Make way for the most popular projects! July is one of the hottest months of the year here in the states, so we’re turning up the cool. We’ve picked five top projects from three of our favorite categories: Bags & Totes, Aprons, and Storage Solutions. Each week for the next three weeks, we’re featuring classics for you to discover – or re-discover. And to celebrate the return of these coolest-of-the-cool projects, we have an amazing prize bundle to go with each themed week. That’s three chances to win, and we have three ways to enter!
Did you ever wonder where "Christmas In July" came from? It turns out this summer celebration of Yuletide has been around for years. In the early 1940s, relief groups planning to send presents to soldiers or missionaries overseas, would gather everything together in July in order to have it ready to ship it off in time to arrive before Christmas. Then, in 1942, director Preston Sturges released a comedy titled "Christmas In July” and the popular film did much to make the term fashionable. In the 1950s, retailers started having Christmas In July sales as a way to lure in shoppers during the long stretch between Father's Day and Back-To-School. Although not as common any longer for general retail, in the sewing world, Christmas In July promotions continue to be successful because they actually make sense. If you're sewing Christmas gifts, you really should be getting your patterns and fabric ready in the summer. Otherwise, at the big family gift-opening, you face the humbling experience of giving half finished projects and then quickly taking them back with promises to return them by Valentine's Day... or thereabouts. In honor of Christmas in July 2017, we have the quintessential holiday project: stockings to hang by the chimney with care.
Although it may seem as if our varied electronic devices operate by magic, we know sooner or later they require a cord to sync, transfer or re-charge. All those little cords can become a tangled mess, making it hard to find what you need when you need it. Keep your cords tidy with these quick and easy wraps. We offer two sizes: one small version for things like tiny ear buds, another for larger items, like power cords. They take just teensy scraps of fabric. We worked with pre-cuts, using a charm square for the small size and a layer cake square for the large size. Great for travel!
It may be a half apron, but it’s full of pretty details. For yourself or as a delightfully easy gift, this pretty apron mixes a very lightweight solid cotton with a bold quilting cotton print. The gorgeous fabric we chose is from Jennifer Paganelli’s Color Brigade collection for FreeSpirit Fabrics. Its swirling floral motif and sunny color palette does the heavy-lifting to create eye-catching accents. And the solid sheer cotton helps keep the gathered skirt and wide waist ties soft and flowing.
What’s faster than a pillow. Well… cheetahs, Italian sports cars, and the time it takes for your kids to age from 2 to 20 to name a few. So, let’s be more specific. When it comes to sewing projects, what’s faster and easier than a pillow? Nothing! This pillow design is certainly quick and easy, but the classic styling makes it look like it stepped right out of a high-end home décor store. We took a traditional envelope closure and brought it around to the front. Add a beautiful button, and you have instant elegance.
Booster chairs are becoming more familiar in restaurants, but are still not commonplace. And if you and your kids like to visit friends and family who don't have children at home, you're unlikely to have many options other than the classic phone book to boost your child to table height. But wait a minute... who still has a big phone book?!! It's time to make your own portable booster seat in cute, wipe-clean laminated cotton with a sturdy yet lightweight Project Foam core, a resilient, affordable home décor foam option from Fairfield.
Pillowcases are fast and fun, and they make a great beginner project. We have lots of easy options in the Sew4Home Project Index, several of which we've linked to below, but we've also gotten a number of requests to demonstrate a construction technique known as "burrito style." It creates nicely finished seams inside and out with an easy roll-and-turn method. This project is another great topic we pulled from our You Asked 4 It list. We always welcome your emails with future suggestions.
"Give us the tools and we will finish the job." Winston Churchill. One of the signs of a truly well-made project is that it looks nearly as good on the inside as it does on the outside. Finishing a project's inside raw edges will not only elevate the final appearance, it will also elevate your sewing skills to a new level. In general, the purpose of any seam finish is to prevent fray-prone fabrics from raveling beyond the seam, which would then leave a hole in your sewn project. It also helps reduce bulk on certain fabrics, such as fleece. And, finishing stitches always provide added strength to a seam and the fabric's edge. However, it's often only about the look, and most professionals recommend you finish fabrics that don’t even appear to require it.
Caution! You’re entering the 3-D Zone – but you won’t need those dorky glasses… and I promise nothing will appear to fly out of the screen at your head! We’re working in 3-D with a new product from our friends at Indygo Junction: Fabriflair™. If you’re familiar with English Paper Piecing, you’re two-steps ahead already. Fabriflair™ is dimensional paper piecing. We’re delighted to have Fabriflair™ creator, Amy Barickman of Indygo Junction onboard with a Guest Tutorial. She’s sharing some of her favorite cutting and stitching techniques, and she has a discount coupon code for Sew4Home visitors to use on any of the five Fabriflair™ kits.