A number of years ago, we had a French intern working with us... the daughter of a friend of a friend - you know how those things go. She was a sweet girl with a lovely accent, and we had fun asking her for the translation of things we tag as "French": a French braid to her was an Indian braid; French cut was Brazilian cut; French fries were American! We didn't get into all the amazing sewing techniques influenced by fine French (or heirloom) sewing. There's the French cuff, French dart, French knot, French curve, French binding and today's topic: the French seam. Ready to give it a try? Wearing a beret is optional.
We continue our marvelous Moda Winter Series with a week of fantastic pre-cut projects, starting with today's apron made entirely from fat quarters. We chose the brand new Wee Wovens Brights by Moda Fabrics. One side is a brushed cotton, the other side a crisp cotton. How cool is that?! We used the brushed side as our "right side" for this project, which is what gives the apron its soft, flannelly appeal. Designed in-house by Moda, Wee Wovens Brights is a gorgeous collection of nostalgic checks, plaids and stripes in beautiful color combinations.
I love watching old black and white re-runs of the original TV police series, Dragnet. The most famous "catchphrase" from this series is Detective Joe Friday's iconic line, "Just the facts, ma'am." But, here's your little-known-fact-of-the-day: he never actually uttered this line! Since old myths die hard, we'll continue the parody as the theme behind today's cute little mini clutch, because sometimes you need, "Just the necessities, ma'am." When you're running out the door, you need a little purse to hold the essentials, like cards, cash, and a shopping list. You could even use one as a mini wallet to toss into a larger bag. And this time of year, these quick and easy clutches make great gifts - especially when a gift card or a little cash is tucked inside.
Skinny little carryalls getting you down? Then it's time to go big and bold with today's jumbo tote! With its 6" base and sides, you can fill it with lots o' stuff. Throw it over your shoulder to transport your latest project wherever you need to go. When you're back home, it's pretty enough to sit next to your favorite chair and hold all your in-progress supplies. We made ours to hold knitting, but it would be equally wonderful for any jumbo job. As with all the projects this week, our bag is made in Malka Dubrawsky's gorgeous Simple Marks collection for Moda Fabrics. We chose a large motif with a bit of a random pattern and didn't want to make any unecessary cuts through it that would chop up the design. So, we came up with unique wrap-around sides. Rather than the seams going directly down the sides, the main body of the bag joins in the front and back with inset panels. This allows the sides to be single beautiful pieces that really showcase the motif.
I have a small scar on the inside of my forearm from the Great Cookie Tray Debacle of 2009. If you're a multi-tasker, and most creative folks are multi-taskers, I'm sure you can relate. Just because you're doing your holiday baking doesn't mean you aren't also doing three or four other things, such as talking on the phone, scolding the children, trying to step over the dog... Soooooo, when you pull those cookie trays out of the oven, you may not be paying attention like you should. Ouch! This (and a few other scars) is why I've switched to oven mitts. They have better coverage for my hands and continue up my arms. Our adorable set is made from Malka Dubrawsky's gorgeous Simple Marks collection for Moda Fabrics. We used Fat Quarters, which are a great way to test a collection. Each mitt takes just two Fat Quarters. You can buy a complete 40-piece Fat Quarter bundle, which includes 18" x 22" cuts from all the patterns and colorways, and make oven mitts to protect your entire extended, multi-tasking family!
In sewing, there's a difference between stitches you use for construction and ones you use for finishing. When you’re first learning to sew, your immediate focus is getting all those pieces to fit together correctly. From the moment you cut the fabric, you’re concerned with maintaining the shape of the pattern pieces. You tediously concentrate on perfecting seam allowances, matching cut pieces end to end, lining up seams, and measuring hems exactly. When a project is finally completed, you’re so happy; your sense of accomplishment is overwhelming... but, what about the inside edges beyond where you sewed? One of the signs of a truly well-made project is that it looks nearly as good on the inside as it does on the outside. If you want your projects to look "handmade" but not "homemade," it's well worth it to give your seams a professional finish.
Which dish are you in charge of for this year's holiday celebrations? Will you be whipping up Nana's famous lasagna or maybe a warm pan of apple-cranberry crisp? If your culinary talents are on-the-go this season, you need a carrier that can keep your special dish toasty on the car ride there. Our wrap-it-up design includes a handy loop to clip a pot holder and an inside pocket for a serving utensil. It would make a wonderful combo-gift for the foodies on your list. Make the pretty carrier, then wrap up a new baking pan you've filled with a homemade holiday treat! Today is the first day of our newest series sponsored by all our friends at Moda Fabrics. This week, we have a selection of clever carriers done in Malka Dubrawsky's Simple Marks. Malka is an amazing textile and fiber artist from Austin, Texas. She's known for her unique "alternation" of fabric, including hand-dying, bleaching, and stitching. The result is fabric with such depth and texture is almost appears to be three-dimensional. If you love the rich tones of this first Simple Marks collection, you'll want to keep your eyes out for the vibrant colorways of this spring's Simple Marks Summer.
Turn a LBD into your own personal fashion statement with the perfect holiday accessory: a stretchy velveteen belt adorned with a petal soft flower. Heading out to dinner from the office? Add this pretty belt to a simple soft sweater or crisp white shirt for just-right casual elegance. The beautiful, luxurious velveteen is part of Amy Butler's newest collection: Alchemy for Rowan Fabrics.
Velvet and velveteen are definitely members of the fabric world's Specialty category. But, that doesn't mean they're too "special" to be part of your sewing stash. All you need is a little help learning how to properly handle, sew and care for them. And that's what your friends here at Sew4Home are for, right?! As we've shown you in recent weeks, today's fabric collections no longer feature quilting cotton as the only available substrate (or fabric type). Westminster Fibers, through their FreeSpirit and Rowan brands, offers a wonderful range of options from the sheerest voile to heavy canvas to the rich velveteen we're using from Amy Butler's Alchemy collection. But like anything new, unique substrates, such as velvet and velveteen tend to be feared by many home sewers. And... when fear leads you to always err on the same (or safe) side of all these fun new choices, you can end up in a fabric rut. Below we’ve summarized what we know about velvet and velveteen, along with the proper techniques for cutting, sewing, pressing, and more. Spread your wings and try something new! Trust us, the extra care is well worth the finished product.
Just a little fancy cutting and a bit of clever seaming, and you can turn a simple fabric border design into an elegant frame with a center medallion. It's a great way to give an ordinary square pillow a trendy designer look. And when you have a collection with the depth and drama of Amy Butler's Alchemy for Rowan Fabrics, it's easy to find motifs that cry out to be fussy cut. During this busy time of year, a classic pillow executed in gorgeous fabrics is perfect for holiday giving and decorating, but also has the beauty staying power to last year 'round.