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.
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?!"
Ah, sheer fabrics. There's nothing like them for that light, airy look when you want simplicity with elegance. But many sewers avoid using them because you can't sew with them quite as easily as you can regular fabric. We recently started a series of beautiful Hostess Aprons, all of which have sheer fabric accents. Our first apron, Cocktails At Eight, debuted last Monday, September 19th and featured rich taffeta and frothy organza. Tomorrow, we have a Halloween Hostess Apron that is ghoulishly gauzy. Yes, it takes some care and patience, but there's really no reason to fear the sheer. You just need to follow some simple precautions and basic rules to get sheers to do what you want them to. Then you'll be able open up new creative possibilities with these wonderful fabrics.
Tassels are are the "jewelry" of home decor, adding an elegant finish to your project. And, like jewelry, they can be quite expensive to buy and the selection of colors is limited. No problem for you! Because tassels are actually very easy to make, and the embroidery floss you use to do it is inexpensive and comes in hundreds of hues and textures. We bring you this no-hassle tassel tutorial just in time for holiday sewing, which cries out for tassels on stocking cuffs and toes, ornaments, table runners and more.
In French, a 'ruche' is a ruffle or a pleat. That's pretty much what it means in English too. But everything sounds so much fancier in French. La Ruche est une merveilleuse technique (see how cool that sounds?!). Use it to add decorative effects to all kinds of sewing projects. Our embellishment tutorial shows you the basic way to create strips of ruching by machine. Then we show you how we turned a single ruched strip into a pretty spiral flower to use as a pillow accent.
This is a sewing therapy tutorial. Because, like spiders, snakes and giant zucchinis, many new sewers have an irrational fear of zippers. And, invisible zippers?! Don't even ask. Maybe it's because zippers have teeth? Not to worry; they don't bite. In fact, they're actually a friendly little notion. And here's a secret to facing your fears, concealed or invisible zippers are even easier to put in than a regular zipper.
The use of the monogram can be traced back to Roman and Greek times when it was used as a royal signature or seal, as well as on coins to identify a particular ruler. In the Middle Ages, printers, potters and other artisans used renderings of their initials to mark their work. But it's their use in Victorian times that we are most familiar with, when a monogram was a symbol of aristocracy. Upper class families thought it crucial to mark their table linens, cutlery, and other household goods with their monogram as a sign of prestige. We chose to use a monogram as a feature embellishment on two of our eight Citron-Gray Nursery projects: the crib bumpers, posting tomorrow and the baby quilt, posting on August 15th.
Here's another response to the questions and comments received in our You Asked 4 It survey: "What is the best way to keep my machine running smoothly?" The most common culprit in poor machine performance is usually lint, which is an unavoidable by-product of sewing. The more you sew, the more lint sifts into the guts of your machine. A little regular cleaning will keep your machine running smoothly. A clean machine is also a quiet machine.
When you walk into a fabric store, you'll notice that most fabric is wrapped around cardboard bolts that stand upright on shelves. What you may not notice is that at the end each bolt is a label that provides important information about the fabric. If you want 100% cotton, read the label so you don't accidentally come home with a poly-cotton blend. But, there's a lot more good information on that little label...
Today, during Pretty, Pretty Patchwork Week, we take a short break from projects to review some of the tips and tools that make the process easier. The biggest tip: PRACTICE! The more you do, the better you get. No surprises there, but with patchwork, there are a number of repetitive tasks you only get better at over time. It's like a giant fabric puzzle, fitting together all those beautiful shapes into a field of color and design. If you know the basics and use the right tools, there's a much better chance of a frustration-free experience and a result you'll be proud to show off.