What?… This old thing?!

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I love stashes, hoards, bundles & bulk!  You never know what you’re gonna get.  Sometimes things are an instant inspiration.  Others are safely stored and wait patiently for a new life!  As I was rummaging through my ‘seasoned’ goodies, I ran across a beautiful, but dated, Swiss collar.  The Venice lace is timeless, and instead of returning it to its safe keeping, I pondered over the different ways to use it.  The style is suited for a large, showy look that fits right in to catalogs from the late 80’s and early 90’s (bring on the big shoulder pads to go with it!!).  Although it is a child’s collar, the length and width allows a lot more options if we think outside of the box.  The lace is just too pretty NOT to use in some manner.

We recently received some gorgeous and uniquely styled 100% linen fabrics. The one that immediately matched the look of the white Swiss lace collar was a cornflower blue and white gingham linen.  The collar would work perfectly as straps on a sweet sundress pattern!  Bonnie Blue Designs #160″Kimberly” was just the look I was going for!  The picture of the blue and white gingham dress is shown at the top of the page.  Here is another view.

Since we loved this look, we wanted to try it again in another colorway. To recreate the dress, we went with a chambray ‘Petals of Pink’ linen. The chambray fabrics really come to life with this white Swiss Venice Collar!

So now, onto the fun part… Construction!
1. Using “Kimberly” by Bonnie Blue Designs, cut front and back bodice from pink linen, white lining, and lightweight fusible interfacing!
2.  Fully interface bodice front and back pattern pieces with German cotton batiste interfacing or French baby interfacing for stability.
3. Sew the lining to the front yoke, right sides together.  Stitch armhole and across the top of the bodice/yoke piece.  Trim seams, clip armhole curves.  Turn right side out & press.
4.  Sew lining to back yoke pieces, right sides together.  Stitch armhole curve, pivot at top of the yoke, stitch about 1/2″ or so, backstitch.  Leave opening approximately 1 1/2″ to insert back of collar/strap, begin stitching again across the top of the back yoke, pivot and stitch down center back seam.  Trim seams, clip curves, turn right side out and press.
5. First try for me was placing the top on a mannequin and pinning the collar/straps in place.  Luckily, I was able to fit this to a granddaughter before final sewing, but if you don’t have a handy-dandy child at your fingertips, just measure the length of the strap pattern piece provided in the pattern & start from there.


6. Once the front collar is placed and pinned, you will be able to make length adjustments in the back (this is a long collar).  Mark the placement with a wash-away marker. The front collar may be then stitched in place by stitching around the outer edge of the collar.  I used a Sewline Glue Pen to glue my front straps in place, so they wouldn’t shift while I sewed them.
7. Insert the back collar pieces into the openings in the top of the back bodice pieces.  Turn wrong side out and stitch along the seam allowance through the lining, linen and strap pieces.  (I did not remove the ends of the collar pieces in back – in case I needed to make length adjustments later.)


8.  Sew the front and back bodices at the side seams, press seams open.  Tada!! Just add the skirt, and you have a darling dress!!
9.  Here is the most amazing part.  WHO in their right mind makes linen dresses for kids? Well, we love linen around here, and it is so cool and comfy in these hot South Carolina summers.  The blue and white linen dress will be in our upcoming ad in Classic Sewing Magazine – and, following the photo shoot, we rewarded the kids with an Ice Cream Party!  That meant chocolate, strawberry and vanilla all over the clothes, of course.  I doused the stains with Shout, threw the clothes in the washer, shook them a little by hand, and hung them to dry.  ALMOST NO WRINKLES!


What fun these little ones had!  Here is an outtake from our upcoming Summer 2017 Classic Sewing Magazine photo shoot & Ice Cream Party!!  For all of our bloggers out there, use coupon code IceCream15 to receive a one time 15% OFF coupon code on your next order!

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Don’t Stretch the Elastic – Decorative Elastic Waistbands!

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Decorative Elastic is such a pretty way to finish the waist of a garment!  The quality is easy to see when it’s used as the waistband of your pants, shorts or skirts!  At Farmhouse Fabrics, we use it frequently – and it is such an easy finish!   There are a couple of “tricks” to apply it – we often have questions about the “hows”…because it is such a pain to attempt to stretch it to fit the garment!  This is a firm elastic & who wants to break needles by trying to stretch and sew the elastic at the same time?

 

But sewing doesn’t get much easier than when using a decorative elastic waistband!  With just 2 measurements, we have designed a skirt “pattern” that we call a “Decorative Elastic Skirt”!  We use a 1 1/2″ wide thick and sturdy elastic that comes in a wonderful range of colors.

  1. Measure your child’s waist and add 1″ – this is the length of your decorative elastic.
  2. Measure your child’s finished skirt length and add 1 1/2″ – this will account for a hem allowance.
  3. Cut the waistband decorative elastic to the determined waist measurement (plus 1″ for the back seam).
  4. Cut or tear one width of fabric the length of your skirt plus 1 1/2″.  Remove selvages. (There will be only one seam in the skirt, and the finished fullness of the skirt is based on personal preference.)
  5. Serge the top and bottom of the skirt fabric to finish the edges.
  6. Run two rows of gathering threads on one long end of your fabric (the top of the skirt).
  7. Quarter fabric and elastic – mark with washable pen.
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  8. Match up your quarter marks between fabric & elastic and pin at marks.
  9. Pull up gathering threads and evenly distribute fabric between quartered marks on your elastic.  (You will be pinning the WRONG side of the elastic to the RIGHT side of the skirt fabric.)
  10. Attach your non-stretched elastic to your gathered, evenly distributed fabric with a wide zig-zag #5.  (Zigzag, using a rather wide zigzag stitch, along the lower edge of the decorative elastic, sewing through the elastic and the gathered skirt.)
  11. Now, you can remove the gathering threads, and the zig-zagged elastic will stretch with your child!  No broken threads!
  12. Center back seam – With right sides together, match the decorative elastic, carefully match the elastic and bottom of skirt, pin into place, and sew the back seam. This seam may be serged, if desired.
  13. Press up hem 1 1/4″ deep to your finished length – pin & hem!
    Voila!  A fast & easy skirt with not a single broken needle on stretched elastic!
    For pre-coordinated decorative elastic kits, visit our Kits, Skirts category!

    It is a lot of fun to make these little skirts using left-overs from other projects!  Honestly – sometimes a third of a yard of fabric will make a skirt.  Adding a row of trim, ribbon, rick-rack, etc. to the hem will jazz it up a little, too.    Have Fun!!

Following the Greats!

 

“Bless her heart!”  She used a hand-gathering thread to ease the straight, inflexible ribbon to make it fit on the curved shape of the skirt of her dress, when all she had to do was this easy sewing trick! (WHO has the patience for that??)

Children’s Corner ‘Lillian’ has been a staple dress that we just can’t get enough of!  It’s simply classic and easy to embellish or just as well left plain.  But how do you attach lovely straight edged taffeta, jacquard, grosgrain or satin ribbons to a curved skirt?  Lillian is so well suited for 3 graduated rows of ribbon – but ribbons that aren’t suited for a curved line in a skirt! I refused to hand baste a gathering thread to each row of ribbon, so I didn’t make the dress for 15 years!

15 years ago, on a fabric buying NY trip, I was inspired by a sweet, simple and classic little dress. It has been in the back of my mind for all of this time, believe it or not! Classic clothes never seem to go out of style, do they?  The dress that so inspired me was white, sleeveless, simple – with 3 rows of graduated width red and white striped grosgrain ribbon sewn above the hemline. Each row had a little flat bow sewn to the left of the center front. Over the years, I stocked the ribbons in various colors – but never made the dress. 

Now that there are young ladies around here to actually wear the garments that float around in my mind, I am inspired to put the dreams into action. So – the ribbons don’t HAVE to be grosgrain stripes! Pink and white taffeta gingham ribbons would be perfectly pretty!

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….I love to watch technique teachers. They have a way of making the hardest exercises look effortless or using a notion that ‘cuts corners’ to simplify a difficult process. Time lapsed and one day I watched as Cindy Foose casually used this simple “scrunch” method to slightly ease a pattern piece.  Not much ease was needed to follow the slight curve of the skirt of “Lillian”, but a curve was definitely important.  Holding my index finger behind the presser foot, I sewed along the edge of the ribbon, letting the ribbon scrunch-bunch between the presser foot and my finger.  That created just enough ease to make the necessary curve to fit the skirt shape!  You can see in the picture below on the right the difference between the straight ribbon and the slightly curved ribbon.

  Measuring up from the hem, I marked the first line for the bottom ribbon placement, pinned it in place (or – you could use a Sewline Glue Pen, recommended by Connie Palmer, to glue it in place), and sewed my first row. I measured between each row, one at a time, sewed in place, giving equal distances of space between each row.

121716-3-rows-4Bows look best when professionally tied, and on this outfit the finish was in having a ‘perfectly poised’ bow. Connie Palmer taught me how to always have a perfectly straight bow… This is such an amazing trick (Connie knows hundreds of amazing tricks!) –
1. Find the center of the “bow” ribbon & place the center perpendicular to the sewn row of ribbon, and sew across the ribbon horizontally – left to right – (this will look like a cross).  The ribbon will be going up and down… and it will seem weird!
2. Tie the bow normally, and the bow will be in perfect position!
3. Trim ends to desired length.
4. We played with the bow placement, and decided we preferred the off-set placement the best.

Dress kit available here!

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Two of the GREATS!!  Cindy Foose and Connie Palmer
Thanks ladies for these tips and so many others!

Darn It! – Accidents Happen – Really, Darn It!

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As preparations were being made for a sisters Christmas photo shoot, we quickly gravitated to our vintage-inspired dress with 3/4 length sleeves made in a very lightweight wool,  Soft Mauve – Pink Jacquard fabric….. With a gentle tug of excitement to pull this lovely dress from the clothes-rack, our ears were pricked by the horrible sounds of a tear! Sure enough – there was a hole, front and center!  Pretty hard to hide this one in pictures!
Gosh darn, golly geeze, son of a… wait a minute – Darn It!  Really, Darn It!

                All the thinking caps went on – how in the world to repair a hole in this sweet wool dress?  “Darn it!”  Darn definition: To mend, as torn clothing, with rows of stitches, sometimes by crossing and interweaving rows to span a gap. 

However, before a thread was stitched, trial efforts were made!
Instead of making my initial attempt on the dress itself, I took a seam ripper to a remnant swatch of our gorgeous wool – intentionally adding a hole to see the best way to repair it.
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To fuse the dress with a self-fabric patch, I used ‘Stitch Witchery’. ‘Stitch Witchery’is a great tool for hems, trims, belts and so much more!
      (Years ago, before Pinterest, I saw a neat project using Stitch Witchery by the yard & have always wanted to try it.  Yardage of Stitch Witchery was used for fusing a piece of aluminum foil to the wrong side of cute Christmas fabric & the finished piece was then used to wrap baked goods for Christmas gifts!)
Here, ‘Stitch Witchery’ fused my man-made hole with a repair patch.
– Place a pressing cloth over the wool to fuse the patches together.

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This fabric is such a unique color and when a thread match was seemingly impossible, I grabbed a small remnant of the same wool fabric and unraveled a thread that be could used for an exact match!   After fusing a small piece of the same wool to the back side of the garment, I used the threads shown below to “darn it”!! It really worked!
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*Please don’t let my husband know I actually “darned” something! For our 44 years of marriage, he has been asking me to darn his socks!! I can easily throw away his socks, but I just had to rescue the dress!  Priorities, right?

To check out the full photo shoot video, click the picture below!122016-christmas-video
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True Confessions – When it still doesn’t feel right…

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Find this kit here!

 

Certain fabrics are so inspiring and sometimes can be a little intimidating.  They often catch our eye while perusing for a new inspiration and then later are returned to the shelf when their beauty or uniqueness overshadows our imaginations. And then on some bright morning, we pair a lovely fabric with a well suited pattern.

But what happens when you you lay out that beautiful piece of fabric on its pattern equivalent and it’s still not perfect… Sometimes just a small change makes all the difference.

Just by altering the neckline shape of this pattern, it helped suffice that small twinge that something just didn’t feel right!  Follow our step-by-step instructions to lay out a new neckline on the classic and sweet Children’s Corner Pattern ‘Lillian’ #230 with this beautiful tucked Swiss cotton fabric.  Always one of our favorites – but so hard to picture how to use the pre-tucked design that is laid out in a “panel” pattern on the fabric. Somehow the design had to be utilized – as it is so beautiful and unusual.

1. First, it is very important to position the pattern pieces so that the plain, un-tucked portion is at the top of the bodice front and bodice back as shown  in the following picture:

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In the picture on the left below, the underarm point on the front and back side pattern  piece is shown here positioned at the same white tuck on the fabric.  The picture below on the right shows the hemlines matching the same tuck. This will ensure that the stripes/tucks will match all the way down the side seams.

Below are the two pieces cut out according to the pattern, with the round neckline:

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Next Step:  Trace the front of the dress pattern (neckline, shoulder line, armhole, center front) on tracing paper.

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Using a clear ruler, draw a line from the center front, starting just at the seamline – Line needs to be perpendicular to the straight of the grain.

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Using the ruler again, draw a line from the shoulder point, angling in slightly towards the center until the two lines intersect:

Now, it is time to re-cut the new square neckline:

And there you go! A sweet square neckline on your Lillian jumper!

Can I tell you something? In the end, I felt like the square neckline was actually a little too wide, but because I am always in too much of a hurry to cut a “muslin”, I went with it!  Next time, I would actually angle the line from the shoulder seam a little more towards the center front!  True confessions!!

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We wanted to do a bit of a “fitting” with these two girls but they had other plans in mind!

Maybe next time!

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it’s all about conserving fabric!

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I used to patiently wait for my mother to scrap a fabric so that I could turn it into a new doll dress! As she flipped & turned each pattern piece on the recommended layout, my doll dress prospects became dismal as I began to see that her skills in making the most of her “one pattern fabric”, just gave her enough to make my sister a matching outfit.

Come along as we show you a step-by-step layout of the cute pattern,”Lydia”, by Bonnie Blue Designs and a way that will save you a scrap or two for your next project!
This is the second time I have made this top, and since the finished top seemed just a little on the short side to me the first go-round, I added 2” to length of the top shown in the pattern. (This was just a guess on the additional length – no mathematical formula.)
The photo below shows a layout if the pattern front and back are placed on the fold of the fabric.  If cut as shown on this picture, there would be 2 narrow unusable strips of fabric along the selvage edge.
Pictured is the Lydia top placed on 45” pretty floral lawn fabric:
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INSTEAD – TRY THIS

If the fabric is “refolded” and the pattern pieces cut on the “new” fold – using just the amount of fabric needed, it creates a wider strip of fabric that may be used for a future project!  In this case, the width of the remaining fabric is approximately 17″!

Pictured is the 45” fabric – refolded –leaving a wide strip along one selvage edge:121216-lydia-top-1

 

Lining Fabric: Cut from 1 Width of Fabric!

Lining used for the Lydia top is 60” wide, so the fabric can be “refolded” with the selvage edges to the center creating folds along both sides. This allows the front and back Lydia top pattern pieces to be cut on one width of fabric!  (It’s all about conserving fabric!)121216-lydia-top-2

The little denim shorts needed a floral ruffle to make them “girly” – and my first “guess” at ruffle width was to cut 3 1/2″strips to fold in half lengthwise & gather.  I could tell right away that the ruffles would look sweeter in a more narrow finished width, so I ran another stitch and cut them to a finished length of about 1″.  In order to compensate for the additional length of adding a shorts ruffle, I removed the hem allowance plus another 1″ before adding the floral ruffle.

I would like to add a note here that the layouts included in the pattern instructions make the best use of the fabric.  The “Lydia” pattern was used in order to discuss layouts in general.

Find the kit for this cute outfit here:  Find kit here

“Lydia” by Bonnie Blue Designs 
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From Our Stash to Yours!

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Welcome to “Sally’s Corner”

YIKES!!  It’s an avalanche!

25 years of piling fabric remnants creates a FABRIC MOUNTAIN that “could” be dangerous!  Always thinking that if the end of a bolt of fabric was safely stored in some organized manner that would be useful in planning projects, filling orders,  and creating kits –  the mountain of fabric remnants quickly became a “mountain range”.

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The “special” remnants (Liberty of London, Swiss voile, etc.) are often found hidden in “Sally’s Corner” – but when the paths become too narrow, and the employees are threatening to call “Hoarders”, she grabs her heart & cries, “Mutiny!”….

The only workable solution – “Share the Love”!!

“Let It Go”, the song from the movie, “Frozen”, has taken on a whole new meaning at Farmhouse Fabrics.

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Our remnant bins!

Fabric, trims, and even our gorgeous laces are being passed along at a 30% discount!  Whether you need a short piece of pique to use for a collar, an embroidered Swiss batiste for a baby dress, a Christmas fabric for decorations, or fine laces for an heirloom project, you might just find it in any of the following specific remnant categories: ginghams, Swiss and heirloom fabricsholiday fabrics, and our general remnants section.

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A doll outfit like this could easily be made using our remnants!

 

Visit the trims remnant category to find gorgeous embroidered ribbons, embellished French trims, and much more! The same goes for lace. You can find lovely lace pieces in the lace remnant category-anything from Maline to Cluny. These short pieces are ideal for a neckline or for around sleeves-instances where you don’t necessarily need to buy a whole yard (although, often, there are pieces with yardage). And again, these trims and laces are always discounted 30% !

To each of you who have purchased a portion of our “Farmhouse Fabrics’ Remnant Mountain Range”, we thank you!

This is How We Kit

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At Farmhouse we have always loved putting together kits. These kits are made up of different fabrics, trims, buttons, and more that we have personally coordinated. We get inspired to make these kits by a wide variety of situations: Maybe we see a beautiful garment in a magazine that appeals to us, or maybe we see a stunning new fabric that we feel needs to be made into something beautiful! Whatever the reason, we really enjoy putting together these kits, and we find it makes it easier for our customers to find coordinating items when they are already bundled together. Shopping for fabrics and trims from a computer screen isn’t always the easiest thing to do! Being sewists ourselves, we understand this, and we strive to make it easier for our customers and friends to make their stunning creations!

We often will make original kits-completely inspired by our own ideas and combos. We can be receiving a new shipment of fabric from New York and a certain bolt of fabric just “speaks” to us. We think about what kind of garment the particular fabric seams to be suited toward, and then it’s only a matter of finding matching trims (and if you’ve been to our warehouse you know there are LOTS of options)!

This dress by our friend Regena K! Click here!

Other times, we will make kits inspired by a popular “look” or outfit. In one particular kit we have been inspired by the adorable, classic style of little Princess Charlotte! We were able to find a floral lawn very similar to one of the Princess’s dresses and we found a pattern that was practically identical! All that remained were buttons and embroidery floss and there we had our kit!

Photo on the left by HRH the Duchess of Cambridge. Find the kit on the right here!

A current “source of inspiration” can be seen in one of our recent coat kits.  Gail Doane’s stunning wool coat, seen below, in the recent “Classic Sewing” magazine- the holiday edition is a beauty that we wanted to recreate. Not only did we adore Gail’s jacket, we had just received the ideal off white Italian wool!  This wool was used by Rothschild S. & Co. Inc., and came from an Italian mill which specializes in woolens of excellence and produces fabrics for names like Burberry, Armani, Versace, Louis Vuitton, and much more! So once we had our fabric for the kit, it was just a matter of finding trims and notions and bundling it all together (the jacket pattern is included with the purchase of the magazine!).

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Find this kit here!

Other kits we really enjoy making are our doll kits. We have a blast creating little assortments/kits for dolls. We use remnants of our finest silks and satins combined with bits of fancy lace, metallic braid, and glass beads. And then when we’ve found all our kit components, we like to give these kits a unique name. The name usually encapsulates what kind of doll outfit we can imagine being made out of the chosen selections. Some popular doll kits have been our “Pocahontas“, “Versailles Sunset“, and “Tarzan Meet Jane“. You can kind of picture from those names what the kits look like (click on the names or look below to see the actual kits…were they just like you imagined?) There can be a lot of laughter when we call out names for doll kits!!

All of our kits-from the inspired to the totally original-are made with love. We personally walk around the shop, comparing various trims and fabrics until we find the ideal selections. We look at a kit and we see our own little ones dressed in this creation and we don’t stop refining our selection until we think the kit is absolutely perfect. We get so excited when our customers take our dreams and make them into garments!

So, please send us photos of the garments YOU have made!!  We would enjoy seeing your creation for little people and dolls – and will share them in a future blog post or on our Facebook page, with your permission.

Terrific Trims

 

terrific-trims-headerAt Farmhouse, we love trims! As you’ll notice when you meander through our shop, almost half the shelves are filled with custom-made trims in just about every color and pattern imaginable. As sewists, we completely understand how the perfect trim can be the finishing touch that will make or break an outfit. We love finding interesting fabrics and visualizing miles of spaghetti bias tubing, piping, or picot-edged ruffles!  Or, if we really love the fabric, we make it in MANY different kinds of trims, giving us wonderful coordinating sets! (We have been known to name the full trim set, “Spaghetti and ALL the Trimmings”.) Let’s talk about some great uses we have seen for our special trims.

Here’s a set! Japanese lawn fabric made into double box pleated trim and double-fold bias with a picot edge!

Bias: Have you ever been buying fabric for a garment and been wondering why you need so much of it? Well, if the pattern requires you to make your own bias, then you have your answer. It can take a lot of fabric to get good, continuous cuts of bias, and that’s why we decided to have pre-made bias strips cut and pieced together out of some of our most popular basic fabrics: from Fabric Finders & Spechler-Vogel gingham to silk dupioni to fusible interfacing! We know how much time (and extra fabric!) that saves us in our projects.

Double-Fold Bias with Picot Trim: This trim adds a very sweet and delicate finish to any project. We love Blakely’s use of our taffy gingham version of this trim in the little sundress she made!

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Find this dress here!

It can also be used in lots of decorative elements, such as the flower seen below (find that outfit here). One of the great things about making trims out of existing fabrics is that we have those very fabrics available in the store! It makes matching a LOT easier.

 

Piping: This trim seems to be one of the most popular sellers! Piping is a simple way to add class and elegance to an outfit. We sell it in countless fabrics: solid broadcloth, Fabric Finders and Spechler Vogel gingham, solid pique, silk charmeuse, velvet-you name it! Again, we found that choosing pre-made piping from such a wide selection was a much simpler and cost-effective way of sewing than buying the fabric, cording, and other tools to make our own piping. We are never ashamed of a few shortcuts!

Pleated Fabric and Fabric Ruffles: There is no better way to add some flounce and flair to a skirt or dress than to sew on a few ruffles! Many of our favorite floral, gingham, and striped fabrics are made into special ruffled trims. One style is double-box pleated trim (as seen around the collar of the green dress below). This kind of trim is also perfect as decoration for the front of a dress or blouse and can be adorable as an embellishment for the edge of a baby blanket or bib!

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There are also different kinds of pleated trims such as the knife-pleated ruffle. We used a versatile Christmas print fabric to create a snazzy bias knife-pleated ruffle that was the perfect touch around the hem of this sweet Christmas dress!

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Find this dress here!

Fabric ruffles (gathered) are also a favorite of ours. We like to have some of them made with a delicate picot edge which may be in a contrasting color or tone-on-tone. Again, perfect for the edge of a skirt as in the green floral dress below! Or, if you want to get even more creative, you can use it down the front of a dress like we used it in this sweet watercolor shift dress!

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The “Coordination Station”:  Purchasing fabrics and coordinating trims on-line can be a daunting process.  It can be wild for us, too, even with the trims at our fingertips, so “The Coordination Station” was born!!  This is a helpful tool for in-store shoppers, too!

When creating a “model garment”, we head immediately to the “Coordination Station” to find coordinating trims!

If you call us with “matching” questions, a little fly on the wall would find us searching through the “Coordination Station”!!

Have fun with your creations using a variety of quality trims custom made to match quality fabrics!!  We love helping our customers match or coordinate trims with fabric purchases. A cute piece of fabric doesn’t stay safe around here for very long if we fold it on the bias and think it looks “pretty cute” as a trim!!  LOOK OUT – here comes the bias cutting knife!

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Organdy or Organza?

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At Farmhouse Fabrics, we have so many different kinds of beautiful fabrics. If you walk through our doors you can see dozens of model garments made with these exquisite fabrics and trims. However, because there are so many different kinds of fabrics, it can be difficult to tell the difference between two fabrics sometimes. Two very similar fabrics are organdy and organza-even the names are confusingly similar!

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Find the organdy on the left here and the organza on the right here.

Let’s begin with Organdy. Organdy is a crisp, sheer fabric that is 100% cotton. The kind we carry at Farmhouse is mostly Swiss organdy which means that it is an extremely high quality weave made in Switzerland (that part is probably obvious…) It is made with tightly twisted yarns in an open, plain weave-which results in a light, fine, sheer fabric. Because this fabric is 100% cotton and a very fine weave, it can sometimes wrinkle easily. Some organdies have a finish applied to them to prevent the natural wrinkle. The appeal of organdy is that it is delightfully crisp and light. It has an exquisite, delicate hand that is perfect for heirloom sewing. It is often used for First Communion outfits. Some of our favorite embroidered fabrics are Swiss organdy!

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Find this dress here!

Because organdy is 100% cotton, it does not need to be dry cleaned! It should be hand washed or washed very carefully due to the fine-ness of the weave and the delicacy of the fabric as a whole. It is best to hang dry this fabric and iron while still damp.

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Find this dress here!

Next we have organza. The main difference between these two fabrics is the fiber content. The weave of both organdy and organza is an open “plain weave“so the production of the fabric is the same. The difference is in the fibers: organdy is made of combed fibers whereas organza is made with filament yarns (twisted fibers). Organza is another light, sheer fabric with a crisp finish but rather than cotton it is made out of silk, polyester, or a combination of the two. With its lovely sheen and smooth texture, organza is often used in bridal and formal wear. Its crisp hand is perfect for adding fullness or structure to gorgeous ball gowns or ethereal flower girl dresses. We love how this fabric looks so delicate yet is really quite durable. It’s fine enough to use as a trim on a doll dress but it can also be used in a Pressing Partner (pre-cut pieces of silk organza “partnered” with pre-washed and dried wool) for ironing purposes. (For those of you who are wondering what that means: silk organza is perfect to use as a pressing cloth because of its sheer quality, and it has a high melting point-being silk-and can therefore be heated to 300 degrees while ironing. The transparency of the fabric allows you to see through it so you can place the iron wherever you need to. The fine weave of the fabric also eliminates texture transfer to the fabric you are pressing.  The wool would be used on the ironing board to help absorb moisture.)

Our friend Gail used some of our bridal organza to make an adorable princess dress for her granddaughter (see the picture above)! We love how she played up the sheer quality of the organza by lining the dress with pink batiste. When Gail came into our shop and said she wanted fabric for a “princess dress” for her granddaughter’s upcoming trip to Disney World, our minds immediately went to organza. It has that “princess” quality! We had several very unique cuts of bridal fabric at the time, and we all had a great time helping Gail coordinate this darling dress!

Caring for silk organza is fairly straight forward. It can be machine washed and then hung dry. You will get the best results if you iron it when it is still slightly damp. Again, although you wouldn’t think so when you look at it, silk organza is incredibly durable.

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Find our pleated organza trim here!

So those are a few differences between organdy and organza. Both fabrics are smooth, delicate, and delightfully crisp and both are beautifully suited for many different projects.