Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One Advantage of Fabric Hoarding

There is very little positive to be said for having a sewing room that is stacked from floor to ceiling and almost wall to wall with yards of fabric. There are pieces in there that I haven’t seen for years, and I know I’ve unnecessarily bought additional yardage when I’ve forgotten (or can’t find) the stuff I already have.

But every once in a while it does come in handy. Just on those rare occasions when you need 10 to 15 yards of prints, solids, and varying weights and fabric content all in vaguely coordinating colors. You can easily redo an entire room!

Here are some bits and pieces from the guest room makeover that I did last week while putting off a dreaded task (the shirt alterations). The guest room is actually more of an office, and is only rarely used for guests. But since I work in the office most of the day, I like it to look kind of interesting, and I update it a couple of times each year.

Duvet Cover: formerly a faded peachy-orange, bleached white and dyed with Rit Kelly Green + Lemon Yellow (yes, that is a cute little dog in the pillows )

I like green! There's a lot of green in my wardrobe and my home, and possibly an excess of green in my stash. Plus I picked up several green and garden-related fabrics on my recent trip to Northern CA (how I miss those blue skies and cool temps!). So I was itching to use a few in a way that would get them out of the fabric piles and let me enjoy them regularly.

The colors are hard to see due to photography, but I would categorize them in the olive and chartreuse group, with some yellow and sage tossed in. A salad of green fabrics!

Shams: thrifted shower curtain (still in package!)

Pillowcases: 1 yard each of quilting cottons. I split the yards to make the case and trim out of contrasting fabric, and added the white and brown polyester lace at the seams. This was inspired by a cute set of pillows with crochet edging that Kathleen posted on her Grosgrain blog. I don't crochet, but...

Green – Deb Strain’s Bees in the Cherish Nature group by Moda. I got this at Fabrications, a small shop in Healdsburg CA.
Yellow – Jason Yenter’s Yellow Bee Hive in the Botanica group by In the Beginning that I got at Stone Mountain and Daughter in Berkeley.

Throw Pillows: fronts – quilting cotton scraps from a previous project, backs – unused dinner napkins

Curtain: 2 yards of Michael Miller Papillon from fabric.com, with shower curtain trim

Dog Blanket (yes the dogs get their own blanket): pieced T-shirt fronts in gold, green, yellow, olive

Total Cost: depends on how you look at it. All the sewing took less than a day so that’s negligible. The items that are recent enough to remember add up to about $45. And that’s not bad, but you can buy a decent bed-in-a-bag for not much more than that.

On the plus side, this was all stuff that was sitting in the sewing room taking up space, and definitely not getting any value for the money spent. So I’ve reduced the stash by approximately 10 yards, an old duvet cover, some napkins, half a dozen old T-shirts, and an old curtain. Plus I have bright new custom decor in the office/guest room. Win-win.

At some point I would like to finish this little makeover by covering the hideous faux-Southwestern style headboard, as well as my desk chair, which is not very comfortable. I know I have enough fabric in the stash to do it!



  1. So pretty! You should do a DIY tutorial on the dog blanket from the t-shirts. Your piecing is really interesting!
    xo, Anita

  2. Thank you! That is a nice idea to do a tutorial. I had a huge bin of old tees and at one time thought I might stitch up a whole stack of pet blankets for a shelter or something. But in one of my recent cleaning manias, I decided I was never going to get around to actually doing it, and took the entire bin to the Salvation Army. Good intentions that never came to fruition.
    So no tutorial will be coming in the near future, but those darn shirts do pile up ...