Like your favorite pair of lounging pants or comfy sweatshirt, sometimes you just gotta have a loose fit. Today's pillow follows suit with a relaxed and roomy cover, but the real hero is on the inside. The luxurious Home Elegance™ insert is what achieves that perfect designer slouch. Sew4Home sponsor, Fairfield Processing makes the Home Elegance™ line of pillow inserts. If you want a great finished pillow, you need to start with a quality insert or filler, and these are our personal favorites to get a high-end look in a down-alternative. Home Elegance™ inserts have a 100% cotton, 300-thread count jacquard cover filled with a special 100% polyester gel fiber. To complete the pillow, we chose super soft colored denim as the backdrop for fifteen lines of decorative stitching on each side and coordinating tassels at the corners (yep... we have a tutorial for them). Most machines today feature amazing packages of decorative stitches. This is a great way to sample some of your favorites. Wouldn't it make a great holiday gift?!
We're still lucky enough to be playing with the brand new Janome Horizon Memory Craft 15000, which has been a welcome guest in our studios over the past few weeks. It has to go home to Janome America soon, but before we box it up, we spent some time on the new MC15000 website, browsing their cool Project Book. It has a number of fun ideas, but we were especially captivated by the pillow techniques and tutorials. Looking at the samples a machine has created is a great way to determine if it's the right model for you. Our favorite was the Split the Difference pillow with its dramatic embroidered center medallion. When I see stitch precision like this, it makes me want to embroider everything that isn't nailed down.
The year's biggest kitchen extravaganza is just around the corner. Thanksgiving, with all its aromas, tastes and family dynamics, is only a month away! It's a proven fact that a festive apron will make the day go more smoothly (we are not obligated to tell you who proved this). Our vibrant Thanksgiving apron design has decorative stitching accents and a clever towel loop, making it easier to dash from turkey to stuffing to pies looking cool, calm and collected - even with your mother-in-law watching from the sofa. The apron is fully lined, and even though it's not "officially reversible," it is pretty enough on both sides to wear inside out... a benefit when there's a gravy emergency.
Sometimes, the right ribbon can drive the feeling of an entire project. Today's Studs & Links ribbons from Renaissance Ribbons have an incredible three dimensional appeal and a tough yet tender design. From the Renaissance Ribbons collection by Raphael Kerley, these dynamic ribbons immediately caught our eye. We knew they'd be a unique and graphically bold option for a Steampunk inspired apron. The look of the ribbons prompted the use of rivets to attach the ties. Next up was the perfect fabric to carry the theme. We found that in the World Tour collection from David Butler's Parson Gray for FreeSpirit Fabrics. His Figi pattern has a starburst motif that appears fashioned out of wireworks, and the linen substrate has a soft drape and interesting texture that sets off the smooth and rich jacquard ribbons.
We've been having a great time reviewing comments from our recent Weekend Wonders Returns Great Giveaway with Fabric.com. For this Giveaway, we asked you to tell us which types of projects and kinds of fabrics you'd like to see us experiment with next. (By the way, there's still a week to enter this giveaway for a shopping spree gift certificate!). In scanning through the comments and compiling your wish lists, we noticed that a number of items you're looking for, we already have.... sometimes exactly what you're looking for; other times, very similar. So today we wanted to summarize a few of the classic projects available right now that you may have missed the first time around.
The third article in this week's Xtra EZ series is a bolster pillow. The finished product looks complex, but the steps are... as the name promises: extra easy. If you are learning to sew yourself or teaching someone else, the projects in our Xtra EZ series are for you. We spend extra time going over tools and techniques, and you'll find links to other articles that can move you further along the learning curve. Today's pillow explains topstitching, gathering and how to make a skinny tie. Our thanks to FreeSpirit Fabrics for providing the fabric for all three of our Xtra EZ pillows. We used three beauties from Dena Designs' Love & Joy collection. It's always more fun to learn when you can work with a wonderful fabric.
We're back for more Xtra EZ fun with today's happy pom pom pillow. This series is targeted at those of you just getting into the joy of sewing. But it's also for the experienced ones among you who are looking for great beginner projects to use to pass along your skills. All three of this week's pillows would be wonderful to make with children who are learning to sew, and the Love & Joy fabric by Dena Designs for FreeSpirit Fabrics is a marvelous kid-friendly choice. All our Xtra EZ articles have additional steps to shed light on cutting skills and other sewing basics. And, each teaches specific techniques that will be valuable for future projects. Today, you'll learn the tools and tricks to apply a simple trim and how to sew a center tufted button.
We're often asked for more projects that can be done by beginners or used as projects to help teach someone to sew - especially a child. This week, we're introducing a new series to answer those requests: Xtra EZ. We have three wonderful pillow projects in a delightful new fabric from Dena Designs for FreeSpirit Fabrics called Love & Joy. It's billed as a Christmas fabric, but a number of the prints work beautifully year 'round. We chose the red and aqua colorway, which is a can't miss combo in everyone's book. For each of our Xtra EZ projects not only are the steps themselves just that: extra easy, we've also made sure there are specific techniques to build a beginner's sewing tool box. Today's pillow shows the tools and tricks to create a simple patchwork design and illustrates the most basic of pillow closures: the envelope back.
When you want something to be more fun, you give it a nick name. Alexandra is someone who shops Rodeo Drive with a small dog in her Louis Vuitton® bag. Lexie is your BFF who cruises the flea markets with you. Metropolitan can feel crowded, expensive and snobby. Metro is hip, trendy and cool... just like today's bag! The fabric is from the World Tour collection by David Butler's Parson Gray for FreeSpirit Fabrics. But what makes the bag unique are the ribbons, which are also by Parson Gray, but produced by our friends at Renaissance Ribbons. "Where are the ribbons?" you ask. That's the secret! We created "ribbon fabric," a technique we've shown you to some extent in other Renaissance Ribbons projects, such as the Ribbon Fold-Over Wallet. The difference here is how we've used just one ⅝" wide ribbon, stacking it to create perfectly matching accents of varying widths: single, triple and quadruple. It's not only an amazing embellishment, it adds a patina and texture you can only get from a woven ribbon.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafty doors and windows account for 11 percent of the heat loss in an average home. Wow! This door draft buster is a weighted pillow (we used inexpensive dried beans) that stretches across the base of the door to keep cold air from blowing in and warm air from escaping. It's easy to do in an afternoon, using new fabric or scraps on hand. Why not make one as a gift and another to help cut down your own utility bill?