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Easy Ruched Pillow with New Dritz Fashion Elastic

Thursday, 15 August 2013 1:00

People often use elastic to create a gathered or ruffled effect. But what if the elastic itself had ruffles? I'm no math expert, but I think that might be ruffles-squared. The new Dritz® Ruffle Elastic is a fun way to add both texture and color with the extra bonus of functional stretchability. We used this pretty new elastic to create a easy ruched effect on a pillow front. "Ruched" means the gathers are secured on both ends. Our pillow fabric is from the brand new Amy Butler Organic Forest collection for Rowan, coming out this October. Ruching is traditionally done with a gathering stitch on your machine. We're using elastic to do the work instead, creating the same effect but with the addition of an eye-catching trim. A little trick to stitching down the elastic along both edges and still keeping a perfectly centered motif: a zipper foot! It fits perfectly down the center of the elastic. Stitch once with the needle to the left, stitch again with the needle to the right. "Why, yes... we do show a picture."

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Boho Shoulder Bag with New Dritz Fashion Elastic

Wednesday, 14 August 2013 1:00

One of the things we love about Dritz® Fold-Over Elastic (FOE) is the ability to use it as a binding. There's a built-in crease line down the center that allows easy and accurate folding. You get three benefits in one: color, stretch and finish. Today's casual bag features two generous pleated pockets bound with FOE. They not only look great, they're also super functional – with expandable tops that make dropping in items one-handed-easy. In addition, the entire top of the bag is also finished with FOE, using it as a flat binding. We picked two prints from the brand new Amy Butler Organic Forest collection for Rowan, coming out this October. Amy's fabrics always feature the trendiest colors and most alluring graphics, but we had no problem finding a Dritz® Fold-Over Elastic that blended beautifully. There are 10 solid colors and 12 patterned options from which to choose. The patterns are woven in, not printed on, plus they're fade resistant and colorfast. These good looks will last!

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No-Slip Kid Friendly Suspenders with New Dritz Fashion Elastic

Tuesday, 13 August 2013 1:00

Used to be, you had to cover elastic with fabric to get fashionable suspenders. No more! With Dritz® FOE (Fold-Over Elastic – NOT Fraternal Order of Eagles) a stylin' pair of 'penders is a whip-it-up project you can do in under an hour. In fact, these are so easy and inexpensive, you could make a pair for nearly every outfit in the closet in nothing flat. There are 10 solid colors and 12 patterned options of Dritz® Fold-Over Elastic. From brights to pastels, colorful to classic. Something for any occasion or outfit. 

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Little Girl Twirly Skirts with New Dritz Fashion Elastic

Monday, 12 August 2013 1:00

Today we welcome Dritz® as a new sponsor of Sew4Home. "Oh! The red tomato pincushion people!" Well, yes, they are famous for that classic pincushion, but they also have about a gazillion other tools and notions to help your projects go faster and easier. We can't cover all gazillion here, but we can bring you some of our favorites. This week, we're going to strrrrreeeeetch your knowledge of: elastics! Long the wallflower of the notions world, hidden inside waistbands, cuffs and underwear; the new Dritz® Fashion Elastics snapped onto the scene this year in bold colors, patterns, even ruffles! It's a style makeover we haven't seen since shoelaces went from white to wild. We have five project tutorials this week featuring the new Ruffle Elastic, Fold-Over Elastic, and Colored Knit Elastic. Don't try to keep this elastic out of sight inside a casing, it's begging to be the featured star. Today's little girl twirly skirts use bright knit elastic as a colorful, no-roll waistband. With nine fashion colors to choose from, you can make a rainbow of fashion statements. 

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Designer Pillow Knock-Offs with Fairfield: Nautical Ahoy! Appliqué Pillow

Friday, 09 August 2013 1:00

For our final day of pillow week with Fairfield Processing, we've delved into the category of Word Pillows. Again, this is a style we saw multiple times in our high-end searching. The first order of business is to find a typeface that lends itself to the appliqué process, then to come up with a single word or a very short phrase that can be large and in charge on your pillow front. We provide a free downloadable template for our nautical-themed "Ahoy!" script, but there are a few billion other words out there to use. For fonts, you can check what's available within your own computer's word processing program or search online for free and paid font options. And, just as you'd need a smooth, clean surface for handwritten calligraphy, your Word Pillow also needs a good foundation. We're using a 20" x 20" Home Elegance™ insert: it has a dense softness that provides the perfect finish for what we want our pillow to say. Your fun fact for the day: Alexander Graham Bell preferred those answering his invention do so with the word, "Ahoy." The first telephone operators actually used this term. As with all out knock-offs this week, we used top quality, brand new components for today's pillow... didn't dip into the ol' stash box even once!  Yet we still came in well under $50, saving $100+ over retail. See our pillow inspiration after the jump.

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Designer Pillow Knock-Offs with Fairfield: Tufted Multi-Color Pom Pillow

Thursday, 08 August 2013 1:00

Today we're working "on the edge." Whether it's piping, fringe, poms or tassels; the simple addition of a trim around the edge of your pillow is a well-known designer technique. A big trend this season is a solid pillow in a light or white shade trimmed with multi-colored tassels or poms. The number of trims to choose from these days is really stunning. We have a great tutorial that reviews the main trim categories and how to use them. This week, we're also learning the facts about pillow foundation from our friends at Fairfield Processing, the makers of Poly-fil® plus a full range of pillow inserts and quilt batting... all the best "soft stuff." Our samples use their Home Elegance™ collection, the most elite and luxurious down-alternative pillows available. They use a siliconized micro denier gel fiber, which helps give you that super plush, professional result. The forms are non-allergenic and the product quality is always unconditionally guaranteed. At first we were a bit worried we'd be able to find trim to simulate the popular multi-colored strands of the designer pillows. We were prepared to make our own by buying several solid color strands, cutting them apart into small sections, then stitching them back together in random order to create our own colorful DIY strand. But, it turns out, the first store we walked into had multi-color poms right there on the shelf. Score! Though we saved a ton of time, the multi-color trim was a bit spendy and so boosted the final cost of our knock-off. Yet even using the best quality, brand new components, we still came in at almost half the price of Anthropologie®. See our pillow inspiration after the jump.

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Designer Pillow Knock-Offs with Fairfield: Taffeta Lumbar with Embellished Net Wrap

Wednesday, 07 August 2013 1:00

Another designer technique we came across again and again as pillow private-eyes is what we dubbed: the Wrapped and Embellished pillow. This is the style we've knocked off today. The idea is to start with a plain base pillow, then accent it with a unique highlight fabric, securing that accent with a bit of bling. We found a beautiful burgundy taffeta at a local chain retailer that was pre-embellished with pretty little pinch pleats. In this case, the fabric does the heavy lifting, providing built-in texture and beauty for the base. For our wrap, we chose a Millinery Netting gathered into a floral burst and secured with a rhinestone button. Our Fairfield Home Elegance™ pillow form completes the deal. The Home Elegance collection has a full compliment of square pillow options (14", 16", 18", 20", 24" and 26") as well as two rectangular options: 12" x 16" (what we used) and a bed pillow size at 20" x 28". We found a range of inspiration for this knock-off, from $150 to $235 each. To create ours, we used the best quality, brand new components (no stash stealing) and still came in under $35, saving up to $200 over high-end retail. See our pillow inspiration after the jump.

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Designer Pillow Knock-Offs with Fairfield: The Classic Square x2-Crewel & Cotton

Tuesday, 06 August 2013 1:00

In our pillow perusal over the past weeks, the style we came across most often by far was the simple, square pillow. It's a style so easy to make, you could almost do it with your eyes closed... if it weren't for the stitching-over-your-finger part. The main challenges are finding a great fabric, then fussy-cutting that fabric to best showcase one or more dramatic motifs. However, neither of those things is really that much of a challenge. We located one of today's fabrics at a local chain retailer and the other at a small independent shop. The only difficulty: picking just two favorites from their large selections. Fussy-cutting isn't hard either; it simply takes a little patience and precision. We have an easy step-by-step tutorial. When a pillow is as basic as these, the insert is more important than ever. The Fairfield Home Elegance™ pillow inserts are our choice for the entire week, and we couldn't be happier about that. They have a 100% cotton, 300-thread count jacquard cover filled with a special 100% polyester gel fiber. The result is an exceptionally plush textured pillow with a high-end designer look and feel. These are the most elite and luxurious down-alternative pillows available. And, thanks to their super cushy inside, you can get that high-end, karate-choppable look. We used the best quality, brand new components (no stash stealing) and came in under $50 for the large pillow, under $20 for the smaller pillow; pretty slick savings over retail. See our pillow inspiration after the jump. 

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Designer Pillow Knock-Offs with Fairfield: Nautical Stripes & Grommets

Monday, 05 August 2013 1:00

What's the project everyone suggests when you start sewing? "Make a pillow!" What's the number one way to quickly freshen your home décor? "Make a pillow!!" And, what's the best way to get chic designer style for a fraction of the price? "Make a pillow!!!" Welcome to a new series with our friends from Fairfield Processing, the makers of Poly-fil® plus a full range of pillow inserts and quilt batting... all the best "soft stuff." Today is the first day of a week's worth of pillow "knock-offs" – showing you how easy it is to create the top looks for less. They do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and when you can imitate for less and add your own special spin... all the better. We searched the web to find trend-setting luxury pillows from a range of high-end outlets, such as Anthropologie®, Neiman Marcus® and Horchow Home® among others. The options ran from $150 to $2000! And not a single one of them couldn't have been made by you! As with anything, you need to start with a good foundation. Our foundation throughout this entire week will be pillow forms from Fairfield's Home Elegance™ collection: their most luxurious choice for lounging. Our first pillow is based on a trio of designs we came across at Horchow Home®. We call this category: Cool Hardware and Embellishments. To create our knock-off, we used the best quality, brand new components (no stash stealing) and came in well under $50, saving nearly $180 over retail. See our pillow inspiration after the jump.

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Tailored Linen and Ribbon Half Apron with Renaissance Ribbons

Friday, 02 August 2013 4:00

When we're young, our parents are just our parents. Often, it's not until we're looking back over our shoulder or packing up boxes for an estate sale, that we take a close look at their fashions and belongings and realize, "Wow... they were pretty stylin'."  Today's stunning half apron design has a crisp, tailored look to it, and the Kaffe Fassett ribbons we chose from Renaissance Ribbons reminded both my sister and me of our father's favorite skinny striped ties, which he would wear with a starched white shirt and a suit coat on even the hottest days of summer. Indeed... he was stylin'. Our thanks to new premium Sew4Home sponsor, Renaissance Ribbons. They will be appearing regularly each month with a number of innovative ribbon projects.

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