Tag Archives: home decor fabrics

Completed: Bathroom Update + New Shower Curtain!

22 May

WHAT UP FOLKS it’s time for my yearly home decor sewing post πŸ˜›

Bathroom Update!

I actually don’t mind this sort of sewing – it’s certainly not something that I would do for income (past Lauren has been there, done that. Ooh, fun fact – I sewed curtains for this guy’s house once for a feature in Better Homes & Gardens lol y’all I can’t make this shit up), but it’s a fun sort of puzzle that requires some mental energy upfront (good) with lots of mindless making once you’ve passed that peak (even better). And, while it’s definitely not cheaper than buying something from Target, it is definitely the least expensive way to have custom soft goods in your home. There is a reason why this shit costs so much to have made – it’s a lot of work!

Anyway, I’ll get back to the whole point of this post! My updated bathroom! Let’s start with a series of before photos:

Bathroom Update - the before

Bathroom Update - the before

Bathroom Update - the before

This pretty close to how the bathroom looked when I first moved into my house. By the time this photo was taken, I had already made a few changes – for once, I changed out the mirror (the original one was just some cheap $25 mirror with a black frame that I’m sure the sellers slapped in at the last minute). I also added a curved shower rod and some hooks to hang towels and toilet paper. Those updates were fine for while I was still unpacking and setting up, but now that the house is in a “normal” state I am ready to really get started on the fun updates!

The main thing I wanted to do was repaint the room. The sellers had everything painted this same shade of gray, I guess to help sell the house to make it look a little more modern and trendy. They also painted all the doors, and some of the window frames, black. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a reasonably inoffensive gray, and I totally get if that’s your thing. More power to you, etc. But, gray is NOT my thing, and now that I can I’m gonna paint every fucking room in this house. It’s been a slow process (I currently have the kitchen & studio changed to white, plus now this room), mostly delayed due to paint color debates. The idea for this coral came pretty quickly, and once I’d decided on the color I got to go on the adventure of finding the right decor items to finish out the space. At some point I’d love to change the flooring to something less grey – however, that laminate is brand-new and I don’t see a point in ripping up a perfectly functional floor so the grey floor stays for now.

Bathroom Update!

Bathroom Update!

The paint color is “Simply Coral” by BehrΒ (edit: Update, the paint is actually by Valspar. I don’t know why I said Behr!) (I know, riveting name choice there). I painted this on a Saturday afternoon, leaving it overnight to do the 3rd coat first thing in the morning. Yes, 3 coats! Despite this gray being fairly light, it did take a bit of effort to get full coverage! Which wasn’t too bad, due to the wainscotting and shower liner taking up most of the wallspace in this tiny room. Also, I feel like it’s worth noting that I actually took some extra effort with this project, including taping off the edges (I am actually really good at edging with an angled brush, but there were so many tight angles in this room that it made sense to take the extra time to tape everything off. Just so we are clear, I still managed to get paint on the ceiling and door trim haha), waiting for the paint to properly dry between coats, and actually doing that third coat (even though 2 would have been “good enough.”). Since I know I’m going to be in this house for an indefinite amount of time – and any poorly done projects will eventually need to be fixed by, well, ME – I really want to do things right!

Bathroom Update!

Anyway, sorry to go on so long about painting! There is a sewing purpose to this post, I swear! Because I made the shower curtain! I actually was not planning on doing this – I am perfectly happy to pay someone else (i.e., a manufacturer) to do my home decor sewing so that I don’t have to. However, I had a specific vision in mind that was apparently impossible to fill! Everything I found was either the wrong colors, bad proportions (I didn’t want leaves that were, like, 5′ long haha) or just didn’t look quite right. The few that I did find that were passable were either 1. Printed directly on plastic, which imho just looks really cheap and was not the look I was necessarily going for! or; 2. Quite expensive (more than twice what I was willing to pay), but not necessarily good enough to warrant the splurge. I am happy to pay extra if I’m getting exactly what I want, but in this case I was not. After a couple weeks of looking, I came to terms with the fact that I’d probably have to sew my own and took a look at some of the home decor offerings on Mood Fabrics. And – lo and behold – my perfect fabric was waiting for me! This tropical home decor print ticked off all the right boxes – medium weight with a nice hanging drape, a beautiful texture that adds some visual interest, and a print with the right colors, proportions, and randomness. This fabric actually comes in a few colors, but I chose the dark green because I thought it would look best with my coral.

Bathroom Update!

Bathroom Update!

I bought 3.5 yards, which put me right at my limit for my monthly allowance. This amount was sufficient, however, a full 4 yards would have been perfect in retrospect. Due to minor fabric limitations, I didn’t have *quite* enough to get the full length that I wanted (more on that in a minute), but I am still pretty happy with the end result!

Before I started sewing, I had to do some basic math so I’d know what dimensions to cut everything to. Funny, this actually isn’t the first shower curtain I’ve ever made – I recall sewing a black one about 10 years ago for a bathroom redo (actually, I’m pretty sure that’s around the same that I bought these curtain hooks HAHA)– but it has definitely been a looong time time I have embarked on this endeavor, and furthermore, I’m definitely a better seamstress now than I was back then!

Bathroom Update!

To start, I measured my current shower curtain and wrote those numbers down (68β€³ wide by 71.5β€³ long, which I think is pretty standard). I then added in seam allowances, which gave me cutting dimensions of 69.5β€³ wide and 75.5β€³ long. My fabric is only 55″ wide, which meant I did not have quite enough for the full width. And, while 3.5 yards sound like an ass load of fabric – when you cut it in half lengthwise, you only end up with 63″ in length and you will recall that I needed nearly 10″ more than that for my length. Hence why getting the full 4 yards – or even a little more than that – would have been more sufficient. Oh well! I knew going into this that I would need to piece my fabric, but upon receiving the whole piece I realized that the scattered and random print would not lend itself well to matching, which meant a seam right down the middle of the curtain would look pretty shitty. So instead, I pieced along either side of the curtain, adding side panels that were approximately 7.25β€³ wide. Having them on either side makes them look intentional, I think, and doesn’t make the unmatched design look as jarring. I sewed these on with flat-felled seams, which, again, I think makes it look a bit more intentional.

To preserve as much length as possible, I used leftover fabric (after piecing the sides) to add facings to the top and bottom of the curtain. By using a 1/4″ seam allowance, I only lost about 1/2″ in total which keeps the curtain from being too short. With the hem being 1β€³ and the top taking about 3β€³ of fabric (as it is turned the full amount twice), I was able to save quite a bit of length by doing this! I think adding a trim to the bottom – such as a pom pom trim or even a fringe! – would look really cute as well as add some length, but I haven’t found anything I like yet so, current length certainly works for now πŸ™‚

Anyway, once I had my dimensions figured out and my plan written down, the sewing part was very easy and relatively mindless! I pressed all my edges and topstitched with matching thread, added my facings and understitched and topstitched, then sewed the button holes along the top edge for the curtain hooks. I used my old curtain to help me get the spacing right, and then sat and waited while my machine sewed 12 buttonholes. LOL. Interestingly, I did not use interfacing for this part. The original curtain does not use it, so I decided to go with their lead. Since the fabric at the top is turned twice, there are plenty of layers behind the buttonhole for stability. And since I am not using the buttonhole very frequently, there’s not a lot of wear happening up there so I think the uninterfaced part is fine. Time will tell!

All in all, I spent about 3 hours on this project. That included all the measuring, cutting, and sewing. Obviously with the cost of the fabric, this was not a money-saving project – but it could be, if you used less expensive fabric. For me, it was a way to get exactly what I wanted and I could not be more thrilled with the outcome. I especially loved figuring out ways to solve the puzzle of getting this to work with the amount of fabric that I had.

Bathroom Update!

Bathroom Update!

Oh! One last update I did – I added some color to the mirror. I’ve actually had that mirror for many years (I bought in my early 20s, from a thrift store for a solid $24.99), and it’s changed colors a few times as well as moved from room to room. It’s also gone through a few repairs, but it still hanging out strong! Like I mentioned, the original mirror in this bathroom was really boring and uninspiring, but as soon as I saw it I knew I could replace it with something more fun! I wasn’t terribly thrilled with how the plain creamy white frame looked in the bathroom, so for fun I used my coral paint to color in the flowers. It’s a very slight update but I really love the way it looks!

Bathroom Update!

This was a really fun project to work on, and surprisingly not too expensive when all was said and done! Here’s a cost breakdown of all my updates:
– Paint: $36 – I only needed about 1/2 a gallon (Lowes)
– Shower curtain: c/o Mood Fabrics (price would have been $104.95 without my allowance, though!)
– New bath rug: $24.99 (Walmart)
– Towels: Approximately $100~ (Target) (I don’t have an accurate amount since I bought them in phases, so this is just an estimate. Also, new towels definitely aren’t necessary but I have been wanting to replace mine for a while so I used this as an excuse! Buying towels specifically to match my bathroom sure feels grown-up lol)
– Wicker Shelf: $8 (Nashville Flea Market) (fun story: I offered the guy $10 for this shelf and he haggled me DOWN to $8! What!!)
Plants: The one on the windowsill was a cutting from my mom, in a vase that I got from a wedding. So, free! The one on the shelf was $9 from Lowes.
Make-up Mirror: $4.99 (Ikea)
Towel hooks (silver): $.499 (Ikea)
Hand towel hook (lemon): $1 (Nashville Flea Market)
Window Privacy film: $13 (Amazon)
Monstera Leaf Painting: Painted by me! Eventually I’d like to build a simple frame and hang it on the wall.
I also changed out the light fixture globes, although I don’t have a before photo of what used to be there! (I tried to find a photo and Google is failing me… imagine a shallow glass shade. Believe me when I say it looked terrible.) These came from Habitat for Humanity and were $6 for both. Eventually I’d like to replace these with something that looks like flowers, but they are good enough for now!

Bathroom Update!

ANYWAY I guess that about wraps this post up! I am really happy with how the bathroom turned out – it brings me joy just to be in there now! And as an added bonus, coral is a SUPER flattering color for me, so I basically am always feeling my look when I’m getting ready in the morning haha.

I’m not sure what room I want to work on next, but I’m excited regardless – I feel like this house is one big neverending art project, and I am here for it!

** Note: The fabrics used in this project were provided to me in exchange for my participation in the Mood Sewing Network. All opinions are my own!

Sewing For My New Apartment!

28 Jun

All right, y’all, time for something different – another round of HOME SEWING PROJECTS (heh heh heh!). No wait, come back! I promise it’s at least somewhat interesting!

So, as I’ve mentioned repeatedly – I moved this month! Yay! From a basement apartment in the middle of the woods, to a second floor apartment with masses of windows in my favorite part of Nashville. Literally movin’ on up, here! :B Since things go all kinds of haywire during moving month (from packing, to moving, to unpacking, to figuring out your new neighborhood bar, etc etc), I knew I probably shouldn’t devote myself to trying to make a whole outfit or something crazy for this month’s MSN project. Never mind that I actually unpacked and set up everything in 3 days hahaha. I decided to focus my efforts on sprucing up and decorating, to get the new place real pretty instead. Not to mention, this gave me an opportunity to actually shop the home decor selection at Mood Fabrics. Yes! I don’t normally sew with home decor fabrics, like, ever (too stiff to wear, at least for me!), so that whole side of the website was so fresh and new and different and ahh I love it.

Linen apron

First up is a basic (but so useful!) apron, made using this Blue and White Striped Linen. I know, aprons are generally one of those things that people make when they are first learning how to sew haha. To be completely honest – I’ve never actually sewn an apron before (as with all my adult learning, I jumped straight into the “difficult” stuff). But I knew I needed one because I am a helluva messy cook – I get splatters everywhere and I’m always wiping my hands off on my clothes. I’m also a really clean cook – in the sense that I clean as I cook (seriously – I won’t even sit down to eat until all the cooking dishes are washed, unless there’s something that needs to be soaked. A sink full of dirty dishes stresses me out!) – so I’m also usually covered with water by the end of the prep. Using an apron might actually make me feel more like a grown-up. Plus it would be cool to wear one while whipping up a delicious meal to impress whatever man I have over. If that ever happens. BTW, Tinder is incredibly depressing hahaha. ANYWAY, MOVING ON NOW.

I didn’t use a pattern to make this, just this adjustable Unisex Apron tutorial from Purl Soho. You basically make a series of measurements directly onto the fabric to get your pattern. From there, it’s just a lot of folding, pressing, and topstitching. The tutorial was really easy to follow, and this linen was even easier to sew up. I did find that the straps were a bit too low to hit my waist – so to fix this, I folded over the top by another couple of inches and topstitched it down, which shortened the apron enough so that everything hit me in the right spot. A better fix would be to reduce the angle and length of the diagonal cuts, obviously, but since my pieces were already cut at this point, this was a quick and dirty fix!

Other changes I made to the ~design~ was to leave off the pocket (what’s the pocket for, anyway? Dirty spoons? Secret snacks? Seriously, I am not putting my phone in that mess) and also to change the webbing to some 1″ twill tape. I did try the webbing, but it was WAY too stiff to be comfortable or even tie easily. The twill tape is nice and soft and it’s much more comfortable. I also topstitched along the edge of the apron where the twill tape goes around the neck, because otherwise it tends to slide off when you’re putting it on. The topstitching anchors everything so it stays in place at the neck, but the sides/back are still adjustable πŸ™‚

Linen apron

Linen apron

Linen apron

Linen apron

Linen apron

Once I finished with the apron, I realized I had quite a bit of fabric left over (I had bought 2 yards). Not enough to make a full garment, but certainly enough for some kitchen linens! Yeah, Friday night just got WILD up in here!

Linen napkins

Linen napkins

I was able to squeeze out 7 cloth napkins, and 3 dishtowels. Yay! For the napkins (pictured above), I cut 13″x13″ squares (I know there are lots of sizes for cloth napkins, but I personally like mine to be about 12″ square) and folded each edge under 1/2″ twice, and then topstitched. Really easy, and very fast when you sew it assembly-line style πŸ™‚ This was definitely not the most exciting project, but it is certainly useful! I am trying to move away from using disposable products as much as I can, including paper products like napkins, mostly cos I’m sick of having to buy them over and over. Plus, cloth really does wipe your face off better than paper does. Now if I could just get my visiting friends to stop using paper towels to dry their hands (whyyyy do people do this, use a real towel ffs).

Linen kitchen towel

The dishtowels have a finished measurement of 25″ x 14.5″, and were sewn in the same manner as the napkins. Again, definitely a useful thing for my kitchen! I prefer smooth tea towels over the really plush terrycloth kind, at least for kitchen use, and these work exactly the same way. I love the blue stripes and I love how they look in my (admittedly boring off-white) apartment kitchen πŸ™‚

Now, linen does tend to wrinkle up like crazy and this particular linen was no exception! I will point out that it was very stiff and flat when it arrived, but washing it made it soften up very nicely. I actually washed my linen 3x in hot water (and dried on extra hot) before cutting into it, to get it to shrink as much as possible and also because that does help with preventing future wrinkles. As you can see, they still wrinkle when they are laundered, but it’s not terrible. I’ve learned that just giving them a good shake after pull them out of the wash helps a lot. I do put mine in the dryer, however, line-drying will also prevent wrinkles as well.

My last home project doesn’t involve sewing at all – just fabric and hot glue πŸ™‚

Recovered Lampshade

I’ve had this cool gold floor lamp for several years (and my grandpa had it in his home for even MORE years before I got my hands on it), but the drum shade has definitely seen better days. It’s pretty old and brittle and will crack if you so much as look at it funny. I also wasn’t a big fan of the yellow-y off-white color, especially not for my new place. Rather than try to buy a new drum shade (because those things are $$$ – if you can even find one!), I recovered this one!

Recovered Lampshade

Recovered Lampshade

The fabric is this beauuuuutiful Peacock Geometric Chenille. The colors were perfect for my new living room, and I just love the chenille texture! The fabric was wide enough so that I only needed a half yard to cover my lampshade, but I may end up buying more to cover some pillows for my couch as well πŸ™‚ Because it’s THAT beautiful!

Anyway, covering the shade was really simple! I cut the fabric to be a couple inches taller than what I needed to cover the shade, and then turned under one long edge by 1/4″ and hot glued that to the wrong side of the fabric (since it does fray a lot, you’ll want to cover your raw edges or double turn them). Then I carefully wrapped the shade with the fabric, hot gluing as I went. The edge at the top of the shade was left raw, and then covered with this gold metallic braid. The bottom has an overlap of about 2″ of fabric (the edge with the 1/4″ turn under). When I came back around to where I started, I turned the fabric under 1/4″ and glued it down before overlapping. Done and done!

Recovered Lampshade

Here is the shade in all it’s glory, in my NEW LIVING ROOM πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ (psst – see that chair in the background? I recovered that bad boy a couple of years ago – also thanks to Mood Fabrics! πŸ˜‰ ). Also, I totally knit that white blanket – using size 50 needles and fluffy wool roving that basically feels like a cloud. It’s a simple k2 p2 rib, and just big enough for me + my cat to cuddle up. Ravelry notes are here, if you are interested!

Ok, so real talk – sewing things for the home doesn’t exactly top my list of favorite things to make, but it’s fun to switch things up every now and then! Not to mention, in a world where greys and chevrons are the current fashion, it’s really nice to have full control over my decor (even if it means I have to be a little bit more hands-on than just throwing something in my shopping cart at Target). What about you? Do you even sew (or hot glue) for your home?

Note: Fabrics were provided to me by Mood Fabrics, as part of my involvement with the Mood Sewing Network.

Completed: Reupholstered Chairs

8 Aug

Soooo this is a little different from what I usually offer up here for my Mood Sewing Network posts – we are gonna talk about home decor fabric today! ::evil laugh:: No wait, come back, I promise it’s not all bad!

Forreal, though, I’ve known about Mood Fabric’s home fabric offerings since, well, the beginning of my Mood-time. And while I’ve never been one to futz much with home decor sewing (I mean, c’mon, wouldn’t we rather all sew clothes for ourselves?), I did have some chairs that needed to be recovered. Like, two years ago. When I bought them.

So, in celebration of Mood Fabric’s new home decor storefront opening (which I’m really excited to visit when I’m in NYC next week! Eep! Next week!), I bring you my chairs that are badly in need of a facelift.

Reupholstered Chairs - before

Lookit that bad boy!

Reupholstered Chairs - before

No, that’s not even the worst – look at THIS! Can you believe I sat on that rank-ass looking thing for over 2 years? Yeah. I blame it on not being able to commit to the perfect fabric. Either that, or laziness. Probably both.

So, finding a good home decor fabric is hard, y’all. The ~free spirited artist~ in me wants something with bright colors and textures and maybe peacocks… but the tiny adult in me knows I should pick something more subdued that will continue to work with my ever-changing decor. I think I found a nice middle ground, though, with this chartreuse geometric cut velvet fabric. Even though it’s chartreuse, it’s pretty mild by home-decor standards (the color doesn’t necessarily “match” my curtains, but it goes well enough), and the geometric design gives it a bit of fun texture and visual interest without assaulting your senses. I like it!

Soo, that brings us to the next step – the upholstering.

Well, first off, let me just say this – it’s really easy, at least with a simple chair like this. Those of you who are diehard professional re-upholsterers, please avert your eyes. I’m sure I’m doing everything wrong here, oh well!

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics
PART ONE: THE DESTRUCTION
First, we have to remove the chair pad from the chair frame. It should unscrew from the bottom. Take everything apart and stash the screws somewhere safe so you don’t lose them (I should note that I didn’t lose a screw from this chair – it only had 3 to begin with! Someone else’s problem!) (and DUH I only put 3 screws back in the chair. Like I have time to find a 4th screw lololol)

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics
Flip the pad over so you can see the staples, and start yanking them out. If you have a staple remover, that would be helpful. If not, you can use a flat head screw driver. Ideally, you want to remove all the staples – not just the ones holding the fabric down. Or you can just be sloppy and rip off the fabric, but seriously, dude, removing staples is kind of fun.

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics

Once you’ve completely dissembled your chair seat, you should have something like this. Wooden chair seat pad thing, fabric cover, and padding.

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics
PART 2: LAYING THE FOUNDATION
Using your fabric cover as a guide, cut out squares of the new upholstery fabric to size. If you don’t have the old fabric to use, then measure for a 4″ overlap on all sides (so my 16″ pads needed 20″ square covers). Padding can be cut to the same size as the chair seat. I initially cut off the selvedge of my fabric because I thought it looked nicest that way, but when I started ripping the rest of the seats I realized that the original upholsterer left the selvedges on. So my remaining 3 chairs have fabric selvedge, which helps with fraying.

While I did decide to add some new padding to my chairs, I did not completely replace the padding that was there. Upon inspection, it seemed to be in pretty good shape (apart from the whole falling-out-of-the-chair aspect, anyway), so I just added a layer to the top for some extra squish and called it a day. If you are completely replacing your padding, you may want to cut multiple layers.

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics
PART 3: THE REBIRTH
Now we get to staple! Stack your padding and fabric with the wooden seat base centered at the bottom. Starting in the middle of one side, staple the fabric to the seat. Now move to the side opposite where you just stapled, pull the fabric taunt, and staple in the center. Continue working around the base of the chair, opposite sides at a time, until all 4 sides are stapled down securely. I found it was easier to do one set of sides at a time (as opposed to working all the way around at once).

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics
To miter the corners, fold as shown and staple as you go.

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics
Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics

Your finished seat should look like this. Woohoo!

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics
Now screw it back on the chair frame and sit in that chair like the boss you are!

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics

THAT IS DAMN SEXY

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics

AMIRITE OR AMIRITE?

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics

For serious, though, I’m a little embarrassed at how stupidly easy this whole ordeal was. From disassembling, to cutting, to stapling, to screwing, heck – even sweeping the floor – this all took about an hour. That’s it! For four chairs!

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics

Chairs reupholstered with fabric from Mood Fabrics

I want to say I should have done it sooner, but damn – I don’t think I would have picked as good a fabric. Sometimes it does pay to wait! Also, this was a fairly inexpensive project – I only needed a yard and a half of fabric (again, my chair seats are 16″ square and I had 4 of ’em). My fabric was $45 a yard, which is stupid pricey, but the batting was only $8 a yard. All together, the cost of the fabric was less than $80 – I already had the staple gun, but it’s a cheap one that cost less than $10. You could obviously make this a much cheaper project with less luxe fabric or not buying batting, but considering I paid $100 for the table & chairs (plus a matching buffet in the living room – told ya our flea market was wonderful. Oh! My old lady dining room curtains are from there, too!), I don’t think that’s a very bad deal at all! Again, for full disclosure – I received credit for this fabric in exchange for my monthly contribution to the Mood Sewing Network. I got to pick the fabric and project on my own, though πŸ™‚

What about y’all? Anyone have experience with upholstery or other home decor sewing – or is that something you’d prefer to leave to someone else to do? I made someone lined curtains once (for the 12ft ceilings in his swanky loft), and UGHHH NEVER AGAIN.