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Fast Fridays: Special Occasion Cutlery Pockets

Friday, 12 May 2017 1:00

A popular trend when planning party table settings is to corral your cutlery in their own little pockets. They hold everything you need in one handy unit and add a bit of flair to the overall look of the table décor. Because they're self-contained, you can use the pockets with placemats, tablecloths or simply line them up on the table buffet style. 

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Kid's Laundry Duffle with Free Embroidery Design Download

Thursday, 11 May 2017 1:00

Just like that crafty Mary Poppins, sometimes you need to sweeten the pot to get chores done. We scaled down a traditional laundry duffle to kid size, making it easy to fill and carry into the laundry room. Plus, the super-cute appliqué on the front leaves no doubt about what needs to be done with the bag's contents! Inside is an easy-care mesh lining, so odors and dampness stay at a minimum. And the bright green baby pom pom trim is a perfect finishing touch. But wait... there's more: we've included both a free downloadable appliqué template as well as a special bonus machine embroidery design download (also free) for our S4H friends with embroidery machines. Whip one up in the favorite colors of each little mess-maker in your life. 

Garden Party Apron: Make it from Fat Quarters

Tuesday, 09 May 2017 1:00

There they sat. Five gorgeous fat quarters we’d been hoarding from Amy Butler’s classic Love collection. They hadn’t been purchased for any particular project, but only because they were just so very pretty. They looked lonely all folded up on a shelf. So, an idea began to percolate. What if we could create an apron from those five fat quarters where there would be virtually no wasted fabric? The scraps from this garden party apron would fit in a garden party teacup. 

Velvet Border Portfolio Clutch: Renaissance Ribbons

Monday, 08 May 2017 1:00

Sometimes, you gotta go bold, or go home! We love the amazing new French Velvet Border trim from Renaissance Ribbons. From 2½” to 6½”, it brings a wide swath of colorful design to your project. We created a classic portfolio clutch that makes the Velvet Border the star of the show as a wraparound feature against a rich solid denim. This is a low-nap velvet. While it’s luxuriously soft to the touch, the shorter pile allows the intricate designs and colors to really stand out.

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Stay Fit While You Sit: 10 Simple Exercises for Sewers

Friday, 05 May 2017 1:00

There is a lot of sitting involved in sewing, which can lead to aches and pains not to mention a few extra pounds due to inactivity. It’s a widespread problem and a hot topic on many fronts since anyone who works at a computer for long periods of time is also likely to suffer. Obviously, investing in ergonomic chairs and amazing sewing stations can work wonders, but that isn’t in everyone’s budget. Instead, we took a look at 10 ways to Stay Fit While You Sit, using what you already have… most importantly – your own body!

ScrapBusters: Colorful Ruffled Oven Mitts

Thursday, 04 May 2017 1:00

As maker's, it's time we fess up: scraps are a bit of an addicition. When we love a fabric, it's hard to say goodbye after just one project. So into the save bin they go, bits and pieces we can't wait to use again. Today's ScrapBusters project is a great reason to pull out some of the prettiest, springiest fabrics from your scrap stash. Blend them together into a happy mix of pattern and color. Each oven mitt uses up to four different fabrics. Wouldn't these make a great gift for wedding shower season?

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Six Easy Ways to Sew a Straight Line: Janome Specialty Presser Feet

Wednesday, 03 May 2017 1:00

A straight line. It seems like the most basic thing you can do when sewing. But we’re amazed by the number of comments and questions we get from S4H visitors who want to know how to do it better, easier, and more consistently. We don’t have any magical powers to make our seams and topstitching look great. What we do know is using the right foot for the job is the real secret to a beautifully straight line. Because we’re an exclusive Janome studio, our specialty presser feet suggestions are from the Janome selection of accessories. Your machine manufacturer may have similar options for your make and model. In either situation, the recommendation is the same: investing in a specifically designed presser foot is well worth it. It makes the process less frustrating, you can finish a task quicker, and the results are more professional. 

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Five Last Minute Lovelies for Mom

Tuesday, 02 May 2017 1:00

May 14th is Mother’s Day. In case you’re still searching for a special gift, we’re here to help with five ideas to say, “Thanks!” For not telling Dad who scratched the smiley face into the car’s bumper. For believing I was beautiful in my braces and unfortunate side pony tail. For picking me up when I fell, brushing me off, and telling me I could do anything. Yep; she’s a mother like no other. Sew up a little extra love for Mom on her special day. All the suggestions below are fast and easy. Plus, we’ve included a special set of Mother’s Day free printable gift tags. 

Heirloom Pillow with Wave Tucks and Woven Lace

Monday, 01 May 2017 1:00

Perhaps best known as the provence of christening gowns and wedding ensembles, heirloom techniques can be brought into a variety of projects to add a bit of elegant detail. Sometimes, extra fancy is just what you need. We incorporated straight tucks, wave tucks, entredeux, and lush ruffles into our heirloom pillow. Following the tradition of neutral fabrics and embellishments, we selected a lovely ivory batiste, adding just a subtle element of contrast with the woven brown silk ribbon.

Sewing Tips for Specialty Fabrics

Friday, 28 April 2017 1:00

Prom and wedding season is upon us, which is always a great time to pull out the specialty fabrics for garments as well as home décor items. However, working with these fabrics does require a little special handling; they aren't always as user-friendly as good ol' cotton. We picked four of the most common categories: netting and tulle, organza, taffeta, and burlap; and provide some tips and techniques to make preparing, cutting, and sewing with them easier, faster, and frustration-free. 

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