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Beyond the Basics: Specialty Rulers To Make Your Sewing Faster & More Accurate

Wednesday, 28 April 2010 9:00

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How many sewing rulers should you own? If you had asked me that when I first started sewing, I might have answered, "I dunno... maybe three." After you get a yardstick, a basic metal ruler and a tape measure, what else do you need? I have a sewing friend who probably owns more than 20 sewing rulers. I say "probably" because I lost count, and I don't think she really knows how many she has. Before you conclude she's either obsessive-compulsive or a shoplifter, you should know her projects turn out beautifully. The rulers are the reason.

Mother's Day: Charmeuse Satin Pillowcases with Velvet & Lace Trim

Tuesday, 27 April 2010 9:00

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They say sleeping on satin pillowcases helps keep wrinkles away. I say, "Sign me up for that one!" We thought these would make a perfect Mother's Day gift. They're quick to make, but look like the fancy cases that cost BIG bucks at the store. Mom will think you slaved away for days to create these just for her. She'll adore the luxurious feel of the satin charmeuse, and when you tell her that little tip about the wrinkles, I bet they become her favorite bedding faster than you can say "forty winks." And... no doubt you'll retain your title as Mom's Favorite!

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Retro Fun: Vintage Style Apron

Monday, 26 April 2010 9:00

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This apron is another Sew4Home design original, complete with a free downloadable pattern. Love, love, love the sweetheart neckline and matching mini-sweet pockets. And the happy bottom flounce will have you skipping around your kitchen, just like when you used to twirl in your big-girl-fancy-party-dress... oh, don't even try to tell me you didn't do that! The Simply Sweet floral fabric has the perfect vintage feel, while the big polka dot accents add a modern zing. Clever knotted ties allow infinite adjustability for the neck and waist so you can make a Retro Fun: Vintage Style Apron for every shape and size of family member and friend.

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Retro Fun: Reversible Breakfast Tablecloth

Friday, 23 April 2010 9:00

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'Gee, Mrs. Cleaver, I love your tablecloth.' 'Thank you, Eddie. But you'll still need to drop that waffle and back away.' (No, Leave It to Beaver fans, I made that up!) This delightful reversible tablecloth is two-two-two tablecloths in one. The top is created with three fabrics from Barbara Jones' Simply Sweet collection. The back is a soft egg-yolk yellow with an accent kick of Simply Sweet for the flounces. Each corner comes together like a perfect four-way intersection... without the stop sign, of course. The blend of vintage patterns and colors makes me want a bowl of Maypo or, at the very least, some Ovaltine .

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Love That Fabric: April

Thursday, 22 April 2010 9:00

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This month, we're devoting the entire Love That Fabric! column to Rural Jardin. It's a grand fabric collection from French General for Moda. If you want to add the tranquil elegance of French farmhouse-inspired textiles to your home, look seriously at this collection. The selection is vast, with muted shades of blue, red and aqua; plus toweling and 54" cotton/linen yardage that is perfect for upholstery or slipcovers. It's an ideal choice for home décor with lots of well-imagined variety. If I think about it much longer, I'm going to have to redo my house in this fabric.

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How to Measure for a Round Tablecloth

Wednesday, 21 April 2010 10:00

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One of the most common questions we get here at Sew4Home is how to measure for different projects. In particular, we had a number of folks who wanted to know an easy way to measure and make a simple ROUND tablecloth. Rather than go round-and-round with it ourselves, we turned to our friend and home décor expert, Donna Babylon for a few of her professional tips.

Earth Day: Free As A Bird Pillow

Friday, 16 April 2010 9:00

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A horizontal pillow injects an interesting shape into the ordinary pile of pillows. This one features an envelope style opening on the front rather than the back, so we can show off a set of three beautiful cherry wood buttons. The buttons are not only fabulous, they are also keeping the pillow cover closed. Who says beauty and brains don't mix? We love how the free-as-a-bird silhouettes on this Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow print swirl and swoop between the live oaks.

Products We Love: Cruz Label & All Things Labels

Thursday, 15 April 2010 10:00

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More and more people are evolving their passion for sewing into a business. Craft and market fairs have popped up in even the smallest communities, including upcoming seasonal Farmer's Markets, many of which are expanding to include handmade products along with their famous fruits, vegetables and flowers. Online creative storefronts, like etsy.com, artsefest.com and silkfair.com have exploded in popularity. If you're thinking of selling your creations, you should label them. A professional label adds the touch that says, 'I mean business!' We recently discovered two great online label options: Cruz Label and All Things Labels - sister companies from Los Angeles. We gave them a test run with a set of three Sew4Home labels, and were very happy with our results.

Sweet Softies: Cuddly Cat

Wednesday, 14 April 2010 10:00

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Cuddly Cat is the final member of our Sweet Softies trio of stuffed toys, in which nubby chenille combines with the smooth, retro-inspired cotton of Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane for a sweet and soft vintage look. This friendly kitty has button eyes, and his little head and feet are sewn on by hand, so he's not the right choice for babies or young toddlers who are still rough on their toys. However, he'd make a great pal for older kids, and anyone else hanging on to at least a shred of childlike wonder.

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Jelly Rolls to Layer Cakes: A Lesson in Fabric Pre-Cuts from Jocelyn Lai of Fat Quarter Shop

Tuesday, 13 April 2010 9:00

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Scanning the list of materials for your next project tutorial, you suddenly come across a term or two that causes you to stop and scratch your head: Fat Quarters, Charm Packs, Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, Honey Buns. Have you accidentally clicked from a sewing site to a recipe site? All these items sound just delicious, but what the heck do they have to do with sewing? They're the names for various types of fabric pre-cuts. And though not edible, they are great time and money savers.

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