A "pouf" is a marshmallow-like ottoman. They've been all the rage in decorating for a few years now, bringing unexpected color, shape, texture and fun into a room. We have a full-size pouf project coming up soon, but in the meantime - and just in time for National Sewing Month, we miniaturized one as a clever pincushion. Ours uses Layer Cake squares as an easy way to gather a wonderful mixture of perfectly coordinating color and pattern, but this would also be an awesome ScrapBusters project!
September is a month of fresh starts. Students are back in school, taking on the challenges of the next grade. Everybody at the office is back to work from all those end-of-summer vacations. And it's National Sewing Month; the time of year when all of us who sew are encouraged to teach someone new. If you can sew even at an intermediate level, you possess a unique skill. It means when you see something cool in a store, online or in a catalog, you have the ability to find fabric and make it yourself. There are a lot of people who wish they could do that! In fact, you probably know half a dozen who would be thrilled if you offered to teach them the basics. We're even willing to bribe you with a basket of sewing goodies for one lucky winner.
Looking for a quick and easy way to fancy-up your windows? A valance is faster than traditional curtain panels, and can even be used in conjunction with curtains or blinds to add some fashion flair. They've always reminded me of little window skirts - even though they're up high. I think it's the way they gather across the rod and flare out along the bottom. These were so pretty when done, I could totally envision wearing them as a skirt. The key is the mixture of fabrics with pretty lace. Choose a solid and a coordinating print divided by narrow, see-though lace insets.
Did you know the modern ironing board was invented and patented by African American former slave, Sarah Boone in 1892? It's true. Although hers was not the first ironing board on the scene, it was completely unique in its narrow, contoured design, which allowed sleeves to be drawn up over the board. We'd like to think Ms. Boone would be pleased with our cheery ironing board cover. Just about all sewing projects require a fair amount of time spent staring at your ironing board. Why force yourself to look at those gawd-awful striped covers they sell at the local Target®... I swear those things must have been designed by someone with his eyes closed and both hands tied behind his back! You deserve a pretty cover.
If you've explored our Project Index lately, you know there are hundreds of Sew4Home articles and projects. It can be easy for some of the older entries to slip from memory. That's why we love the Re-imagine & Renovate series; it brings forward some of our favorite classic projects for another look. These microwavable neck and lap/back heating pads with organic fillers fit the bill, being one of our most popular projects ever in both the Gift and Special Use Pillows categories. After under a minute in the microwave, you'll get up to an hour of safe, warm heat.
Microwavable heating pads with organic fillers are a wonderful way to soothe sore muscles or just warm up on a cold day. Their combination of toasty warmth and good smell are a natural remedy you can enjoy every day without side effects. The warming pad project we did here at Sew4Home is one of the most popular gift items ever featured. Most likely, it's because they're not only functional, they're also really easy to make. Everybody who makes them seems to have a favorite filler. So we thought we'd do a little testing to see if we could find out which one is best.
So nice, we made them twice. Not just as two sample options, but as two coordinated pouches designed to clip together. Take one or take both. Turn them into a mini shoulder bag or ditch the strap and toss one or both into a larger tote. Stash money and cards in one, make-up and extra necessities in the other. So many options – it's the ultimate in mini-pouch flexibility. They're precisely matched in size and shape so they clip together perfectly. All this, and as a ScrapBusters project, you can make a set from the great fabrics lurking in your scrap bin.
Pleats and tucks are one of the most versatile sewing embellishments. Sew4Home offers several step-by-step tutorials on some of our favorites: Box Pleats, Knife Pleats, and today's Wave Tucks. Clever folding and stitching with two contrasting fabrics creates a wonderfully textural effect. We've added it to a pillow front but bet you can think of lots of other projects that need some rippling waves.
One of my favorite characters in the Warner Bros.® series of cartoons is Witch Hazel, who debuted in the 1954 short, "Bewitched Bunny." Disney® had previously created a Witch Hazel, and she was kind of cool too, but not nearly as sarcastic or quite as much the fashion victim as the Hazel created by Warner Bros. animator, Chuck Jones. A major part of his Hazel's signature style included a wonderfully crumpled black hat. We think she would approve of our Dead Roses Halloween Hat with its scrunched top, wilting flowers and stowaway spider. Hauntingly hideous haute couture!
Do you ever watch those TV hospital shows and think, "I could do that"? Maybe not be an actual, real-life doctor. But you could wear a white coat, carry a stethoscope, and yell, "Get me a C-Spine, Chem 7, and a V-Fib!" I have no idea what any of those terms mean. They're just fun to shout. To get you just a little bit closer to your doctor daydreams, we're here to show you how one of the medical devices you saw Dr. Greene use every week can also be a big help in your sewing room. It's called a hemostat, and it's basically a locking clamp shaped like a long pair of scissors. (Probably what Dr. Greene wanted when he yelled, "Clamp!") A hemostat is extremely useful when you need to turn long, narrow tubes right side out.