All the decorating books and home design television shows love the pillow sham. We would have to agree it does make a wonderful base from which to build the bed. For our king size shams, we combine lush, cushy velvet with rich, smooth cottons. The front features an intricate double flange border: a velvet outer flange with mitered corners, and a cotton inner flange – also with mitered corners. The inner flange is the same fabric as the back panel fabric. In fact, these shams are as pretty from the back as they are facing front, giving you twice the decorating punch. This project is a bit more advanced, but the results are stunning, and they are a fabulous addition to our Romantic Bedroom Retreat.
There's always a certain amount of hemming and hawing about having to hem. Just about every project you do includes some sort of a hem, and there are so many from which to choose. There is the simple double-turn hem, the blind hem, faced hem, covered hem, taped hem, curved hem, single hem, narrow hem, cuffed hem and bias hem. Then there are all the special hemming techniques for certain fabric types, such as leather, fur and lace, as well as projects with scalloped edges or pleats. Whew! But with even with these choices, there is one particular type of hem we receive more questions about than any of the others: the rolled hem. Our current Romantic Retreat series with Westminster Fibers Lifestyle Fabrics includes projects that incorporate a number of different substrates, from sateen to voile to laminates. A rolled hem may just come in handy, so let's get rollin'.
As you create a roomful of projects, you want to start with a focal point and flow outward from there. Our room centers on an ornate king bed and the beautiful, billowing Layered Bed Curtains and Valance, which we introduced on Monday of this week. Now we begin to add in the other projects that will continue to build an aura of comfort and romance. A dramatic bolster pillow is always a stand-out in any pile-o-pillows, and we took full advantage of our pillow's 30" length to showcase a bold fussy cut. The beautiful medallions of the Angelica design from Amy Butler's Cameo collection for Rowan Fabrics was the perfect choice. We then added elegant tasseled fringe (a match to the valance trim) and slinky stretch velvet knotted into flowing tails on either end. Our thanks to our friends at FreeSpirit and Rowan fabrics for sponsoring the Romantic Bedroom Retreat series, which covers three weeks of beauty and imagination: nine tutorials, five techniques and one Great Giveaway!
I often tell people fabric collections are kind of like the "Garanimals" (remember them?!) of the sewing world. If you stay within a designer's collection, you can be more confident everything will look great together. Many sewers mix between collections all the time, especially quilters. However, it can be intimidating, and the results can be less than stellar without a rationale for making choices. But, when done successfully, it is certainly possible to combine designers and collections to come up with a wonderfully unique look. In fact, our Romantic Bedroom Retreat series with Rowan & FreeSpirit Fabrics bends and perhaps breaks a few "rules" of mixing patterns and color. For an eclectic room like we've built, this is not only okay, it may be the only way to reach your goal. In fact, it's okay on many levels. If you have the belief and courage to do this successfully, you can create something that far exceeds what you would get if you strictly followed all the rules. From an entire room to an individual project, whatever you're working on, having the confidence to look at all the possibilities gives you wide-open potential for creativity.
We sat down with our friends at Rowan & Free Spirit several months ago to look through the dozens and dozens of beautiful collections on their drawing board. Each one seemed more wonderful than the next, and we were having a heck of a time narrowing the field for our upcoming series. Finally, we asked, "Why not widen the field?" Why not give our Sew4Home visitors the tools, inspiration and confidence to mix and match designers, fabrics and substrates (cotton versus voile versus laminate, etc.)?! The resulting blend could create a special kind of beauty within a single project or an entire room." This was the inspiration for the Romantic Bedroom Retreat series with Rowan & FreeSpirit Fabric: nine tutorials, five techniques and one Great Giveaway. Three weeks of beauty and imagination. We start today with a set of lovely layered curtains and a tasseled valance. It's a richly elegant look that is actually quite easy to make. The four panels and the valance are hung on a standard double curtain rod, and the panels are held in place with conventional tie-back hooks. What a great way to turn a plain wall into a picturesque backdrop for your bed!
I think more things in life should be reversible. Having a string of bad luck? Flip it over, and win the lottery. Say something stupid to your best friend? Turn it inside out, and it never happened. Wake up to gray and rainy day for your family picnic? Reverse it to blue skies and sunshine. Sounds good, don't you think? Although I can't promise these awesome social swaps, I can guarantee you'll love today's project in our Weekend Wonders with Fabric.com series. Our reversible apron is made of three bright and happy Kokka cotton canvas prints. From cooking in the kitchen to gardening in the flower boxes, this apron is both hardworking and goodlooking. The front boasts deep pockets and pretty flat felled seam accents. And, as part of our Weekend Wonders series, you know it's fast and easy. Make one for yourself, and one (or more) as gifts.
Pillows are always the perfect fast and easy project, and outdoor pillows are no exception. For the second project in our Weekend Wonders with Fabric.com series, we designed a great trio of pillows in easy care outdoor fabric selections: there's a 24" x 24" jumbo pillow, an all-around 20" x 20" pillow and a comfy 12" x 20" lumbar pillow. By choosing an indoor/outdoor pillow form, polyester cording for the piping, outdoor thread, and plastic buttons for the back closure; you'll have a set of great-looking, long-wearing pillows that can live outside for the entire season. Quality indoor/outdoor fabric (like you'll find at Fabric.com!) is mildew, stain and water resistant, which makes it perfect for outdoor settings as well as to use indoors in sunny rooms. It's fade resistant for up to 500 hours of direct sun exposure.
As part of our Weekend Wonders series with Fabric.com, we have a couple technique tutorials designed to make those Wonders go more smoothly, look more professional, and... simply give you an upper hand when it comes to impressing friends with your vast sewing knowledge. Making a flat felled (or flat fell) seam is a detail with a place in history as well as a place in the world of professional seam finishes. You can find references to the flat felled seam technique in vintage as well as hand sewing (once the only way to sew anything!). And, if you look down right now at the inside seam of your jeans, you'll see a trademark flat felled seam.
Welcome to the newest series with our friends at Fabric.com: Weekend Wonders. Pretty projects you can whip out in a weekend. Ours have a casual summer theme – perfect for a sunny weekend. Make them all to gussy-up your own outdoor living space or create some great gifts for birthdays, anniversaries or barbecue get-togethers. We start off today with a trio of thirsty, 100% cotton towels. Sure... you can buy bundles of towels at the store, but they'll never be as cute as these or as well made. The monogrammed accent ribbon across the center gives you the power of personalization. I believe that's the secret weapon of one of the lesser-known Marvel Super Heroes.
We finish off Christmas in July with Moda week with the quintessential holiday project: stockings to hang by the chimney with care. We chose fabrics from Blitzen by BasicGrey for Moda. It's a great choice when you want a variety of personalized stockings, because the motifs within the collection range from wintery damasks to playful snowman. You can create an elegant paisley one for Aunt Claire as well as a whimsical one for Baby Ben. We added a rustic handmade bow for our "English Cottage" look. By making all these bows match, our three very different fabrics became a coordinated family group. We provide a free pattern download for the body of the stocking, and it's sized so you can cut both the front and back from a single Fat Quarter! A clever reverse seam on the ruffle is hidden by the accent ribbon, keeping the lined inside smooth and clean. Santa will be impressed!