We love the look and creativity of handmade, but that doesn’t mean we never buy off the rack. There are so many great deals and styles, and since we have yet to figure out how to jam several more hours into a day, the speed of retail shopping is always appealing. The main drawback: no individuality. I’m just waiting to show up in People magazine’s “Who Wore it Best” column… probably not on the winning side. Thanks to some fun new products from our friends at Dritz®, we found a fast and easy way to customize an off-the-rack cardigan with decorative elastics and fasteners.
It’s shirr magic! Elastic shirring creates a wonderful stretchy texture and is the perfect warm weather technique. It occupies the space between the simplicity of gathering and the intricacy of hand-smocking. We’ve pulled together links to our full step-by-step tutorial plus three shirring projects: a flirty little top plus a full length sundress for both big and little girls. We think you’ll find it fun to learn and easy to do.
When the temperature rises, one of the very best quick-cooling spots on your body is your neck. This is because there are blood vessels very close to the surface of your skin. These are called pulse points. Applying a moist compress to these pulse points helps you cool down quickly and easily. That's the job of our Chill Out Neck Wraps, which use water absorbing crystals for cooling power. You may have seen versions of these online or in stores. They have become quite popular because they're comfy to wear, hold their chill for hours, and are fast and inexpensive to make. We've added our own S4H style with more functional, tube-like cooling pockets and a template for pretty rounded ends.
Wrap up with a bit of summertime softness in our beautiful, diaphanous scarf. You’ll start with a voile, batiste or similar, add a perfectly centered seam to give you enough length to wrap it like a lightweight shawl, then create a line of tiny, twisted floss cords along both ends. Yep... we have easy instructions for how to make those!
You've seen these awesome headbands everywhere. They're a go-to solution for yoga class, running, or just when it's a bad hair day. Now you can make your own. It's very easy, so easy in fact, we did two styles: one is accordion-pleated so you can adjust the pleats to wear it wide or narrow; the other is a turban style with a classic front knot. We tried both styles with a thin woven cotton as well as a lightweight knit. Both worked well during construction and looked great when done. It's a great ScrapBusters project.
Whip up these sweet treats for the sewers and crafters on your gift list... or better yet, make a set for them and one for yourself! Our stacked trio of pincushions is designed to look like a delicious three tier cake – complete with edge icing (aka: mini pom trim) and a cherry on top (aka: single cherry pink pom). Use the little cushions separately or as a terrific tower. It's nice to have several on hand so you can have a cushion by your machine, one in your cutting area, and another on your ironing board. Pins at the ready wherever you are. We show you how to insert washers into the base to weight them so they're more stable individually and as a stack o' three.
The bow tie has long been the purview of over-dressed little boys, dapper accountants, and Bill Nye the Science Guy, but we're blasting out of that box. We used unique fabrics and custom designs to create three quirky, confident, and stylish ways to wear a bow tie. Our teen trio effortlessly pulled off each example of this unexpected fashion flair: Newsboy Button Down, Hipster Double Plaid, and Party Chic Velvet. With spring and summer gatherings and weddings on the horizon, as well as prom season right around the corner, a bow tie would be fun and fashionable accessory. Thanks to our friends at Dritz®, who sent us some of their cool Bow Tie Kits, we show you are fast they are to create. These inexpensive kits make creating an adjustable neck band easy – so you can concentrate your imagination on customizing your best bow.
We are in awe of Elaine Schmidt, secretly referring to her as "the ribbon whisperer" because we're so amazed by what she can get ribbon to do. The best part is, she's always ready, willing, and able to pass along her skills so the rest of us can tame our ribbon into beautiful trims, rosettes, sculptures, baubles, and more. Elaine's popular book, How to Make 100 Ribbon Embellishments is filled with amazing tutorials, one of which Elaine graciously agreed to share with us here at Sew4Home. She used some beautiful Amy Butler ribbons from Renaissance Ribbons to make a ribbon petal cockade... the same design featured on the cover of her book!
Cute receiving blankets and cute little hats... it's a classic combo that never ceases to delight a new mama and daddy. Because, let's face it, when it comes to cute hats... they're really designed for adults to look at! Put an adorable hat on an even more adorable baby, and every adult in the room will immediately oooohhhh and aaahhhh. The baby will likely be less-impressed, but for him/her, we have our super softee, bound knit blankies.
ScrapBusters is one of our most popular series here at Sew4Home. The idea is to come up with quick and easy projects that use up some of those special little fabric and trim leftovers in your stash bag. Today's mini key fobs are a perfect example: they're something useful for yourself or great as a gift, they use just a tiny bit of fabric and notions, and they're fast and fun. In fact they were so fun to make, we did FIVE samples.