If you’ve been following along on our SIY-Sew It Yourself!™ adventures, you know there’s a lot going on behind the pretty pictures and easy instructions: from the fabric designers’ stories about how their collections come to be – to the careful steps we walk through here with the S4H team. Our goal has always been to create projects anyone can tackle and finish with confidence and success; it’s why we dovetail so nicely with the outreach of the SIY-Sew It Yourself!™ program, which is focused on bringing new and returning sewers inspiring projects.
There are over 350 Jaftex retailers across the US and Canada who are participating in SIY-Sew It Yourself!™ by offering project kits as well as in-person and/or virtual classes. Click here to find a participating retailer near you.
When you’re new to sewing, garments can seem like a big hill to climb. That’s why we like to suggest taking your first step with an apron project. It allows you to learn and practice some traditional garment sewing techniques while working in a mostly flat format. And, you’ll end up with a colorful apron to wear yourself or give as a gift.
As you get ready to make our Bib + Double Skirt Apron with Patch Pockets, we invite you to take a look at TEN of our favorite foundational techniques. These articles take you step-by-step through a variety of processes you’ll use again and again for garment sewing and more. Knowing the basics gives you a platform to build from, the assurance to take on whatever strikes your fancy, and the ability to finish with, “I made that!” pride.
One of the other basics, which we mention in all our tutorials, is mixing and matching colors and motifs with style and flair. It all starts with choosing the right fabrics. Take a look at the Designer Snapshots below to see what captured our interest for our three Apron fabric collections.
Melissa Wang for Studio E Fabrics
Melissa’s parents discovered her passion for design when she was just four years old! Decades later, her enthusiasm remains unabated. She is especially drawn to flora and fauna in their most natural forms, a theme evident within all the fabrics of Dark Forest. There’s a bit of whimsy in the mix too with playful tossed mushrooms and a multi-colored stripe. When browsing and shopping, you’ll want to look for her gorgeous 24” panel print, which blends the botanical style images of the ferns and leaves we chose for our apron’s overskirt with the graphic moons featured on the bib – as well as incorporating a sprinkling of gorgeous fluttering moths. We also added a coordinating blender from the Peppered Cottons collection by Pepper Cory also for Studio E. It’s featured as the accent band along the top of the bib as well as the pocket linings that fold forward adding a secondary accent against the skirt.
Anne Keenan Higgins for FreeSpirit Fabrics
Beginning her career as an Art Director in Detroit, Michigan, Anne later branched out to start her own illustration business to make the most of her signature fanciful style. You may recognize her artwork from greeting cards, giftware, or even from her illustrated books: Fictionally Fabulous, Ladies Who Drink, and Le Cinéma Français, published by Running Press. Our Bonjour Paris apron is full of “soif de vivre” – a thirst for life! Its chic style blends soft chalkboard pastels with pops of unexpected brights, like sunshine yellow, tangerine, blue belle, and peppermint pink. There’s a wonderful mixture of random motifs and strong directional stories in Bonjour Paris, including the clever Picture Window print we featured on our apron’s bib, and a fun 18” panel called “Map of Paris.”
Andrea Tachiera for Henry Glass & Co., Inc.
Nationally recognized artist, Andrea Tachiera is a graduate of UC Berkeley and the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Her vibrant watercolors and decorative design style have been licensed on products ranging from kitchen textiles and garden flags to greeting cards and home décor. In her third designer fabric collection for Henry Glass, Andrea has added a splash of sparkle. A metallic gold infuses Fall Potpourri with sophisticated style. It’s as if the autumn sun itself is glinting off the muted browns, black, and golds of falling leaves, gorgeous gourds, and tossed sprigs. As with our other two featured collections, Fall Potpourri also has a lovely panel print: six large blocks showcasing the prettiest of pumpkins.
Don’t forget to take a look at SIY Project #2: Shoulder Sling Shopping Tote + Fold ’n’ Store Carry Case as well SIY Project #1: our Vintage Notes Fussy Cut Patchwork Pillow. And, as linked above, our SIY project #3 is also ready and waiting for you to start: Bib + Double Skirt Apron with Patch Pockets.
To find out more about this innovative program for new sewers, and to find a participating retailer near you in the USA or Canada, go to the SIY website.