Monday, March 7, 2011

Fabric Selection: a tutorial, part 1

Remember my cute little etsy find? Well, here she is. I'm using my new little bag as a carrier for all my fabric samples. I'm in the process of starting to look for and decide on fabrics for my window treatments.

I'm partial to a fabric mill/textile house called Lewis & Sheron in Atlanta. Wow! So far away! I know. My parents live near there, and got me hooked on this place years and years ago, and I just can't go anywhere else. When I'm in a bind, I will go to JoAnns or Calico, but they don't have nearly the selection.

It is a tad difficult, no matter how good your site is, to be able to accurately choose colors, patterns, and textures off of the computer screen. I have to touch and feel these guys....hence the big ol' bag of fabric. I've literally ordered fabric samples 3 times since we moved 1 month ago!

So, let's get to it. Let me show you my process. Oh, one last thing. Custom window treatments sound either one of two ways to the average person. Hard. Expensive. Or both. I'll address the last one first. It doesn't have to be expensive. When you consider that the average Pottery Barn panel is around $75, and it costs me about $20/yd x 2.5yd/panel = $50 + construction ($30/panel)= $80...that is the same price. But, now I have the EXACT fabric, length, and style that I want. Luckily, I've worked hard over the years to find a seamstress who does amazing work. Secondly, regarding it being hard to do, all you have to do is order fabric, take it to the seamstress, then hang it on the rod! Simple. :)

I usually end up with a smorgasbord of fabrics, but when they all arrive, they end up all matching because my taste is consistent. Yours will be too. When looking online or in the store, you will automatically steer clear of fabrics that you don't like. For example, I don't like damask. So, I never go near them. I love linens, so I have about 3-4 samples that end up being of that ilk. I love silks, but can't afford them, so I steer clear. Feel me?

I usually use fabric for my inspiration for my paint selection. I really think this little Paris fabric reminds me of my littlest little girly girl, so I was considering it. I will find a coordinating fabric (ie stripe, polka dot, etc) that would work as a companion to this.

Paints can be used in many many ways. I wouldn't paint her whole room this pink-red color (the darker), but I could do large "art" squares in that bold color, and place art work on top, to temper it. Like this:

That's just an example of how bolder paint could compliment a fun fabric, to accomplish an overall goal.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Fabric Selection.....


Rosie said...

I can't wait for part 2! Really good info Lauren! You make it sound easy...hmmm...something tells me that its easy for YOU, but this girl hasn't had much experience. But, it gives me hope. If nothing else, after seeing all your yummy rooms and fabrics and such, I'm really warming up to COLOR for our walls. About time, is right!

Black Pawn said...

Perhaps I just need to hire you to come consult! I love stripes. I have wall colors figured out (from a friend's house), and I feel like I want to accent my browns in either sage or light blue. I can't do both - cause that would be far too much color :), and I can't figure out which to go with. So far, I've done nothing. I also really like the warm reds and golds.
Well, if I have any tax return money left after doing my wood floors... I'll put up the bat-sign for some help!
~Rebecca W.