Prom and wedding season is upon us, which is always a great time to pull out the specialty fabrics for garments as well as home décor items. However, working with these fabrics does require a little special handling; they aren't always as user-friendly as good ol' cotton. We picked four of the most common categories: netting and tulle, organza, taffeta, and burlap; and provide some tips and techniques to make preparing, cutting, and sewing with them easier, faster, and frustration-free.
Heirloom is one of the oldest styles of specialty sewing. This precise and delicate type of stitching is said to have started in the late 1800s by French nuns who hand-stitched exquisite laces onto delicate fabrics for royal families. Their craftsmanship was so incredible, the resulting gowns and linens were painstakingly preserved and handed down from one generation to the next; hence an heirloom. You'll see the influence of heirloom stitching in a variety of high-end garments; most notably, special occasion finery, such as wedding dresses, christening gowns, and lingerie, as well as in the finest table linens. Today, with French nuns in short supply, we show you the basics of creating heirloom stitching with your sewing machine.
If you’ve ever hunted for terry cloth, you know it can be challenging to find. If you do finally locate some, color choice and weight options are likely to be minimal, and the quality can be iffy. Thanks to the softness experts at Shannon Fabrics, those worries are over. They offer a wonderful selection of premium terry cloth in different colors, weights, and even textures. Pick out your favorites to make our pair of classic shower wraps. There’s a full length wrap for women and a waist wrap for men. Great for yourself or as a snuggly gift. Drying off just got a lot more stylish.
Hardware is usually categorized on the functional side of sewing. It adds a professional finish and allows your project to snap, lock, clip, slip, buckle, and more. For this project, we moved hardware into the fashionable category, applying Dritz® grommets (large and extra large eyelets actually) and rivets to create a striking starburst design on the front of a bag. You get dimension and texture, plus the openings cut by the grommets allow a second color to peek through from the bag’s lining.
Don’t laugh. This next printable in our Cheat Card series is based on one of our most popular articles. Really! If you’ve been sewing forever, and work with fractions every day, it may seem crazy to you that someone wouldn’t know how to read a measuring tape. But if you step back for a moment, and look at that tape measure (or ruler for that matter) with the eyes of a new sewer, all those little unidentified marks might seem a bit intimidating. As one of our original commenters said, “Thank you so much for sharing this. I am definitely the kind of person who was too scared to ask a dumb question! You’ve made my life so much easier!”
One wedding accessory that has remained popular over the last few years is the bridal gown sash. We found them as a recommendation in wedding planning articles as well as for sale on a variety of sites, from high-end bridal specialty boutiques to Etsy. The going price was $200-$600 and up! With a few small cuts of luxury fabrics, such as lace, tulle, satin, and organza, along with some beautiful pearl or crystal beads, you can create your own custom wedding sash for much, much less. Plus, it will be perfect for your colors and your wedding. The key to creating a beautiful look, such as you see on our sample, is to experiment with color, texture and the placement of the flowers, beads and other embellishments until you get a look that's just right for the bride-to-be.
Broken zipper = broken heart! When a zipper doesn’t zip, not only does its name no longer have any meaning… it is a major frustration because it means something either won’t close or won’t open. The most common element to fail is the zipper slider; the good news is, this can also be the easier part to replace. The new Fix-A-Zipper™ replacement slider kits from Dritz® provide a simple, no-sew solution. Before you toss out your favorite bag or attempt to close up your fleece jacket with a row of chip clips, check out how quick and easy it is to do-it-yourself with Dritz®.
Two colors, two fabrics, one awesome bag. This clutch knocks-off a popular style we spotted on the shelves of several high-end boutiques. We love being able to give you the inspiration and instructions to make your own beautiful bags and totes for a fraction of the hundreds of dollars listed on designer price tags.
The name is due to its similarity to the wide, ornate straps musicians have always used to hold their guitars. By changing how the ends attach, they are now one of the trendiest accessories and a fun way to update any bag that uses a removable strap. We created ours to show off the decorative stitch package on our Janome Skyline S7. We love pretty stitching, and are always on the lookout for reasons to show it off. At a full 40” in length, this strap provides the perfect long, straight platform. To amp up the texture, we stitched with Aurifil 28wt 100% cotton thread in two solid colors and one variegated. The heavier weight of this gorgeous thread really makes the stitches pop and it worked great in both the top and bobbin, flowing through without a hitch.