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Everything Old Is New Again with How To Do Shirring

Tuesday, 03 April 2012 9:00

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In between the simplicity of gathering and the intricacy of hand-smocking, lives one of our favorite texturing techniques: elastic shirring. You've probably owned a garment or two with shirring on the bodice or sleeve edge. It was the style on those iconic 1970s peasant dresses, and it's making a strong comeback in this season's fashion. Shirring is a great sewing technique to learn, and easy-peasy too! And just like the little boy with a hammer, for whom everything becomes a nail... once you learn how to do shirring, we guarantee there will be all kinds of projects that need this pretty, rumply, stretchy touch of texture.


Everything Old Is New Again with Seersucker Ruffled Square Pillows

Monday, 02 April 2012 9:00

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Welcome to the latest and greatest series from the fine folks at Everything Old Is New Again will show you terrific and trendy ways to use some classic fabrics. In the whirlwind of today's designer quilting cottons with their amazing coordinated collections of prints and solids, it's easy to forget about the old standards of the fabric world: candy colored seersucker, delicate eyelet, rich linen, traditional toile, flirty little floral prints, crisp white cottons; as well as some of the vintage sewing techniques used to put all the pretty pieces together, like shirring and hemstitching. We looked through these "forgotten fabrics" then unleashed our imaginations to apply their old-fashioned goodness in a new way. The series kicks off this week with a set of bed linens wrapped in the Southern charm of seersucker. Today's square ruffled pillows, with their rick rack trim and button placket back closures, look best as a big, cushy, colorful pile. All that's missing is a straw boater, a bouquet of jonquils and the honey glow of a lazy afternoon (ya'll can add that as soon as you're done making the pillows).


Friendship Cuff Bracelet

Friday, 30 March 2012 9:00

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Pile on the bracelets for spring! This soft cuff bracelet is easy, fast and inexpensive to make... especially when compared to the cost of similar styles in trendy stores. Make these in an assortment of colors and embellish with beads, buttons, charms, ribbon or whatever you like.

Adding Metal Trims To Sewing Projects

Tuesday, 27 March 2012 9:00

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Most of the time, sewing is all about soft things, from beautiful fabrics to cushy pillow inserts. However, every so often, something hard comes along. It's not there to torment you, it's a way to inject an interesting new texture into the mix.This week, we experimented with two of Simplicity's unique metal trims from their Project Runway collection. You'll see the eye-popping results in Wednesday's and Thursday's projects. Today, you'll learn tips to make working with these trims easier, as well as techniques to give you the most professional finish.

Elegant Tasseled Pillow Has Jute Webbing Back

Monday, 26 March 2012 9:00

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$300 to $500 and up! That's the price range we found for similar pillows to this one at the fancy home décor companies in-store and online. And, we don't mind sayin'... we think ours is actually nicer and more interesting than the ones we saw for sale. This project is a great lesson in the right combination of fabric and trim. The drama of the pillow depends on a strong motif isolated with precise cutting to be the feature on one side of the pillow. The opposite side is created from, believe it or not, strips of soft jute webbing. The final touch: rich tasseled fringe. Eat your heart out Horchow!

ScrapBusters: Seat Belt Cover

Friday, 23 March 2012 9:00

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Buckle up! But do it with more comfort and style with a super cute seat belt cover. Another great Scrapbusters! project, this easy wraparound cover is not only perfect for seat belts, it's also great for briefcase or suitcase straps. It even worked nicely to pad the handles of the recent heavy-duty Grocery Totes we made. Our design is reversible so you can make one side in cozy fleece for cold days and the other side in cool cotton for warm weather. Not only are seat belt covers an added comfort, they also help keep your shirt or jacket from becomming a wrinkly mess on long drives. These versatile straps would make a great gift for all the drivers your know –customize the fabric to match their moods.

Products We Love: Steady Betty

Thursday, 22 March 2012 9:00

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One of the most important parts of sewing has nothing to do with your sewing machine at all. It's the pressing process. The better job you do pressing your project, the more professional the result. We recently discovered a specialty pressing tool that has become a new favorite: the Steady Betty pressing surfaces. Originally designed for quilters, these boards are great for all kinds of pressing tasks. Their special surface gently holds your fabric in place, which means less stretching and distortion. And, they stay cooler than a traditional ironing board surface, but still allow enough heat to be delivered to the fabric. No more "ouchie" fingers when working with tiny binding folds or opening ¼" seams. Steady Betty has a wide variety of products. We took a look at their Original pressing board, the new Press & Pin board and a Pedal Betty, which keeps your machine's foot controller from creeping away from you.

Love That Fabric: Crazy Love by Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit Fabrics

Wednesday, 21 March 2012 9:00

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Crazy Love by Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit Fabrics just came out the end of February and it has been flying off fabric shop shelves. The jewel tone colors and almost psychedelic mix of reds with hot pinks, orange with lavender and rich chocolaty browns sing in intricate patterns. It's an interesting design blend of classic, free-flowing bohemian shapes plus a hint of the linear symmetry of 1920's art deco. Sounds almost crazy, but it's love at first sight.

Understanding Understitching

Tuesday, 20 March 2012 9:00

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If you are new to sewing, some of the terminology can be confusing. Doesn't "bolt" mean to run away? Cutting something on the "bias" just sounds mean. And, "feed dogs" seems more like a command than a sewing machine part. Trying to understand the various terms, exactly what they mean, how they work, and especially when to use them may seem daunting. But, as you learn each one, they'll become commonplace, and soon "nap" will mean more than dropping off for a little snooze. Today, we meet: understitching, which is not a seam done in a sneaky or under-handed manner and/or by Underdog. Read on to find out what it really is.

Spring Flower Pins

Monday, 19 March 2012 9:00

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As a little girl, I liked to watch my mother get dressed up to go someplace special. On the top shelf of her closet, she kept a round, paper-covered hatbox. Inside were a half dozen lovely millinery-quality flower pins, each carefully wrapped in tissue. The finishing touch was pinning a flower to her dress or the lapel of her jacket. My favorite was a big rose-colored peony flower made of woven fabric with several pale green, ribbon-wrapped stems.

Tomorrow is the first day of spring. Celebrate by wearing a flower on your jacket, in your hair, or pin one to your bag. Not only are they trendy, they brighten your day and help turn winter into spring.


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