Sunday, March 9, 2008

I Think I Can...No I Don't

So I went to the fabric store.

At first, it was really exciting. So many pretty fabrics to choose from!

Then, it became really overwhelming.

When at last I was ready to throw my hands up in defeat and leave my windows naked and ghetto-esque, I saw this:

I really liked it. Plus, the price was right at $6 a yard, compared to the $40 per yard stuff I was coveting moments before. I wasn't sure how much I would need and there were only 5 yards left, so I got all of them.

There was a moment of uncertainty when the fabric lady asked me if I was going to sew this.

Ashley: Um, no, I don't think so.
Fabric lady: You don't think so?
Ashley: I don't know. I might glue it or nail it or something.
Fabric lady: Oh. You would need special heavy duty needle and thread if you were going to sew this. It's really heavy, it feels like a rug.
Ashley: Well, I guess that means I won't be sewing it. I don't know how to sew anyway.
Fabric lady: What are you doing with this, if you don't mind me asking?
Ashley: Window treatments.
Fabric lady: And you are gluing or nailing them together? You think?
Ashley: Yes, I think so. I do wish I could sew.
Fabric lady: Hmm. (skeptical look, didn't speak to me again)

But still, walking out of there and only spending $45 (I bought other junk too) felt really good. I really liked the fabric and I couldn't wait to get home and just do it!!

Then I got home.

It's's a lot of fabric. I've read and reread all of Nester's posts and I want to do this pleated sort of deal over my sliding glass doors. Would there be ironing involved? She doesn't mention any ironing. I don't know, I was totally thinking I was coming out of a bout of insanity and showed Mr. Ashley and he says it is doable. He even showed me how I would fold it.

There would be cutting involved. Scissors really scare me. I can't cut a straight line. Have you ever seen that commercial for that cutter thingy with the light on it? The lady is like out of control slicing up all of these photos, just wildly chopping shit up until she gets this miraculous as seen on tv product. I recognize myself in her. Even the chaws have commented that they think of me when they see this ridiculous commercial, because my poor cutting skills are a serious problem in my life and one that they've heard all about.

Chawentrepreneur Amy (speaking of Chawentrepreneur Amy, please check out her store, she's got all kinds of cool stuff and is amazing with the party planning/invite/card making stuff, you KNOW I love knowing her.) has offered to get paper for my various projects, cut it for me and mail it to me (more than once) in the past. She has twin 18 month olds, one E-bullish, and a Big Kid that puts my Big Kid's motor mouth and need to know to shame. And she offers to cut things for me. That's a friend.

So I don't know what to cut or where to cut or how much to cut. Ironing pleats is completely beyond me. Please tell me it will be okay. Someone. Anyone. Also, tell me upholstery tacks will hold that in if I double fold it so you don't see the raw edges. k?thx

I also looked at paper for the back of my hutch. I'm thinking it might not be identical to Nester's. It's a bummer, but I found paper I liked better. I'm sure there will be some crisis re: that blogged about in the future. Do I dare hot glue it on there? It's a piece of crap hutch, I was going to throw it out anyway. Shouldn't I be mod-podging or something? I've always wanted to mod-podge.

You know what I saw that I really, really loved and was really fabulous in person and that I'm sure that an awesome decorator (unlike myself) could do something awesome with it:

It's by Tommy Bahama and it was so beautiful in person. I have no idea what a cool person would even do with such a fabric, especially at $40 per yard, but I did admire it.

Okay, I've taken steps towards beautifying. Now I just have to get the fabric hung before the cats puke on it and we'll be A-ok. Stupid ass cats.

Tomorrow is Market Yourself & Meal Plan Monday, neither of which I want to do. I think I will mail out some promotional stuff I've been meaning to mail and figure out what we'll eat for the week.

I also might paint my hutch.

Or nail fabric to my walls.

Or something like that.


Anonymous said...

:) Hi there. :)

Anonymous said...

You can do it!! I have faith in you and I really need you to be able to take that beautiful fabric and turn it into curtains. I need you to be able to do it so later I can do it. I can just tell myself "if Ashley can do it so can I" So please the future beautification of my house depends on you.

Anonymous said...

Looks like JoAnns fabric to me! I was just there yesterday and shelled out $42 for fabric. My husband would flip out...which is why I didn't tell him.

Curse you Nester! You're causing me to actually care about the state of my house!

Mackenzie said...

Hey Ashley,

I finally can comment on something that I know a lot about! I own a sewing business and have sent you a post to my blog (Diary of a Sweat Shop Mom) a couple of times. I spends 5 days a week making curtains and I'll just tell you without the right materials and tools, it will be tough. Not to discourage you or anything, I'm sure you will do fine.

I live in Alabama and I know you live in Florida, which is too bad, because I would definetly help you out!

Mel said...

If you like that Tommy Bahama fabric so much, use that instead of paper for the hutch. I don't know how big your hutch is, but it shouldn't cost too much of a fortune. And a pretty fabric like that should definitely be showcased, like in a hutch!! Or, heck, make one of those French memo boards, you know with the ribbons to hold your photos and mementos? Or!!! Buy a small piece and cover a blank book to write your lists in. Imagine how fun it would be to write in a glamorous book like that!! Just some thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Ashley - that's totally doable. As for cutting a straight line?? Use the lines in the fabric, you can't go wrong. For the pleats, you fold it into place (you can use a piece of cardboard you've measured to the right size to get them all the same width)Fold, measure, iron. I KNOW you can do it!!! Go Ashley!!!

kjanedesigns said...

I just have to admit that I'm thankful for this post. I spent over $100 dollars looking for fabric last week for the "perfect baby's first easter basket". Fabric stores are a black hole in my opinion. Nevertheless... I have several yards of cut and folded fabric on my kitchen table right now. Right beside the Pottery Barn easter basket I ended up buying. Good luck with your curtains.

Anonymous said...

Ashley -

Just cut it a bit longer than you think you need it. It ok if it's all wonky, you're going to fold it, then iron a crease and glue gun that seam anyway.

Lay your fabric out on the dining room table, double measure, and mark the back with chalk to get a cut line. Don't forget to measure in the material that you are going to glue back. I've done that more than once.

I don't think Nester irons creases in first. Just tacks up as is. Do upholstery tacks come in different sizes? I would get the biggest mothers you can find if the material is that heavy.

Good luck

Katie Ryan said...

You can do it. It's intimidating and overwhelming, but take your time and do it step by step, even write it out and draw it out if you have to before actually doing it. That always helps me. But just get started, and you will be amazed at what you can do.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the encouragement girls!

Mackenzie, are you ready for a road trip to S. FL? Come on! I've visited your blog, and liked it, but didn't leave a comment. Shame on me. I owe you one, or two ;-)

Mel, that is an awesome idea!! I don't think my hutch is worth the $, but I do love the book idea. I'd really love to do seat cushions but it would be too expensive, involve sewing and then no one would be allowed to sit on them. I will find something and I will use that fabric!

All of this ironing/gluing talk still has me feeling intimidated, but I'll try! :-)

Joy said...

I love the fabric you picked out, I can't wait to see them done and for your very helpful instructions on doing it, so that then we can all rush out and get some fabric and be just like you.

I really need some curtains in my bedroom we finally just recently after almost 8yrs of marriage graduated to nice adult furniture in there and we got a new bedspread and it needs curtains to finish it off.

I agree about the fabric store I was just there the other day buying fabric to make the little one an Oh so cute Easter dress (I am no Martha I just had to sew it up the back and sew some ribbons on for the ties on the shoulders it was already smocked on the top) it was almost overwhelming in there.

Maddness of Me said...

I can't help you with the how to, but I do absolutely love that material you bought. I need something just like it. I have a room with walls painted the rust color (or apricot or whatever the hell it's called). I hope you take a pic and share with us if you come up with something.

The Nester said...


You bought fabric!!! Great! And you love it! Wonderful! Sounds like it's upholstery grade (yes, those fabriteers will look down on you for using that for windows--all the better!)

I am allergic to the iron. I have never ironed. You could hang the piece up before you cut it to make sure that you do have enough once you split it in half. I just fold it in half and if it won't rip (this won't) then cut like the crazy woman you are. It should drag on the floor anyhow and you can fold it under.

You might need to disguise some really big regular builders nails into the mistreatment too. Let the tacks show but use extra (ugly) nails to help support the weight.

Love that black and white too!

It's all gonna look great!

Mackenzie said...

How did you know I was in desperate need of a road trip?!

I'm thinking curtains and cocktails! What do you think?!

Slacker Mama said...

I need to go to pick out fabric right now for window treatments...and after reading this post, I'm more scared then ever to go!

And, I'm sure I'll totally fall for the $45 fabric. I'm one of those finds-the-only-non-sale-item-in-a-store type person.

Jennifer said...

You need to get out there and make friends with someone who knows how to sew. I have a friend who sews for me and I do flower arrangements for her.

I found a lot of fabrics that I liked but she wouldn't let me buy anything too heavy, she called it upholstery fabric. She's a little snotty like that about fabric.

Anonymous said...

You can do it Ashley! Here's a tip for cutting fabric. Fold it where you want to cut it and iron on the fold. That will create a straight line for you to cut so you don't have to get too technical. I want to see pics when you're done!

Suzanne said...

The only thing that I see that might be a problem is the furniture tacks. IIRC, they aren't that long. If they won't work, maybe you could use regular nails and then hot glue some pretty metal buttons (the kind with the little thing on the back, not the ones with holes...pretty sure you can take the thing off the back with pliers) on the end. I've seen this done for hanging up those pretty pictures with ribbon hangers. Here is a pic of the real thing to give you an idea of what I'm talking about it looking like....


Get a piece of wood the length you need, not too wide. Staple gun the fabric to the back side of the wood and then flop the fabric over the top. You can staple gun pleats into it too, just use a ruler as you go or eyeball it. To "hem" the bottom, use Aleen's Tacky Glue and some heavy books. Then mount it all. Voila, instant window treatment.

Marie said...

Your blog is hysterical! I recognize those fabrics from your pictures! Joanns! I was there yesterday fully intending to purchase something to mistreat my windows too. I choked, however and came home without anything. Well, that's not true. I bought nests. Nests to stick in the cloches (??) I bought at Ross. That Nester has my feathers ruffled!