Sunday, April 18, 2010

Window dressing... adventures of the "sew-sew" hostess.

I love this arts and crafts print.
  The rich vibrant earthy colours and the organic elements drawn from nature.

When we were decorating our dining room we had to decide on the window treatment for a large window which takes up the better part of the north wall.
We needed something to give us privacy and add a barrier from the drafts that single paned windows are notorious for letting in.
I love luxurious draperies and had an idea in my mind of what I would like.
Unfortunately, my dream drapes did not fit into my modest budget pre- year 2000

I had related my frustration to a friend and she suggested that I make them!

(I am not handy with needle and thread.I took sewing in school, made a few dresses but they had, what my teacher referred to, "bubble darts." LOL)

My sew savvy friend mentioned that she had made ALL (10 pairs) of her drapes for her heritage arts and crafts home. (I swoon here)
She has the most incredibly beautiful arts and crafts printed fabrics this side of William Morris's homeland!

 I went fabric shopping, starting out at the bargain store and other than some Sanderson bolts I was very disappointed.
Next, off to the better quality fabric store....nothing but frustration.
 I tentatively tip toed into the upscale boutique where the local decorators and monied folk shop.
Voila...reams and reams of heaven-on-earth quality weaves, hundreds of choices, and thousands of swatches!
I have arrived...
Interior decorators are swarming.
My heart is beating fast.

I saw this bolt of cloth and fell instantly in love and HAD to have it. 
Nothing else I saw even came close.
The cost of the fabric alone was at the very outside of my budget.
That's normal for me!
I waited for a sale and got 15% off.
I was buying many meters so the savings were substantial.
The bolts were so heavy that I needed help to the Volvo...
BTW that's another reason I love my car it always accommodates my finds.

I purchased all the necessary supplies as directed by my sew savvy friend and I went over to her house as she suggested to embark on the journey that would be life altering.
 Over the next 2 weeks we worked side by side for many hours.
She was patient and her expertise was essential to the success of this project.
(Our husbands suffered through late dinners and take aways but in the end it was definitely worth it.)

 We laid out the fabric, cut and matched the prints so they would flow according to the pattern repeat.
 Installed pleater tape at the top, pulled the threads of the tape until the 2 times the window formula size was evenly distributed.
 We sewed the panels, and added the insulating liner.
Ironing was done after every step to insure a crisp and professional job.
We pinned up the bottom hems and I brought them home to hang in place.

Large wooden rings were used as the rod was a thick wooden one.
Mr. HB had this job as he has the "architectural eye."

The pinned hems were in place for a few months before I got around to hand stitching them!
It was a major undertaking but the results were worth it.
I am happy today with my decision to sew my own as opposed to "settling" for something inferior which no doubt would have gone the way of the DODO!

"Where there's a will, there's a way."
I made it happen.
(with the help of a great friend!)

Sometimes I surprise myself.

What have you done that you thought impossible?
Have you surprised yourself?
Pushed the comfort envelope?

I do not pump my own gas so I have something else to tackle when I muster up the courage!


  1. You have never pumped gas? How do you refill when you are out and about? Please tell me your husband goes everywhere with you lol!

  2. Hi Leslie,

    The drapes came out beautifully! They certainly look like a professional whipped them up. I'd love to see the whole room.

    I try to "push the envelope" daily!


  3. I raise my hat for you! I would never have been able to do something so time consuming. The result is beautiful. Maybe my greatest achievement, which I have done for many years, is the raking of the yard. It takes so much time, and I´m sick all over every night. In the beginning, I tried to pick every single leaf and it took me two weeks, four hours a day. Lately I have not been as precise, and I have had hired help.

  4. Suburban princess- I live in an area where service stations still serve!
    On road trips I make certain the tank is full before leaving and on long trips Mr.HB is usually the driver! LOL

    The gardener's cottage- I will take photos of my dining room and do a post soon.

    Metscan-I had help from a great friend and that's what made the difference! Your yard must be very large and nature can be very messy when it comes to leaves...I find nothing amiss hiring help...I have a cleaning gal every week for a couple of hours and there are only 2 of us here plus the cat!