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KONA COTTON: WHY WE LOVE IT + USE IT TO CREATE MANY OF OUR APRONS

2/6/17

Why We Love Kona Cotton by Bambino Amore - The Apron Makers

It's all about the cotton when it comes to the fundamentals of many of our aprons.  And probably many of your sewing projects as well.  For us, if we're talking about character aprons, it's crucial that we pick the right cotton.  So what's up with the love for KONA?

Why We Love Kona Cotton by Bambino Amore - The Apron Makers

WHAT IS KONA COTTON?


First thing first.  What is KONA Cotton anyway?  It's a  light-weight quilting cotton created + manufactured by Robert Kaufman, a company that has been synonymous with quality fabrics for over 50 years.  Oh, and it's still a family run business - which I have a special place in my heart for, but that's just me.

Unlike some cottons which are blends (think cotton/rayon, cotton/polyester, etc), KONA is 100% cotton.  It doesn't stretch or get distorted when you work with it, which is a HUGE deal when you're doing appliques.  The fabric is thick and durable, weighing between 4.3 + 4.35 oz. per square yard, making it ideal for those portions of the apron or garments that receive the most rugged use, such as the neck ties + waist ties.    
  
Why We Love Kona Cotton by Bambino Amore - The Apron Makers

KONA FEATURES THAT STAND OUT


As mentioned above, the quality of the fabric makes it stand out head and shoulders above the crowd of other cotton fabrics.  Additionally, KONA has minimal shrinkage and the colors don't bleed like a lot of other solid fabrics do.  That is crucial when you are putting blue, red, yellow, and white together in the same apron or garment.  And speaking of color - there are over 300 color options in the KONA line-up.  Talk about choices!  I have never seen a manufacturer of fabric carry that many color options in a single line. 

Why We Love Kona Cotton by Bambino Amore - The Apron Makers

NO NASTY CHEMICAL BATHS


As you probably know already, a lot of fabrics are chemically treated in the "finishing" process.  These chemicals are used to make the fabric stain resistant, crease resistant, stiffen the fabric, give the fabric an anti-static quality, and to lessen the flammability of the fabric - to name just a few.

KONA, on the other hand, is the "only quilting solid to come with the assurance of Oeko-tex certification, which certifies that no harmful chemicals were used in the production, processing or finishing of these goods".  In plain English, that means that not only is it super soft and non-scratchy but it skips the nasty chemical baths in the process.

wow, fabric with no nasty chemical bath - genius. #chemicalssuck #konacotton

Why We Love Kona Cotton by Bambino Amore - The Apron Makers

NUTSHELL RECAP:  WHY WE LOVE KONA COTTON

  • It's a  light-weight quilting cotton created + manufactured by Robert Kaufman
  • It's 100% Cotton (not a blend)
  • It's durable - weighing in at between 4.3 + 4.35 oz. per square yard
  • It has minimal shrinkage + doesn't bleed when wet or washed so you can mix colors easily
  • There are over 300 color options available in the KONA line
  • It's soft and non-scratchy fabric
  • It is the only quilting fabric that bears the Oeko-tex certification stating no harmful chemicals were used.

What is your favorite cotton for your projects?  Do you use KONA?  Let us know in the comments below.


Credits // Author and Photography: Kate Mark for Bambino Amore // Bottom 3 Photos of KONA Cotton: Craftsy

CHAMBRAY: A SOFT ALTERNATIVE TO DENIM + FASHION'S NEW OBSESSION

1/27/17
Chambray - A New Obsession by Bambino Amore - the Apron Makers

So maybe Chambray isn't a new obsession per say, but, it has been seen all over the runways for the Spring/Summer 2017 fashion shows.  And for good reason since it's the perfect alternative to denim + is super comfy - those are just facts.


Chambray - A New Obsession by Bambino Amore - the Apron Makers

WHAT IS CHAMBRAY?


Chambray is often confused with denim.  But, it's actually denim's light-weight cousin.  It's a cotton fabric that combines colored yarn (in the warp or top of the fabric) and white yarn (in the weft or back of the fabric), which is actually the same manner that denim is woven in.  However, Chambray is a plain or sometimes crisscross weave whereas denim is a diagonal weave.  In plain English that means that Chambray is a lighter, airier weave that exposes more of the white yarn in the top side of the fabric.  Whereas denim is a dense, tight weave (and therefore heavier) that keeps the white yarn on the back side of the fabric - giving it a darker color than any Chambray.

Chambray - A New Obsession by Bambino Amore - the Apron Makers

WHAT TO MAKE USING CHAMBRAY


We know that Chambray has the appearance of a lightly colored denim and that it is a little bit heavier than basic quilting fabrics, but, not as heavy as denim.  So the question becomes - what can you make using Chambray?

The answer to that question is pretty endless.  You can go traditional and create a top like the one pictured above or you can get creative with it and create nearly anything you can think of for your Spring/Summer wardrobe.  Think: button up shirts, dresses (both flowing and structured), pantsuits, pants, and even shoes (Espadrilles look amazing in Chambray).

WHAT ABOUT HOME-GOODS USES


Can Chambray be used to create home-goods?  Of course!  It is perfect for tablecloths, napkins, pillowcases, duvet covers, and yes - especially aprons.  It is tough + durable while staying soft + comfy, which, in my opinion makes it ideal for a workhorse apron.

Washed Chambray will give you a similar wrinkled look of linen,.  As I'm sure you've seen all over Etsy and Pinterest, that wrinkled look is crazy popular these days.  So, with that in mind, I am thinking that a revamped bistro apron or gardening apron would be the perfect style choice for Chambray.  Mix it with pops of color - sparingly or all over for an unexpected surprise.  Like the soft pink seen in the image above. 

chambray bedding? yes please #softandcomfy

NUTSHELL RECAP:  WHY CHAMBRAY IS THE PERFECT DENIM ALTERNATIVE

  • It's lighter than denim, but a bit heavier than standard quilting fabrics
  • It's generally 100% Cotton (not a blend)
  • It's durable - weighing in at 4.9 oz. per square yard
  • It's soft and non-scratchy fabric + will only get softer with each washing
  • Its composition makes it more versatile than denim + can be used for clothing and home-goods alike

What do you think of Chambray with pink?  I have tons of ideas swirling around and can't wait to share the end result with you!

Credits // Author and Photography: Kate Mark for Bambino Amore // Top Photo of Chambray: Fancy Tiger Crafts

WILD ABOUT CHRISTMAS

12/16/16
Wild About Christmas Fabric Combo by Bambino Amore - the Apron Makers

For some reason I have loved this fabric combo for years.  It made its first appearance in our shop when we were still selling the Jessie Apron.  I think the pops of animal print in the main Santa fabric are just fun - and a great way to add a little of an unexpected pop.

Wild About Christmas Fabric Combo by Bambino Amore - the Apron Makers

Wild About Christmas Fabric Combo by Bambino Amore - the Apron Makers

This fabric can be purchased at Hobby Lobby - and if you catch it on a sale, snag a bunch of it to make your family and friends some awesome aprons!  If you want to make this exact one, you can snag the Jessie pattern in our Etsy shop

Credits // Author and Photography: Kate Mark for Bambino Amore // Jessie Apron Pattern + Tutorial by Bambino Amore // Wild Santa Jessie Apron by Bambino Amore

CHRISTMAS APRON FABRIC INSPIRATION

12/2/16
Christmas Apron Fabric Inspiration by Bambino Amore - The Apron Makers

Christmas is the perfect time to really get creative with your fabric combos - it's almost like Halloween all over again, except with a sweet twist as opposed to a scary one.

Christmas Apron Fabric Inspiration by Bambino Amore - The Apron Makers

Like this custom Gingerbaby apron that we made for a clients little one and her friend.  We began with a light brown gingerbread background for the body of the apron and added some white icing up the middle in the form of white ruffles on either side of a middle panel.  Inside that middle panel we added bright green braided trim + buttons in red and green.  The crisp white icing bias around the bodice was topped off with red ricrac and a sweet red bow.  The traditional red + white striped fabric ties the whole look together in the underskirt and the ties.

Christmas Apron Fabric Inspiration by Bambino Amore - The Apron Makers

What do you think of this fabric combo?  It's a nice spin on a traditional gingerbread, isn't it?

Credits // Author and Photography: Kate Mark for Bambino Amore // Last Two Photos - client thank you photos.

PUMPKIN + SPICE - FABRIC INSPIRATION FOR A THANKFUL GATHERING

11/11/16
Thanksgiving Fabric Inspiration by Bambino Amore - the Apron Makers

There is something special about this time of year, isn't it?  The air turns crisp and chilly while the house gets decorated with leaves + pumpkins.  The smells coming from the kitchen are both spicy and sweet - a beautiful juxtaposition of the season itself.

This month's fabric inspiration comes directly from this juxtaposition.  The vanilla bean half apron is the ideal hostess apron, although I wouldn't recommend cooking in it as it's a creamy white KONA with a crochet lace overlay.  We'll do a tutorial for this apron if you'd like - just drop us a comment below letting us know!     

Thanksgiving Fabric Inspiration by Bambino Amore - the Apron Makers

The two aprons above feature vinyl iron-on appliques that I made and cut on my Cricuit.  The combo of the spice and vanilla colored KONA cotton with the pumpkin colored skirt with golden pin dots is topped off with golden trim along the waistband.

What do you think of these three combos for Thanksgiving?  Do you have a favorite?

Credits // Author and Photography: Kate Mark for Bambino Amore // Aprons by Bambino Amore - found at Bambino Amore

WE'RE BACK! AN UPDATE FROM BA

10/26/16
We're Back - an Update from Bambino Amore - the Apron Makers

So...it's been a little bit and we have been crazy busy!  If you've been following us on social media then you know we lost the matriarch of our family, my grandmother, on January 21st and that sent us all in to a sort of tailspin.  It was completely unexpected.  She was not sick and she had just had a checkup the very day she died and everything was all good.  Except it wasn't.

We're Back - an Update from Bambino Amore - the Apron Makers

I think she was just tired and ready to see my grandfather who passed in 2009.   Either way, it sucked then and still sucks now.  It's hard to not be able to pick up the phone and call her or hop in the car to go see her.  The house that they shared is no longer theirs - it sold quickly - and it was devastating to see happen.  But, life will always go on, whether we want it to or not.  Granddaddy once told me that everything in life is a choice.  Even the things that you think you have no control over, you still have a choice - and that is how you will react to it and then what actions you will take afterwards.  I hope that my choices will honor them and their memory.

We're Back - an Update from Bambino Amore - the Apron Makers

About four months later, after mom did the things she needed to do for the estate, we packed up all of our stuff and headed north to Missouri where my Aunt + Uncle (and several cousins) live - and the house hunt began.  For nearly 6 months we went all over the state and even in to Kansas looking for the "right" house.  I was worried we would never find it and have to settle for something that was available and ok.

We're Back - an Update from Bambino Amore - the Apron Makers

Then we found this beauty in a little town about one and a half hours away from my Aunt + Uncle and we just knew it was perfect.  Well, it's perfectly imperfect and I just love it!

We're Back - an Update from Bambino Amore - the Apron Makers

It was built in the 1920's and has such amazing character - hardwood floors, large rooms, super tacky wallpaper, and two fireplaces, just to name a few.

We're Back - an Update from Bambino Amore - the Apron Makers

Honestly, I can't wait until the spring so we can get to work on painting, adding trims, and doing a yard redo.  It will be awesome to put our own stamp on the house and add to the extensive history that we are now a part of as the new owners of this awesome home.

I really wish grandmom and granddaddy could see this house.  I know they would both think it's great!

What do you think?  What is your favorite style or era of home?

Credits // Author and Photography: Kate Mark for Bambino Amore // Wedding Photos part of our family collection

GEEKY + TRADITIONAL BABY FRIENDLY FABRIC COMBOS

9/2/16
Geeky + Traditional Baby Friendly Fabric Combos by Bambino Amore - the Apron Makers

As some of you may know, I used to have an Etsy shop where I created little kids clothing and I have been yearning to create some clothes.  The perfect opportunity arose when my beautiful niece needed some clothes for her trip to Universal Studios + Florida.

Mom chose to go the more traditional route and create the gorgeous set you see above - using nothing but fat quarters!  Can you believe that?  Check out those fabric combos - little Lia's nursery has these very color combos.  The yellows, soft greys, and crisp white all create a cute + soothing color scheme (or so I'm told!).    

Geeky + Traditional Baby Friendly Fabric Combos by Bambino Amore - the Apron Makers

I, on the other hand chose to let my geek flag fly and created her two drop waist skirts with a totes adorbs Harry Potter Quidditch theme fabric coupled with a yellow polka dot fabric for one and a blue stars fabric coupled with bright red and + yellow trim on the second one.

Geeky + Traditional Baby Friendly Fabric Combos by Bambino Amore - the Apron Makers

I then took basic onesies and added a bit of pizazz to them.  The Harry Potter one was created using a Snitch graphic and the HP with the lightening bolt.  I took those graphics and loaded them in to my Cricuit machine and made iron-on appliques with glitter vinyl.  It really ended up looking great!

For the Wonder Woman outfit, I just added a store bought iron-on applique + then top stitched it for added durability. 

Geeky + Traditional Baby Friendly Fabric Combos by Bambino Amore - the Apron Makers

So what do you think about these fabric combos?  Would you like to see a tutorial for the skirts?  Perhaps one for the snitch applique?  Let us know in the comments section below.

Credits // Author and Photography: Kate Mark for Bambino Amore

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