In January of this year, we kicked off a new series called, "R&R." It wasn't about the traditional meaning: "Rest & Relaxation." At Sew4Home, "R&R" stands for: "Re-imagine & Renovate." It's about putting a new spin on a favorite design, picking new fabrics, trims and notions to create a unique look. We're back this month with four new twists and a special focus: Spring's hottest color trend – Indigo. Today, we use it to transform our original set of perky Valentine's Day pillows into a rich trio of indigo indulgence.
Our Retro hot pads not only feature a nostalgic fabric combo, they also have the perfect retro slip-on style. It's a Sew4Home original pattern, and we offer it as a free download. The Simply Sweet fabrics on the two mitts are so bright and cheery, it made me want to slip them on and wear them around the kitchen, just waiting for something hot to pull out of the oven. After awhile, when no one showed up with a tray of cookies, I reluctantly took them off.
When a really useful tool comes into our lives, we adopt it as a new convenience, then usually find it hard to envision more than just small improvements to its basic design. This is the case for most us when it comes to our trusty irons. Today's irons are the same basic shape and size they have been for decades. We accept them, use them and are pretty happy with how they perform. So, when we decided to review the Clover Mini Iron II as part of our latest Fabric.com series, we were, at first, stumped as to exactly how we might use this tiny little iron. Our current steam irons were doing a good job handling the pressing tasks we needed, and this product looked more like a cross between my brother's wood burning tool set (which I was not allowed to touch), and my own curling iron. However, once we played with the little devil, we came up with all kinds of ideas. As we often say, using the right, specialized tools makes things go more quickly, more easily and often... makes the task more fun!
Yesterday you learned the basics of Heirloom Stitching by Machine. Today, it's time to put that new knowledge into action with these lovely linen placemats. Table linens are a great way to get started into the world of heirloom stitching, and a placemat (or two or four or more) is a nice, smallish format with which to practice. We'll show you two options today: hemstitching (if you are brand new to heirloom techniques) and fagoting (if you are more advanced). Both placemat designs feature beautiful borders with mitered corners and an optional monogram.
As part of the Fabric.com Everything Old is New Again series, we are delving in to one of the oldest styles of specialty sewing: heirloom. This precise and delicate type of stitching is said to have begun in the late 1800s by French nuns, who hand-stitched exquisite laces to delicate fabrics for royal families. Their craftsmanship was so incredible, the resulting gowns and linens were painstakingly preserved and handed down from one generation to the next; hence an heirloom. You'll see the influence of heirloom stitching in a variety of high-end garments, especially special occasion finery, such as wedding dresses, christening gowns, and lingerie; as well as in the finest table linens. Today, with French nuns in short supply, we show you the basics of creating heirloom stitching with your sewing machine.
Color block is the fashion statement this spring. We've spotted the style on everything from pretty pillows to darling dresses to terrific totes... like this one. In order to give you two trends for the price of one, we executed the signature color block style in one of the popular new laminated fabrics, choosing bold black and white patent leather vinyls from Fabric.com. Stylish and sophisticated, our tote design is actually very easy to make, even with its posh cotton lining and double shoulder straps. The bag was sitting on the end of my work table for a couple days, and every single person who walked by had to pick it up, admire it and try it on for size... even the guys!
The shirred sundress is a wardrobe standard for spring and summer. But Sew4Home is never one to settle for 'standard'! We spun the traditional one-seam-up-the-side design, taking it from ordinary to trendy by adding a flirty eyelet underskirt and a precious sash with its own flower pin. Put it all together, and you have the perfect dress for our Everything Old Is New Again series, sponsored by Fabric.com. Pale pink eyelet is paired with a delicate floral print from Lucien. Both of these classic fabrics have a sweet, old-fashioned goodness. And, the shirring accent across the bodice is a wonderful way to add both structure and texture.
An entire set of bed sheets in seersucker would be overkill, but seersucker accents turn a plain purchased sheet set into a designer combo, and you could easily complete this project in an afternoon. For our sample, we upscaled one queen sheet set: bottom sheet, top sheet and two standard pillowcases. We found our 325 thread count, 100% Organic Cotton set at Target for just $37. It looked like a $130 set from Pottery Barn when we got done with it! You can buy new as we did, or upscale an existing sheet set to give it new life... the top sheet bands and pillowcase cuffs are usually the first to fray and start to look dingy. Cut them away and add something fresh and pretty.
For many of you out there, childhood memories of "shiny-like" fabrics around the home probably revolve around upholstered chairs (that made you sweat if you sat too long), tablecloths (often with a blurry gingham pattern printed on them), appliance covers (that one with the giant, scary chicken on it that covered the toaster), etc. They were usually horrible colors and/or patterns, and certainly lackluster in design. However, they were durable and easy to clean (great when kids were involved!). Today, you'll find many of your favorite fabric designers are beginning to offer a portion of their current collections in a laminated substrate. These new offerings are a far cry from those we remember. They're pretty and pliable... but they'll probably still make you sweat if you sit on them too long!
Keep It Crisp -- that's our seersucker slogan! It's day three of the Everything Old is New Again series, sponsored by Fabric.com, and we continue our rippling romance with seersucker. Today we pair its crisp, fresh stripes with solid cotton twill to create a pair of pillow shams. Ours feature a pretty mitered flange and rick rack to frame the snow white center. If you've never tried mitered corners as a outer frame, we think you'll be pleasantly surprised by how easy we've made it to understand.