We were inspired to bring back this classic Halloween project not just because it's a fast and fun decorating idea for the upcoming spooky season, but also because we had a recent bat encounter. A pair of Little Brown Bats (that is actually what they're called - cute, but also scientific, I guess) flew in through an open balcony door, invading the bedroom of one of our S4H staffers! Read on to find out how to make our adorable bat mobile, as well as for a few helpful hints on how to get bats out of your house. No need for any "bats in your belfry" jokes!
In honor of National Sewing Month, maybe you should do something sweet for your trusty sewing machine, like make it a little outfit! Many sewing machines come with a cover; some are hard plastic, some are soft vinyl... none are particularly pretty. Since we believe all our sewing machines have their own personalities, we think they deserve their own personalized covers to keep them protected from dust and sun exposure when not in use. Besides, these hard-working machines make so much stuff for us, the least we can do is make a little something for them! Our sample cover was created for a Janome Memory Craft 5200, a very standard-sized machine. This Janome is one of our mid-range models and a real sweetie-pie. She deserved a cover with a kicky bottom ruffle and a bright turquoise ribbon accent.
A "pouf" is a marshmallow-like ottoman. They've been all the rage in decorating for a few years now, bringing unexpected color, shape, texture and fun into a room. We have a full-size pouf project coming up soon, but in the meantime - and just in time for National Sewing Month, we miniaturized one as a clever pincushion. Ours uses Layer Cake squares as an easy way to gather a wonderful mixture of perfectly coordinating color and pattern, but this would also be an awesome ScrapBusters project!
THIS GREAT GIVEAWAY CLOSED 10/01/14. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED.
September is a month of fresh starts. Students are back in school, taking on the challenges of the next grade. Everybody at the office is back to work from all those end-of-summer vacations. And it's National Sewing Month; the time of year when all of us who sew are encouraged to teach someone new. If you can sew even at an intermediate level, you possess a unique skill. It means when you see something cool in a store, online or in a catalog, you have the ability to find fabric and make it yourself. There are a lot of people who wish they could do that! In fact, you probably know half a dozen who would be thrilled if you offered to teach them the basics. We're even willing to bribe you with a basket of sewing goodies for one lucky winner.
Looking for a quick and easy way to fancy-up your windows? A valance is faster than traditional curtain panels, and can even be used in conjunction with curtains or blinds to add some fashion flair. They've always reminded me of little window skirts - even though they're up high. I think it's the way they gather across the rod and flare out along the bottom. These were so pretty when done, I could totally envision wearing them as a skirt. The key is the mixture of fabrics with pretty lace. Choose a solid and a coordinating print divided by narrow, see-though lace insets.
Did you know the modern ironing board was invented and patented by African American former slave, Sarah Boone in 1892? It's true. Although hers was not the first ironing board on the scene, it was completely unique in its narrow, contoured design, which allowed sleeves to be drawn up over the board. We'd like to think Ms. Boone would be pleased with our cheery ironing board cover. Just about all sewing projects require a fair amount of time spent staring at your ironing board. Why force yourself to look at those gawd-awful striped covers they sell at the local Target®... I swear those things must have been designed by someone with his eyes closed and both hands tied behind his back! You deserve a pretty cover.
If you've explored our Project Index lately, you know there are hundreds of Sew4Home articles and projects. It can be easy for some of the older entries to slip from memory. That's why we love the Re-imagine & Renovate series; it brings forward some of our favorite classic projects for another look. These microwavable neck and lap/back heating pads with organic fillers fit the bill, being one of our most popular projects ever in both the Gift and Special Use Pillows categories. After under a minute in the microwave, you'll get up to an hour of safe, warm heat.
Microwavable heating pads with organic fillers are a wonderful way to soothe sore muscles or just warm up on a cold day. Their combination of toasty warmth and good smell are a natural remedy you can enjoy every day without side effects. The warming pad project we did here at Sew4Home is one of the most popular gift items ever featured. Most likely, it's because they're not only functional, they're also really easy to make. Everybody who makes them seems to have a favorite filler. So we thought we'd do a little testing to see if we could find out which one is best.
So nice, we made them twice. Not just as two sample options, but as two coordinated pouches designed to clip together. Take one or take both. Turn them into a mini shoulder bag or ditch the strap and toss one or both into a larger tote. Stash money and cards in one, make-up and extra necessities in the other. So many options – it's the ultimate in mini-pouch flexibility. They're precisely matched in size and shape so they clip together perfectly. All this, and as a ScrapBusters project, you can make a set from the great fabrics lurking in your scrap bin.
Pleats and tucks are one of the most versatile sewing embellishments. Sew4Home offers several step-by-step tutorials on some of our favorites: Box Pleats, Knife Pleats, and today's Wave Tucks. Clever folding and stitching with two contrasting fabrics creates a wonderfully textural effect. We've added it to a pillow front but bet you can think of lots of other projects that need some rippling waves.