No time for a real post, but I have to share some photos of the progress I’m making on sewing for the interior. Some of you saw the teaser to this post on Facebook–the photo I paid my daughter $1 to pose for, under a wool blanket in the heat!
On the main floor of my house is a perfectly nice bathroom. It has white tile on the walls that is old but in good condition, and the slightly offset placing of the vintage black and white floor tiles has a quirky, unique look I really like. It was the first room I painted and made curtains for last winter after we moved in. It looks pretty and clean with minimal effort–a good quality in a bathroom. Unfortunately the bathroom upstairs does not share the charm of its main floor cousin, and of course it is the one we use primarily. The tile in this bathroom is a dirty-looking peach and the floor is an even dirtier-looking peach, with icky stained grout and a bathtub that appears to have stretchmarks I cannot scrub off. My husband is fond of some of the “historical” features of the bathroom, such as an old toothbrush holder that is recessed into the wall, hidden by a chrome panel, but then swings out into view when you push on it. The kids call it the toothbrush bat cave. I’ll grant that the toothbrush bat cave is kind of neat, and I generally have an appreciation for things that have withstood the test of time, but seriously I hate this bathroom. I’ve bleached and scrubbed and cleaned but it still looks dingy and gross. Plus…dirty peach. Ick. And did I mention that awful tub? Bleah.
So I’ve basically ignored the existence of this bathroom long after our other rooms have been freshened with paint and shown some homemade love. My generally paint-averse husband actually scraped and painted the peeling ceiling himself a couple months ago, so I guess I now know exactly how long I can avoid doing something until he finally gives up and does it himself. I hated to put any effort into this room because I really just want to wait until we can afford to gut it and get a new, clean, nice one put in. But then I’d found this pretty fabric that kind of brightens up the dingy peach and I figured I might as well go ahead and paint the walls (white) and put up curtains so I can stare at them while I’m brushing my teeth instead of that nasty tile until our bathroom redo budget gets met. The Amy Butler Midwest Modern prints kind of hearken to a time when a home renovation might have included hiding something necessary but unattractive such as a toothbrush holder.
I’d bought more of the fabric than I needed for the valance and I was thinking I’d make some strips to sew on the edges of towels, maybe make up a bathmat, decorative hand towels, stuff like that. But after I’d make the curtains and hung them in the much-despised bathroom I decided I actually liked the fabric too well to waste more of it on a bathroom I dislike. It’s unlikely I’d want to use the same fabric in the new bathroom when I’d have every pattern in the world to choose from (since I wouldn’t pick peach tile!) and I didn’t want to sew the fabric onto things I’d want to keep in the new space, like towels. So I switched gears and used the rest of the fabric to make a shirt for myself instead. Now I match my ugly bathroom, sort of, only I can leave so it’s different. I used New Look 6871 but did my own things with the sleeves. I had just enough left over to hem a strip just the right size for tying in my hair. Worth thought it was hilarious that I’d set the tripod up to take a photo of myself–I’m watching him laugh at me in the photo. I like the shirt and I think it was a much more satisfying project than the curtains. It’s a brighter, bolder print than I would typically choose for myself but it’s springy and fun. Sometimes I don’t like wearing shirts like this because they look homemade–you don’t generally walk into Target and see a similar item for sale. I tend to prefer patterns that draw less attention to their homemade-ness, but this one actually makes a good story. So far at least three people have asked if I made it and I told them all that I match my curtains.
Our family room has been late to get the love that some of our other rooms got months ago. I’ve had the fabric (Kiki Pinata) picked out to make the curtains for months but could never find the time to start them. I finally got fed up with not having curtains one night recently and stayed up until 2:00 a.m. sewing, but my sleepy brain screwed them up and I spent most of that time trying to fix my own dumb mistakes. Curtains are pretty easy–mostly straight seams–but for some reason that night I couldn’t hack it. I did finally did finish the set for this one window and I really love the print, even though it is not the most appropriate backdrop for the Christmas tree we just set up in front of it. Now one down, one regular and two double windows to go. Yikes. But this room is really shaping up. Here we were right after move-in last year, with the unlit last-minute Christmas tree thrown in the corner next to a pile of boxes. I’m thankful every day that we are not moving this year! This year we set the tree up on a table to keep precious ornaments out of reach of kids and puppies, and my crafty Grandma’s memory is honored by the use of her handmade felt tree skirt and complete felt nativity. A much more peaceful scene than moving boxes.
After enjoying the seasonal pillow cases I made for my sofa a few weeks ago I decided I needed new ones for Christmas. I used wide strips of Christmas fabric (which accidentally found it’s way into my Fabric.com shopping cart when I was buying the curtain fabric) of varying widths to make intentionally non-matching pillows for each side of the sofa. The kids keep taking all the cushions off to make a mouse house with them and some blankets so I was unable to photograph them on the sofa, but here is one on the floor in its more natural habitat. I did some decorative machine stitches where the strips are joined and it looks cute. The final product looks cheerful and seasonal and kid-friendly both on the sofa and off.
My other recent holiday project was to make Rob a new stocking. His previous stocking was small, and Dorothy noticed this year that it seemed a bit plain next to the others. (This year we’ve also added an Etsy-purchased personalized stocking for Belle the dog.) I was under the impression that Rob’s old stocking was one of those emotion-infused items that came with my husband and Must Not Be Changed, but it turns out he didn’t even remember who made it for him so I was able to stick it in his Thou Shalt Not Throw Away box downstairs (we have issues with him being a keeper and me being a tosser–but that’s another story) and upgrade his stocking by the fireplace. I wanted to make it myself since I love him better than the dog. I used a rather manly green and gold stripe print I had left over from a project a couple years ago and lined it with some green corduroy, also from my stash. I stitched his name in gold thread and then sewed on some red jingle bells for color. My favorite part of this project was the way Dorothy fussed over unveiling it for him when he came home from work–she’s so glad Santa can now treat him with adequate generosity!