A baby's first year is all about touch. Their little fingers are busy exploring the world around them. Why not create a wonderfully soft surface full of interesting textures to investigate?! A recent trend is what's called a "tag blanket." The idea is to combine the classic security blanket with an activity play mat, giving babies an interactive adventure that still has the cuddly comfort of their favorite blankies. We met with our friends at Fabric Depot to review the latest, greatest, and softest fabric options. Then we put our own Sew4Home spin on the tag blankets we found in stores and online by increasing the size to play mat dimensions (ours is 35" x 35") and designing a unique patchwork surface of fleece, faux fur, and cotton. The ribbon "tags" around the perimeter are all satin, the hands-down favorite of babies and toddlers. How many satin blanket bindings did you rub off as a child?!
It starts flat, then folds up 1-2-3, and snaps front and back to create an adorable cone-shaped mini purse for coins and more. Project design credit goes to Tendance Ruban for re-inventing this lovely vintage design; our thanks to Renaissance Ribbons for bringing it to our attention and suggesting we do an update. We reverse-engineered the original sample to provide you with easy, step-by-step instructions and a downloadable pattern. For this multi-layer project with its origami fold, it's important everything stays flat. Our solution: the ribbons are stitched to the plain side of a layer of fusible interfacing. When the front and back are assembled and pressed, it activates the fusing and creates a tight, smooth bond. Stability is increased and layers are decreased.
"If your hair is done properly and you have on good shoes, you can get away with anything." So says Iris Apfel of Harper's Bazaar. And, I would have to agree. We all know a "good hair day" is simply "a good day!" Our sparkly flower hair clips were designed with little girls in mind, but they can inject a bit of glamour into your lovely locks as well. The "petals" are made from tiny scraps of various synthetic fabrics; we used glitter tulle, organza, and polyester lining fabric. A tiny, faceted bead holds everything together at the center.
Ponchos are a classic trend that pop back up every five to ten years, and why not? They allow you to go outside wrapped in a soft, cozy blanket and no one thinks you're crazy... in fact, they compliment you on your chic fashion sense. We're down with that! Give our Bound Wool Poncho a try. It's easy and fun.
A little wicked glamour and a wicked little spider come together to make a spellbinding Halloween mask. It's what the most beguiling witches are wearing this season; combining spider web construction with a practical soft fleece backing. Your jeweled spider continues to weave its web while you bewitch those who dare to cross your path.
Shoes. Yep! We're gonna make some shoes! When we first starting talking with Dritz® about their new Espadrilles program, we admit to being a little skeptical. Sure, we're all about making over buying, but shoes?! Well, color us believers, because not only were the Dritz® Espadrilles totally fun to make, they were much easier than we thought. Dritz® provides all the elements you need, from the jute soles to the fabric and stabilizer to the needles and pins. We added our own unique touches with monograms, decorative stitching, ankle ties, and heel bows. Our clever Sew4Home fans are likely to come up with even more embellishment surprises, using trims, sequins, buttons, or embroidery designs. We can't wait to see what you create!
Not only are the ribbons from Renaissance Ribbons beautiful to look at, they are also lovely to work with. Their Jacquard ribbons are precisely woven with top quality polyester thread, so they will not shrink and won't bleed onto your base fabric. The exquisite weaving also gives them a strength and stability that makes them easy to manipulate as accents and embellishments on all types of projects. For these pouches, the job of the ribbons is to hold the zippers in place. We used clear vinyl on the front so you can easily glance at the contents. A pattern download is offered below to create the handy 6" x 9" size with rounded corners.
A "pouf" is a marshmallow-like ottoman. They've been all the rage in decorating for a few years now, bringing unexpected color, shape, texture, and fun into a room. We have a full-size, extra cushy square pouf project you can try for your own trendy decorating statement, but in the meantime, we miniaturized one as a clever pincushion. Ours uses Layer Cake squares as an easy way to gather a wonderful mixture of perfectly coordinating color and pattern, but the pieces needed are really quite tiny. So bring out your scrap bag and dive in for all your favorites!
One of the fabrics getting a ton of attention at this year's Spring Quilt Market (a major fabric industry trade show) was Double Gauze. Most of us recognize regular gauze for its sheer open weave. In fact, the process that creates gauze is even called "gauze weave" (or "leno weave"). This weaving process twists two warp yarns around the weft yarn in a figure eight pattern, resulting in a strong yet sheer fabric. Double gauze is just that, two layers of gauze. Teeny tiny stitch tacks, so teeny and tiny as to be invisible from the right side of the fabric, hold the layers together. These double layers help eliminate the super-sheerness of standard gauze and give the fabric a bit of extra weight, which imparts a wonderful, almost velvety drape. We designed a project that takes full advantage of this swathe of softness as well as the fabric's 52"/54" width: a striking shawl wrap with pom accents for a kick of casual whimsy.
Christmas in July continues with a crazy patch tree skirt featuring beautiful Christmas Batiks and Victorian Velvet from Fabric Depot. Holiday themed batiks are big this year; several manufacturers have come out with special collections. The motifs are a bit larger and the colors a bit bolder than what you might traditionally expect in a batik, but it's a fun and festive look, and was the perfect choice for a crazy patch.