Monday, January 19, 2009


Hi Everyone!

Vignettes, Niches, and Nooks:

Not long ago, we talked about making pretty little nooks in your house that you keep neat and clean. These can serve as inspiration points for tidying up the rest of a room. Also, they are restful to the eye.

Above is an antique dresser that sits in our entryway. I continually rearrange things on it, so the look is not always the same. This is my current arrangement. Alas, my cat loves to perch on top of this and look outside, so things on this sometimes get knocked around.

This is a nook I'm working on, but haven't quite gotten to my satisfaction yet. This is in my office/workroom. The wall is set back here. I have the window covered with long white sheers, a Shabby Chic ballon shade from Target, and long rose-colored curtains. Underneath the window, I've set my mother's old hope chest, and I have some cushions and a little throw on top of it. I keep photo albums and scrapbooks inside the chest. I'm going to cushion the top so if can function like a window seat.

Here's a picture shelf with an old lamp, some prints of rainy Paris that we brought back from a trip there, and a little Mary Englebreit card that features the saying, "Live in the Light."

Well, those are just three of my nooks.

For apron project: Cut eight two-by-twenty or twenty and one-half inch strips to make ties and strings. This can be from your basic fabric or from a secondary coordinating or contrasting fabric if you are using one.

Once you've cut those eight strips, we're ready to sew!

First, we will sew the straps. Unfortuanetly, this beginning part is the hardest sewing we will do, so we won't get a chance to do much warm up. If you can get through this, however, the rest of the apron should be easier. First, place two of your two-by-twenty and one-half inch straps right sides together. Start sewing around one end, turn fabric and sew along the edge edge, turn fabric and sew the other end, turn fabric and sew all but about four inches of this side. You are essentially sewing a tube, leaving an opening through which we will turn the tube inside out. Keep the hem very narrow, but do make sure that you catch all of the fabric in your narrow hem. Back stitch a stitch or two to reinforce the end of your sewing.

Gently push the fabric through the opening you have left to turn it right side out. Press the rectangular shape flat. Press in the sides of the open place to make a narrow hem. Top stitch around the entire tie. (To top stitch means to sew a narrow hem on the outer side of the fabric. This reinforces the seam and holds the material in place. It is not necessary for many seams, but we are using it for the top ties and waist ties of the apron.)

Repeat the steps to make the other top tie. Now, we've completed two ties that will go around our neck.

I am using white thread on blue material. You might like to use a thread that matches your material or one that contrasts with your material. Either can be quite pretty. If you are new to sewing, you might want to stick to the matching thread, as any wobbles in your seaming will be less visible. I am using white thread for my whole project for consistency.

Pushing fabric through opening.

Top stitching around tie after fabric has been pushed through and tie has been pressed.

video that explains topstitching

Happy Homemaking!

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