When a really useful tool comes into our lives, we adopt it as a new convenience, then usually find it hard to envision more than just small improvements to its basic design. This is the case for most us when it comes to our trusty irons. Today's irons are the same basic shape and size they have been for decades. We accept them, use them and are pretty happy with how they perform. So, when we decided to review the Clover Mini Iron II as part of our latest Fabric.com series, we were, at first, stumped as to exactly how we might use this tiny little iron. Our current steam irons were doing a good job handling the pressing tasks we needed, and this product looked more like a cross between my brother's wood burning tool set (which I was not allowed to touch), and my own curling iron. However, once we played with the little devil, we came up with all kinds of ideas. As we often say, using the right, specialized tools makes things go more quickly, more easily and often... makes the task more fun!
Yesterday you learned the basics of Heirloom Stitching by Machine. Today, it's time to put that new knowledge into action with these lovely linen placemats. Table linens are a great way to get started into the world of heirloom stitching, and a placemat (or two or four or more) is a nice, smallish format with which to practice. We'll show you two options today: hemstitching (if you are brand new to heirloom techniques) and fagoting (if you are more advanced). Both placemat designs feature beautiful borders with mitered corners and an optional monogram.
As part of the Fabric.com Everything Old is New Again series, we are delving in to one of the oldest styles of specialty sewing: heirloom. This precise and delicate type of stitching is said to have begun in the late 1800s by French nuns, who hand-stitched exquisite laces to delicate fabrics for royal families. Their craftsmanship was so incredible, the resulting gowns and linens were painstakingly preserved and handed down from one generation to the next; hence an heirloom. You'll see the influence of heirloom stitching in a variety of high-end garments, especially special occasion finery, such as wedding dresses, christening gowns, and lingerie; as well as in the finest table linens. Today, with French nuns in short supply, we show you the basics of creating heirloom stitching with your sewing machine.
The shirred sundress is a wardrobe standard for spring and summer. But Sew4Home is never one to settle for 'standard'! We spun the traditional one-seam-up-the-side design, taking it from ordinary to trendy by adding a flirty eyelet underskirt and a precious sash with its own flower pin. Put it all together, and you have the perfect dress for our Everything Old Is New Again series, sponsored by Fabric.com. Pale pink eyelet is paired with a delicate floral print from Lucien. Both of these classic fabrics have a sweet, old-fashioned goodness. And, the shirring accent across the bodice is a wonderful way to add both structure and texture.
An entire set of bed sheets in seersucker would be overkill, but seersucker accents turn a plain purchased sheet set into a designer combo, and you could easily complete this project in an afternoon. For our sample, we upscaled one queen sheet set: bottom sheet, top sheet and two standard pillowcases. We found our 325 thread count, 100% Organic Cotton set at Target for just $37. It looked like a $130 set from Pottery Barn when we got done with it! You can buy new as we did, or upscale an existing sheet set to give it new life... the top sheet bands and pillowcase cuffs are usually the first to fray and start to look dingy. Cut them away and add something fresh and pretty.
Keep It Crisp -- that's our seersucker slogan! It's day three of the Everything Old is New Again series, sponsored by Fabric.com, and we continue our rippling romance with seersucker. Today we pair its crisp, fresh stripes with solid cotton twill to create a pair of pillow shams. Ours feature a pretty mitered flange and rick rack to frame the snow white center. If you've never tried mitered corners as a outer frame, we think you'll be pleasantly surprised by how easy we've made it to understand.
In between the simplicity of gathering and the intricacy of hand-smocking, lives one of our favorite texturing techniques: elastic shirring. You've probably owned a garment or two with shirring on the bodice or sleeve edge. It was the style on those iconic 1970s peasant dresses, and it's making a strong comeback in this season's fashion. Shirring is a great sewing technique to learn, and easy-peasy too! And just like the little boy with a hammer, for whom everything becomes a nail... once you learn how to do shirring, we guarantee there will be all kinds of projects that need this pretty, rumply, stretchy touch of texture.
Welcome to the latest and greatest series from the fine folks at Fabric.com. Everything Old Is New Again will show you terrific and trendy ways to use some classic fabrics. In the whirlwind of today's designer quilting cottons with their amazing coordinated collections of prints and solids, it's easy to forget about the old standards of the fabric world: candy colored seersucker, delicate eyelet, rich linen, traditional toile, flirty little floral prints, crisp white cottons; as well as some of the vintage sewing techniques used to put all the pretty pieces together, like shirring and hemstitching. We looked through these "forgotten fabrics" then unleashed our imaginations to apply their old-fashioned goodness in a new way. The series kicks off this week with a set of bed linens wrapped in the Southern charm of seersucker. Today's square ruffled pillows, with their rick rack trim and button placket back closures, look best as a big, cushy, colorful pile. All that's missing is a straw boater, a bouquet of jonquils and the honey glow of a lazy afternoon (ya'll can add that as soon as you're done making the pillows).