Thursday, November 21, 2013

A House Project with Tara, great ideas inside!

Tara first contacted me a little over a year ago to do some window treatments for her bedroom. We have since outfitted the rest of her home with custom window treatments. If you are having several custom window treatments made, it is best to have them done by the same person that they can all be uniform. Here are some things we did for her.
These curtains are made out of Les Touches Green Brunschwig & Fils.  We ordered it through Lynn Chalk. We lined them with a matching green liner. You can see how the light reflects the green against the lower wall and window ledge. A subtle and pleasant little surprise without affecting the true color of the main fabric.

Now this fabric was my favorite! These are roman shades, lined in blackout, made from Lotus Blossum in Spring Green.

These Hidden Tab Panels are also made out of Lotus Blossum in Spring Green. They are Hidden Tab Panels lined in blackout liner.
We also made the roman shades over the French doors. They are made from a basic ivory linen fabric and bordered in Leaf Green and Ivory greek key trim from M and J trimmings.

This is a ruffled rod pocket door curtains with a sash. It is made out of Pyne Hollyhock in Charcoal, which we were also able to purchase through Lynn Chalk at a very reasonable price.
This fabric is stunning, so Tara decided to use it in a few places in her home.

This is a set of Rod Pocket Curtains also made from Pyne Hollyhock in Charcoal. We lined it in a pink liner. It offers a subtle, feminine look when the light shines through. It is gorgeous! Tara had a wonderful idea here to line her curtains in a colored liner instead of our standard white. Turned out breathtakingly gorgeous!
You'll notice she also has an ottoman covers in the green Les Touches. We made the matching pillow covers with the leftover Les Touches and Hollyhock.
Of course, it was no surprise when Tara contacted me about her next set of treatments in this stunning fabric:
picture from Quadrille
The fabric is Quadrille's China Seas Lyford Pagoda in Orange tint. We were also able to order this through Lynn Chalk.
We will be making this into flat/classic roman shades. Stay tuned to see how they turn out!
Again, If you are going to go the custom route, it is best to have all the treatments made by the same person. At WTBM, I train all my seamstresses our own patterns, but even though we are all making the same product here, I still send returning customer orders back to the person that made their other window treatments to ensure that the treatments are all uniform and identical.
Contact me at windowsbymelissa at gmail dot com if you have any questions about anything you've seen here today and if you want to use any of the fabrics or ideas for your own custom treatments.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ask Melissa: How to combine roman shades with curtains

I missed last weeks Ask Melissa because my children have been blessed with Fifth's Disease. Good times at my house this week. But now we're back in full swing.
Today's "Ask Melissa" is "How do you combine Roman Shades with Curtains?"
Image courtesy of Lynn Chalk
You should mount the shades inside the window frame if combining both shades and curtains. But this is not required. If you can't mount inside, you will need to make sure your curtain rod will provide enough depth so that the shade will not interfere with the functioning of the curtains. There should be some clearance in between the shade and the curtain.
Image courtesy or client Tara
I recommend mounting the curtain rod at least 5-8" higher than where the Roman will be placed and extend the curtain rod the same distance, or even as much as 10" to either side of the window so the curtains can gather beside the Roman Shades when opened.
Image courtesy of Lynn Chalk
If you can't mount higher than the shade you may mount the curtain rod at the same height as the shade, but, again, you need to be sure when selecting your curtain rod that it will allow for plenty of clearance between the curtain and the shade to operate correctly.
Image courtesy of Lynn Chalk
In the case of combining Roman Shades and Curtains, it is best to line the shades with standard drapery lining and the curtains with blackout liner. This way you are given options. If you want privacy, but still want light, you can just close your Roman Shades. If you want the room to be darkened, you may close your curtains.

Image courtesy of Lynn Chalk
When selecting fabrics for combination Roman Shade/Curtain window treatments, it is best to choose a solid color for the Romans and a coordinating patterned fabric for the curtains.
Leave your questions in a comment here or on our Facebook.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Giveaway winner

Please contact me at windowsbymelissa at gmail dot com to claim your winnings!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

One Yard Wonder! Sprucing up the bathroom towels with one yard of fabric.

One Yard Wonder!
In response to our new "Ask Melissa" segment on the blog, someone asked what could be done with a yard of fabric. And so here we are. One yard wonder! We are going to bring you project ideas that are simple and do it yourself projects that can be done with a yard or less!
Remember our "The Ugly Fabric Challenge" earlier this year? Someone submitted this lovely fabric called "Wacky Turds." And the challenge was to make something appealing with this ugly fabric. And I made these:

Today's one yard wonder is how to make enhance your bathroom décor with less than a yard of fabric. Here's what you need:
1) Bathroom towels, 2) Cotton Fabric, and technically you can stop here, but I like to add 3) piping, just for a little something extra.
First measure the width of your towel.
In this case my hand towel is 15" wide.
Then you will want to cut the width of your fabric.
It really doesn't matter exactly how wide you cut it. The point is that the pattern gets centered. In the case, I cut to 4.5" wide. After ironing the edges over the total height will measure 3.75". The wacky turn band is only 2.5" high. The most important thing is that you get the part of the pattern you want centered. For the matching washcloths, I'd use just one row of the polka dots instead of two as seen for the hand towels and bath towels.
Then I cut 4" over the total width of the towel, which, in this case, was 19".
Then iron over the edges keeping your pattern centered. I folded the edge over to the very top of the circles.
Then place the fabric band where you want it on the towel. I recommend at least two inches. But up to four is good too.
Technically you can pin and sew at this point. But I like to add piping just to finish off those edges nicely.
If going the piping route, tuck the piping under the fabric on both the upper and lower sides.
Then sew that to your towel using your zipper foot.
This is what it will look like after sewing on the band and piping.
Then you will want to iron the edges over to the back side of the towel. First trim off excess. Then fold the raw edge over once, then again so the overhang on the backside is about 1/2" over.
Then sew.
Each towel took me approximately 10 minutes.
Send me pictures of your projects!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Giveaway Tuesday!

Thanksgiving is coming up. Are you thinking about table runners and placemats? If so, this is the giveaway for you!
Set of four double sided placemats with matching table runner. 
Runner measures: approximately 15" wide by 54" long
Place mats measure approximately 20" wide by 15" long
Made from a medium weight jacquard fabric and are reversible



To enter:
1) Leave a comment here with a way to contact you.
2) Share on Social Media
3) Follow our blog, or invite a friend to follow!
One entry per above for up to three entries.
Giveaway runs through Monday 11/11 at 11:59 pm.
Good luck! Enjoy!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ask Melissa: What Fabric Types Are NOT appropriate for Roman Shades

Today's Ask Melissa is the question I get asked most often:
What Fabric Types Are Inappropriate for Roman Shades?
The first, and one most often run into, is light weight quilter's cottons. While it is possible to make a roman shade out of quilter's cottons, I don't recommend it. They lay limp and flat and don't have much body. Here's how you know if you're looking at a quilter's cotton:
Quilter's cottons are typically defined by their weight and also their width. Their weight can be found on the side of the bolt on the label with the other details. You will find details like 44"/45" width, the weight may be anywhere from 3-6 oz per square foot, and the descriptive word will usually say, "Lightweight."

Pardon the "over the door" hanging on these pictures. They're from our early days before got pictures in from clients. ;)

Notice in the first image, the red hobbles shade as compared to the blue one. The red is a medium weight home décor fabric and the blue is a light weight quilter's cotton. The blue hobbled shade's pleats lay flat and it just looks boring. The red one looks much more full.

NOW, on home décor fabric. You should be looking for descriptions such as: medium weight, 6 oz- 10z per weight, or simply the description, "Home Décor Fabric." But not all home décor fabrics will produce the greatest shade. Silk, faux silk and sheer do not create the greatest looking shades.

The silks, faux silks and sheers are often lighter in weight or their weave does not allow for smooth topstitching. For the shade to operate correctly, we sew through all layers of fabric so that when the shade is pulled up, it all comes up together and forms the pleats. But in doing this with the lighter weights, the fabric tends to bunch under all the layers of material, as you can see in the images above.
The best looking roman shades are made from
Basket weave or burlap:
The most important things to look for are the weight, it should be medium weight or heavier; the width, appropriate fabrics are usually 54" wide or wider; and the type, the best fabric are made from cotton, polyester, linen, basket weave or burlap.
Please leave any questions you have here and we'll write about them in the upcoming weeks.