It’s a wee bit of an understatement to say there are lots of sewing trims. In fact, if you were to lay all of the trims available end to end, they'd likely cover the earth! But choice is what we love, isn't it? It adds the spice to our sewing life. And, a room like our Romantic Bedroom Retreat, sponsored by Rowan and FreeSpirit Fabrics, cries out for some extra special embellishments. If you’ve been a Sew4Home reader for a while, you may have read our original tutorial on Terrific Trims. Since then, we’ve developed more project ideas using different kinds of sewing trims – some trendy, some traditional. A perfect example is the current Romantic Retreat projects for which we dove into the upholstery trim section to find an unbelievable assortment of tasseled and beaded trims and fringe. Another recent example was our experimental trim week with Simplicity; we designed two fashionable handbags (links are provided at the end of the article for these and other trim-focused projects) around “new” metal trims. This lead to our popular tutorial: Adding Metal Trims to Sewing Projects. Between these and others, we realized it was time for a Terrific Trims update.
Pillow Jackets are a S4H exclusive: a plain base pillow with a changeable sleeve. Like pillow paper dolls, they make décor swap-outs a snap! The jacket slips over a complimentary fabric-covered pillow to create a unique, layered look – a new outfit for your pillow. For our Romantic Bedroom Retreat series with Rowan and FreeSpirit, the Pillow Jacket was a great opportunity to bring together fabrics from two different collections into one lovely combination: Amy Butler's Cameo in Forget Me Not for the inside along with Tula Pink's The Birds & The Bees in Tree of Life for the outside. And... who can resist those romantic black velvet bows?
Creating a lush and luxurious Romantic Bedroom Retreat is the perfect opportunity to incorporate a few of the wide variety of trims available. We added dense chainette fringe to our Coverlet and elegant tasseled fringe with crystal accents on both our Valance and Bolster. Plus we have piping and more in upcoming tutorials. These options just prick the surface of the variety of trims available both in-store and online. They always look so beautiful wrapped around their little bolts, rows and rows from which to choose. But many people shy away from using these gorgeous embellishments because they're unsure how to sew them in place. We have more information on the trims themselves coming up later in the Romantic Retreat series. Today, we’re here to help you understand how to use your sewing machine, and the specialty feet (as well as standard feet) available, to sew all kinds of trims.
Welcome to Week #2 of our Romantic Bedroom Retreat, sponsored by our friends at Westminster Fibers Lifestyle Fabrics, the makers of Rowan and FreeSpirit fabric lines. We hope you've been glued to each weekday's installment, like the pages of summer romance novel, but if you're brand new to the Series, here's the scoop. We have nine tutorials (and five techniques) that beautifull portray how we took four new, and somewhat disparate, fabric collections, and brought them together into one harmonious theme. We also show you how to work with some of the new fabric substrates, such as voile, cotton sateen and laminates. Today is a luxurious coverlet, featuring a bold quilting cotton from Amy Butler's Cameo, sateen from Tina Givens' Pagoda Lullaby and a coordinating Designer Solid cotton for the back.These are blended with rich velveteen, satin bows and heavy chainette fringe. So - you're dying to know the difference between a bedspread and a coverlet aren't you? A bedspread is sized to completely cover the bed with the sides extending all the way to the floor and with enough fabric at the top to go up and over the pillows. A coverlet is a smaller version of a bedspread with sides that normally go only about halfway to the floor and of a size that stops below the pillows so you can feature some beautiful shams. We did exactly that with our Double Flange Shams introduced last week. In addition, coverlets can be various weights, depending on the season. We chose to add a layer of batting, which adds warmth and weight. You could leave out the batting for a summer weight coverlet.
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.