As part of our Weekend Wonders series with Fabric.com, we have a couple technique tutorials designed to make those Wonders go more smoothly, look more professional, and... simply give you an upper hand when it comes to impressing friends with your vast sewing knowledge. Making a flat felled (or flat fell) seam is a detail with a place in history as well as a place in the world of professional seam finishes. You can find references to the flat felled seam technique in vintage as well as hand sewing (once the only way to sew anything!). And, if you look down right now at the inside seam of your jeans, you'll see a trademark flat felled seam.
Welcome to the newest series with our friends at Fabric.com: Weekend Wonders. Pretty projects you can whip out in a weekend. Ours have a casual summer theme – perfect for a sunny weekend. Make them all to gussy-up your own outdoor living space or create some great gifts for birthdays, anniversaries or barbecue get-togethers. We start off today with a trio of thirsty, 100% cotton towels. Sure... you can buy bundles of towels at the store, but they'll never be as cute as these or as well made. The monogrammed accent ribbon across the center gives you the power of personalization. I believe that's the secret weapon of one of the lesser-known Marvel Super Heroes.
We finish off Christmas in July with Moda week with the quintessential holiday project: stockings to hang by the chimney with care. We chose fabrics from Blitzen by BasicGrey for Moda. It's a great choice when you want a variety of personalized stockings, because the motifs within the collection range from wintery damasks to playful snowman. You can create an elegant paisley one for Aunt Claire as well as a whimsical one for Baby Ben. We added a rustic handmade bow for our "English Cottage" look. By making all these bows match, our three very different fabrics became a coordinated family group. We provide a free pattern download for the body of the stocking, and it's sized so you can cut both the front and back from a single Fat Quarter! A clever reverse seam on the ruffle is hidden by the accent ribbon, keeping the lined inside smooth and clean. Santa will be impressed!
Get Christmas "in the bag" early this year, but whipping up a few dozen of these quick, easy and very cute drawstring gift bags. We started with prints from Dear Mr. Claus by Cosmo Cricket for Moda Fabrics. The collection reminds us of vintage paper and cards, and so was the perfect choice for this green alternative to gift wrap. Our simple yet clever design results in a beautifully finished bag inside and out – no exposed seams. You can use the bags over and over! And, since we are still sweltering through summer, there's no reason you can't switch out the fabric and ties to make birthday gift bags, Halloween treat bags, even back-to-school lunch bags by substituting a laminated cotton for the lining squares. "Dear Mr Claus, it's only July... I promise to have things all worked out and back on track by December; please keep me on your 'Good' list. Love, S4H."
Being able to draw a straight line to follow with a seam or make a series of dots to indicate exact spots for buttons, pleats or darts means you have to mark your fabric... often on the right side... often where it could be seen on the finished project! Sounds scary, right? Only if you're considering using a Sharpie®. There are special tools made precisely for fabric marking, and some of the very best we've found come from Sewline products, distributed in the USA, Canada and South Africa by United Notions, the parent company of Moda Fabrics. Our pals at Moda introduced us to Sewline last year, and after testing them on several of our own projects, we're here to recommend them to you.
One of my favorite Christmas items to uncover every year is a table runner my mother made for me. It's the first thing I pull out, and for me, its appearance signals the official arrival of the holiday season. The first of our three projects for Christmas in July with Moda is a patchwork, pom pom table runner, featuring the whimsical winter wonderland of Kate Spain's Joy collection. This happy centerpiece certainly has the potential to become a best-loved holiday tradition. Make one for yourself plus a couple for friends and family. We used a Layer Cake, which contains forty 10" x 10" squares. That's plenty for several runners, simply add your favorite solid. We used Moda's Bella Solids.
Corners get a bad rap. You get backed into them, things go wrong when you cut them, and when you're bad, you have to stand in them. In sewing, when two exterior raw edges come together at 90˚, you're faced with hemming around a corner. If you've always been fearful about what lurks around a hemmed corner, this is the tutorial for you. Today, we'll show you the easiest ways to sew a corner hem. You'll learn how to fold and sew the fabric at the corner of a hem so there is a diagonal seam from the point of the corner to inside the edge of the hem. The diagonal seam is the point of the miter, which is why this type of hem finish is sometimes referred to as a mitered hem.
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!
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.
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).