June 11, 2014

A touch of home dec

As is entirely apparent around these parts, my sewing skews in the garment direction. When you can make a nice outfit to wear in an evening or two, why spend weeks working on interminably long seams without even a dress to show for it?

However, the exceptions prove the rule! I’ve needed curtains for my sewing room for months – my old apartment wasn’t overlooked so I just waltzed around without bothering, but my new place is on a narrow street and my next door neighbours look directly into my window. Do I regularly take my clothes off to try on things as I’m making them? Yes I do. Oops. On top of my need for curtains, my good friend Emily also needed a dog bed to match her lovely new redecorated bedroom, and was despairing at the tacky options available at the local pet superstores.

Thus a trip to Zimman’s was born. Zimman’s is just the most fabulous home dec fabric store you could ever imagine. It’s in a rather rundown town north of Boston, but it’s a gem that’s been around since 1909 and more than worth the trip up route 1.

The fabric selection is vast and absolutely beautiful, ranging from heavy upholsteries to Marimekko, outdoor fabrics, leathers, and voiles. Downstairs, there are foam cuts and cushion inserts in every size imaginable, and a whole tassel department. Ladies, if you need tassels, Zimman’s is your place. Although it’s aimed at home dec projects, a lot of the fabrics would multitask – there are leathers for bags, wool that would work for coats, and they even have some Liberty Tana Lawn.

Emily found some gorgeous green heathered Scottish wool for the bed, which we combined with some canvas, an upholstery zipper, a foam pad and some batting to make a rather luxe dog bed, if I say so myself.

As for me: I found some birdies!

I even got it on a bolt, my very own.

I made some very simple curtains for my sewing room – and I even have about 1.5 yards left.

YES I AM GOING TO MAKE A BIRDIE SKIRT. Only question is, what type? I”m sorely tempted to underline it and make a Betsy to follow the lead of all my lovely curvy girls….

Do you do home dec projects, dear readers? Or do you avoid them to maximize dressmaking time as well?

16 thoughts on “A touch of home dec

  1. Marianne says:

    Nice curtains! My credo is: if it can be sewn, I’m game. Bed- and table linen, cushions, covers for garden furniture, dog stuff or upholstering (is that a word?) the family couches. And curtains. Sometimes I just want to sew long seams and things without darts. Weird, ey?

    1. Jenny says:

      You’re a sewing machine, Marianne!

  2. oh birdie window! THERE ARE ALWAYS SINGING BIRDIES IN YOUR WINDOW!!! home dec win.

    ruggy asked me last week if i’d care to make curtains (for the fourth time, cats have ruined them thrice). the conversation did not go well.

    1. Jenny says:

      Chirp chirp!

      And: if someone else asked me to make curtains I’d probably just run away

  3. Megan says:

    so cute! i need to make some curtains too (to replace the not so fabulous 60s era ones that came with my house), but i got this CRAZY idea that I was going to block print them so yeah, still haven’t started. but the idea is GREAT in my mind!

    1. Jenny says:

      Yay for great mind curtains! Block printing sounds awesome

  4. Michelle says:

    Those curtains are really cute! As far as my own sewing goes, though, I don’t do Home Dec. The extent of Home Dec sewing I’ll do is to machine-hem curtains that I purchase at IKEA (rather than using their two-sided fusible bonding tape.)

  5. This year I’ve completely decked out the interior of our Kombi van – seat upholstery including first piping ever, and curtains. Can’t say it was always fun, but at least it’s easy fitting windows and cushions! That fabric will be a beautiful skirt – nice one!

    1. Jenny says:

      I followed your Kombi project – it looks amazing! And now you get to drive around in it… So jealous !

  6. Zimman’s has been one of my favorite stores since childhood. I fondly remember my mother purchasing fabric for curtains, quilts, couch covers, and other home-dec items. (I remember when it sold yarn and other knitting paraphernalia, too.) It’s still one of my favorite stores for non-garment fabrics.

    I grew up in the town (city, actually) in question. I still live there and divide my time between it and Boston, where I now keep an apartment, too. I would wager that you’re only been to the strip where Zimman’s is located. I wouldn’t call it rundown. It has lovely cafés, pricey beachfront homes, and quaint ethnic markets. Sure, it might not be as polished as gentrified parts of Brookline and Boston. But calling it rundown? I disagree heartily.

    1. Jenny says:

      Hiya! I have been to that shopping area and done some volunteer community work in Lynn as well, but would love to get some reccos for nice cafés and so on as in the area quite a bit!

  7. tanyamaile says:

    Super cute fabric!!! I still have a rose brocade I bought nearly two years ago to make curtains and pillows for my sewing room I still haven’t done so…..

  8. So my apartment has a corner with a whopping four windows that overlook the street and other townhouses, and up until last week, my sewing desk sat in the curtain-less four-window nook. This is the look of me not caring. Look at you with your curtains and sense of dignity.

    I loooove the watercolor birdies, and cannot wait to see your Betsy all made up.

  9. Katy Laney says:

    So when do we get to see this birdie skirt!?! Maria von Trapp chic. fabulous!

  10. I don’t eat out in Lynn because of dietary concerns. Locals have given me good reviews about Mildred’s Corner Cafe, Walnut Street Cafe, and Brother’s Deli. (If you need anything in a particular part of the city, I’d be happy to find out about it for you.)

  11. gingermakes says:

    Oh man, birdie curtains are so cute! I’ve been wanting to replace the blinds in my living room with curtains since we moved into the apt two years ago, but I can never work up the energy to sew home dec projects! I just can’t motivate!

Let me know what you think!