The fresh starts of fall are right around the corner. Back-to-school means after-school activities kick into gear as well. From classes to clubs; this big and beautiful tote has you, or your favorite student, covered. It's generous in both size and style thanks to the bold motif of the fabric and the striking embroidery. The teardrop shape, narrower at the top and wider at the bottom, carries a lot and is fast and easy to load with just one hand. We chose a cotton duck from Premier Prints with a slub texture; this means it has intentional striations that give it an interesting knobby look. The cool turquoise and slate color combination is great for any season and a perfect backdrop for the bright pops of color in the mosaic border design embroidered across the top of the tote (front and back). We offer both a free embroidery design download as well as a printable template should you prefer to do hand embroidery or decorative stitching.
Sew4Home is well-known for designing fashionable and functional bags and totes. From shoppers to satchels, carry-alls to coin purses; creating a wonderful bag for yourself or as a gift is a great sense of accomplishment. We put our heads together with our friends at Hawthorne Threads to come up with a cool tote that would be perfect for beginners. This is it! Yes it's easy, but the style is so cute and classic, everyone will have fun making it. More experienced? Add a bit of extra embellishment, such as a monogram on the pocket or fancier handles. The exterior fabric for our sample totes comes from Hawthorne Thread's large selection of canvas beauties.
As salt is to cooking, so thread is to sewing: a staple we rely on but may not think too much about. And yet, the thread is what holds everything together! If the quality is low or the color is off, you'll notice it as quickly as a too-salty soup. One thread that's been making heads turn these days is Aurifil. We interviewed our friends at Fat Quarter Shop, where they've recently introduced their own selection of exclusive Aurifil thread sets, to find out what they love about this thread as well as how they put together their exclusive FQS Master Collection of thread and floss. Plus, we have FOUR amazing sample sets of Fat Quarter Shop's Aurifil collections for FOUR lucky Sew4Home visitors.
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, extra cushy square pouf project you can try for your own trendy decorating statement, but in the meantime, 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 the pieces needed are really quite tiny. So bring out your scrap bag and dive in for all your favorites!
The holiday sewing season will be on top of us before we know it, which is always a great time to pull out the specialty fabrics for both garments and 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.
Outdoor living means outdoor events, which mean outdoor sitting – often on "non-chair surfaces." From summer concerts to Shakespeare in the Park, when the weather turns wonderful, activities move to more natural venues. These beautiful, wide open spaces can offer an auditorium made from a soft green meadow. Actually, they're more likely to offer a lumpy field of damp grass. For portable comfort, bring along your own stylin' set of round seat cushions. We used water-resistant rip stop nylon on the back and pretty outdoor polyester prints on the front, and they come with their own handy nylon drawstring duffle. Toss them on the lawn to keep your pants dry and your bum comfy.
One of the fabrics getting a ton of attention at this year's Spring Quilt Market (a major fabric industry trade show) was Double Gauze. Most of us recognize regular gauze for its sheer open weave. In fact, the process that creates gauze is even called "gauze weave" (or "leno weave"). This weaving process twists two warp yarns around the weft yarn in a figure eight pattern, resulting in a strong yet sheer fabric. Double gauze is just that, two layers of gauze. Teeny tiny stitch tacks, so teeny and tiny as to be invisible from the right side of the fabric, hold the layers together. These double layers help eliminate the super-sheerness of standard gauze and give the fabric a bit of extra weight, which imparts a wonderful, almost velvety drape. We designed a project that takes full advantage of this swathe of softness as well as the fabric's 52"/54" width: a striking shawl wrap with pom accents for a kick of casual whimsy.
It's been very festive around Sew4Home over the last few weeks as we prepared two beautiful projects to celebrate Christmas in July with Fabric Depot. If you missed either, make sure to check out our Downton Abbey Christmas Table Runner and the Northwoods Batiks Crazy Patch Tree Skirt. Have you ever wondered why we have Christmas in July? We have the scoop. And, thanks to our wonderful friends at Fabric Depot, we also have a Christmas in July present for one lucky Sew4Home visitor: a full Fat Quarter Bundle of the Downton Abbey Christmas collection!
Christmas in July continues with a crazy patch tree skirt featuring beautiful Christmas Batiks and Victorian Velvet from Fabric Depot. Holiday themed batiks are big this year; several manufacturers have come out with special collections. The motifs are a bit larger and the colors a bit bolder than what you might traditionally expect in a batik, but it's a fun and festive look, and was the perfect choice for a crazy patch.
A blind hem is exactly what it sounds like: a hem with stitches you barely notice. It's perfect for window coverings, the hem at the bottom of a garment, or anywhere you want a clean finished edge. When I first started sewing, attaining a perfect blind hem was like finding the Holy Grail. And then a funny thing happened, I practiced it a few times, and realized it was really easy. It's sort of like learning to use chopsticks – at first it seems so awkward and difficult and then, suddenly, it's second nature. Try a blind hem and you'll never drop a wad of sticky rice in your lap again.