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Tall Wine Bags in Burlap & Cotton

Friday, 11 December 2015 1:00

There is a French proverb that tells us, "In water one sees ones own face; but in wine, one beholds the heart of another." These tall wine bags mix the rustic feel of burlap with smooth cotton fabric and velvet or wire-edged ribbon. In honor of the quote above, we used, and offer a template for, a heart appliqué. By cutting this appliqué shape from the same burlap as is used for the main bag panels, it creates the look of a window on the front accent band. You could also draw your own shape to add a star, flower, dove or whatever strikes your fancy. We recommend sticking with a simple shape to maintain the cut-out effect.

How to Make a Cover Hem (and Why to Own a Cover Hem Machine)

Thursday, 10 December 2015 1:00

A cover hem is a professional-style "serged" hem that traditionally has two to three lines of parallel stitching on the right side and a looper stitch which covers the raw edge of the fabric on the back side. It's the type of hem commonly found on most ready-to-wear knit garments (and many woven RTW items as well) as it has plenty of stretch and so will not distort the hem. It's also very fast and clean! We have a short lesson showing how easy it is to make a cover hem as well as our thoughts as to why a specialty cover hem machine may just be the additional machine to add in your sewing room.

Snowmen Catnip Toys

Wednesday, 09 December 2015 1:00

Documentation of the first snowman is unclear. According to Bob Eckstein, author of The History of the Snowman (yes... someone actually wrote a history of the snowman!), there are artistic depictions of snowmen dating back to medieval times. The earliest documentation he found was a marginal illustration from a 1380 work titled, Book of Hours found in the National Library of the Netherlands. Our little catnip snowmen are much more modern and designed as the perfect little pet toys to keep your kitties busy while you're outside building a real "jolly, happy soul."

Letter for Santa Pocket Pillow

Tuesday, 08 December 2015 1:00

Growing up, we had a very special Little Golden Book® that only appeared during the Christmas season. It was called Santa's Toy Shop. It had a thin plot line, but we loved it. Santa was sad because he never had time to play with the toys he made. So Mrs. Claus convinced him to stop at the last house on his route. There, he would take the time to sit down, have a cookie, and play with some toys before turning the reindeer back home. There was a question at the end of the book, one that kept us hanging on the edge of our seats each Christmas Eve. Would our house be Santa's last stop this year? We never were able to stay awake long enough to find out! This project falls right in line with that sweet holiday tradition. These adorable pillows are made from panel fabric. Normally used for quick and easy quilts, we knew there had to be some other fun ways to use these pretty panel blocks, like a Santa Letter Pocket Pillow, because surely he's stopping at your house this year!

Mug Rug with Embroidery, Patchwork, and a Pocket: Janome Memory Craft 500E

Monday, 07 December 2015 1:00

A mug rug is like a mini placemat with just the right amount of room for the aforementioned mug along with a few little treats. The smaller size makes it great for tight spaces, like an end table or in your sewing room. We incorporated an extended panel with a pocket for a napkin. Use it with the napkin for an especially tidy mug rug or remove the napkin and simply take advantage of the extra real estate... perhaps for some additional little treats!

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Notepad Folder To Go

Friday, 04 December 2015 1:00

My mother was the ultimate note taker. She recorded everything from gifts she'd received (in order to write a thank you note later) to the gas mileage on car trips (to make sure we were getting the most for our money). In today's plugged-in-turned-on digital world, writing something down may seem old school. But jotting a note by hand is often still the fastest, easiest way to capture a thought or remember an important to-do. Plus, if you have a beautiful handmade fabric folder to keep your pad, pen, and a few extras; low-tech becomes a very lovely option. 

Felt Travel Sewing Kitty: A Hand Stitching Project

Wednesday, 02 December 2015 1:00

Wardrobe malfunctions tend to happen at the most inconvenient times. Just before making an important presentation, a strategic button falls off or a seam opens up. We're not even going to discuss how many stapler-and-Scotch-Tape repairs have been made in desperation. Instead, be ready for any small sewing emergency with a travel sized sewing kit that contains just what you need for a quick disaster fix. Better yet, all the necessities are contained in a cute felt kit with a built-in pincushion kitty. Just because you're prepared doesn't mean you can't also be adorable. 

Patchwork & Pom Pom Table Runner

Tuesday, 01 December 2015 1:00

When the boxes come down from the attic every year, one of my favorite Christmas items to uncover is a table runner my mother made for me. It's the first thing I pull out, and for me, its appearance signals the official arrival of the holiday season. This happy patchwork and pom pom centerpiece certainly has the potential to become a best-loved holiday tradition. Make one for yourself plus a couple more for friends and family. We used a Layer Cake pre-cut bundle, which usually contains forty 10" x 10" squares. That's plenty for several runners, simply add your favorite solid for the accent squares and backing. 

Holiday DIY Espadrilles with Dritz

Monday, 30 November 2015 1:00

We had so much fun (and such great visitor reaction) to our first article about the new Dritz® Espadrilles program, we're back for Shoepalooza Take #2. This time, we started with the basic Dritz® jute soles, then branched out to select our own unique fabric options. But the creativity didn't stop there! We added buttons, crystals, lace, and ruffles to craft three pairs of new shoes perfect for the holidays and beyond.

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