Learn how to sew for your home with videos and instructions.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Animal Prints - Oh My!

Animal prints are everywhere, from clothing fashion to home fashion. A little leopard can give a timeless touch of glamour or use crisp zebra stripes to create a modern, hip design statement. Faux fur is used for cozy throws, pillow accents and upholstered cubes.
Go Wild and add a little animal print to your life.




Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Draperies

I did a little home decorating project for myself. That seems to be a rare thing for drapery makers, just like the cobbler with shoeless children our windows go bare. In fact, I have been in this apartment for nine months. I know people that have produced beautiful children in that amount of time so I have no excuses.

So below is the blank slate. Two 60" wide windows and with 9 foot ceilings I planned on 95" long draperies that would break to the floor. Yes, drapery panels. Just like the perfect little black dress, panels are always appropriate. I also realize that that this is not a long-term residence and panels are easy to alter and reuse down the road. The blinds had to stay and provide light control and privacy.

First I had to pick out fabric. That was the perfect excuse to visit Mary Jo's Cloth Store in Gastonia, NC. This store is fabric heaven and there were many choices within my budget. After many trips around the store with camera in-hand to record each "favorite" I settled on brown floral with a linen-like texture. I liked the colorful print and overall pattern that was not dominated by one bold flower. I also found a deeply discounted polyester, light weight linen-look in a terra cotta color to use as privacy curtains on the bottom half of the window.

So with fabric in hand I set out to make the magic happen. The first thing I did was order the decorative hardware. I knew it would take two weeks for it to be "born". I met with Amy Johnson with Finestra Decorative Hardware www.FinestraDecorativeHardware.com and showed her my fabric. Together we picked out the Beauregard finials, one of my favorites with a smooth pole rod, rings and brackets in the Old World Gold finish. I had the opportunity to see my hardware in production. In the photos below the base coat is being applied, the final, beautiful finish is all applied by hand.

Then it was time for the sewing to begin. This all took place over Super Bowl Sunday with my good friend Kelly in her workroom by the lake. It was fun to have someone as talented as Kelly to work with and as they say "many hands make light work". After a fun evening filled with sewing, dinner and a little football I had the draperies completed except for pleating. On my next trip back home to Virginia I would spend an afternoon with my Mother in the workroom where we pleated the panels and I applied the trim using Rowley Fringe adhesive to make quick work of the project. www.RowleyCompany.com

I was so excited when the hardware and draperies were all finished and ready to install. Unfortunately my busy schedule prevented me from doing more than putting up the privacy curtains on tension rods. I enjoyed having the added privacy with the blinds opened and knew that the rest of the project would be installed soon enough.

Finally the day came where I took the time to finish my project. I love the European brackets, they are so easy to install. I was lucky enough to hit wood so didn't even need anchors (partly because of good pre-planning). Rods up, draperies up and I am very pleased with my new, colorful dining area. I am looking forward to entertaining. Come eat!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Jay's Hell-Hooks

Helser Brothers is known for quality decorative iron hardware but the brothers Jay and Mark are also pretty funny guys as evidenced by Jay's post on the Helser company blog today titled "Bloody Walmart Hell-Hooks".

Anyone that has ever set a drapery pin by hand will enjoy the honesty and humor (and pain!) in this posting. The end results? Don't skimp on the drapery pins!

Check it out at www.whyhelser.com

Thanks Jay.

You have conducted the ultimate drapery pin CSI!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

As Simple as Black & White


Color is a mysterious thing.
It has been proven that color can do many things from calming your mood to stimulating your appetite.
Choosing a color for interior design (be it paint, fabric or other finishes) can be a difficult decision.
It isn't as easy as just picking a red or blue.
Colors vary by hue, shade, value and can be warm, cool, saturated or muted.
Color choices are very personal, intimate and biased.
Current trends and fashion influence color as well.
Whew, makes you want to just kick the color buckets and keep it as simple as black and white.


In Style magazine



Better Homes and Gardens

Kathy Ireland
In Style Magazine

Saturday, January 30, 2010



Arched windows are a beautiful architectural element. From grand Georgian mansions to charming country cottages, arched windows have a pleasing and timeless shape. Often the room has one arched window as a focal point with other, standard windows in the room. This presents a challenge to the Interior Designer of how to treat all the windows while maintaining consistency and balance.

The workroom professional must draft accurate patterns when making treatments for ached shaped windows, this includes having a pattern of the arch shape and clear measurements of the width, shortest point and longest point. Materials for constructing mounting frames and cornices include bendable plywood which is also called "wiggle board" and FirmaFlex, a bendable fiberboard (www.rowleycompany.com) which is lightweight, flame retardant and moisture and mildew resistant. Other hardware options include decorative iron rods which can be bent to fit the shape and the rings of course must be secured in place by welding or with small pins and holes.

There are basically two arched shapes; a true half circle or an eyebrow shape. The effect of an arched window can be achieved over a standard window if there is room above to raise the center of the treatment. This can make a boring room more exciting!

I have put together a collection of window treatment designs for arches below. Notice how some of the arches are treated with panels that are straight across the top. This allows for more clearance and for the option to traverse as arched treatments can not traverse opened and closed. If a working arched window treatment is desired it must be lifted from the bottom so you will often see Austrian, Balloon or Roman shades in arches or the use of tiebacks or Italian Stringing.


From the book Scalamandre', Luxurious Home Interiors by Brian Coleman, photography by Dan Mayers
From the book Fabrications by Katrin Cargill


Hunter Douglas Easy View www.hunterdouglas.com