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Cocktails at Eight Fancy Hostess Half Apron

Wednesday, 20 November 2019 1:00

The clink of ice swirling in glasses, card tables in the living room, cut crystal bowls of white mints with green centers, ashtrays... yes, there were lots of ashtrays. I have clear memories of peeking around the corner, watching the 'grown-ups' with cards in their hands and cigarettes between their lips, laughing, talking, playing bridge. Orbiting through it all was my mother, handing out appetizers, picking up crumpled napkins, and wearing a crisp hostess apron and high heels. Our own little episode of Mad Men right there in the living room. Our Cocktails At Eight apron echoes that bygone era of elegance with its rich taffeta, frothy organza, a gorgeous ribbon waistband, and a sprinkling of tiny, shiny bows.

Patchwork Bed Runner with Free Motion Quilted Borders

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 1:00

A bed runner is a decorative throw for the foot of the bed. It's lovely to look at, and it helps protect a fancier full-size quilt or bedspread. You can sit on a bed runner or even stretch out and place your feet on it. We used ours to show off the quilting features of Janome's sewing and quilting machines. It finishes at approximately 92" x 34" and is sized for a king or queen mattress. The sample runner is shown in the photos on a king bed; there would simply be more drape down either side on a queen. 

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The Walkabout Corduroy Backpack: Dritz Message Belting

Monday, 18 November 2019 1:00

If you’re creative, let it show! The new Message Belting from Dritz® is a fun way to shout out your passion. Let the world know that you are a Maker, One of a Kind, or a true Original. We used it to create handles as well as the adjustable shoulder straps on a stylish corduroy backpack. The dual carry options make it a great Walkabout bag for wherever your passion takes you. 

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Drawstring Apron with Extra-Long Wraparound Ties

Friday, 15 November 2019 1:00

So easy yet so functional. The classic one-piece cut of this apron is a great style for most body types. We added facings to the sides of the bib, made these into casings, then threaded through an extra-long tie that acts a continuous drawstring, creating both the adjustable neck loop as well as the wraparound waist ties. 

Topstitching and Edgestitching: How to Add a Professional Finishing Touch

Wednesday, 13 November 2019 1:00

Projects shown above (clockwise from upper left corner): Crossbody Bucket Carryall, Tailgate Apron, Faux Leather ShopperFaux Cowhide Pillow

By definition, topstitching is a seam that appears on the right side of a project, usually running ⅛" or more from, and parallel to, another seam. It can be done in a coordinating thread color for decoration or a matching thread color for stabilization. A cousin of topstitching is edgestitching, which is defined as a row of stitching on the very edge of a garment, normally ⅛” or less from the edge. It provides a crisp edge for facings, collars, pockets or any situation where you want a tight, professional finish along a seamed edge. Edgestitching is usually done in thread to match the fabric but that’s not a hard-and-fast rule. Whether for embellishment or assembly, stitching that is visible from the right side is an important detail and its precision can make or break the final outcome of your project. We've collected our favorite tools and techniques to help you achieve tip top topstitching and enviable edgestitching.

Patchwork Lap Blanket with Cuddly Fleece Backing

Tuesday, 12 November 2019 1:00

Here's a romantic story: a pretty patchwork panel meets an old softie fleece panel; they fall in love and become inseparable. That's the true tale of this beautiful lap blanket. The front is a patchwork of Layer Cake squares with coordinating sashing and borders and small cornerstone squares. The back is a cuddly fleece so there's no need for batting. Cute and cuddly – the perfect pair. 

Zippered Belt Bag

Monday, 11 November 2019 1:00

This style of bag, one that slips onto a standard belt, has been showing up everywhere, including one we spotted at Nordstrom by Stella McCartney for a mere $675! Good news is: you can make your own custom Belt Bag. With our step-by-step instructions, it’s easy. You might even have the fabric you need in your stash. We used a classic Anna Maria Horner velveteen we’ve been hoarding for several years (note to Anna: wish you’d do velveteen again!). As you’ll see below, we put a number of Janome specialty presser feet to use to handle the thicker layers, piping application, and seam finishing. Using the right foot for the job always makes a project faster and easier – with a more professional result.

Fast Fridays: Tortilla or Flatbread Warmer

Friday, 08 November 2019 1:00

A freshly warmed tortilla or flatbread is a wonderful accompaniment to dozens of different meals. However, keeping things warm from the oven or stove to the table is a challenge. You could wrap them in paper towels and then foil, but that’s quite wasteful. Time to put your DIY skills to work to create a reusable warmer. Just slip in the tortilla or flatbread, close the flap, and zap. 

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Turning and Pressing Skinny Ties and Straps

Thursday, 07 November 2019 1:00

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.

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