Friday, June 17, 2011

Inspired, In Love & Into Decorating...

"I up and made dining room curtains and they might just be my favorite things in the whole darn house."
Oh, do you remember being young, in love, starting your family and being inspired by all of the possibilities that life and home design had to offer? Mmmm what a magic moment in time. A wonderful young couple came into Mary Jo's Cloth Store the other day. They were on a mission, Drapery Fabric. Simple, but at the same time the choices we offer can be overwhelming. They eventually found a print that they fell in love with. She writes on her blog that she could of found it somewhere else for 40 dollars per yard instead at Mary Jo's she paid 12.99 a yard. She was excited for her great bargain, but really fell in love with the print, and colors. She did a lovely job with her curtains. Simple straight stitching, on her new Brother Sewing Machine and hardware and rings from Target and she was good to go. These lovely curtains look like a million dollars. Oh, Young House Love, is truly a wonderful thing. Sherry and John thanks for your great story and good luck in your Young Love House and Life together.
Keep up the great work as you architect your lives, your home and your future.

Here is their story, click on the link to check out her Young House Love Blog. Her blog is filled with her chic yet homespun brand of excitement and passion and her own special tips and tricks on achieving "Home Perfection".
Here’s how it all went down. We already mentioned snagging this deeply discounted curtain fabric from a local fabric outlet called U-Fab (for anyone looking for it by name, it’s “Robert Allen’s Khanjali Peacock” so googling that hopefully turns up some of your own). It was fancy schmancy designer fabric that I’d been in love with forever, but it was marked down to $12.99 a yard (as opposed to the original cost of $40+ a yard!) thanks to a bit of an irregularity in the fabric (a white stripe that ran down one side, which I knew I could work around).

Since I wanted two 90-ish inch panels for either side of the big picture window in the dining room I calculated that five yards would do the trick, which factored out to $32 a panel (still not dirt cheap but a whole lot cheaper than the regular price of that fabric, which would have run me $100 a panel). Score.

It was as simple as lining up the end of the fabric with the 90″ mark on my tape measure and then cutting the other edge against the rug at the 0″ inch mark, for a nice straight cut (sure enough, I was left with a nice 90″ long rectangular swatch of fabric).When it comes to the width, I just usually go with the width that it comes right off the bolt (which is wider when you get upholster fabric like this- ours was 57″). But remember it had that defect running along one side of it, so I just cut three inches or so from that side (again I used the edge of the rug to get a straight cut). But I didn’t completely cut off the white part since I knew once I hemmed it, it would be completely invisible (even from the back). You can see the normal white edge that comes on fabric on the right of the swatch below and the irregular white defect on the bottom half of the left edge below:Then I washed both curtain panels so they would be “pre-shrunk” and easy to launder from here on out (one of our main goals is to have as many “washable” surfaces in the kitchen and dining room as possible). Oh but it’s always smartest to preshrink fabric before you cut it, I just knew I only had enough fabric to make two panels of this size so whether I washed or cut it first (or cut and washed it later) I’d end up with the same sized panels in the end. I grabbed them fresh out of the dryer instead of letting them sit there to keep them wrinkle free for the most part.
Next I had to decide between my trusty curtain-making method of using iron-on hem tape or the slightly scary idea of using Oh Brother (my new sewing machine) to attempt to do what I used to use hem tape for. After a decent amount of out-loud debate with myself, I decided to try my hand at sewing curtain panels- just to see if I could do it (but you can find full curtain making tutorials with hem tape here and here). Even without my hem-tape security blanket, I did break out the iron to make a half inch “seam” down one of the short sides of the curtain. It just seems like now whenever I dabble in sewing, I find myself trying to iron instead of pinning – just to see if it’ll work. Am I a rebel or what?The ironed seam definitely stayed put while I dragged the giant fabric swatch back into the kitchen to sew the hem, so I happily skipped the pinning step and even boldly (well, maybe that adjective is a stretch) decided to try another hemming technique that some of you have commented to tell me about in previous I’m-a-shaky-little-sewing-novice posts. I took the ironed seam and folded it over one more time, then I sewed down the seam to create a nice finished looking hem (even from the back). That extra fold hid the raw cut edge of the fabric, if that makes sense. And even with my extra folding step, there was thankfully no pinning required. Sweet.

Whew, lots of work made fun! She does have a knack for home decor and writing about the process. Thanks again Sherry. Lovely. We are happy to have helped.

Are you looking for Drapery Fabric? We have many inspirational choices. Pop onto the website or stop by the store, we promise, you will not be disappointed. Remember, the SALE page is always being updated. Don't miss out, fabric comes and goes very quickly on this section of the website. Log on and take a tour.

Do you have a project to share? We love to see your quilts, clothing, home decor and costumes. Please take a moment and drop us an email with a few photos. We cannot wait to hear from you.

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