Posts Tagged ‘simple sew’

DIY Kitchen Upgrade: Simple Sew-Easy Valance

Monday, April 13th, 2009

You know how you look at some design element in your home over and over, and it just doesn’t look right, and you just can’t put your finger on why? (Enter blogger helpers…) That’s the story behind my kitchen window valance. It’s a large picture window that looks out into my garden in the backyard, so I didn’t want to obstruct the view, I only wanted to add some soft fabric detail. The wall paint is a dijon color, the wall cabinets are white, and the center island cabinets are this complimentary butternut color:

island_thumb[4]

The original fabric I chose to create the first valance last year was a Waverly rooster toile. The problem with the original valance was that the fabric’s yellow background was the color of American mustard, while the wall color was more Dijon mustard, and with the clashing of these two yellows, the walls finally exclaimed, “Excusez-moi”.

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Clothed At Last, Clothed At Last, Thank God Almighty…

Monday, March 16th, 2009
I am not ashamed to admit that my idea of a good time on a weeknight is a martini and a date with Mr. Singer (my sewing machine). I am in love with him, but he is not that into me. I know he is not enamored with me because I lack sewing talent. I can thread the little guy, and run a straight stitch, but that’s all folks. Mr. Singer longs for a gal with better skills than mine. Nevertheless, I know enough to accomplish my next task: clothing the naked wall.


Meet my naked wall. Ever since the remodel of 2006 (the lost year), when we reconfigured our floorplan to incorporate a separate living room, this wall has taunted me. So exhibitionist in its nakedness, constantly reminding me that it lacked any coverings whatsoever. I would walk past it everyday, hanging my head *sigh*, holding fast to my “don’t decorate all at once, take your time, get it right” philosophy. But naked wall was wearing me down.


Ballard Designs is one of my go-to catalogue’s for inspiration. I saw them advertising a party table and custom slipcover option in burlap. Burlap. Okay, I know some designers are into it, but if you ask me, burlap belongs in a barn. I’m a soft texture kind of gal. [Don't de-friend me if you like burlap.] But it wasn’t their fabric choice that got me so much as the PRICE. For a 42″ square party table they’re asking $129. For the custom fabric tablecloth, they’re asking an additional <*choke, cough, gag*> $217 to $457. Um, I think that’s a crime in some states.

[Confession: this look is kind of gorgeous]

Here’s my party table (48″ x 24″) that’s been collecting cobwebs for a year in my garage. I purchased it last year at Home Depot for $20 to use for parties.


I went to the local fabric store and practically stole this gorgeous embroidered linen fabric on sale for $6 a yard (orig $15 a yard). I hemmed the bottom with what I call the “double foldover” hem job.


Then I cut the top piece, and just like making a slipcover, I attached the fabric pieces together with pins (inside out). A few seams and 90 minutes later, I had myself a custom tablecloth. Check out this beautiful embroidery in the fabric. I also added some bronze trim around the seam, just to up the ante.


Then I got my end chairs at my dining room table to file for legal separation from the rest of my dining room set. They were bored there anyway and needed some space. With a new makeover (see this post), my dining room chairs now sit next to my Ballard style table. A few weeks ago, I ordered a set of four Paris prints from JCPenney on clearance for $129 (with free shipping!) Iron the linen tablecloth, add a few decorative items, and voila !

I amuse myself and say this is all temporary of course, because I covet this sofa from Crate and Barrel for the same wall and someday will talk Mr. CG into this worthy investment.


Until then, I am glad naked wall is clothed at last.

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