Today's faux fur gives you the luxurious look and feel of real fur at a fraction of the price and without harming any animals. And, because of recent improvements in fabric manufacturing, it comes in an amazing array of rich colors and lush textures. It truly starts out beautiful on the bolt. But if you treat faux fur like regular fabric, your project can end up looking like a bad haircut.
The final entry in our Pretty Piped Pillow Series is a gorgeous octagon, which features a double framed square and clever corner triangles. As with the other pillows in this series, the patchworking looks much more complex than it really is. Make sure your initial cuts are precise, and assembly will be a snap. We show you how to add the piping and how to alter your pillow form to fit the unique shape.
Eat breakfast on it this morning, turn it into a handbag this afternoon. Well... maybe skip the eating breakfast part to avoid orange juice stains. This terrific tote started its life as a pretty placemat! Construction is fast, easy... and inexpensive. All you need are a placemat with an eye-catching design, four plastic grommets, and a little bit of fabric for the handle. You might even have a few placemats in your linen cabinet that would fit the bill. Definitely a candidate for the 'this-would-make-a-great-gift' list.
Like whipped cream on a plain piece of pie or a marshmallow dropped in a mug of hot cocoa, decorative stitches can turn an ordinary project into something special. We started with a basic bib and skirt design in two natural colors of cotton duck, then added multiple lines of 9mm decorative stitching. The result: our charmingly rustic Scandinavian apron. It's perfect as a gift for your favorite holiday baker or wear it yourself while whipping up a little appelkaka (Swedish apple cake) or chockladbullar (Swedish cocoa balls).
A plain cotton sheet set at a department store might cost $25-$30. But add a line of decorative stitching along the turn-down edge, and it looks like the $99+ set that came out of a fancy catalog. Maybe you don't care for fancy sheets in catalogs – but the point is: a little decorative stitching adds a lot, and can take a sewing project from ordinary to "Did you really make that?!"
I call this our "jewel box pillow" because it features three rows of diamonds. But in the world of patchwork, a diamond is really just a square turned on point. So the complex-looking front of this pretty pillow is actually six simple rows stitched together on the diagonal. Fooled ya, didn't we?! We add piping and covered buttons to soften the angles of the diamonds and triangles. Joanna Figueroa's lovely Butterscotch & Rose collection is the perfect fabric choice. The colors are rich and creamy and the patterns elegant. But in true Joanna fashion, nothing ever feels stuffy or dated.
Belts are all over the torso this year. From hip huggers that add shape to a shift, waist-cinchers for a pretty feminine look, and empire waist belts for a figure-enhancing trendy look. Pick your position, cut, sew and go. These 30-minute wonders are easy and satisfying to make; a classic plaid adds a lovely touch of fall to your wardrobe, especially when mixed with something unexpected.
The new Spa Collection from Michael Miller Fabrics is so tranquil and soothing, it will take your stress away. Why is that? Blue, especially when infused with a little green to create water hues, is the most popular color in the world for both men and women. When toned down, as in this collection, to create a "softer" color, it becomes increasingly pleasing to the eye; complex, subtle yet sophisticated. Add cool, calming earth colors for the quintessential relaxation combo. Studies have shown that sleeping in a room in these colors can actually lower your blood pressure. Since nearly everyone reacts positively to these colors, they are ideal choices when sewing gifts. See our ideas for using the Spa Collection to make gifts anyone would love to receive.