A baby's first year is all about touch. Their little fingers are busy exploring the world around them. Why not create a wonderfully soft surface full of interesting textures to investigate?! A recent trend is what's called a "tag blanket." The idea is to combine the classic security blanket with an activity play mat, giving babies an interactive adventure that still has the cuddly comfort of their favorite blankies. We met with our friends at Fabric Depot to review the latest, greatest, and softest fabric options. Then we put our own Sew4Home spin on the tag blankets we found in stores and online by increasing the size to play mat dimensions (ours is 35" x 35") and designing a unique patchwork surface of fleece, faux fur, and cotton. The ribbon "tags" around the perimeter are all satin, the hands-down favorite of babies and toddlers. How many satin blanket bindings did you rub off as a child?!
This is absolutely one of the best baby gifts ever! Bundling up baby after bath time with a hooded towel is easier and cozier. The hood doesn't just help dry those clean mop tops, it actually acts as a little anchor, allowing mom or dad to more quickly wrap the rest of the towel around squirming, slippery baby-boo. Ours features a cotton accent fabric for the hood and a matching bound washcloth. Downloadable patterns are offered below.
It starts flat, then folds up 1-2-3, and snaps front and back to create an adorable cone-shaped mini purse for coins and more. Project design credit goes to Tendance Ruban for re-inventing this lovely vintage design; our thanks to Renaissance Ribbons for bringing it to our attention and suggesting we do an update. We reverse-engineered the original sample to provide you with easy, step-by-step instructions and a downloadable pattern. For this multi-layer project with its origami fold, it's important everything stays flat. Our solution: the ribbons are stitched to the plain side of a layer of fusible interfacing. When the front and back are assembled and pressed, it activates the fusing and creates a tight, smooth bond. Stability is increased and layers are decreased.
There are hundreds of thousands of thread spools in the world (I think "bazillions" is actually the technical term). How on earth do you know which one to choose? It's part science – what the manufacturers have designed the thread to do, and part art – what you like about the look and feel of the thread. One of our very first articles on Sew4Home was how to go about selecting the right thread for your project. It's still one of the most important topics to talk about; after all, thread is what's holding everything together! We worked with our friends at Coats to put together a handy overview that can help you understand not only the standard choices, but some of the specialty options as well. It was the dawn of the 1800s when Patrick Clark developed a method of twisting cotton yarns together to produce a thread so strong and smooth it could replace the natural silk used in the looms of the day. Coats continues to produce some of the best thread in the business.
We love it when the delivery dude shows up with a box from Dritz® because great new products are likely to be inside! The clever minds at Dritz® are always working on new ways to make our sewing and crafting better, easier, and more fun. Today we're showcasing five new items we liked and think you will too. You can find Dritz® notions at in-store and online retailers everywhere.
The Janome Flower Stitch Attachment is the flower girl of the sewing accessory world, allowing you to sprinkle pretty posies over any project. The attachment fits Janome low shank sewing machines with a maximum stitch width of 7mm. It is not compatible with machines that include embroidery, have the Janome AcuFeed™ or AcuFeed Flex™ systems, or feature a maximum 9mm stitch width. What a fun and easy way to add little decorative stitch touches in pretty thread colors!
"If your hair is done properly and you have on good shoes, you can get away with anything." So says Iris Apfel of Harper's Bazaar. And, I would have to agree. We all know a "good hair day" is simply "a good day!" Our sparkly flower hair clips were designed with little girls in mind, but they can inject a bit of glamour into your lovely locks as well. The "petals" are made from tiny scraps of various synthetic fabrics; we used glitter tulle, organza, and polyester lining fabric. A tiny, faceted bead holds everything together at the center.
Before she became a fabulous fabric designer, Lori Holt of Bee In My Bonnet was a quilting teacher. This not only gave her a chance to pass on her skills to a new generation of creative sewers and crafters, she also identified two things that consistently frustrate beginners: 1) fabric pieces turned the wrong way, and 2) not being able to keep an accurate seam allowance. Putting her inventive mind to work, Lori developed two simple tools to help solve these problems and make it easier to be precise, confident, and ultimately more creative... and they're not just for beginners! You'll love her Portable Design Boards and Sew Easy! Seam Guides. Our thanks to Fat Quarter Shop for bringing both cool tools to our attention so we can share the news with you.
The original inspiration for this project came from our official Sew4Home You Asked 4 It list. When you send us a request or comment online about something you'd like to see, we add it to this list. Then, we refer to our list when we're creating new ideas. You wanted more aprons for guys, and your wish has been fulfilled by this Pro Chef Half Apron accented with stunning ribbon from Renaissance Ribbons.
When my children were small, I went through many a day with a blob of baby barf on the back of my sweater. This situation is far from uncommon, and I know there are some who consider it a "badge of honor." However, all things being equal, I think I'd have preferred to skip the dry cleaning charges. We've designed an ergonomic burp cloth pattern that allows the cloth to curve around your neck and drape fully over your shoulder from front to back. It's designer-level protection! Thanks to our friends at Fabric Depot, we were able to select two of the most popular baby fabrics to make the cloths: Double Gauze and Cuddle Fleece.