How to make a quilted coat

5

Everything you need to know to make a quilted coat

Now, I knew I couldn’t make it on my own because I’m very much a novice seamstress and didn’t want this to be “lessons from a fool”, so I reached out to one of my favorite local sewing inspiration sources, Romy-Krystal Cutler of Sew Like Romy, to make it happen. Romy has a knack for knowing the latest and greatest trends and making them her own. I’ve been following her for awhile because she does such a great job. And guess what?! She does it during nap time! Romy will be giving us an expert’s tips on how to get the best results.

Fiskars new sewing tools

We are big fans of Fiskars for all sorts of paper crafts and DIY tools, so we were thrilled to learn that they had a new line of sewing tools too. We got our hands on their classic rotary cutter, and their comfort grip rotary cutter, along with their new Sewing Essentials Set, which includes their classic orange handle scissors (a classic), thread snips, which came in handy for this coat, acrylic ruler, measuring tape, and sewing gauge for accurate measurements, and a seam ripper. It’s so helpful to feel prepared! As nerdy as it sounds, I’m pretty stoked to add the sewing gauge to my arsenal for Paul’s hems!

They also equipped us with seamstress scissors, which cut like BUTTAH! And please note: no one better use them for paper! Do I feel like my mother OR WHAT?!

How to make a quilted coat

Romy did an amazingly thorough job with this tutorial. Let’s go!

How to find awesome vintage quilts:

I scoured Etsy, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace for vintage quilts that I loved. If you know the style of quilt pattern, search that term, or search “antique quilt” or “vintage quilt”. You could also search “quilt topper” only as there might be more available there. 

Materials:

See above

Buzzwords:

  • Bias Tape/Binding: Narrow strips of fabric cut on the bias used to finish edges. Can be bought premade.
  • Heavy Duty Snaps: These are to close your coat. They come in two options — Sew-in and heavy duty hardware. The heavy duty requires extra tools to secure them in place.
  • Thread Snips: Small, sharp scissors for precision cutting loose threads.
  • Muslin: Plain weave cotton fabric, usually sheer. Used for toiles.
  • Toile: A test version of a garment in cheap fabric.
  • Grade: Trimming your seam allowance to a smaller width.

Preparation:

Not all quilts are the same. Be sure to check that your quilt will fulfill your warmth needs. For this particular coat there was no batting and the back was muslin. If you find yourself in the same position first head down to Tips and Tricks.

Selecting your size. Consulting the finished measurements and comparing these to an existing coat in your wardrobe is a good place to start. If you want to be extra cautious, a toile is an even better place to begin.

Read your patterns instructions and gather all your supplies.

Instructions:

  1. Measure yourself and determine which size of your chosen pattern you are going to use.
  2. Prepare your coat pattern pieces and cut them out with paper scissors.
  3. Lay out your quilt, pin down the pattern pieces, and cut out all pieces for your coat using your fabric scissors. Refer to the cutting layout of your pattern to ensure you have it right before you cut!
  4. Follow the coat patterns sewing instructions.
  5. When the pattern states to finish or serge the seam you will be using bias tape to finish the edges.
  6. For the inside seams: Sew the bias to one edge of the seam, fold over. Grade ¼” (cut down) the other seam and then pull over the edge with the bias to one side and sew down.

7. Follow the pattern instructions to bind the edges of the coat.

8. Lucky last part: Attach your sew in snaps to the front.

9. Do a happy dance and enjoy your new coat!

Tips and Tricks to make a quilted coat

Pro Tip 1:

The top design of a quilt can come just by itself (commonly called a quilt top). They’re usually cheaper since they weren’t made into a formal quilt. The one used on this project was such a case. To get it ready to turn into a coat the steps are simple, the “fabric sandwich.” To complete this you will need to buy backing fabric and batting. Once you have those on hand you create the layer sandwich: Quilt top on top, batting in the middle and the backing fabric on bottom. Once that’s together secure with safety pins throughout to keep the layers from moving. Using a walking foot and quilting thread, you’re then ready to quilt the pieces together. Best part: the design is entirely up to you so the sky’s the limit.

Pro Tip 2:

Reversible coats are not only super functional but so fun! Bias tape is your best friend here. Finish one edge with bias tape and fold over the edge. Grade ¼” (cut down) the other edge of the seam and then pull over the edge with the bias tape and sew down. Presto reversible! Just be mindful of your pocket placement and snaps if you decide to do this!

Pro Tip 3:

Hand sewing can seem never ending but it’s made a lot easier and faster with beeswax. This helps strengthen and stabilize the thread and prevent tangling and shedding. A great investment for the long run with any hand sewing.

Pro Tip 4:

Try on your coat before you add your snaps/buttons. The placement of these on patterns are recommendations but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will suit your body. Try it on and mark where you want your snaps for the best fit.

Thank you, Romy for your expertise. I hope you all have a good experience making your quilted coat! Please show us the results with #LarsMakes! 

This post is sponsored by Fiskars. Thank you to our brands who allow us to make beautiful, original content for you! 

(Fall)ing in Love With Quilt Coats

I don’t know about you, but I could use some extra padding for this year! It doesn’t hurt that quilt coats are warm and cozy, too, which we all need as we head into a much colder season.

Keep reading to see my favorite quilted coats available now. I think you’ll be surprised how this trend can find a place in any wardrobe, trust me 😉

And don’t forget to check out some of the most iconic quilters around, the Gee’s Bend Quilt Group. You can read more about these artists here.

Some of my favorite quilt coats

Quilt jackets are not required to look frumpy or inspired by your grandma’s bedroom, don’t you worry. Even high fashion brands are embracing this current trend because nothing is quite as timeless as an actual nod to the good old days, spun in a modern new way. My original fan girl post about quilted coats back in 2016 was inspired by more minimal looks. Whether you want ultimate fall vibes – imagine being able to literally bring your favorite cozy quilt with you everywhere you go – or a more minimal take on the quilted jacket, explore the links below. Or test out the perfect way to dip your toes in the water of this trend, quilted face masks! Are you kidding me?! We are constantly on the hunt for cute face masks and these quilted ones might be my favorite yet.

All I am saying is, cue the apple cider and the pumpkin patch photoshoots, my quilt coat and I are ready for you!

 

Quilted jacket brands to have on your radar

Sea

One of my favorite parts of the quilt coat trend is that these coats look like…well, a quilt your grandma made and lovingly put on your bed. Instead of the classic white background, I love how they made the pattern and colors pop on this dark fabric instead. And don’t limit yourself to just quilt coats – Sea provides this bold pattern in multiple shapes and looks! 

And I don’t just love Sea for their quilted clothing, you have to check out their peter pan collars and dip-dyed ombre skirts too.

Farewell Frances

I first highlighted this brand in our post all about cute face masks. Guess what?! They also do coats! (For adults AND kids.) Send in your own quilt for them to “coat-ify,” or choose from their lovely selection. Doesn’t it just make you want to sip some lemonade out on the prairie?

Farm Down the Lane

The name of this Etsy shop tells you all you need to know about the adorable quilted items she sells.

Natalie Ebaugh 

Natalie’s sense of color and the way she mixes patterns in her quilted coats is truly inspirational. If you want to feel like you’re wearing a work of art, check out her shop.

Stitched and Found

The bright colors and designs of these quilts remind us of Alma Thomas, one of the artists in our Great Artists! Course.

3WomenCo

Though a little different than quilted coats, this brand uses vintage textiles to make sustainable clothing. I never would’ve thought a flour sack could look this good!

Stag Provisions

These quilted jeans are an example of visible mending, a beautiful way to re-purpose old clothing you might have otherwise thrown out. 

Psychic Outlaw

My favorite part of this shop is all the amazing quilts customers send in, which the company then turns into plush coats. Check out their Instagram to see all the past quilt coats they’ve made. They also make dresses out of vintage bandanas!

Haptics Lab

These coats sell out fast, and I can see why! They sell quilt quilt jackets for kids, too, plus patterns if you’re in the mood to DIY your own coat. 

Carleen

This brand carries the perfect blend of classic quilt jackets with zero frump.

More unique quilted items I am obsessed with

Want to start quilting?

I don’t know about you but all this talk about quilt jackets is making me want to try it out myself? It’s reminding me of a couple quilt inspired projects from Lars days past (see below!)

To get started quilting, our posts about hobbies to try when you are feeling uninspired includes sewing supplies and some great books about quilting!

Moodboard image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

In The Mood For: Iris Apfel

We are such big fans of Iris we have this print of her by Rosie Harbottle in our shop! Rosie is a UK based illustrator with a passion for travel and culture, has a knack for prints and textiles, which made her the perfect person to illustrate Iris Apfel. Last June, we read Accidental Icon, a collection of Iris’ musings, for our book club! If you are new to the eclectic and patterned-filled world that is Iris Apfel’s, we recommend starting with this post about her here, and grabbing your own copy of Accidental Icon! It’s a very entertaining read, packed full of photos that will make you want to avoid anything that is a bore and live like Iris does!

Decorate like Iris

“I am inspired by everything around me…I’m just inspired by being alive and breathing and meeting people and talking to people and doing things and absorbing what’s happening. I think if more people did that, there would be better fashion. “

Iris Apfel is iconic for her fashion sense, but her taste spills over to her interior design in abundance. With references to 18th century France and Italy, vintage monkey sculptures everywhere you look, hand-painted chinoiserie patterns, and bold prints that somehow just work, Iris Apfel’s homes are strong evidence that self-expression is the way to go!

 

Dress like Iris

“You have to look in the mirror and see yourself. If it feels good, then I know it’s for me. I don’t dress to be stared at, I dress for myself.”

Below you will find chunky acetate chain necklaces (an absolute Iris staple) paired with patterned blazers, hot pink head wraps, and thrifted finds but with a wink in Gucci’s direction. If anything we just said feels overwhelming, don’t worry, take a note from Iris’ playbook and start wherever feels right. But trust us, you’ll be surprised how good an eyebrow-raising day of fashion can feel.

 

“There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self expression and, above all, attitude.”

Photo Sources 1 | 2 | 3

DIY Tie Dye Bandana for The Fourth of July

What your tie dye bandana says about you

While current events can impose a sense of despair, making something tangible helps me feel better. And by making this Fourth of July themed tie dye bandana, I found a way I could remember and honor the American ideological roots of independence, freedom, liberty, equality, which I still believe in and have hope in.

Part of the fun with making something yourself is that because you choose each element of the project, you can put own emotion and meaning into things. Something as simple as a piece of tie dye can be a powerful tool. 

Making a craft with my own two hands is grounding, and it helps me remember that I can be independent and make my own choices. Using the red, white, and blue tri-color combo has its own importance too. It has been a symbol of liberty since the 16th century! No matter your country of origin, those are ideals resonate deep. 

DIY Bleach Tie Dye Bandana

Supplies:

 

Steps:

To mix the dye, mix hot water a tiny bit of dish soap and a couple teaspoons of salt. Add add your dye color. Test color with a paper towel to make sure you have your desired shade.

Put the bananas under cold water.

For the twisted look (1), wrap the bandana around a pole (we used a broomstick) and then wrap twine around it then scrunch the bandana together. The more scrunched it is the less dye will show through.

For the square look (2), accordion fold the bandana one one and then the other way, alternating directions. Place two pieces of plastic or wood blocks on each side and add rubber bands to keep it in place.  The more rubber bands you use the the less the dye will show through.

For the circle look (3), Accordion fold in one direction and add rubber bands on alternating sides

For the scrunched look (4), scrunch it up and add rubber bands! Super simple.

Leave them wrapped with rubber-bands few hours for the dye to set. Then rinse and wash. Enjoy your new tie dye bandana!

You can also use dark colored bandanas and bleach instead of dye to achieve a similar look!

10 ways to wear a bandana

We love things that feel homemade and whimsical with a touch of vintage-flair. It should come as no surprise to you that we love tie dyed bandanas! In case all you can picture when you hear the word “bandana” is a cowboy, I’ll brainstorm some cute styling ideas for ya.

As a headband

Lay out the bandana flat and fold in two opposite corners to the center. Then choose one side you’ve just folded, and continue to fold in 2-inch wide segments until you get to  the other side. Bring the two pointy ends together in a knot around your head with the knot on top of your head or hidden under your hair. 

10 ways to wear your tie dye bandana

Pony Up

Tie your hair up into a ponytail first, then tie the bandana around your ponytail holder. If you like a more relaxed, romantic pony, use the bandana as the hair tie and let some pieces of hair fall out of the tie dye bandana. Tres chic!

10 ways to wear your tie dye bandana

PanAm Stewardess Style

This one is swoon-worthy. I love the vintage flight attendant uniforms, and the neckerchief is what really makes it for me. Using a tie dye bandana as the scarf makes the whole look more casual and wearable. Fold the scarf into a long strip (like you would for a headband) and tie it around your neck loose or taught. Let the tails hang out and you’ll have mastered the “I tried, but not too hard” look. 

10 ways to wear your tie dye bandana

Bag accessory

I love to tie a scarf onto the base of a purse strap. It’s an easy way to accessorize without putting on anything extra! If your outfit for going to the grocery store feels a little bleak, knot your bandana onto your bag for an instant color-infusion. 

Dutch Milkmaid style

This is currently the trendiest way to wear your bandana. Fold it in half into a triangle and tie it at the base of your neck under all of your hair.

10 ways to wear your tie dye bandana

Cowgirl Face Mask

This method is becoming super trendy right now as it is a DIY face mask that requires no sewing!! (I just heard a crowd of people in my mind, cheering). Since Western wear is trending again, feel free to go full-cowgirl and tie it around your face in the classic style. 

10 ways to wear your tie dye bandana

Surgical-style Face Mask

If you want to put in a bit more effort (still no sewing), try this method!

Lay out your square, freshly tie dyed bandana flat. Fold in the top and bottom edges till they meet in the center. Next, Flip the cloth over so the opening is in the back. Repeat the same fold again, bringing the top and bottom edges into the center. Flip the fabric over again. Place loose hair ties or ribbons on the left and right sides of the fabric, segmenting it into thirds. Fold both side towards the center with the fold at about where the hair tie is. Fold the left side at the hair tie towards the center and tuck the left end into the opening on the right end to secure it. Place the elastics over your ears with the folded-in side on your face. The layers act as a filter, and the folds make it super easy to wear while talking, etc. 

Scout Style

Lay out the bandana flat and fold in two opposite corners to the center. Tie the bandana around your neck with the point in the back.

10 ways to wear your tie dye bandana

Around a belt loop

If your outfit could use a little more style, add a bandana around your pant belt loop! It immediately levels up a classic tee and jeans. 

10 ways to wear your tie dye bandana

Full head wrap

Be bold enough to wear your bandana in this fun style. And a pro tip: it nicely covers up your unwashed social distancing hair 😉 

10 ways to wear your tie dye bandana

*** Tips: press the folds at each stage and use a stiffer fabric for stability. Adjust the thickness of the wrap/folds to facilitate ease.  

Other tie dye things we love!

 

Going Green: Using green in decor

Green Style

Find your shade! Are you a chartreuse kind of gal, or a deep emerald? Minty fresh or bright as a lime? This post is filled with every shade of green you can imagine, and we know you can find the shade that matches your personality best!

 

Maybe you don’t normally go all out on St. Patrick’s Day the way we like to here at Lars (we’ll take any and all reasons to celebrate!) Even so, we are handing you the perfect excuse to splurge a little and treat yourself! Is your closet already 50 shades of green? If it isn’t, you’ll be surprised how much adding in this fun color puts a spring in your step! Freshen your closet with these mint woven sandals. Grow your confidence with this forest green blouse. Embrace Grace Kelly vibes with this kelly green sweater. Step into the lime-light with this beaded clutch. This puff-sleeve sweater will have you sea-foaming at the mouth?? Too far? Oops!

 

Green in Decor

Let us give you some sage advice, this dining set is the perfect soft pop of color without taking over your kitchen. We promise, your old room decor will be green with envy. (Ok ok! We are done with the puns this time!)

 

Room Inspo

How to recreate some of our favorite rooms, using green as your inspiration color.

Room #1

 

Image Source

Room #2

 

Image Source

Room #3

 

Image Source

Room #4

 

Image Source

Room #5

 

Image Source

You can find all the mood board photos on our Pinterest, here!

To cut or not to cut: Quilted Coats

In an effort to understand both sides more fully, I proposed the question to our Instagram community this past weekend and you guys certainly had your opinions (you can read all about it here), which has definitely helped inform my own thoughts so thank you!

Now, a few prefaces. I have a pretty good knack for seeing both sides to most issues and this is no exception. Hopefully I can bring both sides fairly to light. Additionally, some might be surprised that this is even an issue as I was at first. But, I’ve come to learn that the quilting community is passionate and loyal so I understand where most of them are coming from.

Should you cut up quilts to make a coat

With all that said, the comment I’m directly responding to is one from our How to Make a Quilted Coat post:

“Great tutorial–for demolishing an heirloom work of art. I’m ashamed of you and all the other “entrepreneurs” who ravish our quilt heritage.”

Some pretty strong language, and there were others in the Instagram posts with similar thoughts. So, let’s get to it!

My love affair with quilts

I first fell in love with the notion of quilted coats when I spotted this coat on Pinterest years ago (I don’t know the source but would love to know if anyone knows!):

Isn’t it exquisite? I love everything about it! The pattern, the colors, the scarf, the feeling. It’s cozy with its nod to quilt, but in a fashion way. I searched for ages for something similar to no avail, because they weren’t in style quite yet. I even contemplated making one myself, but it would have been a steep learning curve and a time commitment that I didn’t want to make. I looked into having someone make one for me or finding one similar from Etsy or eBay. I even found a company who makes quilts (don’t remember the name) from your own fabric. Ultimately, it was turning into a much bigger time suck to making it happen than I wanted to commit.

The trendy coat quilt

Finally, Gorman came out with a patchwork quilted coat a few years ago that mimicked the vibe I was going for, but they had made a design and printed it onto fabric. I don’t have a picture of me wearing it but I found this lovely lady here in the exact coat. I still have it and wear it ALL the time. In fact, they came out with a subsequent style and I bought that too and wear it ALL the time as well. In fact, they’ve been my pregnancy coats both times.

You can imagine when I started seeing makers and small companies coming out with quilt coats I went GA GA. FINALLY! Now, they weren’t necessarily marked at a price point that I wanted to commit to, though I understand why it is set that way. You can read about some of my favorites here (and I think there’s more by now!).

DIY Quilted Coat

We connected with one of our favorite clients (thank you Fiskars!) who come on board and I knew it was time to show people how to make a quilt coat of their own by someone who actually knew how to sew, Romy-Krystal Cutler of Sew Like. To me, it was important that we did it correctly by hiring someone who knows what they were doing versus us buying such a beautiful quilt and wreaking havoc on it. And she did a tremendously beautiful job!

My relationship to history

As I mentioned in the Instagram post, I studied art history and almost went into historic preservation. I have a deep love of old things and history. I even worked for an architect who worked with National Geographic whose mission was to preserve culture. With that in mind, part of the way that we celebrate art movements and culture is by bringing them to light and being inspired by them through our work. It’s a great talking point and remembrance of eras that might have been forgotten. Taking something that is old and making it modern is one of my favorite ways to keep history alive. And that’s how I feel about repurposing quilts into fashion.

Real Talk

Real talk, how many of us display our grandmother’s quilts? Or are they tucked away in a cupboard somewhere? How many of us plan on displaying them at some point? Or are they an heirloom that gets passed down from one cupboard to another? While this is a fine way to preserve an heirloom, I find that keeping it visible is an active way to celebrate our heritage. I’ve always loved the artful combined with the practical so turning the quilt into something that will be used is my ideal method of celebration and preservation.

Quilted coat
Photo by HoneyBea Design Hive

You wouldn’t believe the comments I get when I wear this coat out (I mean, it’s quite limited as I don’t get out much right now). “Did you make that?” or “is that your grandmother’s?”. The questions create such beautiful conversation starters and I find that I encounter kindred spirits wherever I go. In my opinion, much better than storing it in a keepsake box that I open infrequently.

Arts vs. Crafts

In graduate school, I took a class at the Smithsonian on crafts vs. arts. Are crafts considered art? Ultimately, I learned, it depends on who you are talking to. I believe that is the case here. In this case, are quilts art? Not all, I would say. Certainly, some are. I think you could talk with any quilt maker and they would tell you that not all of their work would be considered art. There are probably some quilt makers who don’t consider their work art at all.

Our regional art museum, Springville Museum of Art, has an annual quilt show that is well attended and looked forward to. You wouldn’t believe the amazing quilts that are shown. They’re incredible. And while I would consider some art, you might talk with some fine artists who wouldn’t. It all depends on who you talk to.

What’s the intent?

quilted coat
Photo by Psychic Outlaw

It’s the same with anything else old. In the practice of historic preservation for houses the argument is always–is this house/building worth preserving? Oftentimes it comes down to intent, design, and materials. Not all were intended to last. Especially those made with poor quality materials or tools.

Fashion as art

So, if quilts indeed are considered art, what about fashion? Certainly, some fashion is art. Look at haute couture. It can be breathtaking. On the other hand, I wouldn’t say my COVID/postpartum look is art. AT ALL. But quilts AS fashion? Again, it ALL depends! I would like to say that sometimes I treat my fashion choices as art–I love mixing colors and patterns and expressing myself in that way. Hence, when I see quilts as an art form AND fashion as an art form, the two together are magic.

Fast Fashion vs. Slow Fashion

One argument I saw a few times over was calling out fast fashion for being part of the problem. Is it? I kind of suspect it’s not as it would take A LOT of work for fast fashion companies to 1) gather all the quilts and 2) design to each unique quilt. It would require a new pattern each time and that’s not a good use of their time. It would be much more efficient to create their own fabric. The textile industry is one of the most harmful to the environment (I’ve heard is the second most polluting industry) so creating fabrics is not optimal. I’m going to venture to say, and this is just a guess, that it’s small companies who see the the repurposing of quilts as an art form and have a reverence for them. They probably wouldn’t spend their time scouring markets for quilts if they didn’t love them.

What to do with the scraps?

I saved onto the quilt pieces that from the coat I had made and we recently repurposed them into a sleeping mask and I’ll be making a face mask soon. There are so many things to make with fabric scraps and we’ll be sharing more of them soon.

Prices go up and resources become scarce

Now, of course it’s a bummer that when I go and look for quilts on eBay that the prices are much higher than they would have been just a year or so ago. These small companies are no doubt trying to get their hands on whatever they can. That doesn’t feel good, but perhaps we could also ask–who is selling these quilts? And why are they selling them?

Quilts as heirlooms

A lot of people mentioned quilts as family heirlooms. Much like the argument of whether quilting is an art form, I think it all depends on who made it and their intention. If a quilter makes hundreds of quilts in their life, is each one considered an heirloom? Is it possible or necessary to treat each one with reverence? I’m going to guess that the quilter had ones that they preferred over others. It’s the nature of creating.

I have a friend who quilts as a hobby. She literally has hundreds of quilts that she’s given away and my son was the lucky recipient of one of those. He received it as a baby gift when he was born. I will keep it forever because she is a dear friend. Perhaps he will give it to his child one day. And now that I think of it, it would be quite cool to turn it into a kid’s jacket so that he would be cozy in the winter. In this instance, it’s a matter of if I want to use it as a quilt for warmth in a bed or warmth against the elements. To me, both are important and show reverence.

When it goes out of trend

Sadly, we all know that when something becomes a trend it will eventually become untrendy. It’s the nature of the beast. I’m sure some people will want to get rid of their quilted coats and when they do, please offer it to me first! I will take each one! And you know what, there are other people who will love them and the cycle will continue. That’s assuming that we all sell or donate our used goods.

Quilts that are imperfect

Many people also mentioned that the quilts that they use for cutting up are ones that had deteriorated in some form. How wonderful that instead of going to a landfill, the quilt could have a second life.

Photo by Carleen

On that note, think of how fabric is first created and intended. It’s designed to be cut up in one way or another. Is the designer of that fabric sad about that? I doubt it because they know the outcome. Perhaps we just need to get more comfortable with the idea that repurposing can be a good thing? Just a thought.

History of the Quilt

One of my favorite arguments on the Instagram thread was bringing to light the history of the quilt. Quilts came to be when scraps were left over from making clothes and turned into a useful blanket. A ha! It all comes full circle. Clearly, I wouldn’t turn every quilt into a piece of clothing.

What have I learned in contemplating both sides of the story? Well, 1) there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t agree with you and you know what? We have to be fine with that (unless it’s harmful!). Hopefully, we can express ourselves without feeling the need to tear each other down. I feel like if we’ve learned anything in the past year it’s that we need to do better at communicating with respect.

I absolutely CHERISH the quilt coat that Romy made me. I have worn it nearly every day since I received it. It’s beautiful and cozy and perfect. Quilts have a such an amazing ability to communicate exuberance and joy all while telling a story. And if they are used on the bed or the body, I feel like we should make the decision thoughtfully.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave me a comment!

If you liked this, you might be interested in

Quilted Coats we love
The NY Times article about quilted coats

When Life Hands You Lemons care package and tablescape with Spoonflower

My favorite Mother’s Day inspired Spoonflower patterns

I spent a good amount of time going through the Spoonflower Marketplace, which is thousands and thousands of independent artists and great designs. Yes, it took awhile, but I came upon some really beautiful options and had a hard time narrowing it down. I saved my favorites in this collection on their site.

Which ones are your favorites???

There are a lot of good ones, right?! I was going for a springy, floraly vibe that also felt refined and could be used throughout the year. Here were some alternative options I was eyeing:

Citrus fabric tablecloth with Spoonflower

Ultimately, I ended up going for this Multi Citrus Grove Toile by Danika Herrick. It has the right touch of deGournay with its chinoiserie feel. Plus, I always love some good citrus–it makes everything feel instantly refreshing.blue and orange table ideaCustom Home Decor Options

Perhaps you remember when I redid my bedroom in all Spoonflower? Right–so not only can you order fabric by the yard, but you can order things for your home to be made in the fabric of your choice and it’s all sewn right here in the United States. For my bedroom it was the wallpaper, duvet, pillow cases, curtains, and this time around I ordered a tablecloth for the Party-For-Mom that I will be throwing. I paired it with this Indian print inspired marigold print by Andrea Lauren because I loved the contrast of the yellow to the blue in the main selection and decided to use them for the cloth napkins.Indian block print napkins

Visualizing the process

What I find useful in their new home decor option is the ability to see them on a variety of products. You can do that by selecting Home Decor in the “Also available in” section to view all of the different home decor products and then it automatically shows you how it will look.

And the marigold:

Because of that, I was able to visualize what it would really be like. And it was going to be GOOD!

Pattern on pattern advice:

Pairing a pattern on pattern can be tricky, but there are a few ways to make sure it works:

  1. Identify the colors of the palette. The first pattern I worked with has a lot going on but I drew out the main colors: blue, yellow, orange, and green.
  2. Along the same lines, draw out the colors that you’d like to highlight more. If there’s a color in the fabric that you don’t necessarily love, don’t highlight it! On the flipside, if you like a color more than another, bring that color out more.
  3. The two fabrics should be of different scale. The first pattern has a very large scale so I knew I needed to go smaller on the second.blue and orange table idea

Citrus tablescape

To go with our Mother’s Day party, we created a centerpiece of citrus–grapefruit, lemons, and oranges, to sit atop the tablecloth. We matched with with some yellow plates, blue bowls, and goblets to tie it in with our beautiful fabric. Plus the pretty chargers that add some depth. And a dash of flowers to keep it fresh!

Mother’s Day Care Packages

Because we are keeping friends and family at arm’s length right now, we have been brainstorming DIY ideas of how to share uplifting moments with our loved ones near and far. We decided to make a tote from Spoonflower’s Linen Cotton Canvas –it’s the perfect thing to fill up with goodies and send along to someone who needed a dose of joy. A handpicked, handmade gift for someone you love can be the best surprise!oranges table idea

To match the amazing fabric, we made our gift bag lemon themed! You know, the classic, “When life gives you lemons”. With everything life is throwing at us lately, let’s just say we have been making A LOT of metaphorical lemonade. We filled our gift bag with lots of lemon themed hand soap, lotion, candles, and more. Everything our loved ones need to make this extra hand washing fun!

When Life Hands you Lemons Care Package

Additionally, I wanted to create a care package to send along to my mom as Mother’s Day approaches. Social distancing could have interrupted the celebration of such a special holiday, but instead it turned into something that lets us show our love for our mothers in a new way. After turning the beautiful fabric from Spoonflower into a tote (the tutorial is now available in the Lars shop!), I wanted to fill it with goodies that were fun and practical. So, candy was a must (der!), as well as hand sanitizer and other necessities. Paul and Jasper joined in as well to create a tote-turned-gift-basket for Paul’s mom too to send to her in Denmark.

Follow these simple steps to make your own gift tote bag:

DIY Tote bag

(inspired by the famous Baggu tote!))

Materials:

Instructions:

Step 1: Print off our tote bag template found here

Step 2: Cut your bag pieces out of the fabric using the pattern, making sure to note which part of the fabric you want to highlight on your bag and which direction it will face when complete

Step 3: Starting with the main bag piece — face right sides together

Step 4: Sew the sides with a single stitch (and finish off the edges with a zag zag stitch if desired)

Step 5: Pull the edges of the notched part of the cut fabric, on the bottom of the bag, together to form the flat bottom of the bag. Sew a single stitch straight across these edges you have pulled together

Step 6: Turn your main bag piece right side out to prep for future steps. Now to move on to the handle straps!

Step 7: Take one of the cut handle strap pieces and fold the long edges in a quarter of an inch. Use your fingernail to crease the canvas fabric fold well.

Step 8: Once both long sides are creased, fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet

Step 9: Pin and sew a single stitch down both long sides of the strap. This will flatten the strap and make both edges look the same.

Step 10: Repeat steps 7-9 for the second handle strap. Next for the shoulder strap!

Step 11: Repeat steps 7-9 for the shoulder strap — to repeat, crease in the long sides a quarter of an inch, then fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet. Sew a single stitch down both long edges of the shoulder strap.

Step 12: Now you will attach all straps to the main bag piece — to do this, make sure your bag piece turned right side out

Step 13: Position the handle straps in the center on the bag opening, on either side, facing down towards the bottom of the bag with the short edges aligned with the top opening edge of the bag. Pin them in place and sew them on.

Step 14: Attach an end of the shoulder strap piece to both edges of the bag, with the strap facing down just like you did with the handle straps, and sew them in place.

Step 15: All straps should now be sewn on the outside of the bag, facing downwards, so they when folded up inside the bag to face up the seam will not show. You are almost done!

Step 16: Take your facing pieces, on both pieces, crease one long edge in a quarter of an inch.

Step 17:  Face both pieces right side together and sew both short edges

Step 18: Place the sewn facing pieces around the opening of the bag, over the edge of all the straps. Make sure the creased edge is facing down and the un-creased edge is aligned with the top opening edge of the bag.

Step 19: Sew a single stitch around the top opening edge of the bag, attached the facing pieces to the bag

Step 20: Turn the facing piece to the inside of the bag, making the straps fold upwards and the seams will all be hidden inside

Step 21: Turn the bag back inside out for the final step – Sew around the bottom creased edge of the facing pieces to keep that inside edge from fraying.

Step 22: Your bag is finished! Turn it back right side out to admire your work!

Send a Mother’s Day care package

What a wonderful way to send love when you can’t visit in person! Plus, who doesn’t love surprise presents in the mail? We think that, in lieu of a visit, sending gifts for Mother’s Day can be the next best thing! orange and yellow tableorange tablescape

Mother's Day table ideaDIY Baggu bag templatehow to sew a baggu toteWe’d love to see your Mother’s Day party-for-ones or care packages. Tag us with #LarsLovesMamas so we can see them! 

Discount for Lars readers

Lars readers can get 15% off with code LARSTABLE15 for all Table Linens and Tea Towels.

This post is sponsored by Spoonflower, who we love for their many home decor and fabric options. We love working with sponsors who allow us to create awesome new content for you!

DIY Statement Headbands Inspired by Amanda Gorman

Statement headbands have been trending over the past few years and they are here to stay for 2021, thanks to Amanda Gorman! We’ve seen a resurgence of headband designs made with velvet and satin, embellished with pearls, rhinestones, and beads. They almost resemble Renaissance and medieval headwear that adorned the hair like a tangible halo glow. On Inauguration Day, Amanda Gorman glowed as she read her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” and her red headband simply accentuated her shine. Gorman’s “fiery red” headband by Prada quickly sold out since her speech, so we wanted to recreate the look by making our own headbands.

How to Make Your Own Statement Headbands

Supplies:

Plain 1.5 inch wide headbands (without teeth), 1/4 yard upholstery foam (½ inch thick), a permanent marker, scissors, a glue gun and glue, 1/3 yard fabric, a satin ribbon to finish.

Amanda Gorman headband DIY

Puffy Amanda Gorman Headband:

  1. With your permanent marker, trace the outline of your headband onto the foam. Cut it out outside the lines, giving about half an inch of ease on each end (as the foam bends it scrunches up a bit and loses some length). If you want your headband to be extra tall, cut two foam shapes.
  2. Making sure the foam and the headband are centered, glue the foam to the top of the headband. It’s easiest to keep it centered  if you start with the two ends, then glue the top and sides.
  3. If you are making yours extra tall, glue another layer of foam on top 
  4. Trim the foam to create a smooth silhouette. It’s especially helpful to trim down the foam by the ends of the headband so that it tapers. Take your time on this step.
  5. Cut an oval of fabric 24 inches long and six inches wide. 
  6. Center the headband on the fabric and wrap the fabric up and over the foam. Glue the fabric to the underside of the headband. Repeat on the other side. It’s best if you keep the glue on the center of the underside of the headband so that it can be covered with the ribbon later. If you have excess fabric, trim it off. 
  7. Work your way around the headband, smoothing out big wrinkles along the way. 
  8. Trim the excess fabric from the end of the headband, leaving about an inch. Fold it under the bottom and secure with glue. 
  9. To finish your headband, cut a length of ribbon long enough to run the entirety of the inside of the headband with about an inch to spare. Glue the ribbon to the underside of the headband, covering any raw edges. Fold the end of the ribbon under to create a clean edge and secure with glue. Where the headband tapers fold both sides of the ribbon under so that the ribbon doesn’t extend beyond the sides of the headband. Glue down and repeat on the other side. 

Amanda Gorman headband DIY

Braided Headband:

  1. Cover the headband in fabric. To do this, cut a three inch wide strip of fabric just longer than the headband is. Center the headband on the fabric and glue it down so that it covers the top, and fold the ends under the headband. Secure with hot glue and press down to avoid pesky bumps. Trim away excess fabric. 
  2. Cut three four-inch-wide strips of fabric and fold them over so that they form a hollow tube. Dot hot glue along the side of each and secure the fabric tubes. 
  3. Stack the three tubes and glue them together. Loosely braid the three strands together, taking care to keep the glued seam down. It can help to tape the strands to a table here. Secure the end of the braid with hot glue so that it doesn’t unravel.
  4. Starting in the middle of the braid, attach it to the top of the headband, with a dot of hot glue. Plump up the braid as desired and glue the braid down across the length of the headband. We pulled the braid a little bit tighter at the ends so that it would have more dimension at the top and taper at the sides. Trim any excess braid where the headband stops and add a dot of hot glue to the strands to keep them from unraveling.
  5. To finish your headband, cut a length of ribbon long enough to run the entirety of the inside of the headband with a few inches to spare. Glue the ribbon to the underside of the headband, covering any raw edges. Starting on one side, trim the ribbon so it extends just beyond the end of the headband and fold it up over the bottom. Secure it with glue. Cut a three inch piece of ribbon and glue it to the inside bottom of the headband. Fold and glue the end of the ribbon to create a clean edge, and wrap it around the base. Secure with glue and repeat on the other side. 

Knotted headband:

  1. Cover the headband in fabric. To do this, cut a three inch wide strip of fabric just longer than the headband is. Center the headband on the fabric and glue it down so that it covers the top, and fold the ends under the headband. Secure with hot glue and press down to avoid pesky bumps. Trim away excess fabric. Cut the fabric so that it ends right where the headband ends.
  2. Cover the raw edges of the fabric with a strip of ribbon. Cut a length of ribbon long enough to run the entirety of the length of the headband and glue it down, covering any raw edges. Don’t worry about the ends of the headband; we will finish those later. 
  3. Cut a strip of fabric six inches wide and about 30 inches long. Fold it over so that it forms a hollow tube. Dot hot glue along the side and secure the fabric tube. 
  4. Tie a loose knot in the center of the fabric tube. Make sure that the seam side isn’t up in the knot or on the top of the strips coming off the knot on either side. 
  5. With a dot of hot glue, secure the knot. Use another dot of glue to adhere the knot to the top of the headband. 
  6. With the seams down, glue the strips of fabric to the headband. Fold up the ends and fold in the sides, and wrap these around the bottom of the headband. Secure with hot glue.

As Amanda Gorman stated within the last lines of “The Hill We Climb,” may we be brave enough to be the light, in our country and our world.

We want to see how your style your Amanda Gorman headband! Tag us on instagram so we can see your iconic looks. 

Amanda Gorman headband DIY

In the Mood for: Little Women

Which Little Women character are you?

Little Women was on our list of 50 creative and inspiring movies, and we’ve compiled some style inspiration for you based on the March sisters. Find your style picks below!

Meg

Meg March, the perfect example of fashion on a budget. With the right eye, you can fill your closet with classy pieces without breaking the bank! Below you will find our balance between comfort, price point, and glam:

And we can’t forget, Meg is also a supermom! Her love for children will always come before her love for fashion and luxury. Accessories like this pearl headband instantly glam up an outfit, while staying right out of the reach of a little Boo’s reach. Even in the middle of all your many mom duties, don’t forget to set aside time for romance! Put on this dainty statement necklace and hit the town with your true love! Take a note from Meg’s diary, little details like pom pom shoes and puff sleeves will take your wardrobe to the next level this year.

Jo

Jo, fiery, ambitious, and forever on the go. Below you will find items for the Modern Jo March:

If you are the tomboyish and passionate kindred spirit to Jo, we have curated this list with you in mind! Nothing can get in your way, you are sure to trade heels for sneakers, so we included our favorite pair in just the color scheme for you. For you and Jo, accessories are an after thought, but you don’t have to sacrifice sensibility for fashion – these geometric earrings will catch eyes at interviews and elevate your style with ease. We imagine Jo’s favorite current print trend would be leopard print, so this print necktie is just the touch. Of course you will need a good writing desk and a pencil case (you never know when the right story will hit you!) Even if these items seem a little girly, like this floral purse, don’t be fooled – this is all about function (maybe with some style tips taken from Meg.)

Beth

Oh Beth, the sweet and soft sister we could all learn to be more like. Beth’s list is all about comfort. If you’re a homebody, we have you covered:

This knit sweater has such a lovely bit of lace even the most selfless of us are tempted to slurge. Even in the middle of all your giving, don’t forget to take care of yourself! Have some fun this this cute sloth phone case, or these velvet hair bows! Your home is your sanctuary, so dress it up right in this subtle floral wallpaper. (We imagine Beth’s favorite current print trend would be florals.) Make memories with all your loved ones with this pastel polaroid camera!

Amy

For the bold artist in all of us, Amy’s list is full of color, shapes, and fun! We know even everyday items like hand soap and staplers can be masterpieces, as you’ll see below:

Refined, artsy, and stylish – our vision for Amy’s interior design style. We imagine Amy’s favorite current print trend would be abstract shapes, and are dying over this paint stroke light shade. For you Amy March Soul Sisters, we found this amazing purple chore coat (imagine your paint brushes in those pockets! Ah!) and these painted vases. Whether you have been to France yet or not, want to carry around this phone case everywhere you go? We say oui! You are art, dress like it with this floral sweater.

Which modern March Sister’s style are you drawn to the most? We would love to hear in the comments below!

If you loved this Little Women inspiration, check out more of our “in the mood for” style inspiration here. And if you love the book, check out our Little Women book club from January.

2020 Trend Alert: Embroidered Everything

The feel-good factor is just as important as a principle of design because when it is present, people notice. Embroidered work feels personal and intimate, tying the owner to the piece. It also carries with it emotion that otherwise would be lost in a different medium. Would Katherine Kelly care so much about that hanky if it was screenprinted? Not a chance! That hanky reminded her of her mother and represented a central theme of the movie – that old things, however quaint, could be replaced by modernity. 

Luckily enough for us, people love embroidery way too much to let it slip away into memory. We are some of those people!! Care to check? Search our website for the word “embroidery” – I did and counted the results until I got to sixty and decided that was enough. We have written about embroidery in sixty different blog posts. If you are a newbie to fabric arts, check out our results for some inspiration and even a tutorial on basic stitches.

embroidered fashion trend 2020

If you, like us, are fully on the embroidery train, don’t wait for someone to give you a hanky! With some help from the Lars team, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite embroidered items for purchase that we have compiled below. Feel free to peruse, and if you dare, shop!!! If you’d rather make your own embroidered item, go for it! From simple stitches to complex masterpieces, embroidery shines on everything.

Embroidered Fashion

 

Accessories

 

Embroidered home decor

 

All mood board photo sources can be found here on our Pinterest!

DIY Sleeping Mask and The Comfiest PJs

You all know that, up until recently, my Lars uniform was a puffy, flowy dress in any color or pattern I could find. I lived in dresses! In any weather or circumstance, I would never fail to don a dress. However, since welcoming Felix into the world and moving the Lars office into my home – I must admit, I have found a new uniform of choice. LOUNGEWEAR. Who knew I would ever become a loungewear gal?! NOT ME! Ha! 

In fact, this new obsession of mine has taken over my wardrobe so completely that most days I find myself sliding into full-on pajama territory. I basically wear the same thing night to day…and then night again. But honestly, I’m not even mad about it. The latest addition to my PJ drawer is this set from the Sleepy Jones + Purple collaboration. When my favorite sleepwear brand and mattress company put their minds together to create a new pair of PJs, you just know they will be the most comfortable item in your closet. 

How to Complete The Ultimate Cozy Look

My favorite part of these new Sleepy Jones + Purple Pajamas? THE STRETCH. I could go on and on about the stretch. Especially when my time is currently spent feeding Felix and working at the same time (somehow?!). I feel stretched thin, so of course I need my loungewear to feel stretchy too. They truly provide the all day comfort I have been longing for. 

I do need to tell you now though, ordering your own pair of Purple PJs is a fluffy, soft, and slippery slope that will inevitably lead to a full Purple bedtime set up. And that is where I find myself now, wearing my new pajamas, surrounded by new Purple SoftStretch Sheets, and Harmony Pillow. But can you blame me? “Stretch” and “harmony” are suddenly my two favorite words, especially to describe my sleeping situation. 

To complete my night time routine, I decided to add a DIY Sleeping Mask to match my new stretchy goodness made from a quilt (remember our quilted coat tutorial?!)! I am already dreaming of the endless good nights of rest I’ll be getting now and perhaps you might benefit from it as well!

DIY Quilted Sleeping Mask

Items made from quilts (like the now popular quilted coat) is the new black and so I had to try my hand at it. It helped that I had scraps leftover from when Romy made mine. Turns out, it makes the coziest sleeping mask (and you better believe I’ll also be turning it into a face mask!)

Supplies:

Sleep mask template, Quilt/top fabric, .25 yard satin fabric, .25 yard cotton batting, 2 12 inch lengths of .25 inch wide elastic, thread, scissors, sewing pins, fabric pen/pencil

Instructions:

  1. Print and cut out your template. Make sure that your printer settings are set to print actual size.
  2. Trace your template onto your quilt or top fabric, your satin, and your cotton batting. Cut these out. 
  3. With the front of the satin facing up, place the satin on top of the batting and pin in place. Pin the two strips of elastic to the satin/batting layer with the ends lining up where the triangular markings on the template are. Make sure that the elastic isn’t twisting and that they don’t cross.  
  4. With the front facing down, pin the quilt piece to the satin/batting layer. You now have a sleep mask sandwich with batting on the bottom, then satin facing up, then elastic, then your quilt piece facing down. 
  5. Mark two places at the top of your mask about three inches apart where you will start and stop the stitching. You need to leave this space so that you can flip your mask inside out. 
  6. With a seam allowance of 3/8ths of an inch, sew around the outside of your mask.
  7. Grade this seam by cutting the batting layer closer to the seam. This makes it so that the outside of your mask doesn’t have such a bulky section around the perimeter.
  8. Flip your mask inside out from the space you measured out in step 5. Now the end is in sight! You should have satin in the back and your quilt facing forward, with elastic to hold it to your face. 
  9. Gently iron your mask with the satin side down. When you do this, fold the raw edges from the hole under so that they blend in with the rest of the perimeter. Pin in place.
  10. Topstitch around the outside of the mask. This is where you will close the hole you left to flip it inside out.
  11. Following the seams in your quilt, stitch in the ditch to quilt together your layers. Trim all your threads, snuggle up in bed, and start snoozing.

Get Cozy

Once your DIY sleeping mask is complete, pair it with your own Sleepy Jones + Purple PJs for ultimate coziness. 

This post was sponsored by Purple. Thank you for interacting with this content, your support helps us create even more project tutorials and artful resources for you and your family. Thank you!

Hint Hint Hubby: Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Husbands! Boyfriends! Significant others! We are talking to you. We assume your lady did her job and sent you over to our complete Valentine’s Day Gift Guide. Using this guide will allow you to surprise her AND find a gift you already know she will love! We have categorized our gift ideas to help you narrow down the search. What will make Valentine’s Day extra special this year for your true love?

For sentimental value

Heart jewelry is a natural direction to go when gift hunting for your Valentine. To make your gift long-lasting and unforgettable make sure to find jewelry she will love to wear all year long! These earrings and this necklace are simple and minimal, and she won’t want to take them off! Pair it with a fragrance you’ll both love and your upcoming date nights are sure to be extra special!

For the hostess

Does your wife love to host amazing parties? These gifts will know you took time to think of what she would love most. Bring a hint of romance to every party with this agate cheeseboard made of amethyst, February’s gemstone. Putting your flowers into a new amazing vase this year will instantly level up the gift.

For everyday

Sometimes the best gifts are the simple ones, that she can use every single day! Above you’ll find a floral thermos, a portable charger, a new passport cover (maybe to tell her about an upcoming trip, eh? 😉 and more – all in colors she will swoon over!

For the hopeless romantic

Flowers she can keep forever (they are dried!) romantic vases and perfumes that hint of Paris – the city of love. Make this Valentine’s Day feel like her favorite romantic movie with these gifts.

Surprise her! Unique and unexpected gifts

Your Valentine will never expect a fun gift like this heart-shaped waffle maker – Even better, use it to make her breakfast in bed! And bring her this monogrammed mug with her initial!

For a well-deserved spa day

Offer to watch the kids for a couple hours and let your wife try out all of these self-care items – like this luxurious waffle robe, or this silk pillowcase. Write a sweet love note in this bar of fancy soap. She’ll love you forever for it.

How to wrap your gift

When it comes to gift-giving, it’s really the details that make it special. Taking extra time and care your wrap your gift will pay off, we promise she will notice! Below you’ll find our special Valentine’s Day wrapping paper, and some of our favorite gift wrap items. Your lady will be thanking you before she has even opened her present!

Find our full Valentine’s Day wrapping paper collection here! And to include a fun valentine card with your gift, click here!

Phew, now that we’ve gone over the big stuff, time to get a card, head on over to our shop to pick one out! 

Good luck!