As alluded to during yesterday’s Monthly Roundup today is a very special day here at the roost. Two years ago today, was the day that I closed on my first house! Happy two-year anniversary to us! And by us I mean the house and I (and my handyman, boy toy, Colby too). I can’t believe that just two short years ago today, I was a goofy (still am) 26 year old who realized her home ownership dreams and was ready to unleash some pent up DIY energy.
That was such a great day and I remember it like it was yesterday. We may still have a long way to go before the house is really, truly done if there is such a thing but we can’t deny how far we’ve come in turning our 100+ year old, seventies decor nightmare into something with a little more style. But anyway, on to the home anniversary celebration. Last year, during Home Anniversary 1 I bought the house flowers for our anniversary; some tulips for the side yard. And I publicly proclaimed to make it a tradition. But that didn’t quite workout this year. I thought of something better. Technically, on one’s second anniversary, you give the gift of cotton. So I thought about giving the house the gift of cotton, you know, the fabric of our lives, but didn’t REALLY get into it until I stumbled across this article in the most recent Better Homes and Gardens magazine:
By the way…I am sooooo making that cake! It was an article about spoonflower.com, which is a site where you can design and print your own fabric. It’s a designer’s dream! After reading the article, I couldn’t believe I had not heard of Spoonflower before. I must have been living under a rock! But what a perfect home anniversary gift; design some fabric for the house. And I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to design and EXACTLY what I wanted to make with the fabric. I have had visions of turquoise/light sea foam colored, wide striped curtains for a solid year. However, you can’t find fabric like that anywhere and I didn’t really want to have seams in the horizontal stripes from piecing together white fabric with turquoise fabric. Solution…enter Spoonflower.
Thankfully I’m a whiz at Photoshop so I designed my fabric there. But if you don’t have the program or the skills, Spoonflower recommends a number of different sites/programs you can use for free or cheap. It’s in their info/FAQs section. But Photoshop is totally my thing and I have it on my home computer so that was my
weapon program of choice.
My design was super easy to make and took me no more than 10 minutes. Wide, light turquoise stripes.
After flattening and minorly compressing my design, I uploaded it to the Spoonflower site using the “Create” tab.
And when designing your fabric, you don’t have to design the whole thing. Just make a section and make it so it’s easily repeatable into a pattern or some sort of configuration. Mine was easy to replicate since it was simple, horizontal stripes, each about a foot tall. There’s even a grid to help you figure out your pattern and you can click on different fabrics/sizes to change the grid and see how your pattern lays out.
The hardest part of the process was deciding which fabric (they have many different blends/sizes) to purchase and how much of it I would need. I was torn between a light, cotton and a heavier weight cotton-canvas. In the end I chose the heavier weight since the fabric was wider than the lightweight cotton. This meant I could make two panels of the canvas out of 3 yards instead of 6 yards of the lighter material. In the end it wound up cheaper, but still not totally cheap. I ordered enough fabric to make only two panels, which will go in the curtainless parlor. Eventually I’ll order more fabric and replace the curtains in the living room with these, but I couldn’t justify spending over $200 on fabric when I wasn’t 100% certain I made the right decisions and ordered the right stuff. I could justify spending $80 on just 3 yards, and if for some reason the fabric didn’t work out for curtains, I could figure out something to do with the fabric. Pillows perhaps?! So I placed my order and it’s expected to be made and shipped within the next seven days!
I’m so excited, or should I say “sew excited” (har, har, har! Bad pun!) to get the fabric in hand and start working on my first solo sewing project. I’m a little nervous but it should be a nice and simple first project to tackle.
Oh…and the other cool thing about Spoonflower is that once you create and order a fabric, you can then list your creation for sale on the website. If someone else orders your design you receive “commission” in the form of PayPal dollars or Spoonflower credit. It just fuels the addiction and keeps the vicious cycle going! Store credit please! I already have about five other fabric designs that I’ve had in my head for ages but have yet to track it down at the local fabric store.
Pssst…So all you readers out there who have tried Spoonflower, what do you all think? Love it? Hate it? Any tips or tricks?
This past weekend, while Colby was traipsing around the woods up at hunting camp, I trekked the three hours north to visit my folks. Not only did I bring the pup (he LOVES his grandparents house) but I also brought a whole bag of fabric. Yup…fabric. As in fabric to make some curtains for the dining room. First off, you should know that I don’t sew and don’t have a clue what I’m doing (I actually asked for my fabric in feet instead of yards….ooops). Second, I made my novice sewing nature blatantly obvious while I was purchasing the fabric. I found this gorgeous taffeta fabric for CHEAP! It was so pretty and I knew it had to come home with. Meet my curtain fabric:
After I had picked up the fabric I was wandering around the store aimlessly, looking for a fabric to line it with. I had no clue what I was looking for. Do I get another taffeta, and do I prefer white or black, or should it be cotton? Apparently my lack of knowledge was obvious and the Jo-Ann’s lady came over to help me. When I asked her what she would recommend using as a curtain lining, she looked at me like I had three heads, maybe four, and told me that I couldn’t make curtains out of taffeta. What?! She told me it won’t block light, it’s fragile fabric to work with, it’s not washable, and it’s just not the right fabric. My reaction…but…but…but…I love the fabric. It’s THE fabric. It spoke to me and told me that it NEEDED to come home with me. So she pointed me to the back of the store where they had several bolts of fabric especially for lining curtains. All I have to say is that the Jo-Ann’s lady just made me want to make these curtains even more….just to prove her wrong! What can I say…I’m competitive like that! And sometimes spiteful! So up in the county…my momma and I buckled down and made some curtains using Ms. Singer:
I quickly learned that curtain making involves lots of pinning:
Lots and lots of pinning:
Then we got to some sewing. First my mom sewed and showed me how to use the machine:
Then I got to take the reins and sew some too:
My dad likes to call sewing “ca-chunking” because when you go really, really slow (like I do because I’m in super concentration mode, taking it slow so I don’t screw up) it sounds like the machine is going “ca-chunk, ca-chunk, ca-chunk”. After I was done ca-chunking, I had a pair of curtain panels.
I’m not going to lie, they’re not perfect. One is actually about a quarter of an inch longer than the other and one of them is not quite square…there’s a serious bubble going on between the plaid section and the lining. But my inner Bob Ross is just saying they’re happy accidents. Besides, it’s more about the experience and spending time with my momma than it is about having perfect curtains. After we were done, I folded up my pretty panels to take home.
Of course upon return I had to test out the panels in the dining room. I still need to finish painting the window trim and then I can install the curtain rod and hang the curtains. There’s still about another week’s worth of work before they can be properly hung, but I NEEDED to know if our hard work paid off. My lovely assistant held up the curtains while I snapped a few pics.
Doesn’t he look enthused? Do you also like how he coordinated his outfit to match the curtains! LOVE them (to be clear I’m referring to the curtains…but I do love Colby too). Now I have a fire lit under my butt to get cranking on the trim painting project. I also should mention that the curtains are just square panels. I’m using curtain clips to attach the curtain to the curtain rod. Thus, no loops or threading the curtain rod through the curtain. I wanted to keep it simple for my first sewing project. And by the way…I’m hooked! I can’t wait to tackle some more sewing projects. I see pillows and other curtains and a duvet cover in my future! Anyway…I’m absolutely in love with the color combo in the dining room.
The black/gray taffeta goes so well with not only the gray walls but also the bright white trim. It’s all very classy looking and the taffeta really makes the room feel rich.
Although, I see these curtains used solely in the winter time. They’ll be great during the Christmas decorating season with reds and greens accenting the table and room. But come summertime, I think I’ll be ready to punch up the color in that room and may trade them out for something a bit more colorful or happy…I’m thinking bright white/yellow striped curtains. And you know I’ll be sewing those up too. This time solo style! Although I do treasure the mother/daughter time that we got out of this curtain project!
Pssst…I’m writing this post while Colby is singing “Goose’s just wanna have fun” (to the tune of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun) and dancing around the living room with the dog. I just thought you should know. The kind of distractions I have to go through to write these blog posts! Sheesh!