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You Can Do It! S4H EZ-2-Do Rag Edge Pillows

Monday, 01 October 2012 3:00

One of the reasons Sew4Home came into existence was our desire to get new people interested in sewing. We wanted to prove sewing was within anyone's reach, even if you'd never even turned on a sewing machine before. It's why we're so focused on providing detailed instructions with helpful photos and make-no-assumptions steps. It's also why we make it a point to showcase the wonderful world of fabric, so you can see how easy it is to dip in and pull out one trendy look after another. You (and I do mean YOU) can create projects that are just as cool... if not more so, than what you find in those high end catalogs and über-expensive stores. Just remember one word: confidence. That's what You Can Do It! week is all about. We kick things off with today's super easy rag edge pillows. "Ragging" is seen most often in quilts and throws; a project is sewn together so the seams show on the outside rather than being hidden on the inside. After washing and drying, the seams gently fray or 'rag,' producing a softly distressed look and feel. 


Re-imagine & Renovate: French Country Apron & Headscarf

Thursday, 27 September 2012 3:00

One project can turn out an unlimited number of ways, depending on the choices you make with fabrics, trims and notions. That's the fun behind our Re-imagine & Renovate projects, an on-going series here at S4H. The beauty of today's apron is its clean and simple lines, along with a few subtle details, like a gently curved bottom edge and a perfectly matched front pocket. The fully bound edge makes the apron reversible, so you get to chose three coordinating fabrics. We added a matching headscarf to complete the charming peasant girl vibe. Why look... our cute French Country model is on her way to sell warm bread at the village market. (Actually, she's standing on a corner downtown and everyone is staring at her... but that's only because they love her apron!) Our new fabric is from Amy Butler's Gypsy Caravan collection for Rowan Fabrics from Fashionable Fabrics. The blue is the most perfect cornflower shade in combination with a rich, milky ivory. Like a crackle pottery bowl of fresh blueberries and cream. 


How to Make Continuous Bias Binding

Wednesday, 26 September 2012 3:00

Sewing is an continually evolving art. Learning new and interesting techniques is one of the best ways to build upon your current knowledge. It keeps your skills fresh and your ideas lively. Last week, we brought you up-to-speed with Bias Binding: figuring yardage, cutting, making and attaching. Today, we're continuing our journey down the binding path to a "sub-set" technique called: continuous bias binding. This is a little bit like another ancient art: origami. You start out with a flat square (or rectangle), and after a few folds and flips here and there, you have something completely different and very dimensional.


Re-imagine & Renovate: Round Table Placemats & Napkins

Tuesday, 25 September 2012 3:00

Round tables present a challenge for placemats, which are traditionally square or rectangular. Maybe it's time for a trapezoid! I bet you've been waitin' to say that since 8th grade geometry. This shape fits nicely side by side when placed around a circular table. We added coordinating cloth napkins to amp up the tabletop color explosion. Both projects are part of our ongoing Re-imagine & Renovate series. Just like a fresh coat of paint can transform a room, brand new fabric can completely change the look of a project. Today, our delightful new fabric is Pat Sloan's Eat Your Fruits & Veggies collection for Moda Fabrics. It hits stores next month in all its vibrant glory: from carrot orange to cherry red to eggplant purple, these colors and patterns are luscious enough to take a bite of. There's even a complete coordinating set of batiks in a dozen slightly softer hues. This collection can turn an ordinary breakfast table into a farmer's market produce stand. 


Re-imagine & Renovate: Sewing Machine and Serger Covers

Monday, 24 September 2012 3:00

At Sew4Home, R&R doesn't mean Rest & Relaxation, it means Get Up & Go: Re-imagine & Renovate! Just like a fresh coat of paint can transform a room, brand new fabric can completely change the look of a project. We're celebrating the final week of National Sewing Month by putting a new twist on some S4H sewing classics. Today, we picked adorable sewing motif fabric from the good folks at Fat Quarter Shop to recreate our sewing machine and serger covers. Your hard-working machines make so much stuff for you, the least you can do is make some little outfits for them!  These are perfect projects to spruce up your own sewing room, but would also make wonderful gifts for all the sewers and crafters on your holiday lists.


Voile Infinity Scarf

Friday, 21 September 2012 3:00

My mother was a very snappy dresser in her prime, and the number one piece of advice she passed along to me was that you could never go wrong accessorizing your outfit with a beautiful scarf. One of the most popular looks out there right now is the infinity scarf, an endless circle of loveliness you can twist into a number of interesting shapes. It's a great look to dress up or down to suit any occasion. Best of all... an infinity scarf is very easy to make. And I do mean veeerrryyy easy! I made our sample scarf in under an hour... and I stopped to take photos! This project just might become your favorite fast and easy (yet unique and elegant) holiday gift – especially because of all the beautiful voiles to choose from. Our thanks to FreeSpirit for providing one of the nine available voiles from Tina Givens' Pagoda Lullaby collection


Bob's Doggie Dryer

Thursday, 20 September 2012 3:00

Contrary to stories you may have heard, it doesn't really rain all the time in Oregon. We do have a rainy season... it's just a lot longer than other rainy seasons around the world. It's about time for those rains to start, which means soggy dog paws won't be far behind. As with many folks, our pets are inside/outside critters. If they are going in and out during the aforementioned "rainy season," it's nice to be able to dry them off before they come in. "That's what rags are for!" you say. True, but rags are usually not very absorbant, they tend to be kind of small, and worst of all, they leave you and your clothes exposed to the dripping doggie. Sew4Home partner, Bob Johnson thought we needed to design a towel that could protect the dryer while sopping up the dryee. Thus was born the soon-to-be-famous, Bob's Doggie Dryer. It's a long, double-layer towel with a large pocket on either end. Slip one hand into each pocket for easy drying control; the wide center of the towel stays between you and the wet doggie-dog. Great idea Bob, and great modeling job, Doggie Elaine... even though she was a little confused about why we kept pouring water on her head during the photo shoot. 


Bias Binding: Figuring Yardage, Cutting, Making, Attaching

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 3:00

We were going to call this tutorial: Bias Binding: Basics & Beyond, however, we decided to forgo the clever alliteration and instead focus on the key words we hear whenever we receive questions about this very hot topic: "How do you figure out how much fabric you need?" "How do you cut all the strips?" "How do you sew all the strips together?" "How do you put it on your project so it looks smooth and pretty?" "Why is the sky blue?" We've posted about bias binding before, and even have an older tutorial on the subject. But, it was time to take a fresh look and collect all the scattered tips and information into one updated article. We'll address all four of the most common questions: yardage, cutting, making and attaching. You're on your own for the blue skies!


Jelly Roll and Honey Bun Strip Pillow

Tuesday, 18 September 2012 3:00

Working with Moda pre-cuts often makes me hungry... the names are so tantalizing: Jelly Rolls, Honey Buns, Layer Cakes. Thankfully, pre-cuts have zero calories and it's fun to come up with creative ways to turn them into what we like to call "new fabric." For today's project, we used Jelly Roll strips from one collection and Honey Bun strips from another collection, proving once again, you can combine beautiful prints from different designers to create a your own unique look. Our pillow uses Jelly Roll strips from Christmas Spirit by Holly Taylor for Moda and Honey Bun strips from Sentiments by 3 Sisters for Moda. We created a fast, strip-pieced pillow with lovely seasonal colors and decorative stitch accents. 


Halloween Tote with Adjustable Strap & Safety Lights

Monday, 17 September 2012 3:00

I am a major fan of B-Movies: the over-acting, the cheesy special effects, the see-through plot lines... I love it all. And, I am especially fond of B-Horror-Movies! I think this is because I could picture myself getting paid to scream like a maniac at a rubbery monster with googly eyes. All that to say, as soon as we saw it, we knew we had to use Eerie Alley Blocks in Black and Purple by Karen Foster for Robert Kaufman Fabrics from Fabric.com for some sort of Halloween project. The movie poster knock-offs are hysterical and the panels are so colorful. We designed a soft, unstructured trick-or-treat bag with a long, adjustable cross-body strap. The fabric is so great, we used it for both the exterior and the lining, then added two safety lights, one around each strap, to help make sure your lil' spooks can be seen when they're strolling in the... Twilight Zone. 



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