Ahhhhh, the gift card. It seems to be such a common choice, and not just as a last minute grab for someone hard to shop for. Gift cards appear to be the go-to gift for anyone and any occasion. Let's face it - they're easy to find, quick to buy, come in any denomination, and are... stunningly impersonal. Maybe it's just me, but a gift card seems to say, "I couldn't really be bothered to find you a present; how about you go get yourself a little something?" But who am I to rain on the gift-giving parade?! Instead, how about we at least put the gift card into a super cool little handmade holder. Something that can be used even after the gift card's been spent. Our handy holder is also perfect for business cards or to stash your license and credit card when traveling light for a night on the town. Slip it in your pocket or use the key ring to hook it on to a purse or belt. Now it says, "I made this just for you!"
Another You Asked 4 It survey request crossed off the list. Several people asked about structured fabric baskets. We're guessing there must be a lot of Sew4Home fans out there with a lot of stuff they need to organize in some terrific totes. We've come through with not just one but a pretty pair: a large basket measuring 10" wide x 8" tall x 6" deep and a small companion at 8" wide x 7" tall x 5" deep. The two nest perfectly together. Wouldn't these make an awesome wedding shower gift filled with kitchen or bath goodies?!
This is our favorite fast and easy way to make any size of comfy pajama pants. Originally designed by our sponsor, Janome America (thanks, creative Alison!), we adapted it for this past winter's Noel Home project series, incorporating jazzy bottom cuffs so we could mix and match fabrics to make a cute pair of pants for everyone in the family. Now for Father's Day, we're kickin' it up a notch again by narrowing the cuff and adding a waistband in matching accent fabric. We top it off with a large pocket along the side of one pant leg for a cargo pant look.
Dads like to nap. It's a fact well documented in homes across the country and around the world, especially homes with comfy recliners positioned in front of big screen TVs. I know, I know... that's a gross generalization and not politically correct. But, we all know it's happening somewhere at this very moment. Make Dad's nap time cushy and comfortable with our soft fleece blanket, which includes a handsome cotton sateen binding and a handy remote control pocket. So, when Dad wakes up... he doesn't have to wonder where he dropped the remote.
Dear ol' Dad, his special day is coming up, and there are so many things you love him for. But, he can be so dang hard to shop for, let alone sew for. Most projects tend to lean more to the feminine than the masculine... unless you landed here at Sew4Home where we have whipped up four fantastic Father's Day gifts to delight Dad. We start our gift-giving ideas with today's sleek iPad case; it features a bike-bag style crossover strap in cotton webbing, tough pockets front and back, and a soft fleece lining.
Just ONE seam is all the sewing required to make a Cattail Catnip Toy. Fill with catnip and tie into segments. Your kitty will lick it and pummel it with rapid-fire kicks in appreciation. Not every cat is into catnip, and kittens ignore it; but in a lifetime of living with cats, I've never had one who didn't enjoy catnip playtime. The trick is to limit use to about once a week to avoid desensitization. Our Cattails also make a great fundraiser for animal shelters. A volunteer can make a dozen in a couple hours, and it takes very little sewing skill.
We have a saying at our house we call, "Mexican Hot Plate Syndrome." It refers to doing something you know is bad, but you just can't help yourself. I'm sure you've encountered the syndrome at your local Mexican restaurant. It occurs when they deliver a hot-out-of-the-oven plate to your table. The waiter is wearing huge oven mitts and implores you, "Don't touch the plate; it is very hot." So what do you do as soon as he sets it down and turns his back? You sneak out one finger and touch the edge of plate. Yikes! He was right! Dang! This story was all to set up our pretty Tea Time oven mitts project. They contain a hidden layer of Insul-Bright thermal batting between their linen front and lining, so they could certainly pick up a hot plate of enchiladas. However, they would be even more perfect to lift a whistling tea kettle from the stove.
No tea party is complete without tea towels. Ours are made of a beautiful natural linen, keeping true to the tea towel's heritage, which comes to us by way of Great Britain where it originated as a special drying cloth for expensive tea services. Linen was the fabric of choice because its smooth, simple weave was unlikely to scratch fine china or glass. Our towel set is a perfect match for the other appliquéd members of our Tea Time team. And although quite similar to our napkins project, we show you a slightly different method for hemming and applying the bottom border accent.
We love placemats, because they are such a versatile table setting option. You don't need nearly as much fabric as you do for an entire tablecloth. In fact, with their smaller proportions, they're a great way to bring together a number of colors, patterns and textures. Our table for two includes lovely quilted and appliquéd placemats. Their accent bands feature a diamond quilting pattern, while the main place-setting panels have repeating rows of parallel quilted stitch lines. Picking different styles of quilting within one project is a simple yet striking way to add a little spice. As with our other Tea Time projects, this one has a bold, double-layer appliqué highlight.