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Sew with Summer Tropical Flair

Short of a trip to Hawaii or any dreamy Caribbean island, adding the accent of tropical prints to your outdoor patio furniture or even to your kitchen décor can evoke the sense of a vacation in your own home. Add the elements of a tropical style to your décor and the hot July and August weather takes on both drama and fun. Experiment with tropical foliage prints, cooling white and blue fabric contrasts, and the bright reds, yellows, and oranges that evoke the lazy, hazy days of summer.

Define your outdoor entertainment area with privacy and ambiance by attaching clip-on curtain rings to gauzy fabric curtain panels and string on clothes line ropes. It may be that only two curtain sides are needed for privacy and a cabana-like feel. Sew a colorful fabric tablecloth and contrasting napkins for a decidedly different outdoor dining experience. Or simply drape a length of your favorite colorful summer fabric over a white tablecloth then add a few vibrant pillows for a quick dining area transformation.

Decorate your summer table with fabric flower pot covers. No-sew too! Measure and cut your summer print material (tropical and foliage fabric prints work well). Using super tacky craft glue, glue your cut fabric to your clay pot below the rim. Trim with raffia or wide rick-rack. The covered pot, or pots of various sizes, makes for an interesting table centerpiece when filled with greenery or add small stones to lift up inserted candles. The covered pots also make great flatware containers for a summer buffet table. Useful table accents doing double-duty are picnic weights. Easy to make from fabric scraps to weigh down paper napkins and tablecloth ends from those occasional summer gusty breezes. Similar to bean bag toys, or oversized handmade pattern weights, they can be made in whimsical 3-D triangle shapes filled with dry beans or rice to give them weight. Sew on some button eyes and black button thread for whiskers for charming animal fanciful shapes.

Sew an easy summer drawstring tote with just two brightly colored bandannas and contrasting or coordinating fabric for lining. With right sides together sew a 1/2” or 5/8” seam around three sides. Turn right-side out and press. Cut and sew lining fabric the same as the bandannas. Place the lining inside the bandannas so that the wrong side of the lining is to the wrong side of the bandannas. Turn under a one inch casing and stitch closed, leaving an opening to insert a thick braided cord approximately 48” long. Thread the braided cord ends through a decorative scarf pin to act as a closure as you slide the bandanna fabric on the cord to gather and close the tote. Knot the cord ends together.

Enjoy a barefoot summer. Sew happy, sew inspired.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Cheryl Ellex. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Cheryl Ellex. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.

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