seeing me walk around in them – plus my knee got cold in the winter. One bucket list project down! #check

I took an afternoon out recently to explore the box and fix my favorite comfy jeans. The mini magazine included was full of inspiration, so instead of searching online for ideas like I usually do, I turned to it instead. No screens! So I sat with my melon flavoured gum, reading an inspiring interview with Luke Deverell from Darn and Dusted and taking in photo after photo of amazing visible mending. (Oh, and the Imagination Movers in the background… yup, kids…)

The experience was a lot of fun and I found out that machine sewing doesn’t relax me. I love creating, but I’m too much of a hurry to be done and see the final product! With this hand-stitching it was totally different, concentrating on each stitch – the length of them, where to put them…  I was inspired by the halo of stars you see over a cartoon characters head when they get hurt. So… the giant hole in my pants is surrounded by stars too. There’s also a star and a few cross-stitches on the side of my jeans – around the hip area where they were pulling apart. We won’t talk about why the hip area might be getting tight though, got me?! #reallife #momlife

You all know by now how much I like to know the story-behind-the-story. Going back again to my Pinterest comment - this kit gives you an actual experience. Cannonball Collective sends out kits with everything you need to create, to make it easy for you! Here’s what they have to say:

“We believe there is a strong desire for good, solid, interesting, inspiring, and entertaining storytelling, particularly delivered digitally. But while it’s fun to discover and learn through reading about stuff, actually doing the stuff takes you that extra mile.” ~ Cannonball Collective Founders Story

Does ordering this subscription and getting a new experience every quarter sound fun to you? The kit came to me with two $10 off cards, and I want to share the love. I will personally mail them out anywhere internationally. So, if you are serious about ordering the subscription they will go to the first two people to email me with their address – and I will update this post to let you know when they have been taken. (The subscription is $95 US every quarter and Cannonball Collective ships internationally. Send emails to: sherri at threadridinghood dot com)

Reader Feedback:Have you tried visible mending?

Thank you for reading the whole post! Join me for “thread ride” so you don’t miss more great content.

Skirt Refashion: 5 Simple Steps make a Super Cute Dress!

2015 August 14

I hate to admit it, but we bought this maxi skirt for my youngest at least 2 months ago. It was too long and my youngest decided instead of hemming it, we should make it into a strapless dress. I couldn’t imagine a 5 year old playing modestly in a strapless dress for very long, so it went into the alteration pile and sat… and sat, and sat…

Right. Anyhow. I just got an amazing new sewing machine (more on that soon when I can give it a proper review) and had a burst of creative energy where I actually wanted to work on my mending and hemming. I can’t remember a machine ever making me want to do that before!

So, among the projects, out came the maxi skirt… After searching a bit in my knit stash I found an old t-shirt that was a pretty close match for the light blue. The length of the straps are measured from her Annabelle maxi dress. The same place I got the idea for the how to make the straps.

Here are 5 quick steps so you can do it too!

Step 1: Cut 2 rectangles – about 5″ wide (includes 1 inch for hemming) by the length you would like + 1 inch

Step 2: Fold in and press about 1/2″ along each long edge. Stitch to hem the edges.

Step 3: Baste a line about 1/2″ from each short edge. Pull the threads to gather to your desired width.

Step 4: Mark the strap placement on the front and back of the skirt top and pin each strap in place along the gathered edges. The top of the skirt should overlap with the straps by about 1/2″.

Step 5: Stitch them on (indicated by the red lines below), I made 2 lines of stitching to make sure they were secure.

All finished! Yup, it’s that simple. LOVE working with knits!

Of course,my daughter was in bed because I’m doing a lot of night-working this summer, so I hung it on her dresser where she could see it when she woke up. You should have seen the grin.

Argh, why do I wait so long to make the things I plan for them?!

How about you?What is one of your favorite mending/refashioning projects?

Thanks for reading. Follow along and join me for “thread ride”!

How to Choose New Fabric for Your Ugly Couch!

2015 August 12

Oooh, this summer is going so fast. I can’t believe there are only 3 weeks left of our 10 week summer break! I’ve got so many of my stickers left to accomplish I don’t even think we’ll actually finish them all, maybe next year? I’m hoping to sew up a lot of back-to-school project with de-stashing in mind. Lots of dresses with long sleeves, to use up as much stash as possible!

Last month I acquired another large sewing project. Re-upholstering a mid-century modern 3-seater teak couch and chair. Here are the “before” pictures…

My mom and I found them at a garage sale for $60! Both pieces were professionally re-upholstered 5 years ago. It’s in great condition and the shape is amazing, but I am definitely not loving the “forest green” colour. It really clashes with our blue and red living room scheme! So for now it lives in our basement. I’m hopeful I’ll have some time to work on it this fall.

In the meantime I’ve been thinking about fabrics and what type of fabric was best when re-upholstering it. After a ton of research I feel way more comfortable choosing something and even wrote my latest Craftsy blog post about the two things you need to know to choose fabric for slipcovers. Now all I need to do is find the perfect fabric…. all 20(+?) metres… preferably on sale…. argh!

What do you think? Would you ever tackle re-upholstering your furniture? Or have you? (You brave person you!) How did it go?

A quilt for my Grandma, sewn by 3 generations!

2015 August 8

I’ve been thinking about making my Grandma a quilt for a few months. When my mom was visiting in July it seemed like the perfect time. It would go a bit faster, (Thanks Mom!) and three generations could work on it – my mom, myself and my kids – as a gift for the 4th generation, my grandma! I picked a quick quilt pattern and we set to work.

My kids sewed at least one of the seams each, my mom cut and helped me with piecing and we basted it together. Then my parents had to leave and it sat for a little bit while I scrambled to put together a 5 year old’s birthday party and pack us up for 5 days away. Everything got finished last Thursday and I’m so excited to send it off! While I write this the girls are hard at work making a card for their Great Grandma – one they’ve never met, since she lives on the other side of the country.

I’ve always wanted to make a Giant Vintage Star Quilt. It seemed easy enough and fast enough that it was do-able and wouldn’t end up as one of my WIP quilts – I’ve got too many of them that are sooooo close to finished. I should really get on that! Turns out it was perfect. We sized the squares down from the fat-quarter-friendly 18″, to 14″ so as to accommodate the fabric available (more on that later). Turns out it is a great lap size anyhow, finishing at 65″ square. I was even able to quilt it myself.

The fabric for this project was all in my stash and already pre-washed. Of course good, because we were in a hurry! The white was a lightweight set of curtains, I think – that came with the same fabric I used for these Easter maxi-dresses. I was going to use it to make this set of blocks, but since it was needed here plans changed! I did order some white not too long ago from Double Decker Fabrics (now closed) and it will stand in for the other project. (Oh, and the label was from Double Decker as well!)

The top is Spring Bloom fabric by Bella Caronia - scraps from these self-drafted dresses for the girls. I ended up with quite a bit of fabric left over since I needed extra for fussy cutting. I over-estimated a bit since it was my own pattern and I didn’t want to run out! Turns out it was perfect, just enough fabrics for exactly creating the star on the quilt. My mom was amazing and scrounged like crazy when she cut the pieces. In the end we only had to piece one of the large triangles!

The backing fabric is super soft Art Gallery Fabric, Jeni Baker “Dreamin Vintage” from Fabric Spark. It was originally going to be a top for me, but when I saw it with the Spring Bloom colours it was perfect. The border (again, scrounged from scraps and even cut off grain to get enough pieces!) sets it off perfectly. Don’t tell, but I think the back is my favorite! The cream background on the Dreamin’ Vintage adds so much warmth! (It’s sold out now, since I bought it last year, but you can check out her other vintage inspired fabrics here!)

Now that it is done, it’s into the mail and me holding my breath that it gets there. Not that I don’t trust the postal service… but it’s a bit nerve wracking! And it has to travel across the country and over a border…. ack!

 Reader Feedback: Have you sewn a generational quilt?

 Disclaimer: Fabric Spark provides fabric to me at a discount, and I in return link to their shop when I post related projects. 

A (little) Birthday!

2015 July 30

We’re headed on a long weekend vacation in about an hour. The last week has been filled with birthday party planning, partying and packing for said vacation! We now have an (almost) newly-minted 5 year old. Amazing how fast time flies. We definitely don’t have babies anymore over here!

 She got her birthday gift from us a little early, and I was so excited when she wanted to have her own sewing machine. I did a bit of research and took a recommendation from Amy of Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop and bought a Janome New Home 1/2 size machine for her, in “Turbo Teal” no less! It’s smaller which is nice, it’s a lot slower than my Janome and it has a really great shaped presser foot that is built so it is really hard to get your fingers under the needle. (Sorry for the quick phone pictures – we were in the middle of packing when she got it!)

She is so excited to play with it and loves that it has “up to J” different stitches! Including her favorite, a scalloped zig-zag. It’s really simple to use and she’s been sewing lots of lines to test out the stitches. Of course I am over the moon that she loves sewing. And she seems to be intuitive about keeping her fingers safe, thank goodness! I was a bit worried since this machine does not have a speed control – but she got the hang of the foot pedal really quickly.

I will be able to give you a better review after we’ve got a few projects to show off. I love my Janome machines – so I’m sure it won’t disappoint. Now we are a 4-Janome family – lucky us!

It’s been so nice to spend the last few days with my kids, and we are looking forward to getting away for some friends and family time. Away from wifi and electricity even – though the cottage does have some solar power. We need a break, some swimming, sitting by the dock, fishing, canoeing… ahhh…. good thing we leave soon! I can’t wait!

I’ll be back late next week. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thanks to YOU Week Winners!

2015 July 24

Hooray, it’s finally time to reveal who won the Thanks to YOU Week Giveaways!

As usual this is bittersweet for me, I’d love to give prizes to everyone! That said, I am super happy for the 14 winners! Many thanks to these amazing shops for providing our generous prizes!

Lauren T. and Debby G. each won a $25 gift certificate from Canadian National Fabric! (See the giveaway here.) 


Shirley D. won an 8 Fat Quarter “Summer Fun” bundle from Country Clothesline! (See the giveaway here.
Erin I. won a Cantik Batiks 2.5″ Pre-cut in Christmas Traditions. (#1), Linda N. won a Cantik Batiks 2.5″ Pre-cut in Winter Solstice (#2) and Laura M. won a won a Cantik Batiks 2.5″ Pre-cut in Evening Shadows (#3) from Fabric Please! (See the giveaway here.
Amorette D. won the July Free Spirit Monthly Subscription Bundle of 10 Fat Quarters from Fabric Spark! (See the giveaway here.
Heather A. won a 14 fat quarter bundle of Cotton + Steel Spellbound from Fishskin Fabric! (See the giveaway here.
Lori M. won a Five Half-Metre Bundle of Paint by Carrie Bloomston from Flare Fabrics! (See the giveaway here.
Melissa H. won the July Le Club Half Stash from Fridays Off Fabric Shop! (See the giveaway here.
Jo H. won a $50 gift certificate from Mad About Patchwork! (See the giveaway here.
Kristin G. won a 4 half-yard bundle from Seam Allowance! (See the giveaway here.
Kirsten W. won a 10 Fat Quarter bundle of Maker by AGF Studio from Sew Sisters! (See the giveaway here.
Mindy P. won an Amy Butler Design Roll and a $15 Shop Credit at Stay Home Fabrics! (See the giveaway here

Note: All winners were selected randomly using the Rafflecopter widget selection system. Thanks!

Last Day to Enter! {+ 11 sewing tips}

2015 July 20

It’s your last day to enter the 11 amazing Thanks to YOU Week Giveaways. Tonight (July 20th) at midnight EST they will close and tomorrow I’m so excited to find out who will win! (Winners will be posted later this week.)

If you haven’t already, CLICK HERE TO LINK TO ALL THE GIVEAWAYS!

I also really love the sewing tips that we got from our giveaway sponsors and thought they should all be in one place – just in case you skipped over them in your hurry to fill out the entry form! A lot of these are new-to-me tips, and I love learning something new, especially when it saves me time and brain power!

Which of these sewing tips is your new favorite? 

Bebe’s Sewing Tip: The majority of my quilts come from patterns I find in magazines or books. When I’m working on a pattern from a magazine (or book) I find it a pain to have to keep looking back and forth at a magazine/book that’s sitting on a table. I’m always losing my spot on the page or the page flips. Depending on how many different cuts I have to make I have two things that help me.

1) I use a recipe book holder to hold my magazine/book while I’m working. This stops the pages from flipping and I find it easier to look at instructions when they are upright. I also use those reusable “sign here” labels that are used for documents to keep my place on the page. As I complete a cut I move the arrow to the next one. 

2) Depending on how many different cuts I have to do sometimes I transfer the cutting instructions onto a dry erase board and erase as I do the cuts. ~ Canadian National Fabric

Sylvia’s Sewing Tip: Remember those little reinforcements we used (back in the day) on our paper for our binders? Well, they are a great way to label your sewing machine bobbins, so you won’t forget which thread you have on which bobbin – you can find them at your dollar store or stationary store. ~ Country Clothesline
Rita’s Sewing Tip: Maintenance is key – sewing machine maintenance (cleaning, change needles), personal maintenance (Hydrate – drink water, move/stretch often), tool maintenance (change rotary blades). The maker is only as good as his tools!  They need not be expensive – just in good working order. ~ Fabric Please!
Daryl’s Sewing Tip: My best sewing tip is to take on something you’ve never sewn before. If you’re a quilter – make a dress, if you sew bags – slip-cover a chair. There is so much helpful information on blogs like Thread Riding Hood, your hand will be held every step of the way, and sewing is one of the most transferable skills there is.  It will open up a whole new world of creative opportunities.~ Fabric Spark
Jill’s Sewing Tip: I have a scrap piece of fabric that I ALWAYS start sewing on before I start stitching – to prevent that snarl of stitches underneath your work or even worse – the edge being eaten by your machine! ~ Fishskin Fabric
Marlene’s Sewing Tip: Press, don’t iron. Press once to set your seam, then either press the seam to either one side or open. Then press again from the front. Pressing means picking your iron up and moving it along the fabric, overlapping as you go. Don’t iron! Ironing — where you slide the iron in a back and forth motion across the fabric — easily stretches and distorts the fabric.  And don’t wait until the end to press – press as you go. This is true whether you’re sewing a quilt, clothing or — well, actually anything and everything. ~ Flare Fabrics
Alanna’s Sewing Tip: When sew garments always sew up a muslin first, it’s time consuming but so worth it. ~ Fridays Off Fabric Shop
Pam’s Sewing Tip: Use the best thread you can afford. We tend to spend a lot of money on fabric, but forget that the thread is going to have to hold it all together. My favourite is Aurifil. ~ Mad About Patchwork
Nikki’s Sewing Tip: My favorite sewing tip, although technically not a “tip”, is to listen to audio books while you sew. I’ve listened to so many great books (everyone, you HAVE to listen to The Girl With All the Gifts) while sewing, and it makes sewing twice as much fun! ~ Seam Allowance
Judy’s Sewing Tip: When you need to keep colours sorted while sewing – why not look in your baking cupboard? I sort small pieces into muffin cups and strips onto cookie sheets. At the end of the day they can be tidied up easily just by stacking them up! (Works great for Lego projects too!) ~ Sew Sisters
Lisa’s Sewing Tip: Never be afraid to try something new, you will be surprised at  what you can do!Stay Home Fabrics

Thanks to YOU Discount Weekend!

2015 July 18

WOW, what a week this has been! Things have been going amazing-crazy over here. I hope you’ve had a chance to enter the 11 giveaways posted last week. I am so grateful to all the shops that have provided them! (P.S. You can still enter all the giveaways until Monday 20th at midnight EST!)

Thanks so much for all of your amazing comments and well-wishes! I was going to try to respond to them personally, and realized it would likely take me a week.

Please know you are deeply appreciated and that I read each and every comment – always! (Also, I now know you have impeccable taste in fabric… and what fabrics I could get you for your birthday!)

Today is like a Thread Riding Hood “Black Friday Weekend”! And, the 18th also happens to be my 36th birthday! So… your mission is to go buy some fabric for yourself, it’s your Birthday Party Take-Home goodie bag!

Discounts are valid TWO DAYS ONLY – July 18-19, 2015.

Please take time to thank these Canadian Shops for providing generous discounts for you to use. A great place to leave a “Thank You” is in their Notes section when you fill in the check out form for the shop. There are so many amazing deals! Have so much fun shopping! (P.S. Most of these shops ship internationally!)

For the sake of fairness I have listed the shops in alphabetical order.

Canadian National Fabric

10% off + Free Shipping with Promo Code: TRH10shipp 

Cedar & Needle Fabric

30% off with Discount Code: summer

Country Clothesline

20% off all Country Clothesline’s Fresh & Pretty fabrics by the yard and pre-cut bundles too!  So many fantastic choices for your summer sewing projects! Use Discount Code: TRH3

Dinkydoo Fabrics

20% Cart Discount (does not stack with other coupons, excludes gift card purchases) with Discount Code: dd20trh

Fabric Please!

20% store-wide discount (sale items excluded) use Discount code: BLOGIVERSARY

Fabric Spark

Get another 15% off already discounted fabrics in the July Clearance Blast. Save on over 150 fabrics in the “Sale” section of the site. Two Days Only. Use Discount Code: Clearance Blast

Fishskin Fabric

12% Discount (applies to webstore purchases) use Discount Code: AUL3YZOV9

Flare Fabrics

20% off use Discount Code: FLAREFAB20

For the Love of Fabric

15% off purchases of $50 or more (Includes sale items!) with Discount Code: Blogiversary

Fridays Off Fabric Shop

15% off with Discount Code: TRHBLOGIVERSARY

Funky Monkey Fabrics

15% off EVERYTHING with Discount Code: TRH15 

Mad About Patchwork

10% off with Discount Code: TRHOOD10

Seam Allowance

10% off with Discount Code: threeyears

Stay Home Fabrics

25% off with Discount Code: threadridinghood

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