Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sewn Apartment Accessories

Some apparel sewers deride home dec sewing.  If you are one of them, you may want to click away now!  I am an unashamed home dec sewer: I want to have as nice and unique an environment as my wardrobe.  If one has sewing skillz, and needs new curtains, why not DIY?  

My mother has a business meeting in New York this week, and she's going to stay with me in CT for a quick overnight visit tomorrow.  This spurred me to do some of those housekeeping projects that we've been putting off - like re-arranging rugs, dusting heating boards, re-caulking the shower - and... sewing a few decent throw pillows to replace these nasty, old ones:


I don't remember where they even came from.  So today I made these!:


Instead of doing all plain, square pillows, I learned how to do piping today using this tutorial from Sew, Mama, Sew.  It was so easy! (Though a bit time-consuming the first go-around.) 



The lime zebra fabric is a 100% cotton remnant from JoAnn's.  I also did a little rectangular stripey pillow.  That fabric is from a fabulous local store: it's an old 19th century textile mill that today makes high-end designer upholstery fabrics, and sells the leftovers and mistakes in a small shop below the factory. 


Are you a garment sewer who also sews items for your home?  I actually began sewing by doing home dec items - curtains, pillows - and I think it's a great way to start sewing: it's mostly straight stitching, no complicated darts or zippers, relatively fast projects.  I realized today that it can even be a good way for the apparel sewer to learn a new skill: today I made bias strips for the first time and learned how to make piping. 

I'm not trading in my dress patterns for quilting projects, but it was a fun change today to sew pieces to spruce up the apartment.  How do you feel about home dec sewing?  Do you appreciate it as another fabric craft?  Or are you firmly a Home Dec Hata?

22 comments:

Tasia said...

Cute pillows! The only home dec sewing I've done is pillows, too.
I made a couple for my apple-green couch because it was a hard colour to *buy* pillows for! And I also made some for the patio chairs too. Other than that, there are just too many apparel-sewing projects I'd rather make! :)

Jen said...

Wow, what a fresh new look your whole room must have with the wonderful new pillows! I think they look great !I'll have to look at that tutorial...we are redoing our master bedroom and I'd like to make some fun pillows (though I doubt I'll be able to resist the temptation to somehow create a fur—fake fur—pillow). It would also be nice to have 'extras' to swap the fallish ones we have on our sofa right now so we have some for spring and for winter.

I don't know why apparel sewers look down on home dec sewing, it seems a bit silly to me. For one thing, results are usually quite quick! However, just this summer I had a lady at the fabric store look at me in amazement when she learned I was sewing a valance for the bathroom. "No one does that anymore! Wow!" It was weird...but I love my bathroom curtains, my mother-in-law and mom and friends all think they're darling, and there is no way anyone else has such rocking, pom-pom fringe curtains in their bathroom. :) Besides, as you note, one can quickly learn skills that can be transferred to apparel sewing. And for me, home dec products build confidence in my sewing skills, period.



(BTW, I am new-ish. *wave*)

meli88a said...

I learned how to sew by sewing for my home -- the very first thing I did was reupholster a 3-seater and a loveseat. There was a lot of piping involved. I still can't get myself to make or use piping, and 10 years have passed!

MushyWear said...

Cute pillows. I am happy to do a home dec project when I get the urge. You cannot get such a unique look with store bought, nor can you get just the right look, most of the time, so I much prefer to create my own pillows, drapes, etc. Have fun with your mom!

Seersucker Sally said...

The pillows look great. Home dec projects can be just as creative as apparel projects. I'm currently "upholstering" some cat litter buckets to use as speaker stands for a stereo. Sounds tacky, I know, but I love a challenge.

Eugenia said...

Lovely pillows! It's shocking how much some stores can charge for this kind of thing. Yours look great and will definitely add some style to your home - I love the piping. Mom's going to be impressed!

Gorgeous Things said...

I like sewing home-dec as a palate refresher after sewing clothing. It doesn't require the same fitting skills. Well, as long as you're not making slip covers (did them once, NEVER again!).

Peter said...

Wow, very cool pillows. I have never sewn anything for my home, though goodness knows it could use it!

Clio said...

Sometimes it is just so nice to have a project that doesn't require fitting! I've done place mats, a throw pillow and a bunch of bags (tote bag, diaper bag, hobo...) as non-garment projects.

I love both pillows. I'm sure they add some pizazz to your living room!

Sarah said...

Love the pillows and your curtains. :) I'm a sew anything sewer. Clothes, home dec, bags, costumes, etc. If I can sew it, I usually will.

Angela said...

Your updated pillows are so nice!! I love them way more than your old ones.

patsijean said...

I have sewn lots of rod pocket curtains, never slip covers. I like quilted conforters, so buy yardage, measure into two pieces the length of our king sized bed. Of course I pay attention to the pattern when cutting. Then the two pieces are matched and sewn together, matching the pattern exactly. I take the "comforter" and the extra fabric to a commercial quilters and have them run it all sideways through their big machine and bind it for me. The extra bit I make into a pillow cover for one of Duncan's pillows (our tri-color sheltie who loves pillows).
I've made several plain, zippered pillows but recently learned how to make corded pillows, with a zipper, so I can send them to the cleaners. My first four were great, the fifth was a series of errors, and the 6th & 7th turned out quite well. I am waiting for pillow forms from Batt-Mart (on-line). I have 5 or 6 more planned out of 3 colors of home-dec cordoroy. Yup, I've done home dec.

[patty the snug bug] said...

My very first non-quilt sewing project on a machine was making a slipcover for a chair! It was sort of hard and I figured that if I could dress my chair, I could dress myself!

Karin said...

Your pillows are a big improvement! I do home dec when necessary, but I don't enjoy it. Quilting on the other hand I do quite enjoy.

Sarah said...

ooh I love the green and white ones. Pillows are such a great way to change the feel of a room and gift it a little lift!
Wearing It On My Sleeves

Carolyn said...

Your cushions turned out really fantastic!
re your comment, I'm totally expecting you to wear your black lace dress as a daytime look. I think it would be beautiful! Besides the fact you'll look gorgeous, you get twice as much wear out of an expensive garment. Consider this a challenge...

Rūta said...

They are much nicer now!
About home dec sewing.. well, usually it's hard to find time to do something to make my home more beautiful, but i try.. although i could try more =)

amber said...

Those look great - especially love the piping. Very nice!

Cennetta said...

Your pillow are beautifully made and a great accent to your decorum. And yes, I do home dec and it's a nice little change. Most recently I made curtains for the bathroom and kitchen. Like you, I've made pillows (cushiions) as well as quilts.

Freya said...

Love the cushions!! The piping looks great. I love that being able to sew means everything you make looks original and unique

prom dresses said...

Nice pillows! it would be perfect in my sofa and in my newly designed bedroom.

Sheila said...

Love what you've done.. look at you Ms. Martha... love it. I started out sewing for my home, making curtains, duvet covers, pillows, etc. I totally appreciate it as another craft.