Ginger Does Home Dec!

Whaaaaaaat? OK, I’ll be honest… there’s almost nothing I’d rather not do than sew home dec stuff. I’m just not into it! And I’m really not good at interior design or picking out things that go together in my apartment- it’s a pretty basic setup chez Ginger! So when Julie at Mood asked if I’d like to do a special project to celebrate the opening of Mood’s new home dec showroom, I was like, “No, thanks!”. Not my cup ‘o’ tea! Fast forward a few days, and I get a rare, unprompted sewing request from Man Friend to make some curtains for our bedroom (we have blinds, but they’re looking pretty rough these days). How can I say no to him? So, I emailed Julie to say I was in and headed for Mood!

The new showroom is bright, spacious, and located in the lobby of the building Mood occupies (they’re on the second floor). It’s such a great space for inspiration! I was immediately drawn to these two fabrics, annnnnnnnd the second I saw them, I put the thought of curtains right out of my mind and decided to make some pillows for the living room.

home dec sewing | Ginger Makes

These are both Waverly fabrics, and they’re 100% cotton. The blue one with the animal print is called “Mexicali”, and the red floral is called “Mayan Medallion”. They feel like canvas, and have a nice heft. This fabric choice was unconsciously influenced by my recent trip to Svensk Tenn in Stockholm, a super fun and fancy design store (check out their site! it’s majorly droolworthy! I definitely wanted to buy e v e r y t h i n g in the store!). I didn’t realize until a few days after buying this fabric that it’s got a very similar feel to Svensk Tenn’s special exhibit of textiles and items inspired by Mexican folk art.

Envelope-style closure

I used a simple envelope-style closure for these so I can easily slip them off to clean them. Although I’m never motivated to sew home dec items, these are probably the easiest things I’ve ever sewn. EVER. So easy. So fast. Why don’t I do this more often, people?

Before…

The pillows we had on the couch previously were a gift and have seen a fair amount of wear and tear, thanks to the pugs co-opting them to use as beds. So this is an awesome upgrade! They add a great burst of color to the living room without overpowering a small space that doesn’t get much natural light. Plus, they pick up on the colors in the framed prints we have hanging throughout the living room. Hopefully now things look a little less hodge-podge and a bit more intentional!

After!

Don’t worry- the pugs have already adopted the new pillows! And I’m even energized to make the curtains for Man Friend after this painless sewing experience, so it’s a happy ending all around! Home dec for the win!

OK, guys- honest truth… do you sew things that your partner/roommate/kid/parent requests? And how do you feel about sewing home dec? What are some easy projects that can revamp your home?

 

 

 

109 responses

  1. Love! Love! Love the fabric selection on this. I have many requests to make things, but I always decline them … mainly because I don’t feel good enough about my finished product. I’m always like … I want it to look like I purchased it … and my sewing skills just aren’t there yet. I’m getting there though

    Like

    • I know what you mean… you don’t want to make something for someone that they’re disappointed in! I definitely turn down requests when I know I don’t have the skillset for them.

      Like

  2. Wow, those pillows look fantastic on your couch! Love the fabrics. I’ve done couch pillows, curtains with blackout lining and a bed skirt and headboard. Nothing is as fun as a dress for myself tho πŸ˜‰ do quilts count as home dec? I do enjoy a quilt now and then–it’s a good change of pace. But pillows are probably the easiest project and they really pack a punch when it comes to decor.

    Like

  3. I love that fabric! Home dec is not my thing either…but I have put some fabric in embroidery hoops for my sewing room and then for the nursery made pillows, a curtain, and wrapped some woodland fabric around a canvas. Those were all really easy projects that were not very time consuming so that I can keep my time for sewing clothes!

    Like

  4. What fun pillows – the prints are fantastic!! I’d be so jazzed if I was you! My only home dec experience was aeons ago when I sewed miles of drapes to cordon off some spaces in the venue where my sister was having her wedding reception. The venue liked them so much that they asked if they could keep them, which was a good thing since I was so over the project that I would have torched them for sure!

    Like

  5. Great pillow covers! I agree, home dec projects are a bit of a yawn, but sometimes they’re necessary. And look at how cute things can turn out! I just finished curtains for my sewing room and am now planning to make a few fabric boxes to go in our Billy bookcase which is part of our new mini mudroom.

    Every once in a while I’ll make something at request of the hubby, but he doesn’t ask a lot. I’ve made him the Avocado hoodie (my idea; Valentine’s Day gift!) and the Colette Cooper bag and will be making him some Thread Theory boxers next.

    Like

    • Curtains are so annoying to sew! Luckily when I moved into my old apartment, my sister was on a sewing kick and made tons of curtains for me! Hmm, maybe that’s why she doesn’t sew much now…

      Like

  6. these pillows are the best!! love the fabrics. i’m super in need of some spruced up home dec doing, but man i hate it! it took me months just to hem some curtains that were dragging on the floor. i do have to bend to some kid and hubby sewing requests… but usually they are so happy to receive my handiwork that it’s worth my time. getting started is the hardest part though!

    Like

  7. I like making pillows when I need a sewing fix but I need it to be instant. They’re so easy and so expensive to buy premade! I actually like making standard pillowcases too, because, again, fast and easy, and it’s a good way to use crazy fabric that you like but don’t really want to make into a garment. Curtains, not so much. I’m always excited when I start curtains but it’s soooo boring to press under all those edges and by the end I hate them.

    Sometimes I make things for people just as an excuse to make something that I’m wanting to try. So I don’t know if that’s the same thing, because I’m doing it for myself. But hey, the other person gets something out of it!

    Your new pillows are awesome!!

    Like

    • Pillowcases are a good idea… I have a lot of leftover cotton shirting that would make good pillowcases!

      I know exactly what you mean! Sometimes I see a pattern or style I want to try that I know won’t suit me, so I make it for my sister or mom instead. It’s fun to try stuff out without having it clog up your closet.

      Like

  8. I love sewing and theres nothing better than sewing for my family, my 2 sisters always look forward to their birthdays cause I make them outfits and for Xmas they get pillows or embroidered towels, this year they are getting quilts for their bedrooms and I’ve started already, so busy but loving it!!

    Like

  9. Oooh, yes! I would have bought that fabric too. I”m not much into home dec sewing either, but when I do get around to it, I do really enjoy the finished products! My strategy (like yours with these pillows) is to go with awesome fabric so that I don’t have to spice things up with details and fussy sewing. Let the fabric do the work! πŸ˜‰

    Like

  10. I love having a nice home… I’ve sewn, hemmed and even painted curtains. I love the effect curtains have in a room. All that said I have several fabrics picked out for pillows for our sofa and I’ve been procrastinating… I was going to add a zipper but maybe I should just do envelope style ones and get it done!

    Like

    • It’s hard to say no, isn’t it? I always find that I say yes to things, thinking they’ll be really, really quick, but then they end up taking much longer and I’m totally overwhelmed!

      Like

  11. I love to sew pillows. Mainly because they’re such simple projects that you can still incorporate a lot of different techniques and ideas in without it turning into some major project that will take forever. I hate sewing curtains though. I did the ones for our living room and afterwards vowed to buy them the next time we need some. Those curtains were very heavy because I wanted them to act as insulation during the winter and this made them a right pain to handle.
    Quilts are also fun home dec projects, as long as you don’t make them too large because then it can get a bit complicated to maneouver them through your machine when quilting. I am always cold so I love to snuggle up under a colourful quilt on the couch. If you don’t make the piecing too intricate and keep the quilting simple it doesn’t have to be a complicated project either.
    My boyfriend occassionally asks me to make him something or whether I can fix something. I’ll usually do it, but it might take a while. He also helps me out when I have a flat tire on my bike or something like that, so we help eachother in areas that the other one isn’t so good in so I feel good about doing these small things for him.

    Like

    • I haven’t tried quilting, but it seems tough to do in an apartment setting! I’d have to really rearrange things to find a way to get the quilt to fit on my sewing table (same goes for curtains). What did you use as insulation for your curtains? That’s a good idea to make them thicker- old windows can be so drafty in cold weather!

      Like

      • I used a curtain fabric that was already quite heavy and lined it with something that was labeled as insulating curtain lining. The two fabrics combined do really help in keeping the warmth inside so I suppose in the end it was sort of worth it. I did the first couple of curtains on my own but had my boyfriend help me with the last two. He helped make sure that everything stayed ON the table while I was sewing and that really made a difference.

        Like

  12. I think what keeps me from sewing home dec is the price of the fabric! I’m a cheapskate and if I’m spending money on fabric, I want to be able to wear it! I also like a challenge and sewing home dec is typically pretty easy. However, like you, when finished, I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner because it was so easy! Why do I make everything so complicated?

    Like

    • That’s totally true- home dec fabric can be really expensive! This was $30/yd, which felt awful at the store, but when I thought about it, I could make two pillow covers from a yard, and I doubt I could buy a pillow cover for $15. It does get expensive when you need enough yardage for something like a duvet cover or curtains, though!

      Like

  13. Super cute! Love the fabric! I recently had to sew 6 curtains, but messed up a bit on the first four (I still blame Ikea for that) so I had to make sure the last two weren’t crooked 😊 they turned out perfect luckily! And I’ve made some pillows with Missoni fabric that I’m super happy about, only Milo has ruined one by scratching it a lot..

    Like

    • It’s hard to keep things really straight when you’re dealing with large pieces of fabric! Peggy is sleeping on two pillows at once right now, so I’m thinking it will be a battle to keep these from getting destroyed. πŸ™‚

      Like

  14. Great fabric! I have done a little bit of home sewing but you know what.. wrangling a curtain through your sewing machine is harder than expected.. so much fabric! Thus I have one in my UFO pile -oops

    Like

  15. They are lovely and hopefully the pugs are too hard on them. Not the home made pillows! I’m really horrible about honoring husband requests. First cause he never wants me to make him anything easy. And secondly half the time they are completely weird requests. ” No I am not knitting you a pair of running pants. Can’t he tell that would be a horrible idea?”

    Like

    • Peggy is napping on two of them as I type this, so it seems like the pillows’ days are numbered! Silly dogs! And I hear you- why do husbands ask for such weird stuff??? It’s almost always something that you can’t imagine they would ever actually wear!

      Like

  16. I agree, envelope backed cushions are the easiest and quickest things to sew ever! Yours look great and totally transform your couch and living room, they’re fab! Even so, I still resent making cushions and curtains when I could be sewing a dress! x

    Like

  17. I find home dec so boring… Like, I know it’s easy and fast and I love a beautiful home, it’s just really dull! Plus, I can never bring myself to use good fabric on a pair of curtains that might not fit my next windows! My current curtains are dreadful and too small for the windows, but I am only going to live here for another year, so why bother? I don’t really have an excuse with pillows, I just never get around to them…
    I try to sew things for my family when they ask for things. My boyfriend usually asks for knits, so I don’t sew him as many things as he asks for, and he asks me to alter stuff a lot, which I almost never get around to. I have sewn him a couple of shirts though, and have promised t-shirts when my zigzag machine is functional again.

    Like

    • That’s a good point- as an apartment dweller, I never want to spend much money on things like curtains or even furniture because you never know what won’t fit in the next apartment or how long you’ll be at your current place! I had to leave all my handmade curtains at my last apartment as the windows were totally different than the ones in this place. 😦

      Like

  18. Your pugs are adorable! For a moment they even overpowered your beautiful pillows. When I am in NY in November, I’d like to visit Mood’s home demo showroom! To be honest with you, I’ve never done anything my partner asked. When we lived in Japan I made all curtains, table cloths and coasters. I quite enjoyed sewing home deco: they are so quick and gratifying projects!

    Like

    • Table cloths and coasters are a great idea! But don’t judge me too harshly- we don’t eat at a table! We have a tiny cafe table, but it’s so small that we hate to sit at it and use TV trays instead! Terrible!

      Like

  19. Ahh, I went to Svensk Tenn too and was totally inspired, but nothing about it. These are wonderful cushions and the puglets look like they are about to enjoy them immensely. So wish Mood was near me – actually, no I don’t, it would be a disaster! I am so thrilled when anyone asks me to make anything that I pretty much hop to it, although my son has asked me to make blackout curtains for his bedroom and man cave (another bedroom), and I’ve gone “really”? so boring, but I will do it I guess…

    Like

  20. These look really nice and go great in your living room. I typically disregard my husband’s requests and frankly, there is almost nothing I detest more than home dec sewing. Probably why the only home dec sewing I’ve ever done is for the nurseries for my two youngest!

    Like

    • Nursery sewing sounds so fun! Plus, the options for ready-made baby stuff are so limited, so if you want something different than the usual offerings you’ve got to make it yourself!

      Like

  21. I love sewing home projects! Napkins are especially easy and a nice way to use scraps or get cheap fat quarters. I make placemats, coasters, tablecloths, and runners. I’ve never ventured into curtains before, but couch cushions are fun. Thanks for sharing, I think I’m overdue for some new pillow covers. (The ones I have are the ones that came with the couch–matching,and boring!)

    Like

    • Ahhh, those are all great ideas! Don’t judge me too much, but we don’t eat at a table (we have a really tiny cafe table that’s uncomfortable to sit at, so we eat off TV trays). But someday if I have space for a bigger table I’d love to make all the accoutrements!

      Like

  22. lovely! I really like that fabric, I’ve been meaning to make cushions for the couch for months but I always get sidetracked my apparel fabric. I’m not huge on sewing for the home but I do love sewing for my partner friends and family. They probably wish I sewed for them less…

    Like

  23. I love these!!! I kind of feel the same about home dec, costumes, etc. I really just like making something I can wear. I have given pillows more of a fighting chance lately though, so I’ll probably end up sewing that kind of stuff more often.

    Like

  24. I’m not generally wowed by pillows but the fabrics you chose are de-LISH-ush! Love ‘em! I was asked to make boat curtains by my ex (when we weren’t ex) and he bought me my sewing machine to accomplish this sizeable feat. It was a challenge that I rose to given I hadn’t sewn in decades & the curtains needed to be weird shapes and required ingenious ways to be opened and closed. I didn’t sew again until several years on when, living alone for the first time in 30 years and feeling pretty sad I rediscovered sewing and it’s been SO great, and I’m loving it, yayyyyy!!! (That was a long story…)

    Like

    • Wow, boat curtains sound TRICKY! I’m so glad you’ve rediscovered sewing and are finding some fulfillment in it! It’s such a nice hobby, especially since there are so many people online who provide so much inspiration and encouragement!

      Like

  25. Suuuuuuper awesome pillows- I might be coveting that red fabric. My friends ask me to alter their store bought clothes all the time, and while at first I was flattered, it almost annoys me now cuz it takes time away from my own sewing. BUUUUUUUUTTTT! When my nieces ask me to make them something I melt and totally make their dreams come true (at least for that millisecond).

    Like

  26. Oh my god, Peggy is so CUTE! And I love your cushions – they’re much nicer than my attempt at making some, which have ended up too big for the inners, and are now saggy and tragic looking. It’s been almost two years since I made them and I’m only just starting to be brave enough to attempt sewing them again.

    Like

  27. Amazing what a different a couple of festive pillows add to a space! I share the same feels, home dec is the last thing I want to sew ever. But every now and then I think my couch could do with a sprucing. Those fabrics are delicious!

    Like

  28. Oh my, that fabric is gorgeous! I mean, one has a pink deer on it!!! Love. πŸ™‚

    Ah yes, sewing things on request. I’ve got the opposite issue – I’ve offered to make things for my partner many times, but he wants nothing to do with it. Yep, it’s true – he’d rather go to a chain store to buy stuff than have it lovingly made by me. *sigh* Some vote of confidence – not!

    (But then I realised that if he doesn’t want me to sew anything for him, I have no guilt whatsoever about completely selfish sewing – win! πŸ˜‰

    Like

  29. I have to say that the pugs don’t look happy about having to break in those new pillows! The old ones were just perfect, worn to a nub, easy to push around, and they SMELLED so GOOD! My dogs hate it when I change their immediate environment, but they are usually up to the task of making it work eventually. Great pillows, and I had not thought about making couch pillows envelope style. I will have to do that on my next set.

    Like

  30. Lovely fabrics. I agree envelope back cushions are my fav way to make a cushion. I have sewn cushion covers and a pillow case, curtains. But at request recently have had to sew alien carnival costumes and alice in wonderland dress!! In fact you have reminded me I have a half done blog post about these to finish. xx

    Like

  31. I think the pillow fabric is fun! I really wish I could keep throw pillows around, but the dogs won’t let me– Crosby likes to steal soft things and carry them around, and Malkin likes to tear stuffed things to pieces. So that’s a no-go for now. Home dec isn’t my favorite thing to sew either, but I’ve found that it’s one of those things where I’m happy when it’s done and I get to enjoy seeing the new curtains or whatever in the house. And I haven’t really had to worry about sewing anything for Doug, because he’s super-picky about his clothes and likes everything about 3 sizes too big, so he’s flat out said that me making anything for him would be pointless! He does like the hat I knitted for him while we were dating, though. So I guess that’s something.

    Like

  32. Super pillows! I sew waaaay more requests for my kiddos & husband than I do for myself… pencil pouches, non-itchy PJs, teacher gifts, kooky Halloween costumes, headbands, quilts, office chair arm-rest covers, just-one-more-stuffed-softie-to-add-to-the-zillion-already-on-the-bed, you get the idea. I sewed my first garments (for ME) this summer, and it was exhilarating!

    Like

  33. Great fabric choices! I wish I lived a little closer to Mood! I’ve made many drapes and pillows over the years. Sometimes I mix fabrics on pillows – like a print on one side and stripe on the other – so I can flip them around and get more style for my money/time! It’s also nice to mix textures, like a silk on one side and a wool or knobby knit on the other, for the same reason. You’re right about the envelope design. It also makes it super easy to switch to new fabrics when you get tired of these, which will be quite a while because they are awesome!!

    Like

  34. I have made pillows before for my futon, just like yours. Also, throw blankets are pretty straightforward. You can make cloth coasters or oil cloth coasters. Also table mats can had some simple pop.

    Like

  35. I know exactly how you feel – home dec – yuck! I have no idea why I dislike it so much, because like you said, curtains and pillows are much simpler projects than garments. I absolutely love your choice of fabric!

    Like

  36. I quite like home Dec stuff. Wish I had more time to make it though..always busy making stuff for kiddies or prezzies. I am looking forward to making some zipped cushion covers for our lounge this fall. Hope they look as good as yours do :-).

    Like

    • My sewing queue is crazy long and I don’t have any kids! I can’t imagine how long yours must be! You’re making me think I should start up some holiday sewing now so I’m not tearing my hair out at the last minute. πŸ™‚

      Like

  37. I love them! They are so bright and cheerful- like you!

    I’m usually not really into home dec stuff, but I hope that will change once we’re in our new house. I never bothered to sew anything more than 3 pillows (and hem a few IKEA curtains) for our current place because we were always talking about moving as soon as we could. Now that things will be more permanent though, I won’t feel so on the fence about spending money on home dec fabric instead of garment weight yardage! πŸ™‚

    Like

    • Oh yay, happy new home! That’s definitely been a motivating factor here- as an apartment dweller, I never feel like I’m going to be in one place for very long so I’m not very energized to sew for the apartment! But I’m excited to see pics of your new house!

      Like

  38. I love homedec projects – it is quite satisfying to say ‘oh yes I made these’, but my style changes and suddenly it is all shambles (as currently in my home). Love the fabrics you chose though, beautiful!

    Like

    • That’s interesting that your style has changed. I feel like I haven’t been able to commit to a firm style in the house, so I’m a bit jumbled up and things don’t look so great around here! It’s not easy making a cohesive look in your house!

      Like

  39. They’re really cute cushions, don’t you just love the envelope style closure – quick and easy which is what you need when doing home decoration. I got carried away by some awesome fabric once and made a whole bunch of cushions for myself and friends. But now, even though I know it’s fairly quick and easy I keep putting off replacing some old cushion covers that are falling apart, it feels more like a chore, I’d rather make a cute dress!

    Like

  40. That is awesome fabric! I admit to being lazy as far as home dec sewing. And a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to sewing for other people too! Ack!!

    Like

  41. Wow! Perfect choice of fabric. Those prints are just gorgeous. It’s amazing what a difference cute pillows can made to a place πŸ˜€
    I really have to try making some cushions that are this envelope style (YAAY save the zips for dresses and skirts ;)).
    I know just what you mean! Most of the time I would much rather make something pretty to wear than make things for the home…
    I live in a tiny rental apartment with beige walls (yuck). I did manage to sew some (sort of) curtains for our main window. The apartment came with the most god awful “greigie” vertical blinds so it did feel pretty good getting rid of them from one window.

    Like

Got something to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: