The bedroom dresser top. In catalog and magazine photos, it's always so clean – a single rose in a vase adorning one pristine corner. In reality, this is one of the most cluttered, easy-to lose-things-on surfaces in the house! Scatterings of coins, broken jewelry, forgotten notes, safety pins, missing buttons, dusty photos, watches in need of batteries... you name it, it's likely to end up on the dresser top. We've come up with a beautiful way to help you organize at least some of it. We're not promising miracles; you are still going to have to take those watches in for batteries one of these days, but at least you'll have a place to collect a few things. We call our cute fabric basket a Coin Catcher, but you're welcome to let it catch whatever you'd like.
There are so many times you need two hands free (Look Ma... No hands!). So today we have a clever pouch you can slip on a belt. Anytime you need both hands to get a task done, this little organizer is great solution. It's perfect for urban walkers, Saturday antiquing adventures or just when you're trying to wrangle two toddlers down the block. Drop your smart phone in a pocket at the back and use the zippered front pocket to hold cash, change, credit cards or other necessities. We also incorporated a handy D-ring at the top to allow you to slip a key fob in place. Or, as we show above, snap on a caribiner and, rather than slipping the pouch over a belt, simply clip it to a belt loop or even onto another larger bag or pack for fast on-and-off access.
Ditch the brown bag and lighten up your lunch table with this very cute insulated lunch bag. It uses a half a yard or less of two decorator weight fabrics for the exterior with PUL for the lining. Insulating fleece between the layers helps keep your lunch warm or cool. We added Velcro® to seal it shut while still allowing for a quick open... gotta be able to get in when you're hungry! If you wanted to amp up the insulating properties, you could reconfigure the design to add a zipper. The wipe-clean PUL on the inside makes any spills easy to remove. And, extra long handle loops mean you can grab it and go or slip it over your arm, leaving your hands are free to grab a drink or tote your latest lunchtime reading material.
For our final day of Janome Week, we took all the techniques we've experimented with and pulled them together into one, fun project: our Everything Apron. It features embroidery, decorating stitching and quilting. We're using the brand new Memory Craft 9900 sewing and embroidery machine. The slogan for this machine is: As Unique As You! And we can certainly understand why. It gives you everything you need to take your creative expression in any direction you can imagine: from sewing to embroidery and beyond. It's a great machine to take on everything for our Everything Apron. The base design of the apron comes from the Vintage Modern Pleated Apron featured in last Spring's Kitchen Confections Series. We added pretty new embellishments to give it a whole new look.
The biggest sewing category around the world is quilting. If you've been thinking about jumping on the bandwagon, we recently finished a five-part Quilting Basics Series and have included links to all the parts below. It's a great way to get started. Today during Janome Week, to show off the quilting features of Janome's sewing and quilting machines, we've chosen the Horizon Memory Craft 8900 QCP to create a beautiful bed runner: a decorative throw for the foot of your bed. It's lovely to look at, but can also be used to help protect a fancier full-size quilt or bedspread. You can sit on a bed runner or even stretch out and place your feet on it. Ours finishes at approximately 92" x 24" and is sized for a king or queen mattress. Our sample is shown on a king; there would simply be more drape down either side on a queen. We've done basic nine-patch blocks with each inner block made up of four pieced triangles. The clever mixing of the colors creates a three-dimensional effect within each of the inner blocks as well as in the finished nine-patch itself. Stitching in the ditch was used to quilt the center, while the inner and outer borders are done with stippling.
Yesterday during Janome Week it was decorative stitching; today it's embroidery. While nearly all sewing machines include at least some decorative stitch options, only embroidery models can create embroidery designs. Janome has both embroidery-only models: such as the Memory Craft 350E, as well as sewing and embroidery models, such as the Horizon Memory Craft 12000 and the Memory Craft 9900. For our project today, we're using the brand new Janome MC9900 (click here to see our recent review of this model). Although there are many, many built-in embroidery designs on the MC9900, and we'll be playing with some of them later in the week for our Apron project; today we wanted to show you another wonderful option you have with Janome embroidery models: bringing in a design from an outside source - it's so easy! It could be something you create yourself with embroidery software, something you purchase on an embroidery CD, or something you download from the hundreds... no... thousands of embroidery design resources on the Internet. We have two custom Janome-compatible designs as free downloads today – just for our Sew4Home visitors!
I still remember the first sewing machine I bought with a full compliment of decorative stitches. I was in seventh heaven. It felt like the same unbridled choice as when you open a fresh box of 64 crayons. Variety unleashed! But we often get so busy with the construction process, we forget about all those great stitches. Not today! It's Janome Week on Sew4Home, and all Janome machines have at least some decorative stitches, many of them have hundreds! Today's pillow project gives you three different decorative stitching options to try, and we've included three free template downloads to re-create our exact designs. There are random intersecting lines, which allow you to mix and match a variety of stitches. Our starburst showcases the option to program stitches, creating what appears to be individual dots. And finally, we give you the steps to stitch a spiral, using a padded satin stitch in variegated thread. It's all to encourage you to take advantage of your patiently-waiting decorative stitches... or maybe it's time to look for a new model with even more selection.
Sewing is an art. But is does rely on science and technology as well. And there's math with all those fractions and geometry. But most importantly... there's your machine. A good machine makes the difference – not only in the sewing experience but in the professional look of the finished project. Janome America is the exclusive sewing machine sponsor of Sew4Home and we love our studio Janomes. When you have a great machine, you can literally forget about it, and put your full concentration on the art of sewing. To borrow a line from Janome that explains this phenomenon: the easier the tools, the more creative you become. Janome machines are precise and reliable from the top of the line to the most basic entry level model. One of the very first articles we did on Sew4Home explained the parts of a basic sewing machine. We've decided to update that article today as the first day in Janome Week – for the benefit of all the new sewing enthusiasts out there. Plus, it never hurts for any of us to dust off our skills and knowledge.
Once the crocuses and daffodils poke through winter's chill, it's official. Spring has her new sandals on, her toenails painted, and she's headin' our way. With Spring comes the opening of local Farmer's Markets. For the final project in our Mother's Day week with Fabric.com, we have a sturdy tote specially designed to hold all that farm fresh bounty. It features cotton laminate inside and out and is strengthened with a Therm O Web® interfacing that can take moisture without distorting. A gathered front pouch holds extra green bags for your produce purchases. The finished bag is approximately 16" tall, 15" wide and 6" deep, giving you plenty of room for everything from bouquets of spring tulips to sweet clover honey to farm fresh eggs. Long ribbon ties let you adjust the top closure to best fit your heavenly haul.
A great scarf can elevate an outfit from drab to dynamic in an instant. However, really nice scarves don't come cheap at the department store or boutique. Here's a little fashion secret: scarves are SUPER easy to make, and this week's Mother's Day sponsor, Fabric.com has an amazing selection of perfect chiffons for under $4.00 a yard! We have two designs today for you to try. If you have a serger, cut on the bias and create a ripply "lettuce edge" all around. For your sewing machine, go long and lovely with a rolled hem and hand sewn sequins all around.