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 2019, we have the quintessential holiday project: stockings to hang by the chimney with care.
When browsing for great fabric for a seasonal table runner, we kept returning to the home décor category because of the bold designs and striking colors you can find there. These traditionally heavier fabrics are where most people turn for larger projects, such as curtain panels or upholstered items, so the motifs tend to be bigger and the tones more dramatic. Not only is it beautiful fabric, it's also often thicker, tougher, and more durable. Batting is usually necessary with runners made of standard quilting weight cottons in order to protect the tabletop from hot or wet dishes. But with this fabric, two simple layers provided plenty of protection... unless, of course, you plan on serving sizzling fajitas at the table for your holiday dinner!
The Christmas in July planning continues with a a green alternative to paper gift wrap. We all know good things don't always come in small packages. They can be small, medium or large... and still be quite wonderful. That's why we made our super cute gift bags in three sizes. It also allows you to sort out your holiday list into those who've been Good, Very Good, and Great. Our elegant gift bags are a great way to use up your larger fabric scraps. The exterior and lining of each bag are both made up of two fabrics, which gives them a beautiful finish inside and out.
It might seem too hot outside to be dreaming of woolen mittens, snowmen, and twinkling lights, but if you're a planner – now is the time to start your holiday décor and gift sewing. You still have plenty of time to finish without working 'round the clock (the normal option when the woolen mittens, snowmen, and twinkling lights are actually here!) and it's also the time of year when fabric manufacturers debut their new holiday collections. So selection is at its best. Starting today, we have four of our favorite holiday projects plus a fabric giveaway at week's end. Crank up the AC and put Frosty the Snowman on repeat, it's time for Christmas in July. Let's start things off with a tree skirt! Our color wheel design features a vibrant patchwork of fabrics set off with bold binding and bows. Plus, the triangle wedges secretly remind us of pie, and we love pie. In fact, now that we've mentioned it, perhaps it's time for a slice of pie. But first... a project!
Gift card, credit card, business card; this three-pocket mini wallet holds them all. We used pre-cuts, highlighted with stunning Renaissance Ribbons. You can create multiple cases with a single one-yard length, mixing and matching with fabric scraps or pre-cuts you have on hand. They are a fun and easy project for a lazy summer afternoon and a gorgeous gift idea.
We wish you a relaxing day of celebration and reflection.
"May we think of freedom, not as the ability to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right." -- Peter Marshall
Now's the time to stock up on cute summer tees. They're on sale nearly everywhere. We hit the local Target and Old Navy in our area and didn't spend over $6.99 for any of our shirt samples. Once you have a pile of T-shirts, now what? It's time for a fast fashion update! Our goal today is to show you how fun and easy it is to use your sewing machine to turn standard off-the-rack items into something special. We pulled together a handful of fave fabric scraps to add pockets to some of the shirts and a few lengths of gorgeous lace to alter the others with inset panels and cropping.
Our big beach bag is all cotton so it breathes well and dries in a snap, but it's not completely waterproof and so isn't designed to take a dip in the salty surf. Its job is to keep you looking good on your way to the water's edge. We're on board with that! We used a beautiful cotton/linen blend canvas paired with natural cotton canvas duck. It's a super stylish combo for an on-the-go beach tote. Rope handles add a nautical touch and make it easy to open wide so you can load up plenty of towels and other important beach gear. Don't forget the sunscreen.
This project is a unique one for Sew4Home as we are using someone else’s pattern to create the final design. You might have heard the industry news this spring that Prym Consumer – the parent company of our sponsor, Dritz – acquired Amy Barickman’s Indygo Junction, allowing Prym to enter the market with clothing, apron, home décor, and craft patterns that naturally align with their existing options and tools. Dritz asked us to pick an Indygo Junction pattern to alter with our own Sew4Home Spin, a “pattern hack” if you will. Read on to see the changes we made.
Big bags and totes are great for big jobs, but sometimes when you're out and about, a compact purse is what you need. Something to sling it over your shoulder with enough room to hold the necessities, plus just a little extra. If things are too big and bulky, you can spend the entire outing looking for somewhere to stash your bag. Or... worse, knock over something breakable in the store! Today's cute little fold-over bag is a perfect size and shape. Standing up straight, it's a generous 9" x 9"; folded down, it becomes just 6" x 9". The bottom of the bag is layered with batting and lightly quilted to give the lightweight cotton more substance and stability.