I've long been attracted to the fabric collections from Japanese manufacturer Kokka, and have learned not to wait when I see a Kokka print I love. Several times I've had my eye on something, come back the next day to buy, only to learn it had sold out while I was thinking about it.The other day, while exploring Fabric.com for linen to whip up few holiday gifts, I came across some of the very prints I had missed out on from Kokka and knew I had to stash it. This fabric is what I'd describe as retro hip. With large prints and repeats, many of which are cotton-linen and cotton canvas, they are ideal for simple pillow covers, aprons, totes, bags and more. The prints themselves are so unique and eye-catching, they quickly become conversation starters. Take a look at some of the cool prints I found.
This terrific tool qualifies as the perfect stocking stuffer for the sewing enthusiast on your list: a seam ripper with a built-in magnifier and light. The Mighty Bright Lighted Seam Ripper comes from the same clever folks who bring us those cool little book lights and wallet magnifier lights. Even if you aren't yet in the, "where the heck are my reading glasses?!" category, ripping out tiny seams or tone-on-tone topstitching is a strain on anyone's eyes and patience. This cool tool is a lifesaver.
This holiday season we are concentrating on bringing you fast and easy gift ideas. You may have already noticed our green "Holiday Gift Idea" button on recent tutorials. In addition, we've found a number of inexpensive notions, which we think would be perfect for the sewing and crafting folks on your list. Today's example is this dandy fingertip rotary cutter from Fiskars®. If you can point, you can use this little devil.
One of the more tedious sewing tasks is winding bobbins. I'll be the first to admit it is my least favorite part of preparing to start a new project. I think my dislike dates back to an old sewing machine that had the worst bobbin winder ever; four times out of five my bobbins looked like big globs of thread. Today, most sewing machines have great built-in bobbin winders. Some higher-end models even have separate bobbin winding motors, allowing you to wind a bobbin while sewing. And there are pre-wound bobbins you can buy, but usually only in black and white. As part of our Lush & Plush Series, Fabric.com asked us to test and write about the two bobbin winders they carry. Both are from Simplicity: the SideWinder Portable Bobbin Winder and the SideWinder Deluxe. I took them both for a spin and recorded my results.
Pillow inserts give your pillows their plump shape, and allow them to do their job: provide soft support or cushy comfort. A pillow insert, also known as a pillow form, is simply a plain-covered pillow designed to be used with a decorative outer pillow cover (those things we love to design here at S4H!). Put another way, covers are your pillow insert's wardrobe. For our Lush & Plush Series, Fabric.com provided us with samples to try of the two types of pillow inserts they stock: polyester and feather/down. Although tempted to shirk our duty and simply take a little nap on the pretty pillow inserts, we managed to stay awake long enough to write our review.
The new Spa Collection from Michael Miller Fabrics is so tranquil and soothing, it will take your stress away. Why is that? Blue, especially when infused with a little green to create water hues, is the most popular color in the world for both men and women. When toned down, as in this collection, to create a "softer" color, it becomes increasingly pleasing to the eye; complex, subtle yet sophisticated. Add cool, calming earth colors for the quintessential relaxation combo. Studies have shown that sleeping in a room in these colors can actually lower your blood pressure. Since nearly everyone reacts positively to these colors, they are ideal choices when sewing gifts. See our ideas for using the Spa Collection to make gifts anyone would love to receive.
If you think Jacquard, Soutache and Gimp sound like the crew of a pirate ship, you're not alone. Just about everybody who's new to home décor finds the names of sewing trims a little odd at first. But once you become familiar with them you'll want to use them to make your finished projects look terrific.