The holiday sewing season will be on top of us before we know it, which is always a great time to pull out the specialty fabrics for both garments and home décor items. However, working with these fabrics does require a little special handling; they aren't always as user-friendly as good ol' cotton. We picked four of the most common categories: netting and tulle, organza, taffeta, and burlap; and provide some tips and techniques to make preparing, cutting, and sewing with them easier, faster and frustration-free.
Scanning the list of materials for your next project tutorial, you suddenly come across a term or two that causes you to stop and scratch your head: Fat Quarters, Charm Packs, Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, Honey Buns, Dessert Rolls. Have you accidentally clicked from a sewing site to a recipe site? All these items sound so delicious, but what the heck do they have to do with sewing? They are the names of various types of fabric pre-cuts. And though not edible, they are great time and money savers, and the perfect way to play with all the pretty pieces from your favorite quilting cotton collections.
One perks you up, one calms you down. Ahh, fabric… our drug of choice. Today's two pretty picks are both new collections perfect for warmer weather, and available right now. Hipster by Holli Zollinger and Shannon Lamden for Riley Blake Designs came out this month. It's an energizing set of prints that range from bold retro graphics to funky Cross Stitch and Scallop Knit prints. These two concepts (the bold retro graphics with the cross stitch and scallop) seem at odds, and yet they work together fantastically – I want it on pillows and a "hipster" summer dress. Linen Closet by Renee Nanneman of Need'l Love for Andover Fabrics is the epitome of fresh, crisp fabric. Envision a pretty set of bed pillows and a softly colored quilt; add an open window with a morning breeze blowing through... a silver tray with coffee, scones and strawberry jam... a kitty at the foot of the bed and nothing pressing to do. I want to go there.
I often tell people fabric collections are kind of like the "Garanimals" (remember them?!) of the sewing world. If you stay within a designer's collection, you can be more confident everything will look great together. Many sewers mix between collections all the time, especially quilters. However, it can be intimidating, and the results can be less than stellar without a rationale for making choices. But, when done successfully, it is certainly possible to combine designers and collections to come up with a wonderfully unique look. In fact, our Romantic Bedroom Retreat series with Rowan & FreeSpirit Fabrics bends and perhaps breaks a few "rules" of mixing patterns and color. For an eclectic room like we've built, this is not only okay, it may be the only way to reach your goal. In fact, it's okay on many levels. If you have the belief and courage to do this successfully, you can create something that far exceeds what you would get if you strictly followed all the rules. From an entire room to an individual project, whatever you're working on, having the confidence to look at all the possibilities gives you wide-open potential for creativity.
Spring officially begins in three days, conveying with it the anticipation of sunshine, flowers, baby birds, spotted fawns and lush green fields. I look out the window and see none of that. Spring has its work cut out for it. Seems like a good time to give spring a nudge with a field of enchantingly fresh prints guaranteed to bring a little ray of sun to your day.
We've heard it again and again… it's tough to find appropriate fabric for guys; big guys AND little guys. So, this month we decided to go on a mission for guy fabric. As we looked around and tried to choose fabric, we realized that it totally depends on what you are sewing. If you're making pajama pants, the contemporary floral that would be acceptable on the curtains or even a duvet, is all wrong on guys. So, we looked for fabric that would work for guys' pajama pants. When you look at it that way… it actually is difficult to find fabric for guys. The majority of fabric is marketed to women; for women, girls, babies and home décor. In the end, we found a decent assortment of fabric by cherry picking collections for the more masculine or boyish prints. Take a look at some of our faves.