Warning: Illegal string offset 'session_data' in /home/bloghome/public_html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-publish/init.php on line 30
Claudia, Author at Home Sewing Depot

Author Claudia

Cork Fabric from Portugal

I have fell in love with Cork Fabric from Portugal, it is soft and luxurious.

Made a few hand bag as gifts and this week I made a decorative pillow with the cork fabric and made the weltcord from cork fabric as well.  Natural Cork Fabric Pillow

What Makes Cork Fabric so amazing?

Cork is harvested from the Cork Oak tree, which grows primarily in the West Mediterranean Basin. The cork used in our cork fabric comes from sustainable forests with strict harvesting regulations that are in place to protect the valuable resource and regulate the quality.

When the Cork Oak has reached 20 years of age, the bark is stripped from the tree by the hands of a highly skilled harvester. That tree is then marked so that it will not be harvested for another 8-10 years.

The Cork Oak is the only tree that benefits from the removal of its bark and, since it regenerates, it is truly an eco-conscious and sustainable natural resource. In fact, the same tree can be harvested every 8-10 years for over 200 years! Once harvested, the tree absorbs about 5 times the CO2, making harvesting an important process in reducing greenhouse gases.

Cork-treesOnce the cork is harvested from the Cork Oak it is boiled, dried, shaved into thin sheets and sealed with a non-toxic sealant. Once the cork fabric is complete, it is stain-resistant, water-resistant, scratch-proof, hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, lightweight, incredibly soft, and flame retardant.

Home Sewing Depot now offers over 30 beautiful Cork Fabric Choices and many patterns to use with Cork fabric.

Do you have Questions about Cork Fabric?

Do I need an industrial sewing machine to sew cork fabric?

No, it sews wonderfully on any standard sewing machine.

What else do I need to know about sewing with cork?

We suggest using a fresh, sharp needle with each new project, and we personally use an 80/12 or 90/14 Microtex needle and I love the Titanium needles because of their strength.

Teflon feet are often recommended but you can use a standard or rolling foot. Play around with it and see what suits you and your machine best. If you are sewing through several layers you may need to make adjustments accordingly.

Wonder clips. Wonder clips. Wonder clips. You will NOT want to pin your gorgeous cork fabric (and it would be difficult trying to)!

A longer 4-5 stitch length works well for most projects.

Can I embroider my cork fabric?

Absolutely, and it’s just so beautiful!! You can see a few examples over on our Instagram.

How do I clean my cork fabric?

While cork can be dry cleaned, it is NOT machine washable.
Cork fabric can be wiped down with a clean gentle cloth, a little liquid soap and water.

Can I iron my cork fabric?

Cork fabric can crease, which is why we send it to you rolled, sealed and protected. Ironing is NOT recommended, and finger pressing will work great for most sewing projects.
It’s best to avoid heat of the iron needed with fusible interfacing, so sew-in stabilizers are great for more structured projects.

Just a few more photo of cork fabric from Portugal.

cork fabric by the yard Natural Cork Fabric touch pro gold fleck corkCork Pillow Top

Create-with-Cork-Fabric-Cover-Website (2)

Roman Shade Safety Testing Results – Podcast

Here about Shade Safety Test – Podcast and Workroom Tech Blog

Shade Safety Test.. Past with flying colors!  Listen to Podcast

Listen to Ceil and Susan chat about Roman Shade testing results, are you fabricating safe roman shades for your home?

What products are safe to used?

We are highly concerned about shade safety and safe shade products that our DIY customers are using.  Take a few minutes and listen to the latest findings about safe products that you can use when making roman shades.

Update your older roman shades with new products to make them compliant with todays standards.

Few of the new safe products that passed the shade safety test.

  • Ladder Tape
  • Encased Lift Cord
  • Ring Locks
  • Cord Tension Devices

Roman Shade Safety Testing

Ceil Weiss Guglielmo Owner of Sew Much More Podcast

Susan Woodcock Owner of Workroom Tech in Tryon, NC

2019 Upcoming Roman Shade Classes

Hobbled Roman Shade Master Class with Deborah Cornin Feb 20-21, 2019  

In this class, you will learn to make beautiful, operable hobbled shades with three unique methods. You will create one traditional hobbled shade with pockets out of sheer fabric, one without pockets which also can be pleated-to-pattern, and one flat-back, reverse mount with blackout lining. Plus, Deborah will have a show-and-tell of stationary hobbled valances. You will create class samples following tried-and-true techniques that Deborah has developed over many years of shade making.

This class includes:

  • Measuring the windows, and finding common denominators for multiple windows
  • Tips for planning for both inside, and outside mounted shades
  • Calculating sections and folds, and determining yardage
  • Fabrication steps to achieve both quality, and efficiency
  • How to work with pattern motifs
  • Materials and tools to streamline fabrication
  • Methods for managing large pieces of fabric on the worktable
  • Fabricating to meet cord safety standards
  • Hassle-free board-mounting steps
  • Best lift systems to use for these styles

This is an advanced class. Students must have completed Custom Shades: Level I or have practical knowledge and experience with shade making, and using an industrial sewing machine.

Blackout & Banded Roman Shades Master Class with Rosemarie Garner Feb 22-23, 2019

Blackout & Banded Roman Shades Masterclass with Rosemarie Garner

Blackout and Banded Roman Shades Masterclass

Friday, February 22 – Saturday, February 23, 2019

9:00 am – 5:00 pm with 1 hour lunch on your own.

Instructor: Rosemarie Garner

*This class has met the minimum number of students. Only 3 spots left!

In this class, you will complete one blackout shade with inset banding on the face, using Rosemarie’s favorite techniques for adding ribs and no pinholes of light. Your shade sample will be outfitted with the motorized wand lift system from Pro Design LLC. You will also complete a stationary, relaxed shade with blackout lining and attached return end flaps.

This class includes:

  • Fabrication steps to achieve both quality, and efficiency
  • How to add ribs to blackout lining
  • Materials and tools
  • Methods for attaching rings to eliminate pinholes of light
  • Creating templates for ring spacing
  • How to make and apply inset, mitered banding
  • Fabricating to meet cord safety standards
  • Board-mounting
  • Adding end flaps and valances to hide the operating system
  • Attaching the shade to a motorized lift system

This is an advanced class. Students must have completed Custom Shades: Level I or have practical knowledge and experience with shade making, and using an industrial sewing machine.

Buckram Fold Roman Shade Workshop with Susan Woodcock April 6, 2016

9:00 am – 5:00 pm with 1 hour lunch on your own.

Instructor: Susan Woodcock

In this one-day workshop, you will learn a brand new shade method developed by Susan Woodcock. This style of shade uses buckram, instead of ribs, to add structure and body to the shade folds. Students will complete a buckram-fold blackout, Roman shade with cord shroud and the EZ-Rig(R) lift system, and a sample of an interlined shade with translucent buckram. You will leave this class with the skills to add this new, efficient shade method to your workroom business. This style of fabrication creates a beautiful shade every time!

Topics covered include:

  • calculating yardage
  • linings
  • corded window covering standards and safety
  • hemming and finishing techniques
  • shade lift systems
  • professional tips

This is an intermediate to advanced level class. Students should have some experience and practical knowledge of Roman shade fabrication.

Stay in touch with news about shade dafety test.


Learn To Sew With The Pros

Learn to sew with the pros at Workroom Tech

Learn to sew window treatments and soft furnishing in a real workroom environment.  You will get to use professional tools and sewing machines.  Whether your are DIY sewer or thinking about joining the soft furnishings industry.  Workroom Tech is the place to be when you want to learn the latest and newest methods of sewing home furnishings.  The classes are offered a several skill levels whether your a beginner or pro  you will find a nice selection of classes.

Meet Susan and think about visiting  Workroom Tech in Tyron, NC


At Workroom Tech you will learn to sew window treatments and soft furnishings

  • Using professional workroom tools and supples
  • small classes for the best learning expenenice
  • quality hands-on educations with step by step instruction

Learn to sew with the pros at Workroom Tech!

Workroom Tech

Fall DIY Decorating Ideas

Fall DIY Decorating Ideas

Runner Up Late Table Runner

falltable runner

Looking for a cute table runner to decorate a table for Halloween? This is a easy and perfect project for you!  This is just one of the clever DIY ideas we wanted to share.  You can sew this project or I would use double sided NO Sew Sealah Tape and just tape the fall ribbons down to the base fabric.   You can go to the Runner Up Late Table Runner for complete instructions

Trick O Treat Bags

Don’t want to buy flimsy trick of treat bags?  Well here is how you can make your very own!  Wonderful for kids on Halloween.   You can find the instructions by Via HemMenIN






DIY Quilted Halloween Pillows

Melissa at POKADOT CHAIR will share her tutorial about making quilted pillows.    She came up with these ideas for all the pillows several months ago, like any project it good to plan ahead because the normally take a little longer than you expect.  Just a TIP.. Make sure you have all your supplies before you start any project, it will me much more enjoyable and you will finish faster.

cute halloween pillows


No Sew Halloween Banner

Here is another one favorite DIY decorating ideas with this easy Halloween No Sew Banner.  You can make your shelf or mantle look absolutely spooktacular and friends will be so impressed. For the easy NO Sew directions just sneak over to Close To Home . Just use a iron on fabric stabilizer to give your fabric stiffer banner effect.

Spooktacular halloween banner


Here are some unique fabric pumpkins that can liven up any home, whether it be for Halloween or Thanksgiving. (Via Sadie SeasonGoods) 

These ar easy Fall DIY decorating ideas.  It is very possible to just glue bandana fabric to a store bough pumpkin but it wouldn’tbe as soft and touchy as the pumpkins below.




Fall Flannel Shirt Pillows

Fall Flannel Shirt Pillow

This fall flannel shirt pillow can be made as a fall accent pillow or some sewers prefer to make beautiful Memory Pillows from shirts were once worn by some special.  When flannel is wash it gets softer with age and some flannels will make you feel cuddly and maybe even require a nap.

HSD Flannel Shirt Pillow Instructions


A memory pillow can be made from a simple flannel shirt. It’s especially easy to make if you are using a button-down shirt.

You’re going to need the following materials for your project:

  • 16″ to 18″ ultra poly down blend pillow insert
  • Button-down flannel shirt, larger shirt to create larger pillows
  • Sewing machine and serger if possible
  • Matching Thread or something close to your fabric
  • Sharp Scissors, I prefer Kai Scissors hands down!  I have been sewing home decor over 20 years and you will never regret purchasing Kai Scissors.

Download Free Instructions

Easy Fast Method:

  1. The first thing you’re going to want to do is turn the flannel shirt inside out. Cut the front and rear layers at a time so it can be immediately pinned so it all stays lined up nicely. When you cut out the square, ensure that you avoid the that buttons. It’s best to mark the back buttons with a piece of tape. This can also help center them in the pillow.
  2. Cut the square 2 Inch larger than the finished flannel shirt pillow size.


  • Finished pillow size 16” square
  • Your Pillow insert will be 18” square (normally the insert is 2” larger than the finished pillow)
  • Your cut size will be 17” x 17” which will allow a ½” seam allowance
  1. Sew the squares (front and back) together.
  2. Un button the opening and turn the shirt pillow right side out
  3. Insert the pillow inside of the pillow cover and button it back together.
  4. This pillow is very easy and below I will show a little more detail to making this Flannel Shirt Pillow.
  5. There is no right way and no wrong way to make this pillow. Most important is that your happy with your project.

Download the instructions for a Flannel Shirt Pillow below:

  1. Select a few flannel shirts that match your décor. You can pre-wash them if you want.  I just pressed the shirt and removed the wrinkles. love the Reliable Velocity 200IR Iron .

If you’re not sure about measurements you can cut a square piece of paper or Skirtex for a pattern and place it on the shirt front, it is easier to cut the shirt apart on the side seams and around the sleeves to create 2 pieces of fabric.

I wanted a contrast color for the back of the pillow, so it s you to use the yoke on the back of the shirt for accent.

flannel shirt pillow

Remove the yoke from the shirt leaving ½” below the top stitching on the bottom of the yoke, press the fabric towards the wrong side and you can just top stitch the yoke to the pillow back fabric.

flannel shirt pillow

Stitch the yoke to the fabric along all 3 edges and pin in place if needed.  I prefer to serge or over lock all raw edges of  both the top and bottom fabrics.

flannel shirt pillow

Now pin both fabrics squares right sides together and stitch all 4 sides allowing a ½” seam allowance

flannel shirt pillow

Unbutton the buttons and turn the pillow right sides out. Then you can insert the pillow insert in to your new flannel shirt pillow

Flannel Shirt Pillow


Voila, now you have a beautiful Fall Flannel Shirt Pillow

flannel shirt pillow

Continue to remember the special people in your past or close friends from the past.  You may be unsure of what to do with their clothing after they have passed away. It can be particularly tough to throw away clothing they wore a lot, connecting them to your memory. Here is an easy way you can turn their clothing into a visible reminder of them for years to come.

Download PDF Instructions for Fall Flannel Pillow

FAQ Making Roman Shades

Questions About Making Roman Shades?

Here is a list of questions and answers that might help you when making roman shades!

Question: I have to make several roman shades and I’m using Pure White Linen and a white sateen lining. What is the best way to finished the side hems?

1. Tucking the fabric together like drapery side hems or

2. Laying the lining on top of the face fabric, placing it just short of edge and use adhesive tape or iron on tape like Do fix or Sealah Tape


1,  I personally prefer when making roman shades to marry the fabrics together while the are on the table with adhesive tape. The fabric is always straight/square and does not have bulk on the sides. If it is a inside mount, most windows have a slightly different width at the top and bottom.

2. I’m not a lover of fabricating Romans, but I’ve made many. I did a
house cross country that had many Romans, having the someone else take all of the inside measurements. Everyone of them fit perfectly. I’m an advocate of
folding in side hems of body, then fold in side hems of lining toward the
main fabric, making it 1/4″ narrower each side. It’s less bulky.

3.  2″ single fold side hems in fabric shades works really great, with the lining flat laid in, fold to fold. Serge the cut edges of the 1 3/4′” -2″ hem and hand sew or use a double sided adhesive like steam n seam or Sealah tape.  The rings also hlep secure the hems and lining. I like this low bulk method, when the shade is up the sides do not stack so differently from center of the shade. The longer the shade, the more the 4 + layer hem acts differently from the center, shades can look somewhat dippy in the middle. Hand sewing hems is not a faster alternative to fusible tapes, but not a huge amount of time either. Depending on how careful you are, a small bead of fabric glue can also hold hems in place, set the glue with an iron but high heat is not required.

Question: What is the best fabric to use when making roman shades?

Answer: We have found that natural fabrics like cotton, linen, hemp or a blend with mostly cotton will work for shades.

Polyester and acrylic fabrics are not always as trainable to create the soft folds in the shade.

Question: Which sew on shade ring is the best?Roman Shade Rings

Answer: You have 5 choices when it comes to selecting sew on shade rings when making roman shades.  My new tag line has become Buy Nice Not Twice!

  • Forever Clear Rings are the same size as the others but they are made with poly carbonate and will not break, crack or chip over time. ***
  • Acrylic Clear or Acrylic White Rings are UV resilient but over time they will crack or break.  Maybe your ready for a change anyway?
  • Brass Rings are 3/8″ ID and 9?16″ OD  Made of zinc and brass plating
  • Nickle Finished Rings 3/8″ ID and 9?16″ OD  Made of zinc and nickel plating

All the rings will work but I highly recommend that your use metal or Forever Clear Rings as the bottom rings when sewing them to your shade,  The bottom shade rings are the weight bearing rings and this is where you need the strength.

Question:  How Far a part  should my rings be?

Answer:  For child and pet safety it is recommended that the vertical space should be no further than 8″ a part.

RingLockRing Locks are the safest and least expensive way to protect children.  The ring lock prevents the cord from pulling out from behind the shade more than the 8 inches, therefore a child can not get it’s head inside of the vertical cord.

Ring Locks are are made from poly-carbonate and they are durable to use on any roman shade.

Question:  Where Do I Find Directions For Making Roman Shades

Answer: There is a lot of info on the internet but some of the things you read you will need to check out the facts.. It is out dated and the Safety Rules have change over the past few years.  There is always something new on the market that you can use to fabricate better roman shades.  So if you have doubts about what your reading feel free to contact Claudia.

There are easy No Sew Instructions on Home Sewing Depot No Sew Roman Shade

Send me your questions and I will try my best to find the correct answer or suggestion for your project.

***  polycarbonate (aka Lexan or Makrolon) and acrylic sheet (aka Lucite) are two of the most frequently used see-through plastics. … Acrylic is shinier and polycarb is stronger. Acrylic is less expensive but easier to crack. Polycarb is more impact resistant and UV resistant.

Stars & Stripes 4th Of July Projects

Quick Stars & Stripes 4th of July Projects

Stars & Stripes 4th of July Projects.  A Stars & Stripes BBQ Apron and a decorative Stars & Stripes4th of July Pillow.  Make both in a afternoon, quick and easy to make.  Stars & Stripes Apron and Pillow

The first thing you need is confidence, because you will most likely be the only sewing gal at your BBQ and your friends will be so jealous that you made something special for the Stars & Stripes 4th of July BBQ.

Lets get started with this simple apron first.

I have included a download but I suggest that you just cut a pattern from a old apron or use a piece of news paper and sketch it out with a magic marker.    I’m included a pattern sketch with sizes, but remember this is your project.   Pick up a couple of yards of fabric of your choice and get creative, you can always make pot holders with the leftover.

The Apron is pretty basic and made from red and white stripe fabric and the trim fabric is navy blue with white stars.   We used a 2″ bias tape maker to make the trim and ties for the apron and finished the sides and hem with a 1/2″ double folded hem.

I found this pattern sketch from another blog and the link in on the directions.  This photo is a great sketch for drawing your apron pattern.  Download Instructions for the Stars & Stripes Apron

Apron sketch

Found this at yardsandyards.blogspot.com

The Stars & Stripes Ruffle Pleat Pillow  is another easy  and quick project for this Patriotic Celebration.   It makes a cute accent pillow for your  patio furniture.
The Pillow is made by pleating strips of folded fabric using the 1″ Quick Pleater. You can sew while you pleat which makes the detail faster.

The project is for a 20″x 18″ Pillow with 6 rows of Stars & Stripes Pillowruffles on the pillow. The rule of thumb is to use 3 times the fabric width to achieve the finished ruffle. I need a 20″ ruffle and I used 60″ of fabric to create each 20″ wide ruffle for the pillow front.

Any size pillow will work for this project.  Each ruffle is sewn to the pillow front starting with the bottom ruffle and working your way to the top.  Each ruffle overlaps the ruffle below by 1/2″ to 1″ to cover up the serged edge.

If you are in a real hurry you could even use Sealah Tape and adhere the ruffles to a ready made pillow and just add extra trim wit the double sided adhesive,  (That’s another class.)

Download Instructions for Stars & Stripes Pillow

Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

black bean sweet pototo soup

Made a few changes, I was out of dice tomatoes so I used a large can of tomato sauce and I didn’t have any bell peppers so I use roasted red peppers and diced, and chicken broth instead of vegetable broth. It was delicious!

Yield: About 6 servings

2 lbs sweet potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into small cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil , divided
1 medium yellow onion , chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 red bell pepper , cored and diced
4 cloves garlic , minced
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth , then more as desired
2 (14 oz) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 ear corn , husked and kernels cut from cob (or 1 cup frozen corn)
1 1/2 Tbsp ancho chili powder (or more to taste)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 (14 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

Toppings (optional)

Cilantro , lime wedges, diced avocado, sliced roasted jalapeños, sour cream, cheddar or Mexican blend cheese


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place sweet potatoes on baking sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and toss then season with 1/2 tsp salt and toss. Roast in preheated oven until tender, about 20 – 25 minutes, tossing once halfway through (they’ll shrink down quite a bit).
Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 4 minutes (or until beginning to soften), then add bell pepper and saute 2 minutes longer. Add garlic and saute 2 additional minutes. Stir in 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth, tomatoes, fresh corn (if using frozen corn wait until the point where you add the black beans to add the frozen corn) ancho chili powder, cumin and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a light boil then reduce heat to low, cover and allow to simmer 10 minutes. Stir in black beans, cover and simmer 5 minutes longer. Gently toss in sweet potatoes and allow to just warm through (if they’ve cooled), about 1 – 2 minutes. Thin with an additional broth if desired. Serve with desired toppings.

I found the recipe on https://www.cookingclassy.com

Ladder Tape For Roman Shades

Child Safe Ladder Tape

This is another inexpensive way to assure yourself that your fabric shades and roman shades are safe with small ones in the house hold.

Ladder Tape for Roman Sahdes Ladder tape is easy to  attach to your shade with just a few stitches and it stacks nicely when your shade is pulled up.   You can used any size shade cord in the ladder tape but the 1.4mm is the most popular size shade cord.  We suggest using a upholstery needle when threading the shade cord through the ladder tape,  much easier than doing it by hand and the eye is large enough for the 1.4mm shade cord.

We suggest your ring placement bu NO more than 8″ apart vertically and 12 to 15″ apart horizontally to keep your shade safe and supported when raising and lowering the shade.  (All depends on fabric weight and types of lining used)

1. Tack you ladder tape  to each ring (for lighter weight shades you could omit rings) you can stop the ladder tape at the uppermost ring.  Tie it off to the top and botton rings.

2. Using a large upholstery needle will make threading the shade cord through the ladder tape easier. buy ladder tape now

White Spooled Ladder Tape is available at Home Sewing Depot

10 Yd Roll 1/4″ wide and 5/8″ approximate spacing.

1000 Roll 1/4″ wide and 5/8″ approximate spacing.


Read about making a No Sew Roman Shade

Ladder Tape for Roman Shades

Ladder Tape on shadeSewing Ladder Tape on ShadesAdding Cords throught ladder tape





Roman Shade Ladder Tape complies with fabricating Safe shade products.

Thinking about making custom Roman shades for friends or maybe even clients?  The Workroom Technical School in tyron, NC is a great place to learn from the best in the industry.  Roger and Susan Woodcock opened the school during the fall of 2017 and they have a incredible list of classes and instructors on the agenda for 2018.

Make sure your compliant with the spacing of the shade ribs and folds, no further than 8″ apart although I can’t seem to find it in writing and checked CPSC  and WCSC.

Shade Photos are from Susan Woodcock @ Workroom Tech.

How To Sew Home Decor

How to Sew Home Decor

Would you like to learn how to sew home decor? Creating home decor projects for yourself or others is quite rewarding. Just think how some new slipcovers for the old sofa could lift your spirits. Or maybe surprise a friend with a custom pillow?
There are many resources to help you with your project. Youtube has videos demonstrating sewing techniques. Craftsy offers on-line classes taught by many well-known professionals in the Home Décor sewing industry. For example, Susan Woodcock, ‘the Home Dec Gal’, and Tammy Paradoski have videos to help you with your project.

Workroom TechIf you are looking for hands-on learning, the Workroom Technical Center is a great place to hone your skills. They also can help if you are interested in becoming your own boss and start your own sewing business. Susan and Roger opened the technical center last fall, becoming the only training facility for workrooms. At the Workroom Technical Center, you will learn to sew window treatments and more with step by step instruction in an actual workroom environment.
Introduction to Sewing Soft furnishings with Susan Woodcock is January 22-23, 2018. Valances and Top Treatments: Level 1 with Susan Woodcock Jan 29-31,2018 and more. Check out the incredible list of classes for 2018 at the Workroom Technical Center

If you want to learn how to sew home décor, here are a few home decor sewing classes on Craftsy. Winter is a great time to stay home and totally surround yourself with new sewing ideas and sewing techniques.