A knife pleat sounds dangerous, but is actually one of the easiest and, we think, prettiest members of the pleat family. In a knife pleat, the folds are pressed to one side in the same direction, which is why they are also sometimes called side pleats. More than likely, you've seen knife pleats on a garment; like those great tartan kilts bag pipers are known to wear... with or without something underneath.
Paper napkins are... well... paper ! Cloth napkins are more beautiful, more absorbent, and more green. Today is the second project in our Kitchen Confections series for Moda Fabrics, featuring the new Vintage Modern collection by Bonnie & Camille. On Monday, during our debut placemats tutorial, we showed you a technique for building patchwork strips called a 'strata.' Today you get to practice the technique again to make a set of coordinating napkins. Then, hold on to your honey buns.... we have four more projects on tap as well as two super cute downloads of matching recipe cards and gift tags, and a marvelous Great Giveaway to round it all out. Our thanks for Moda for sponsoring the entire series.
Pleats are the origami of the sewing world. And although you don't usually need to fold one into the shape of a swan, there are a wide variety of pretty pleats that add distinct visual and textural embellishments for both home décor as well as garment sewing. Each type provides a different look based on how it's formed. You can make: knife pleats, knife pleats in two directions, box pleats, inverted box pleats, inverted box pleats with a separate underlay, accordion pleats, sunray pleats, and wave pleats. In this tutorial, we're focusing on a box pleat and its identical yet opposite cousin, the inverted box pleat. We'll address knife pleats later this week and some of the more specialized pleats in the near future.
You may have noticed we have a bit of a crush on laminates. This starry-eyed happiness encouraged us to scan back through some projects, looking for candidates to Re-imagine and Renovate in this fun substrate. Bingo! We landed on our Cosmetics & Toiletries Bag from last summer's Travel Accessories series. The original sample already featured laminate on the inside to make it resistant to damage from on-the-go spills, but we thought, "Wow... this would be awesome done entirely in laminate!"
You may be familiar with darts as those pointy things you throw at a dartboard on the wall of your favorite pub. Although they don't fly, darts in sewing are still vital components of the overall sewn project. For the most part, sewing darts look quite similar to their gaming counterpart. They are wide on one end and pointy on the other. Pub darts are all about a smooth trajectory and pinpoint accuracy. Sewing darts are also big on smooth lines and precise points, but their function is all about shape. No matter what kind of sewing you do, sooner or later, you will likely have to sew a dart. Throwing darts... you can do on your own time.
We cautioned you about "shirr madness" and then we fell for it ouselves! Earlier this month, when we introduced you to shirring, we warned that once you learned how to do it, there would be all kinds of projects crying out for this pretty, rumply, stretchy touch of texture. While browsing the bolts at our local Fabric Depot, we spotted a beautiful piece of Amy Butler voile, and the next thing we knew... this pretty little top was on the Editorial to-do list. Ours is designed to be flirty and floaty, hitting right at the waistband of your favorite summer shorts. Wear it by itself or layer it with a sheer cotton tank. You can whip it up in an afternoon.
Why do we love fabric? Let me count the ways. Our apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, but it seemed like a good quote to emphasize what a difference fabric makes to the end result of a project. This Re-imagine & Renovate series is our way to show you how one project can turn out an unlimited number of ways, depending on the choices you make with fabrics, trims and notions. Today's set of matching placemats and napkins originally debuted as part of our Italiano Kitchen series, which had a playful, breakfast table casualness. In our new, rich tones of indigo, they're now ready for prime time as lovely dinner table linens or perhaps for a sophisticated Sunday brunch.
Sometimes it's fun to not worry about learning a whole new project; instead, why not take a fave design and simply twist it into a new look. In other words: Re-imagine & Renovate! The fabric you choose for a project can transform cute and quirky into sleek and stylish... girlie-girl flirty and floral can become masculine bold and modern. Today's simple scarf was originally a dramatic gypsy style with two different coordinating fabrics front and back. Our new version is still reversible, but the look is toned down and lightened up. It's the perfect spring accessory for our S4H model, Gerd, who, on just her third day in the USA from Denmark, was a very good sport about being photographed to become "a famous internet celebrity." Thanks, Gerd! Have fun on the rest of your travels!
Every fabric has its own beauty and personality; how you combine them in a project gives you an unlimited number of wonderful end results. That's the idea behind our R&R series: re-imagine and renovate a classic design in order to come up with a whole new look. This week, we picked four of our favorites and applied a coordinating color theme: indigo. For today's project, we adapted the original clean white lines of our hardworking half apron and deepened its soul with indigo.