Yep; it's that time of year again: Christmas in July. Temperatures across the US this season have been high, especially out here in the West. It's hard to imagine ever pulling out sweaters and mittens again, but before you know it, we'll all be complaining about the chilly winter winds and reminiscing about those lazy days of summer. Recognizing Christmas in July allows you to get a jump on your holiday projects and take advantage of all the great holiday fabrics released and available in the widest selection right now. Many are also on sale! We've turned the tradition around a bit by mixing seasonal prints with some universal beauties. Fabric.com has sponsored five days of projects - each guaranteed to be a hit on Christmas morning and continue to be enjoyed throughout the months ahead. What better way to start the week than with our innovative (and reversible) Snowman Pillows.
If a zipper doesn't zip, is it still a zipper? Certainly a question for the ages, don't you think? And we have the answer! A zipper that doesn't zip is Zipper Tape. We've used this very unique trim as a substitute for piping as well as a stand-in for ribbon on our very clever bucket purse. This smashing design is the perfect synergy of unique trims and dramatic fabric. If we do say so ourselves, the end results are stunning! But more than that, it's also a wonderful exercise in how to blend trims and fabrics to achieve a designer look. Our goal is to show you how to look at combinations from a new angle, how to mix textures, how to look for unexpected pairings, how to think out of the box. Whip it up... or should I say ZIP it up, today.
Wave tucks are a fun and unique way to add a textural focal point to any size bag. Before you start to panic, this technique does not require a bathing suit or a surfboard; all you need is your sewing machine... and a desire for style! First, check out our amazing step-by-step Wave Tuck Tutorial. Then, come back and try out your cool new skills on this very cute, very preppy handbag with its gorgeous contrasting wave tucks on both the front and back.
Today, we're talkin' toile ... actually, we're talkin' toile de jouy. It's a fabric best known for covering rich Aunt Ruth's living room chairs (the chairs you aren't allowed to sit on). But we've turned it into a trendy bag with an unexpected pop of color for the lining, coordinating accent ruffle, and major button bling along the sides to attach the straps. Toile de jouy came onto the scene in the mid-to-late 1700s in France. Toile simply means "linen cloth or canvas" in French. Further expanding your knowledge of French (there'll be a short quiz at the end of the project), toile de jouy means "cloth from Jouy-en-Josas" – a town in north-central France near the more famous, Versailles.
When Vera Bradley's quilted bags hit the fashion spotlight in recent years, suddenly quilted bags were all the rage. But those of us in sewing and craft have been quilting bags for years. We already knew it was beautiful and practical. Now, it's still beautiful, still practical, and... very trendy. Our Nature's Palette tote mixes a quilted top with a plain base. We added sleek piping accents, a striking antler toggle button as a closure, and pretty over-the-shoulder straps. Fashion forward and uniquely you!
Kittens sleep curled in a ball, horses sleep standing up, sea otters float on the surface of the water while they sleep. There are a lot of ways to catch a few ZZs. For humans, I think we'd all agree, the best way to doze is to sink down into a crisp, clean, beautiful pillowcase. We love making pillowcases at Sew4Home. They're fast and easy, and they're a great way to add some delightful color and design to your bed linens. We used two coordinated prints from the Nature's Palette collection for each of our pillowcases.
Whenever we do a Series Collection for one of our great Sew4Home sponsors, we like to make sure we have a good mixture of projects – from elegant and intricate to fast and easy. Today's article falls in the second camp. This little lumbar pillow is a snap to make, especially since we used designs from the pre-printed panel included in Marjolein's Nature's Palette collection. Simply trim the panel designs to size and stitch together. We'll go through all the steps below, but... really, it's almost as simple as that!
A bed topper brings a blast of color to your bed linens. It's designed to go across the foot of your bed like a narrow quilt. We felt it would be the perfect canvas to highlight some of the designs from the pre-printed panel available in Marjolein's Nature's Palette collection. Pre-printed panels are becoming a more and more common part of fabric collections. Marjolein's style is perfect for them, because the individual panels become like miniature paintings. Traditionally, you may have seen these panels used to create cheater quilts. But the newest trend is to produce a panel with ready-to-cut pieces, which can be assembled into a simple project. Nature's Palette has two quick and easy pillow designs. However, always ones to color outside the lines, we chose instead to use half of the panel designs as part of today's Bed Topper project, saving the second half for a matching lumbar pillow coming up tomorrow.
Mom always said, "Never do things halfway." But I don't think she was talking about curtains, because you can do curtains halfway with very beautiful results. The cafe curtain is designed to be hung at a window's halfway point, covering up the bottom but letting in light from above. It's a great solution that gives you privacy while still letting the sun shine in. The Nature's Palette collection by Marjolein Bastin is delightful for this type of curtain. Her gorgeous prints bring summer's bright blooms inside. Curtain panels are a perfect beginner project. They're fast, super simple, and give the new sewer a great sense of satisfaction when she/he hangs them up and instantly transforms a window from plain and boring to pretty and bright.
Growing up, we reused our wrapping paper. We were trained from a young age to never tear into our presents. Instead, we were to carefully remove the tape and gently pull away the wrap. The pretty paper was then smoothed, folded, and stored for its next use. I guess this means we were recycling long before it was cool. We had one particular piece of Christmas wrap that made an appearance every year for as long as I can remember. It got a little smaller with each use, but we were always anxious to see who's present would be wrapped in the pretty blue Silent Night paper. Maybe it's this background of recycling and re-use that has led to our recent string of gift bag tutorials. They're a perfect way to avoid wrapping paper entirely, instead creating a reusable bag that's almost as much fun as the present inside - especially when made with fabrics as lovely as Marjolein Bastin's Nature's Palette for FreeSprit.