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.
One of my favorite characters in the Warner Bros.® series of cartoons is Witch Hazel, who debuted in the 1954 short, "Bewitched Bunny." Disney® had previously created a Witch Hazel, and she was kind of cool too, but not nearly as sarcastic or quite as much the fashion victim as the Hazel created by Warner Bros. animator, Chuck Jones. A major part of his Hazel's signature style included a wonderfully crumpled black hat. We think she would approve of our Dead Roses Halloween Hat with its scrunched top, wilting flowers and stowaway spider. Hauntingly hideous haute couture!
Do you ever watch those TV hospital shows and think, "I could do that"? Maybe not be an actual, real-life doctor. But you could wear a white coat, carry a stethoscope, and yell, "Get me a C-Spine, Chem 7, and a V-Fib!" I have no idea what any of those terms mean. They're just fun to shout. To get you just a little bit closer to your doctor daydreams, we're here to show you how one of the medical devices you saw Dr. Greene use every week can also be a big help in your sewing room. It's called a hemostat, and it's basically a locking clamp shaped like a long pair of scissors. (Probably what Dr. Greene wanted when he yelled, "Clamp!") A hemostat is extremely useful when you need to turn long, narrow tubes right side out.
It's coming up on Halloween season and costume shops have started popping up in all sorts of unusual places. Empty store fronts become haunted mansions for a few weeks and then vanish once again. It's appropriately spooky! They have all sizes and shapes of costumes for kids, and there seems to be endless options for buying and making kiddie costumes online. But... what about the grown-ups? If you don't want to be a glamourous vampire, a hot nurse, or Fred Flintstone, you're kinda out of luck. Sometimes, you don't want to get all decked out; you just want a little something fun to wear to go out trick-or-treating with the kids or to answer the door for the ghosts and ghouls. We think our Wicked Halloween Apron is the perfect choice. It's fun to make from pre-cuts, and with the faux front lacing, you'll be the most stylish wicked witch on the block.
If you watch the TV cooking personalities on air or online, it seems like food preparation is nothing but fun and games, from The Naked Chef to Chopped to My Drunk Kitchen. Since cooking is such a good time, you definitely need today's flouncy little apron to put you in the mood. We used Up Parasol, the latest fabric collection from Heather Bailey for FreeSpirit Fabrics, which we found in good supply at Fat Quarter Shop. There are three tiers of ruffles in a shorter, sassy style plus an extra flounce across the bodice. An easy-to-assemble pattern is offered below for download.
It's a reversible placemat. No, it's a party activity. Wait... you're both right! Our party placemats have festive fabric on one side and cool chalk cloth on the other. Similar to oilcloth, chalk cloth is heavy yet pliable and waterproof. You can write on it with regular or liquid chalk, then wipe it clean with a damp cloth or baby wipe. For a party, give each guest his/her own box of chalk to keep little hands busy while you set up for more fun and games. Or, make a set for mealtime magic at home. It's a great distraction for the troops while you're preparing lunch or dinner, and who knows, maybe you'll discover a tabletop Picasso.