A good creative project we can complete at home could be just what we all need this year to brighten up the holidays. It is all going to be rather different this year and this festive season why not add enjoyment to the days between Christmas and New Year with some sewing using fabrics you may already own.
Step 1: Designing the scheme for the garden studio
For this garden studio project I wanted to visually bring the garden into the interior of the new textile and craft workroom.
The colours in this wallpaper which is Dahlia Parade in pink grapefruit by Laura Ashley perfectly capture the relaxed vibe and shades of the garden I wanted to introduce into my new space. I used the rolls of quality wall coverings I had already purchased as a starting point for my scheme. I will incorporate the floral print into the design through accessories in the creative outdoor office in the form of covering storage boxes and stationary files.
Step 2: Locating the materials for the soft furnisihngs
In my stash of fabrics I already had a large pair of traditional style curtains with a ruffle top heading that featured a coordinating ‘trailing flower’ pattern in cool deep pinky reds, bold greens, icy pink, white and a cream background. I bought this pair second hand a few years ago but I think originally they were purchased from Blendworth fabrics in Denmead in Hampshire and there is a link to the Blendworth website below.
Step 3: Constructing the fabric panels
The only problem was that they were very wide and no where near long enough to fit the 2 meter by 2 meter patio doors in the freshly finished study. So I took a large pair of scissors and carefully cut off the gathered tops and set about creating big ‘portrait’ rectangles of fine thick cotton instead of ‘landscape’ shaped drapes. I ironed all the edges with small flat hems.
So that the unique curtains look attractive from the outside and the inside I added deep borders of unusual patterned fabric I had previously purchased from Hobbycraft to some plain Ikea panelled curtains I had saved from a previous project. This cute orchard of trees themed cotton is contemporary and definitely gives the ‘home near the park’ feel I am after.
Hobbycraft actually only stock a limited supply of mostly dressmaking fabric on the roll so when I saw this quirky design I knew I had got lucky. A much wider selection of unique contemporary soft furnishing fabrics is available at the independently owned store the Eternal Maker in Chichester, West Sussex and their details are also below.
In order to swiftly invent more a modern looking window treatment I then attached my pretty long floral pieces to a plain pair of Ikea eyelet curtains You can buy a similar Ikea pair for around £25 and I have attached a link below. I used my trusty vintage Husqvarna to sew neat pressed edges around all the sides of each curtain.
Step 4: First part installation of curtains
It is important to ‘offer up’ the panels onto the curtain pole to make sure the length is long enough to look generous but not too long so they don’t get dirty and look untidy. Mark the ideal length with pins and finish by sewing a neat hem along the bottom of both pieces making sure the length match perfectly.
Using eyelet topped curtains makes hanging a breeze but I asked a helper to kindly assist me so the cream fabric stayed pristine by being held carefully, while I was feeding the large panels onto the pole from each side in sequence.
The poles are sourced from B&Q and they are pre-painted in a ‘whitewashed’ wood finish which blended perfectly with the interior. The range is called Chalki and there are some very reasonably priced pole brackets, rings and finials in the range too.
Step 5: Finishing and dressing the patio door and window treatment
After testing the new curtains by pulling and arranging them into pleasing pleats I used some curtain tie backs in a neutral ivory colour I already owned to help keep the drapes perfectly in place on windy days when stepping through the sliding doors.
For this pair we made sure that each side’s last eyelet sat between the pole brackets and the end finials to give a symmetrical finish.
We hope this project inspires you to keep calm and craft during the holidays this year.
(1) Blendworth Fabrics, Denmead, Hampshire Blendworth Fabrics, Denmead, Hampshire
(2) Ikea eyelet heading curtains Ikea eyelet heading curtains
(3) Husqvarna sewing machines Husqvarna sewing machines
(4) The Eternal Maker fabric and craft supplies The Eternal Maker
(5) Chalki curtain poles by B&Q Chalki curtain poles by B&Q