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Sewing Designer Details With Simplicity

with Joy Macdonell
Sewing Designer Details With Simplicity
Dress up your decor and learn a variety of decorative sewing techniques to elevate pillows, slipcovers and more, with guidance from Simplicity’s Joy Macdonell!

Add specialty details to timeless Simplicity sewing patterns and instantly enhance your decor. Simplicity Education Director Joy Macdonell will provide you with the personalized support you need to create custom piping, ruffles, topstitching and more. Sew professional-looking details, including envelope closures and invisible zippers that make it easy to change out your decor at a moment’s notice. Plus, find out how to create your own fringe, tassels and covered buttons for a unique twist on these classic adornments. By the end of this class, you’ll have essential skills for sewing designer touches that lend personality and charm to any room. 

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Lesson plan


Lesson 1. Introduction

  • Meet your instructor, home decor sewist and television host Joy Macdonell. Gain an overview of the techniques you’ll learn in class that can be applied to pillows and many other projects of your choosing, including pillows, curtains, slipcovers and more!


Lesson 2. Decorative Seams & Finishes

  • Dive into basic decorative seams and finishes with Joy’s expert advice along the way. Begin with an overview of how to choose fabrics, learning how to identify grain and bias lines that will work best for your projects. Then Joy demonstrates how to measure, cut and sew piping, including tips on how to avoid puckers and achieve gracefully curved corners. Finish the lesson with Joy’s tips for seamlessly joining purchased braided cord, from start to finish.


Lesson 3. Creating Ruffles

  • Learn how fun ruffles can be as you work through a wide variety of styles. You’ll have a close-up view of Joy’s techniques for creating fold-over, circular, hem-stitched, two-toned and chic tubular ruffles. You’ll be amazed by the “wow” factor of your finished ruffled pillow projects!


Lesson 4. Designer Edges

  • Explore a variety of designer edges and the construction techniques for each type. Start by creating topstitched flanged borders that add a touch of delicate movement to each pillow. Then learn how to use the playful vintage look of rickrack in surprisingly modern ways. You’ll finish by creating a tidy bound edge that can add a beautiful pop of color to any project.


Lesson 5. Fringe, Tassels & Buttons

  • Experiment with texture and dimension as Joy walks you through the steps for creating three new design details. Start with a chunky pom-pom trim that can provide the perfect complement to any color in your fabric. Then learn how to create your own fringed fabric tassels from scratch, and attach them to the corners of a pillow to add a fun burst of personality. Finally, learn how quick and easy it can be to create fabric-covered buttons from virtually any fabric in your stash.


Lesson 6. Envelope Pillow

  • Tackle your first envelope pillow in a fun overview of this classic design. You’ll learn how to work with any pillow pattern, including professional tips on how to cut and store the pattern pieces. Then cut your fabric and sew the envelope back with Joy’s troubleshooting tips along the way. You’ll love how easy it is to remove and change out your pillowcases using this elegant design.


Lesson 7. Invisible Zippers

  • Joy wraps up the class with a comprehensive overview of installing invisible zippers. Learn how to identify and select the best zipper for the job before preparing your fabric, testing the zipper placement, pinning and sewing your final project. Joy takes the fear factor out of zippers as she explains her process every step of the way.

"I really enjoyed this class. Joy is a great instructor and answers questions quickly. The class works with a wide variety of trims and decorative edgings and teaches you how to create your own covered buttons and put in invisible zippers. Joy also suggests that the same trims and edgings could be used on curtains, duvet covers, and etc. As a novice with a sewing machine, I greatly appreciated Joy's tips and techniques with both edgings and with patterns. (...) I now feel confident in tackling ruffles, rickrack, pom poms, zippers, envelope closures, and using whatever pillow pattern I want to purchase even if it doesn't include these elements (because I just learned how to make my own). In my opinion, this class is a fabulous jumping off point in home decor, and a great confidence builder. Love it!"
avatar - Sinexa
Austin, TX

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