Monday, 19 November 2012 by Keith Bahlmann
This past September, which was was National Sewing Month, was an opportunity for sewing enthusiasts to celebrate their love of craft and its newest trends. As evidenced by the entrants of National Sewing Month contest held by Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, sewing enthusiasts are now turning to nontraditional fabrics to create their own unique looks.
"Let the world around you be your source of design inspiration," says Christopher Straub from season 6 of "Project Runway" and host of the contest. "Materials you encounter in your daily life can be repurposed to create something truly unique."
Not only do many of these alternatives tend to be relatively inexpensive, they are durable and widely accessible.
Straub, a lover of all things nontraditional, is offering some advice to do-it-yourselfers who want to look beyond cotton and wool for their sewing creations:
• For smaller, or more structured projects, use a heavier and more rigid utility fabric, such as duck cloth.
• For a cloth-like feel, use utility fabrics that are similar to traditional fabrics. A fabric like waffle weave will add an extra layer of interest.
• It can be difficult to guide the heaviest nontraditional fabrics like vinyl through a sewing machine. A heavy-duty needle and Teflon-coated presser foot will make sliding the material through the machine much easier.
• Just because you're using utility fabrics, doesn't mean you need to settle for the most common colors like black, white and brown. For more colorful alternatives, get inspired by hot air balloons, kites and flags and turn to ripstop fabrics or use nylon.
• Don't be afraid to mix several different kinds of utility fabrics in the same project. Variety will lend your product a unique competitive edge.
You can kick off your love affair with non-traditional fabrics by getting started today. You can visit www.joann.com for inspiration and project ideas.
With a bit of innovation, you can sew something no one has ever seen before. You may not be following in Grandma's footsteps exactly, but you can forge a new path, right alongside hers.