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.
I love those little emergency sewing kits they have at hotels. They're a life saver if you lose a button right before an important meeting or have another kind of "wardrobe malfunction." But I wouldn't dream of using them for my regular sewing – anymore than I'd open a hair salon that used only cute little hotel shampoos. However, for some sewers, especially beginning sewers, their set of tools is about at the same level as the free repair kit. If that's the case with you sewing basket, you have some shopping to do. Having better quality accessories and notions actually helps you achieve better results on your projects. It can make the difference between a project that was fun to create and you're proud to display, and one you feel like hurling out the window.
String style backpacks are everywhere for Fall, from ripstop athletic gear to high-end leather bags. They're compact and lightweight but can hold plenty. Ours is made in two bright fabrics from Ann Kelle's Beatbox collection for Robert Kaufman fabrics, which we found at Fabric.com. To give our design even more functionality, we added unique front crossover pockets, which create four individual sections to hold smaller items.
Decorative stitches are tiny pieces of thread art. Sometimes when I look at them, I can't believe a single threaded needle made such an intricate design. But even though I love them, I often forget to use them. We get so caught up in the seams of a project's construction, decorative stitches can get overlooked. We wanted a way to keep some of our favorite stitches top-of-mind, so we did a little decorative stitch sampler then framed it as sewing room artwork. Super fast, super simple, and the prefect colorful reminder.
The curved design of this toiletries travel bag reminds us of the classic Airstream trailers. It's an efficient a size and shape to hold all your bath necessities. We were inspired by the adorable postage theme ribbons by Jessica Jones for Renaissance Ribbons. The classic blue, crisp white and vivid red of the ribbons are echoed in the turquoise canvas we chose for the bag's base and the scarlet piping that outlines the front and back. And the fun metallic dots of the top cotton are like shiny round postmarks. This bag is bold, bright and brimming with personality. We can just hear it saying, "Take me traveling!"