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Michael Miller Cotton Couture: Three-Tier Ombre Apron

Wednesday, 20 June 2012 3:00

Ombre is a French word for shading or graduating. In fashion, it refers to the graduation of color in a garment, such as when a fabric is very dark at one end and gradually lightens. With the multitude of tones to choose from within the Michael Miller Cotton Couture collection, we were able to achieve an ombre effect in our apron design, going from light Vanilla on top and shading through to dusky Sage at the bottom of the triple tier skirt. These beautiful neutrals were the perfect base for a little shabby chic style. We added vintage buttons, heirloom lace, subtle embroidery, and a surprise tulle layer in the middle of the skirt. Magnifique!

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Quick Tip: Warp Speed Button Sewing

Tuesday, 19 June 2012 3:00

Last week in our Michael Miller Cotton Couture series, we showed you how to make a beautiful Queen Color Block Duvet, which featured a row of buttons as its closure. This week, we have a shabby chic ombre apron in Cotton Couture that features eleven decorative and functional buttons. We know you start rolling your eyes when you think about having to break out the needle and thread to sew on button after button. For some reason, button-sewing is stuck in our psyche as a dreaded, time-consuming task. We’re here to tell you it’s not true! Read on to learn our favorite, super speedy five-step process to perfect buttons.

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How To Make Wave Tucks

Thursday, 14 June 2012 3:00

Before you start to panic, this technique does not require a bathing suit or a surfboard; all you need is your sewing machine... and a desire for style! We’ve shown you numerous ways to take fabric from flat to fancy: pleating, gathering, shirring, and pintucks to name just a few (see the full list at the end of this article). Although these are all traditional techniques, we work hard to give them a new twist by using exciting fabrics or finding new applications. And, just when you think you’ve seen it all, some ingenious soul develops a fresh approach to fabric manipulation. Today, we’re discussing a fairly new technique: wave tucks. These are not to be confused with wave pleats, which are a form of pleated draperies. The wave tuck starts as a modified pintuck, but quickly transforms into beautiful winding folds with just a few passes through your sewing machine. We use them next week, during our Michael Miller Cotton Couture series, to embellish a preppy handbag (the Fuschia and Tangerine tucks in the photo above are a little sneak peek). 

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Michael Miller Cotton Couture: Color Block Queen Bolster Pillow

Wednesday, 13 June 2012 3:00

A bolster pillow is the number one decorative choice for bed linens. Its long, rolled shape creates a distinct horizontal line, like a cushy fence holding in place all the pillows behind it. Bolsters can be any size, but we decided it would be wonderful to create one that spanned the entire width of a queen bed. This beauty is 60" wide! It's the second project in our Cotton Couture series for Michael Miller Fabrics, and is a perfect coordinate to the upcoming color block duvet. We used cool aqua blues and soft grass greens to create our dream worthy bed-width bolster. With 90 colors of 100% quality cotton, the MMF Cotton Couture collection has a rainbow of choices from which to create a color block blend to perfectly match your own décor. 

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Sewing Successful Curves

Tuesday, 12 June 2012 3:00

In home décor sewing, there are lots of squares and rectangles. Pillows, placemats, curtain panels... nice flat shapes with plenty of good ol' right angles. But, if life didn't throw us a few curves, it wouldn't be a very interesting journey now would it?! Tomorrow, as part of the Michael Miller Cotton Couture Color Block series, we'll show you how to make a bolster. Bolsters, my S4H friends, have curves. You may feel a little apprehensive about learning to sew curves, thinking you’re happy with all things square. But learning to bend those right angles is a necessary part of sewing, and opens up new, fun possibilities. With our help, it's easy to do too! 

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Michael Miller Cotton Couture: Triangle Color Block Table Runner

Monday, 11 June 2012 3:00

It's everywhere this season! Color Block is the trend in home décor as well as fashion. It has a cool 60s vibe in a bold, modern style, and no prints need apply. This is all about solid, saturated color, which is why it's the perfect design theme for our newest S4H series, featuring Michael Miller Fabric's Cotton Couture collection: 90 solids in 100% quality cotton. For most of history, cotton has been a luxury fabric, something worth hauling by caravan out of the middle east and all the way to Europe. For some manufacturers, like Michael Miller, cotton is still a luxury fabric. From selecting the cotton variety to processing to dyeing, their goal isn't to make the least expensive fabric possible, but the best. We have five beautiful projects in our Cotton Couture series, including today's colorful table runner, four helpful technique tutorials to make those projects go faster and easier, and an amazing Great Giveaway, courtesy of Michael Miller.

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DIY Wedding Sparkle with Artistic Crystals: Ring Bearer's Pillow

Friday, 08 June 2012 3:00

It's the last day of our wedding wonders, and we hope we've provided you with a bouquet of inspiration to add a bit of sparkle to your world. Whether you're making projects for you own wedding or considering a home-based wedding accessories business, we think you'll be impressed with the Artistic integrated system of crystals, software, cutters and presses. As we've mentioned along the way, we approached this series challenge with a bit of trepidation, wondering if Artistic was merely As Seen on TV's "BeDazzler" gone digital. Far from it! This is sophisticated software with a myriad of possibilities, from elegant to whimsical. Today's gorgeous ring bearer's pillow is an excellent example of how you can use the system to combine machine embroidery and crystals. The result is an intricate composite design of heirloom quality.

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DIY Wedding Sparkle with Artistic Crystals: Bridesmaid Clutch with Crystal Initial

Thursday, 07 June 2012 3:00

It's one of the hottest trends out there right now: matching clutches for the wedding party. Just the right size to carry a few important items to the wedding and reception, many brides are also using these little purses to hold special wedding day gifts for their girlfriends. We even saw some chatter out there about brides who've skipped traditional bridesmaid bouquets, choosing instead to put real or silk flowers on coordinated clutches and have the girls carry these down the aisle. The pictures we saw of wedding parties going with this new tradition were just adorable. A Google search on 'Bridesmaid Clutches' will bring up hundreds and hundreds of hits. We chose a simple envelope clutch design we've used before here on S4H. The "bling" is an embroidered initial outlined in crystals on the outside of each clutch, using the Artistic integrated system of crystals, software, cutters and presses. In this way, all the purses can match the bride's color scheme, yet each one will be easily identifiable by its owner.

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DIY Wedding Sparkle with Artistic Crystals: Tabletop Gift or Birdseed Boxes

Wednesday, 06 June 2012 3:00

Who says elegant can't also be adorable?! These tiny paper gift boxes are a beautiful addition to wedding tabletop décor. Set one at each place, then fill it with groom's cake, candies or birdseed for the honeymoon send off. Today's project in our DIY Wedding Sparkle series is designed to show you how the Artistic integrated system of crystals, software, cutters and presses has uses beyond fabric. 

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DIY Wedding Sparkle with Artistic Crystals: Napkin Wraps

Tuesday, 05 June 2012 3:00

How to set a beautiful table without breaking the bank is always a wedding challenge. Our "tie the knot" napkin wraps give plain (aka - inexpensive) linens and flatware the perfect dash of glittering style. They are super fast and easy, in part because we show you some clever cutting and stitching tricks to set-up for "assembly line" sewing. You can make 48 wraps from just 1½ yards of fabric! The Artistic integrated system of crystals, software, cutters and presses is a perfect match for projects-in-multiples. Once you make one template, you can use it over and over to create an identical design on each wrap. An Etsy seller, for example, could create several generic designs, such as our little heart outline, then let the bride choose between one of these stock designs or a custom monogram. She could also specify the two fabric colors and the ribbon color to match her wedding theme.  

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