I had a friend describe gathering as basically wrinkling up one edge of your fabric and then stitching it to something. Fortunately, this friend doesn't teach sewing, but she did get the basic idea right. When you gather, you are creating a series of decorative wrinkles (their real name is: ruffles) along the edge of your fabric. You can then attach this ruffled fabric like you would a trim.
Picking out buttons for decoration is fun! But let's be frank ... sewing on those buttons is not fun. It's kind of the "cleaning toilets" of the sewing world – a dirty job, but one that is very worth it in the end. The up-side of button sewing is that it's relatively quick and easy, and there's no sponge involved. Our button sewing tutorial explains the basics.
One trim you'll use a lot of in home dec sewing is bias tape. But how did it get that name? When I hear the word "bias," I tend to think of Olympic figure skating judges. If you go look it up in dictionary, you'll see that the first definition is "an oblique or diagonal line." (Figure skating is never mentioned.) It makes sense then that bias tape is a strip of fabric that's been cut at a 45˚ angle to the weave or grain. This gives it just a little stretchiness, making it possible for bias tape to go around corners without bunching up. It's easy to make and easy to attach--as you'll soon see.
It’s tempting to skip it, but it’s a lot like the difference between a nicely toned body and one that isn’t. Just like you can skip exercising, you can skip interfacing. But, it won’t be a secret. Which reminds me... I need to go for a jog!Interfacing is a textile that is either sewn in or fused on using a steam iron, between layers of fabric, to give it structure and body. Interfacing in itself is not very exciting, but it is one of the keys to achieving a professional look to your project. If you are new to sewing, you may never have run across interfacing because it’s not something that shows when your project is done. Most familiar to people is the way a dress shirt has a more substantial collar, placket and cuff. That smooth crispness comes from the interfacing hidden inside. Without interfacing, collars and cuffs would be limp and buttons and buttonholes would rip.
Nothing says, "I'm a home decor professional" like a covered button. These personalized accents are easy to make, and take your creation to a new level. Make one using the same fabric as the rest of the project for a subtle effect, or choose a complementary color or pattern to make it pop. You can buy covered button making kits in the notions department, but sizes are limited. Making them yourself is more flexible and more fun.
Of course you can buy piping. It comes in different colors and sizes. But it's still limited, and many times, you just want to stomp your feet like a two-year-old and shout, "Don't like it!" Wouldn't it be much nicer to have exactly what you want instead of "close enough." It takes a little practice, but making your own piping is really kind of fun.