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Happy Holidays with FreeSpirit & Rowan: Ruched Velveteen Belt with Flower

Thursday, 06 December 2012 1:00

Turn a LBD into your own personal fashion statement with the perfect holiday accessory: a stretchy velveteen belt adorned with a petal soft flower. Heading out to dinner from the office? Add this pretty belt to a simple soft sweater or crisp white shirt for just-right casual elegance. The beautiful, luxurious velveteen is part of Amy Butler's newest collection: Alchemy for Rowan Fabrics. 


Happy Holidays with FreeSpirit & Rowan: Working with Velvet and Velveteen

Wednesday, 05 December 2012 1:00

Velvet and velveteen are definitely members of the fabric world's Specialty category. But, that doesn't mean they're too "special" to be part of your sewing stash. All you need is a little help learning how to properly handle, sew and care for them. And that's what your friends here at Sew4Home are for, right?! As we've shown you in recent weeks, today's fabric collections no longer feature quilting cotton as the only available substrate (or fabric type). Westminster Fibers, through their FreeSpirit and Rowan brands, offers a wonderful range of options from the sheerest voile to heavy canvas to the rich velveteen we're using from Amy Butler's Alchemy collection. But like anything new, unique substrates, such as velvet and velveteen tend to be feared by many home sewers. And... when fear leads you to always err on the same (or safe) side of all these fun new choices, you can end up in a fabric rut. Below we’ve summarized what we know about velvet and velveteen, along with the proper techniques for cutting, sewing, pressing, and more. Spread your wings and try something new! Trust us, the extra care is well worth the finished product.


Happy Holidays with FreeSpirit & Rowan: Fussy Cut Pillow Creates its Own Frame

Tuesday, 04 December 2012 3:00

Just a little fancy cutting and a bit of clever seaming, and you can turn a simple fabric border design into an elegant frame with a center medallion. It's a great way to give an ordinary square pillow a trendy designer look. And when you have a collection with the depth and drama of Amy Butler's Alchemy for Rowan Fabrics, it's easy to find motifs that cry out to be fussy cut. During this busy time of year, a classic pillow executed in gorgeous fabrics is perfect for holiday giving and decorating, but also has the beauty staying power to last year 'round.


Happy Holidays with FreeSpirit & Rowan: Elegant Pleated Wrap in Velveteen and Rayon

Friday, 30 November 2012 3:00

As you've probably noticed during our first week with Amy Butler's new Alchemy, we totally love the innovative substrates she's brought into this collection for Rowan Fabrics. There are, of course, beautiful quality quilting cottons, but this time, she also has a wide range of incredible new textures with which to work. Our All-Weather Tote from earlier this week featured a soft cotton laminate, and today, we're working with rayon challis and velveteen. She also has a unique rayon/linen, sateen bliss, linen/cotton and a voile. Each of the different substrates comes in a wide array of colors and patterns, exploding the amount of creativity you can achieve by mixing and matching looks, weights and textures. Our elegant wrap combines the luxurious drape of rayon challis with the soft romance of velveteen. It's perfect for a holiday night on the town where you need a bit of warmth, and you want a bit of drama against that perfect little black dress.


Happy Holidays with FreeSpirit & Rowan: Alchemy Piped Pillow with Tassels

Thursday, 29 November 2012 3:00

When we talk with our friends in the industry about how to entice new people into the world of sewing, everyone seems to agree a pillow is the best way to start on your sewing adventure. If you've been sewing for years, a pillow is also one of the best and easiest ways to update the look of your décor, adding a dash of fresh excitement to a sofa, bench or bed. What makes it even more special is when you work with a wonderful collection like Amy's Butler's Alchemy for Rowan Fabrics. The fabric does the heavy-lifting. It's so beautiful, all you really need are two fussy cut panels. We added contrasting piping, covered buttons and tassels to give our pillow some extra holiday elegance. Turnaround a new pillow and a new look in just a few hours.


Happy Holidays with FreeSpirit & Rowan: Working with Rayon and Linen

Wednesday, 28 November 2012 3:00

Recently, you may have noticed many of your favorite fabric designers are starting to offer their new collections in different substrates (or fabric types). It used to be you would see a specific line in 100% woven cotton only. Now, you are just as likely to also see beautiful combinations of colors and prints in cotton laminate, linen, canvas, voile, rayon, velveteen, corduroy, flannel, fleece, knit and sateen. Westminster Fibers, through both their FreeSpirit and Rowan lines, is an industry leader when it comes to offering these new substrates; and leading designer, Amy Butler has certainly embraced the trend. Among other options, her current collection, Alchemy features both an amazing rayon and a rayon/linen blend. We’ve summarized what we know about each, along with the proper techniques for cutting, sewing, pressing and more.


Happy Holidays with FreeSpirit & Rowan: Lumbar Pillow with Hand Stitched Accents

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 3:00

We love sewing by machine! It's fast, it's easy, and when you have great machines like the Janome models in our S4H studios, it's almost effortless. But it doesn't mean you can't whip out the hand needle and thread now and then. A few well-placed hand-stitched accents adds a unique decorative touch. Today's lovely lumbar pillow features rows of simple running stitches in three coordinating colors of embroidery floss. By adding a bit of batting behind the fabric, the finished look has a sweet hand-quilted feel. Against the rich cottons of Amy Butler's Alchemy collection, it's the perfect understated embellishment. Not so much that it distracts from the beautiful fabric, just a small, special element that takes only a few minutes to include.


Happy Holidays with FreeSpirit & Rowan: All-Weather Tote in Amy Butler's Alchemy Laminate

Monday, 26 November 2012 3:00

When the weather outside is frightful during the holiday season, chances are you simply can't spend all your time sitting in front of a fire that's so delightful. You have things to do, places to go, and people to see. You need a roomy shopping tote that can stand up to whatever the weather throws your way. Welcome to a new week of our Happy Holidays series with FreeSpirit and Rowan and a new designer collection: the amazing Amy Butler and her brand new Alchemy collection. Today's All-Weather Tote, features soft cotton laminate to whisk away the weather. We even used a weather-resistant zipper for the outside pocket. The inside is pretty cotton with a laminate facing. And with 5" boxed corners, this tote opens wide enough to handle a full load of last-minute power shopping. Beautiful cotton laminate is just one of the many substrates Alchemy offers and with which we'll be working over the next two weeks.


Happy Holidays with FreeSpirit & Rowan: Pinwheel & Pom Pom Pillow

Friday, 16 November 2012 3:00

Some pillows are elegant, some are functional, and some are just pure entertainment. Our chubby little peppermint candy of a pillow, in fabrics from Verna Mosquera's new Pirouette collection for FreeSpirit Fabrics, is just that: jolly good fun! We spun alternating wedges of fabric into a darling pinwheel pattern ringed with poms... because you simply can't look at bouncy pom poms without smiling. This is a pillow that will brighten any surface it lands on. Today's our last day working with the vintage loveliness of Verna's new Pirouette - her ninth collection for FreeSpirit, which will begin appearing next month, December 2012, at participating online and in-store retailers. 


Happy Holidays with FreeSpirit & Rowan: Woven Braid Patchwork Pillow in Pirouette

Wednesday, 14 November 2012 3:00

Words are wonderful, aren't they? I especially love it when one word has lots of different uses. Take "weave" for example. In general, it simply means to go in and out. But it can be a verb or a noun or even an adjective. You weave a tale of mystery and intrigue; you can weave dangerously through speeding traffic; you can weave fibers intro fabric. Today, we've put the word to work to describe the intricate woven braid pattern on our patchwork pillow - done in the romantic fabric of Verna Mosquera's new Pirouette for FreeSpirit Fabrics. This lovely collection is her ninth for FreeSpirit; the warm creams, rich mochas and candy pinks remind us of a cut crystal dish spilling over with Christmas confections. Or perhaps those swirling cupcake dancers in the Nutcracker ballet. Whatever it brings to your mind, we know you'll enjoy sewing with Pirouette as part of our Happy Holidays series with FreeSpirit & Rowan. We encourage you to experiment with non-traditional fabrics and see you how beautiful they can be when incorporated into holiday projects.