21 January 2009

Little sewing projects - curtains, curtains and more curtains

Now that our house is packed with boxes again, I've begun some small sewing projects. Today I made a valance for the downstairs bathroom and lined it with light blocking fabric. I know it's kind of silly to line a valance with light blocking fabric but I wanted the practice of sewing with that particular lining, which is thick and semi-sticky on one side, before attempting some more important drapes with a much more expensive silk fabric. Plus, the light blocking fabric will prevent any damage from UV rays to the silk. All turned out well I think tying the reds, greens, and yellows together and giving the bathroom one last punch of color. Kevin has custom-ordered the double honeycomb blinds with a high R value for this window (and most of the others in the house as well) from a local company in Troy, but the valance will conceal the blinds and hardware when they are opened.

A simple lined valance rod pocket with ruffled header.

I've also finally decided on fabric for the kitchen. The one color scheme I've always loved in the kitchen are the colors of blue willow. So the only colors I ever buy are white and white with blue trim or a willow pattern. This makes it very easy to match sets over time as dishes get broken and chipped. I also like being able to "see" my food so having white plates and bowls appeals to me. I've chosen an Asian blue willow print for the curtains made by Duralee (E20781, royal blue & white Willow pattern). Eventually, the rest of the kitchen will be updated - stainless steel energy-efficient appliances (I can't wait for my induction top stove!), new counter tops, and a backsplash of white tile with a hint of blue border - to better match my curtains. I bought a stainless steel curtain rod in anticipation of my future appliances, which may trickle in one at a time with the rest of our more costly home renovations. Having "colors" makes everything easier. I also bought some bathmats today that I'm going to repurpose into kitchen towels with trim that will match the curtains. They would have done terribly as bathmats but they will make for very soft absorbent kitchen towels!

I'm trying a new style of curtain for the kitchen - inverted box pleats. It's a bit more formal for a valance with such a large playful print on it but I expect it to hang well and the personality should match mine in the kitchen - both formal and playful.

And, as if that weren't enough, I let Savannah pick out the fabric for her playroom curtains. I think she did a great job! The playroom has an enormous picture window that is almost 100 inches wide. I wanted to hang a large retro-looking curtain with oversized grommets but Savannah prefers the ring clips. Here's the fabric she's selected along with floor tiles and the paint. I want to finish the curtains before Kevin returns from his trip, if possible, because there's no way he would approve of this bold fabric choice. Because the fabric is from a 2006 Alexander Henry collection (Mocca), I've purchased it for only $5 a yard! I'm working on convincing Kevin that a bright red sofa or slip covered sofa, would look great in the kids playroom but he's not convinced. Brown is my second choice and after that a plain old neutral. Either way, the sofa will be plastered with pillows that match the curtains. I might also make floor pillows for the kids for this room since it's meant to be a 100% kid-friendly space.

Above are the Alexander Henry fabrics Savannah selected for the playroom (Esprit stripe, Mocca and Kleo). The large print on the right will be made into curtains (in progress). Below are the floor tiles, paint color and Chobi rug that I'd already picked out. As the kids grow, it will be very easy to make the room more sophisticated but until then, I see nothing wrong with some bold color choices that say, come and play.

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