Monday, October 20, 2014

Ask Melissa: Is Blackout Black?

Ask Melissa: Is Blackout Black?

If I had a dime for every time I was asked this question. . . 

No, Blackout lining is not black. It is

White. .  .

Ivory. . . 

Or Ecru.

It is available in other colors, but at WTbM, those are your three options.

Blackout is made with an acrylic Latex foam coating that is around a layer of flocked rayon. It is flame retardant, light blocking, thermal and sound proof!

Blackout, though more expensive, is a great addition to window treatments. This is because it will protect not only the fabric of your window treatments from fading, but it will prevent the items in the room from fading from sun damage as well. 

The only downside to blackout is that when you so it into the window treatments, the sewing needle will take out the blackout and you will be able to see the seams if the sun shines directly through it. Other than that, blackout is a great addition to any window treatment.

Here is a great picture of a hobbled roman shade I just made for a client. I think it's a great example of how the blackout works as you can see the bright sun coming through the side windows, but the blackout is completely blocking it coming from the door.

In the comments section, feel free to ask me any questions you may have about sewing, window treatments, fabric, etc.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you learned something new today :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sponsor Family Update: The Meli family

October Sponsor Family: The Meli Family Update

The month has started off a little slow and we've only raised $100.00 so far. Every little bit helps, but we want to help this family as much as we can! You can donate personally at their gofundme

We are donating $5.00 of every order placed in the month of October to the Meli family and we are also offering you a free shipping coupon "MeliFam" that is good in our etsy store and on our website. This coupon is good on domestic orders only. Shipping roman shades is expensive as they are usually wide and heavy. Take advantage of the free shipping coupon while it lasts! And consider donating your savings to a family in need. 

Thank you all for your support. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Scented Homemade Halloween Play Dough

Scented Homemade Halloween Play Dough

(This is a repost, but I just made more of this the other day and it was so fun. So i thought I'd share again) 

Last week when my kids stayed home from school we spent the day making Halloween play dough. 

Here is what you will need to make scented Halloween play dough:

3 Cups of Flour
1.5 ounces of Cream of Tartar
3/4 Cup Salt
3 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
3 Cups of Water
Food Coloring
1 Tablespoon of extra of your choice of scent (We used orange, but you can use vanilla, peppermint, cinnamon, or any other extract that you might like)
Halloween Confetti and/or glitter

Here is how to make it:

1) Combine first five ingredients in a large pot (I did this in a bowl because I wanted to make five different colors. Mixing it in a bowl first allowed me to pour as much into the pot as I wanted for each color). Whisk until free of lumps.

2) Stir in extract and food coloring. Please note, I learned that extract and red food coloring are not a fan of each other and nearly canceled each other out. So I mixed up another batch of red and omitted the extract. Stir this mixture constantly over medium heat until it pulls away from the sides of the pot and forms a large ball.

3) Knead the ball on a lightly floured board until the dough is silky and smooth. (I am sorry you have to look at my EDS hands that bend all funky. I tried to make them bend like a normal person's but my thumb and index finger are too far gone :) and my finger tips bending backwards is called "swan necking." There, you learned something new today ;)).

4) Knead in optional glitter and/or confetti.

5) When play dough has cooled completely it can be stored in a food storage container of bag.

It seemed like it was making a pretty good mess while I was in the process of making it, but it was a quick clean up. Yes, there was flour everywhere, but it wasn't anything one swipe of a towel couldn't pick up. It seems like a mess as you are making it, especially if you try to tackle five colors at once like I did. But really the clean up took less than 5 minutes. But the fun time is endless!!! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Finds: Curtain Tie Backs

I found some curtain tie backs that become and accent and part of the decor rather than just an afterthought item. Pictures are linked to their sources.

Light Pink Dahlia Curtain Tie backs
Silver Plated Spoon Tie Back
Starfish Curtain Tie Back

Tie backs usually end up being an afterthought, but these are darling and make them an accent in your home,

Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

One Yard Wonder: Ruffled Pillow Cover

One Yard Wonder! Ruffled Pillow Cover

Darling, right? Well, today's One Yard Wonder is more like a two yard wonder. I didn't use the full 2 yards, but I needed the full length of two yards. Here's what you need to make this:

1) TWO yards of your base pillow fabric.
2) One yard of a coordinating colored fabric to your base fabric OR grosgrain ribbon.
NOTE: I used cream and ivory linen. I like the frayed look of the unfinished fabric ends. However, if you do not like the frayed fabric look then this is best done with ribbon. The width of ribbon will depend on the size of the pillow cover.
3) Scissors
4) Marking pens, I prefer disappearing ink
5) Ruler
6) Coordinating thread color
7) Hand sewing needle and thread
8) Zipper

First, measure and cut your base pillow pieces. I made mine 14" square, so I measured and cut at 15" square.

If you are using fabric for your ruffles, you will need to cut SIX 70" long strips that are about 2" wide. If you are using grosgrain ribbon, you can cut six 2.25" wide strips of ribbon at 70" long, or 13 1" wide pieces at 70" long. That is for a 14" cover. 

If you want to make your cover larger, the way I calculated how many strips I'd need is that I had 2" wide strips and then planned to have a 1/4" gap in between each ruffle and added that to the 2" pieces until I got up to or close to 14".

Note: I cut three pieces of cream and three of ivory because I wanted to alternate colors.

Next you are going to measure and mark the loops and spaces in between the loops that will make the ruffles.

 First, leave and inch or so at the end for seam allowance. Then mark your first sew line. Your next sew line will be 2.5" from the first sew line. This is the first space. The next sew line will be 10" from the prior sew sew line. This is the first loop. Then you repeat the 2.5" gap and 10" gap until you reach the end of your strip of fabric or ribbon. 

The 10" gap is going to be used to create the loop and the 2.5" gap is the space in between the loops. With a 70" wide strip you should have measured out FIVE 10" loops and SIX 2.5" space in between each loop. 

Next, you are going to create your ruffle loops. You will do this by matching up the 10" sew lines you measured. You will need to leave the 2.5" gaps in between each loop unsewn.

Sew on the mark line. The loop you see on the right side of the foot is the 10" loop you measured.

You can see here the FIVE loops created and the 2.5" gaps in between each loop. And also note the faint purple line on the left. The space between the purple line and the loop is the 2.5" gap and the space to the left of that is the one inch I left for seam allowance when I apply it to the base of the cover later.

Take the loop and match the top center of the loop with the seam.

Then tuck in the right side of the loop to meet up with the center and seam of the loop, creating layers.

Do the same thing with the left side so you have layers.

Pin those layers down through all the layers.

Do that with each of the five loops. 
You can see that the 2.5" has allowed for each of the loops layers to meet up perfectly together with no gaps.

This is what it should look like pinned with all the layers.

Pin the strips to the base of the pillow cover. I pinned all the strips down with a quarter inch of space in between each strip. You may pin them closer if you'd like depending on what width of strips you are using. 

Sew down the center of each strip through all layers.

You will now need your hand sewing needle and thread. Take the top two layers of the stack of three layers from the loop and sew their top corners together.

You can see my sewing needle in this image going through the top two corners of the two layers to sew them together. Yes, you will be sewing a thousand little knots. Tedious, yes, but it doesn't take quite as long as it seems.

When you are done with all your knots, your strips will look like this sewn on the base fabric.

Sew this layer of the pillow cover to the back side. Sew in the zipper. Then you're done!

Should we add these to the shop???

Write me if you are trying to make this and my instructions aren't clear. I'm really good at vomiting instructions on a blog into a big awkward mess that no one can understand. So let me know if you have questions. 

Happy Sewing!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Smocked Fabric For Curtains

Pre Smocked Fabric for Curtains

I had a customer recently contact me about making some light and delicate kitchen curtains made out of pre smocked fabric. I think the idea is great and wanted to share some pictures i found on Pinterest.

Here are some pre smocked (or shirred) fabrics I found. I found these on ebay, but Joann and other apparel fabric stores often carry a variety of shirred fabrics. The pictures are linked to the supplier.

I'm looking for a white and light blue pattern so I can do this in my bathroom! I'm so excited about this project! I'll share it when it's completed. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday Finds: New Line of Fabric from Dwell Studio!

New Line of Fabric from Dwell Studio:
Here are my favorites:

Brushed Dot--Poppy
Aviary Trellis--Citrine
Beale Garden-- Peacock
Chrome Stripe-- Ink

I LOVE the new take on their signature bold colors. Any of these fabric would coordinate with their other Dwell designs if you have had window treatments or other accent made from Dwell Studio fabrics in the past. You can add a new accent without having to change the decor in the whole room!

All of these designs are available in a variety of color-ways. The new Dwell Studio collection can be found here.