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    “The most potent muse of all is our own inner child.”
    Stephen Nachmanovitch

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    Location: Colorado, United States

    I'm a wife, a mom, a dog lover, a complete lefty, a true scorpio, and I'm on a creative journey. I welcome you to join me.

    Sewing Southpaw...

    Is the place where I share my creativity, my hobbies, and other stuff!

    01 February 2010

    Tinkering Around the House

    In light of recent events I've decided to take some time out and tinker around the house. Thinking that maybe if I get back in touch with home and hearth I wouldn't feel so disconnected.

    For those of you who don't know, we completed a major remodel in April, 2009. Not that there isn't a lot still to finish. LOL. But I can now check off main floor window treatments off of my "list".

    (These window treatments were surprisingly easy and inexpensive to make. I'll give you a tally at the end. You can also click on the image to enlarge.)

    You will notice in some of the before photos that there are no window treatments. Despite the fact that the original/existing fabrics were/are really nice quality Waverly Home Interior fabrics, they were just so NOT MY STYLE in the way they were combined/used, so I jerked them down almost immediately. I did however, keep most of them to mix/match and repurpose at some other time.

    I did repurpose some of the original/existing window treatment fabrics in the kitchen. For the pantry door I used fabric from the original living room window treatments. It's a cute red and off white checkered pattern that just screams "BISTRO" and I love it behind the glass in the pantry door.

    And for over the sink area I used a piece of a large floral print from the Master Bed/Bath to make a cafe curtain. I just added the contrasting stripe fabric from what I already had in a box downstairs. I also repurposed the rod and corner/bay connector piece from another room, and I already had the cafe curtain clips, making these no cost window treatments.

    In the eat-in kitchen area I used the companion ivory and sage sheer fabric that matches the solid home decor fabric on my chair cushions (that I made in Texas). Finding enough of this sheer fabric at my local JoAnn's (after 5 years) was pure luck! The secondary layer is a sage/moss green sheer. Both of these fabrics were on sale clearance for .99 cents per yard, marked down from $9.99 and $12.99, respectively. (Don't look at my window sills - I still have to sand and stain them or maybe add granite like in the kitchen window.)

    In the close up you can see (or maybe not) that the sheers are customized and attached directly to the rod. This translates into many, many hours on a ladder with needle and thread in hand.

    The original window treatment in the family room consisted of a fabric wrapped piece of foam placed at the top of the windows with matching dummy panels flanking the large window. I actually love this fabric and have started hacking it up to make window treatments for a room upstairs.

    Because we get so much light in this room, I just cannot seem to get a better photo of these window treatments. If I don't 'dim' the photo, you can't see anything for the LIGHT! Again, I used the same ivory and sage sheer fabric from the eat-in area but this secondary fabric layer is a beige sheer (somewhere between the new wall color and the furniture) and was also on sale clearance at JoAnn's for .99 cents per yard, marked down from $9.99.

    These window treatments were made and attached the same as in the eat-in area, with only slight variation to set them apart in their custom look. And also to accommodate the different sizes of the windows. I really like the way that they look so soft and flowing in the way the ends hang loose and uneven. BTW, all of these sheer fabrics come in 54" width. I simply split them in half widths, added a rolled seam and instantly doubled the amount of fabric I had to work with. Most of the rods were repurposed from other rooms.

    As you can see the dining and living rooms have their own very distinctive styles. Granted, what we've done might not work for everyone but since our style is basically eclectic-traditional we think that we did a nice job of getting them to blend and join together through color and repeating/similar elements.

    In the dining room we took down the wooden blinds and replaced them with ivory, linen roller shades from Budget Blinds. Over that I've made the matching linen sheers and added an additional layer with the dummy drape panels.

    When I ordered the drapery rods from Swags Galore, I bought a few extra corner/bay connectors so that I could avoid issues in this corner. I have the same corners in the kitchen and in the master bath areas. What I didn't do was order a double rod. Luckily, I was able to find the items that I needed (J-hooks and cafe curtain rods) at our Ace Hardware to tweak it out and make my own double rod!

    In the living room we took down the existing wooden roman shades (not my favorite!!!!) and replaced them with a one piece roller shade to match the dining room windows. And as you might expect, the roller shades were on sale, combined with a 30% coupon and mail in rebate they totalled $516 installed. Fairly pricey but well worth it! Especially when you consider that the large window is 93" wide, and that all 3 are extra long.

    The only real difference between the living and dining rooms is that we removed the finials in the living room so that the drape panels would go up against the wall. Oh, and I DID remember the double rod for there. LOL. The last detail to address in this room is the odd shaped window above. I'm thinking some sort of tension rod and a very gathered sheer.

    The drape panels are made from an Oyster Pearl colored dupioni silk that I got at Needless to say, I ended up getting 16 1/2 yards of beautiful, luxurious, dupioni silk during a promotional sale, with an additional 30% off coupon, and free shipping for an unbelievable $92. How cool is that? I love!!! And the bonus part is I still have a couple yards left over (YAY!!!!).

    The sheers in these rooms were made from a really nice linen that I got on sale clearance at JoAnn's for $1.99 per yard, marked down from $16.99. The great thing about this was that it came in a 118" width. Not so fun to work with but finished, they are gorgeous! I them pulled them back with a decorative ivory rope cording and the drapery panels are lined with a wonderfully soft, light defusing, linen lining all of which I picked up at my local Hancock Fabrics. After the sale price, clearance price, and in-store coupons I paid $1.99 each for the cords, marked down from $8.99 each and the $6.99 per yard lining (54" wide) was only $2.99 per yard.

    Looking at it all now, I've very pleased with the way the sheers and drapes turned out. I had to cut the silk to 115" in length so that after folded edges and 4" hems they hung at 103" long. And the drape pleats weren't nearly as difficult as I thought they would be. Although I am really surprised that after trimming the salvage edges (1" each side), adding the double folded edges and hems, and the 6" pleats that the original 56 inch wide fabric shrunk to only 16" wide finished - WOW!!!! The only really difficult part of the drapes was having to hand stitch everything except the 2 seams across the top hem for the pleat placement.

    **TIP** Wrap the finished drapes with twine from top to floor and leave on for 24 hours to shape. This gives you a wonderful even shape and fullness from the pleats to the floor without those nasty, stiff looking ironed lines.

    Now for the cost of DIY custom window treatments for 10 windows:

    $ 62 - Designer drapery rods, hooks, etc.
    $ 35 - Lining fabric (12 yards)
    $ 39 - Sheer fabrics (27 yards)
    $ 78 - Dupioni silk (14 yards)
    $ 8 - Rope cording
    $ 8 - Thread, hardware, and other misc.
    $230 - BASIC TOTAL DIY COST as compared to contracting a designer, which would have cost over $3,000!

    AND WITH THE $516 - Custom roller shades (splurge)

    $746 TOTAL DIY COST...........not bad, huh?!?!?!?!

    Please let me know if you decide to take on your own DIY project. I would love to see what you've done.

    Now it's time to spend some time cleaning and smudging. Odd as it sounds I don't mind doing it and it's a great way to get reacquainted with HOME. I also have some herbs and oils to mix for Imbolc tomorrow. And maybe end the day with a cleansing bath.

    Until Next time...Happy Needling!!!


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    Blogger Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

    That flippin rocks! You are so talented and awesome.

    I hope you find your balance.

    February 1, 2010 at 2:31 PM  
    Blogger Lesley said...

    Wow I'm exhausted just reading about it all. Great results though.
    I wish I had your energy

    February 2, 2010 at 3:58 AM  
    Blogger Debbie said...

    Gerry, wow what a project you took on! You did a wonderful job and your home is beautiful. Debbie (Maine)

    February 2, 2010 at 8:59 AM  
    Blogger Linda Fleming said...

    OMG! Your home is gorgeous. You have a fabulous talent for decorating. We aren't even half way done with our renovating. I've forgotten what it's like to have real floors other than subfloors. It's wore me out and still so much to do. Can I come live with you? I'm housebroke, don't eat much, and seldom bark.

    February 3, 2010 at 12:23 AM  
    Blogger Debra said...

    I've drapes (lined -pinch pleated, etc) and I would say that you did a fabulous job shopping and executing them. It's not always easy finding large amounts of fabric on the clearance table--or that you would want to buy! Excellent!

    February 3, 2010 at 1:13 PM  
    Blogger Gerry said...

    Mindy, I can always count on you to say just the right thing to lift my spirits - thank you!

    February 8, 2010 at 3:09 PM  
    Blogger Gerry said...

    LOL – energy????? Truth be told, I’m running on pure adrenaline, Leslie!

    Debbie, you sound as if you could actually hear me swearing clear up at your house. LOL. Thank you so much visiting and your compliments. It’s really rewarding to make a house your home!

    Thank you, Linda. Perhaps my decorating skills will somehow make up for my other short-comings! I would love to see some photos of your remodel progress. Sometimes just seeing a LITTLE progress helps remind us why the hell we started in the first place. LOL.

    And yes, you may come and live with us but you must bring Bella!! Housebroke is good, barking’s negotiable, but there’s always plenty to eat. LOL.

    Thank you, Debra. I’ve seen your work and consider that quite a compliment~

    February 8, 2010 at 3:27 PM  
    Blogger Cathy K said...

    Gerry, you did an absolutely beautiful job of not only the draperies, but bringing it all together! Your home is gorgeous and comfortable. Way to go! Miss seeing you around! Hugs, Cathy

    February 9, 2010 at 3:41 PM  
    Blogger Gerry said...

    Hi Cathy, Gosh, I can’t remember if I responded or not – sorry! Anyway, thank you for visiting and for the ‘thumbs up’ on the draperies (and the house).

    I popped in yesterday to peek around at your blog. Love Victoria! I’ve toyed with getting a dress form but that might just be one thing I don’t need. LOL. Although it might be better to put my antique wedding dress on a form as to have it living on a hanger.

    Hugs and kisses to that darling little grandbaby!!!

    March 16, 2010 at 8:17 AM  

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