I’m working on adding a few homemade Christmas touches each year to our collection and this year I decided to DIY a new pillow cover for our couch. The sectional is an ever-changing pillow hodge podge (I tend to just cover up a current pillow with a new cover, so sometimes you can find two or three previous designs underneath ) and I scooped up this particular basic tan throw pillow cover from Ikea for $6.
I thought about felting an ornament or Christmas tree design onto the front (maybe a future project?) but then recalled seeing pillows of seasons past with a simple, scripted message and decided to give it a go.
The toughest part was deciding on what word! I love the pretty flow of ‘Merry’ and the joyful message – or state of Christmas being – that it conveys. It’s a good word to see day in and day out during this special time of gratefulness. Plus ‘M’s are just too fun to write out in cursive! (yeah for an ‘M’ first name)
Supplies for this project included two bright red embroidery thread bunches, an embroidery needle and my blank pillow cover.
An embroidery stitch is quite simple, it involves a basic back stitch technique so that while you’re stitching forward in your design, each stitch will head backwards as you go. Forgive the left hand awkwardness of this shot while I balance my camera in the other:
So my forward progress is on the reverse side of the pillow (though make sure you’re not stitching the two pillow sides together) and my needle pops up and out of the fabric about 1/4 of an inch out from the previous stitch. Then I head back towards that previous stitch to cover up my 1/4 fabric gap. The back stitch allows me to overlap my stitches just a hair so that the embroidery might appear to be close to one continuous line.
Writing out the entire word ‘Merry’ took a couple of hours one late evening while we had some friends over. I like projects that occupy the hands but don’t require too much thinking .
I first attempted to draw a light pencil line on the actual fabric to give myself a template to follow with the needle, but quickly found that it disappeard into the color of the tan fabric too quickly. Anything darker and it would have been harder to erase off of this heavily weaved fabric. Update: Sheila just shared with me that you can purchase a vanishing fabric marker that will write purple and disappear by the next day! Perfect!
In the end I wrote out ‘Merry’ on a card and free handed the pillow. The imperfections are part of what makes it special, though I see areas where I would have dipped my cursive down further, should have slanted my ‘y’ more, or might have added more flourish for interest. Ah well.
I’m really excited with how this project turned out given the time I worked on it and the easy update it makes to the living room! When Christmas is over I can pull off the cover of one of my favorite pillows (those ikat tan ones left over from the nursery glider fabric) that’s hiding below and pack up the ‘Merry’ cheer into my Christmas boxes for next year.
Christmas is just around the corner! So exciting!
Tags: Accessories, Christmas, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Home, Living Room, Red, Sewing, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Holidays, Home, Our Living Room, Renovating Adventures | 3 Comments »
This past weekend I finished up the new curtains for the bedroom. Last week I had shared a sneak peek of the fabric I had found, but a little pinning, pressing and hemming later and my curtains are up and hanging.
This room has been asking for a little character update since we moved in almost four years ago, and being the hidden bedroom that it is (no one ever really wanders into the master), I’ve left it as-is for some time. But now it’s well on its way to a little sprucing up! Even if that just means a few new fabrics, art and rearranging.
I’m loving the start! This fabric has had me smitten for some time and just as I had imagined, it goes so well in the space. The blue compliments the bedding and the tans work perfectly with our bamboo roman shades.
The bed still needs a few punchy throw pillows, and I think I’ll recover those bright white shams in the back, but the new front standard shams are from West Elm and my aqua/soft blue coverlet was found at Pottery Barn. So much better than the all-blue as it was before. This side of the bed is still in dire need of a night stand…
Alright, on to those curtains. Here’s the quick and dirty on how I sew a simple unlined curtain panel (this style can be a pocket rod or used with clips like I did above. Just for reference, here’s where I tackled lined curtains).
For me, it’s all about the folding and pressing.
I begin by flipping my fabric over, folding down one edge about 1″ and then I pin and press into place. Next I fold down that same edge to create a wide hem, usually 4-5″ for the bottom of a curtain, 3-4″ at the top and 2-3″ on either side (to me, the thicker the hem the more professional it looks).
Here’s an example of prepping the top of the curtain. First I fold the fabric over 1″ and pin, then press that fold into place. Next is folding again for an addition 4″, pin then press. This is what is my new top pocket rod if that’s the style of curtain I’m making.
That pressed crease is key! It will not only guide your sewing line but will keep the curtains looking polished.
I repeat that process for three of the four sides (all except the bottom) and then sew along the top fold about 1/2″ in from each new hem (not the edge of the curtain but the folded over part, see arrow).
I sew the top hem first and then hang my curtain to let the weight of it pull the fabric down. Now I measure exactly where the fabric hits the ground and pin about 1″ below that to allow a slight break at the floor. This establishes the base point of my curtain. (I highly recommend remeasuring here by hanging your curtain unfinished from the rod, there’s nothing like sewing a panel in one go to only find out your 1/2″ too short or too long!)
Next I pinned, pressed and sewed the bottom hem just as I did the top. I haven’t sewn my sides up, but they are pressed into place just like in the image above.
Now it’s time to sew up the sides. Beginning at the top panel hem (not the top of the curtain) I sew straight down each side, again about 1/2″ in from the folded over hem edge. I’m keeping my top and bottom hems unsewn along the sides because I think it looks cleaner, and it creates a nifty little pocket if you want to hang your curtains directly from the rod without clips.
If I flip the corner over, here’s a visual that shows that the side hem stops right at the bottom hem.
And if you have any boo boos? Because mistakes are always inevitable… I turn to my trusty Sew No More (discovered this guy in the $1 bin at Vons – you know, the bin where they’re just trying to get rid of product? But this stuff is awesome.)
My sewing machine stitch hadn’t caught about 10″ of a pressed hem, so I applied a little fabric adhesive and now it’s all better.
The last step was ironing the curtains one last time and then hanging them up! As mentioned before, I opted to hang my panels from curtain rod clips (you can find a pack of 7 – one pack for each panel – at any home improvement store).
To help shape the pleats, I improvised a bit and used a hair duck clip and left the panels bunched for several hours.
I’m sure there’s a better way to do that…
The curtains tie in well with other areas of the room, too. A garage sale painting I found a while back (above chair) looks as if it were made with the curtain color palette in mind:
I’m thinking now that mustard might be a great color to use as an accent on the bed? Actually, the fabric from my thrift store chair looks pretty matchy too.
The curtains also help to balance out a window behind the bed that’s a little off center, though this bed is asking for new throw pillows.
The fabric reminds me of a more floral suzani print, the actual name is Orbetello by Thibaut in blue.
One more project crossed off of the list!
A reminder of the room before we moved in:
What we put together shortly after we unpacked boxes (in pretty bad lighting):
And now where the room is today:
That means as of now the rug, most of the bedding and the curtains are done! With art, pillows and possibly a new bed frame to go.
We actually have plans to demo this room and the adjoining bath to create one master suite sometime next year… that will really be a fun project. But baby steps, all in due time!
Tags: Accessories, Blue, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Fabric, Home, Patterns & Color, Sewing, Tutorial
Posted in DIY, Home, Our Master Bedroom, Renovating Adventures | 14 Comments »
Sharing a quick update in our nursery today. I finally had some time to restring the butterflies from Liv’s felt mobile and to invest in a proper wooden hanger! My previous version worked for a while… and then decided it didn’t want to support the weight of the little floating felt butterflies any longer.
If you’re ever interested in creating your own unique mobile, I highly recommend purchasing a basic wooden frame/hanger from Seven Acre Toys as your base. I searched for quite a while to find something that would fit the look and design that I had in mind and was so happy I eventually came across their site on Etsy. They didn’t sell just the hangers at the time but after reaching out to them with my project they set up a custom listing and built the hanger to my 14″ specs with rounded edges, a wax finish and with drilling holes for hanging, all for just $10 + shipping.
I love the way it looks! And how the butterflies sway and spin casually as breezes enter the room.
I used a small wooden ball bead from a craft store to hide the knot of the four adjoining embroidery thread supports that connect from each arm together. One of these supports continues on up to the ceiling where the entire mobile is supported by a threaded eye screw. Here’s that visual again so you can see what I mean:
This underside image shows that each arm has three drill holes – one at the farthest end for a butterfly, two halfway between the center of the X and the end for the embroidery thread support that reaches up to that wooden bead and for a second butterfly. There’s also two holes in the very center for the butterfly that hangs down the middle, though one would have been fine. Here’s my exact listing if that’s helpful!
And from Olivia’s angle:
The butterflies are two pieces of felt from the Etsy company Three Sheep Studio (they don’t sell quite the color range I was looking for at Joann’s or Michael’s, and this felted wool is just beautiful) connected together by complimentary embroidery thread that wraps around the entire outer edge in a simple stitch. Read more about creating each of those guys here.
Very excited to cross ‘updating Liv’s mobile’ off of my list! And wanted to be sure to share my resources with you all since they were so great to work with.
More Project Nursery posts found here: a new reading nook part 1, finished after photos, no sew fabric pennant, baby clothing art, handmade felt butterfly mobile, DIY crib skirt, basket liners part 1, part 2, the, glider makeover, recovering an ottoman, sewing lined curtains part 1, part 2, part 3, curtain fabric selection, nursery fabric board, rocking horse find, new pendant light, new sconce lighting, vintage wall art addition, changing table makeover, nursery wall striping tutorial , painted animal project, the initial inspiration board breakdown, the before pictures
Tags: Accessories, Bedroom, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Home, Nursery, Pink, Sewing
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Home, Liv's Nursery, Renovating Adventures | 3 Comments »