Genevieve Gorder Gotham Chinoise Inked Toile Drapery Fabric


Welcome back! Thanks for following the series. To be honest, I’ve learned a lot just in my research. I really thought I had a handle on fabric weave, type and design. Apparently I was mistaken! Last time, we (including me) learned about Dupioni Silk, a beautiful high end silk from India often used in formal wear such as wedding attire. We’re going to switch gears and go the opposite direction and dive into the world of Toile. And no, it’s not pronounced like foil or even close to that. Although, please don’t feel ignorant if you did. Potato/Patahtoe I always say.  My new Alabama friends find it amusing that I called the neighboring town Gwen, spelled Guin. Looked right to me. It’s pronounced Gyou-in with a hard “g”. I am usually very good with names. So in my defense,not my first offense. I  lived in Illinois a great deal of my life and called a town near by Shuh-bone-ah. The town of Shabonna is pronounced sha-buh-nuh, with a short “a”. I called it that from 1976 until about 2005.

Imagine my embarrassment.

Well, while you’re reminiscing about you own pronunciation faux pax, read on to learn more about Toile, pronounced (twal). Now ya’ll can feel fancy with this new French word!

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I work in the fabric industry and am an upholsterer by trade. Yet I still need a refresher, even a crash course on fabric nomenclature (That’s your big word for the week meaning the science of naming things. You know, what Adam’s job was in the Garden?). You’ll notice that we use proper names for each of our fabrics. But you might not know a chintz from a chenille, or the slight difference between a jacquard and a brocade. And that’s okay! We’re here to educate you. By knowing the specific features of a given fabric, you can make an informed decision or at least narrow your options for your next DIY or custom sewing project. (Don’t forget, we do that!)

Read on…Today’s fabric feature focus is Dupioni Silk

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You know what they say, everything old is new again. But let’s be honest, some things are better off kept in the past. Remember the 60’s and early 70’s (maybe you can’t “remember” it), pattern on pattern was groovin’ baby.

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Bold colors, overstated lines and shapes, psychedelic, groovy, Peter Max to the max! The effect was over the top. We embraced the look, but today’s approach to interior design takes a more refined thinking regarding how color, pattern, even texture work together to create an appealing, not mind blowing room vista.

I’m fascinated by blending patterns and textures. My look has always been “safe”. The biggest risk I even took was red trim on a green wall. And for the record, it didn’t work. I want to try this! and with a new home and a blank canvas, I’m vibrating with ideas!

But it’s scary, risky. And I know, it scares you too, especially if you’ve experienced design catastrophe too. But you can do this. WE can do this and discover our inner artist.

With a few simple tricks and tips and the BFS Design Wall, you’ll be matching like a pro without risk of being wacky or tacky.

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I love this project! I also admit I borrowed the idea!  Thank you Driven By Design for the inspiration.

So ticking, most commonly known for its use in bedding material, has gained quite a bit of popularity and momentum in the design circles. Check out Hillary Duff sporting a ticking and lace pinafore for the Zimmerman show recently.

Even Chip and Joanna at the Magnolia have several ticking home decor pieces. Yep, ticking has made its way out from under the covers and into the light of day!

So what are you waiting for? How about a totally today project like a ticking stripe table runner with a simple macrame edge?

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Your machine is your best friend, your companion on late night binges, and your go-to when you’re craving something new to wear or want to amp up a tired couch.

Ever feel that your machine is out to get you though? Maybe it’s needing you to just be KIND and give it a KISS, a Keep It Simple Strategy for daily maintenance. With a four little tips, you’ll be loving your machine once again!

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If there were such a thing as the Griswold Family Sewing Room, I’m certain this monstrosity would be there.

Yes, it’s a Velcro knot. And no, this will NOT be a tutorial on how to unknot it. I have no magic solution. There is none. You’ll have to fight this Leviathan on your own pardner. So cowgirl up.

No. This was an inspiration because once I conquered the beast, I was rewarded with all the loose threads on the floor embedded in the hook side. And it got me thinking…

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I am a quiet sleeper. My husband, on the other hand, slumbers like a tsunami, wave after wave rolling in wreaking havoc on my territory in spite of a king sized bed. He takes up 35% of it. Of course, then there are the dogs who take up the other 60% leaving me with a sparse 5%. I wish this were my family…

This isn’t my family, but it’s not too far fetched. Short sheets are the bane of my existence. They are also a nightly occurrence. I don’t understand how anyone can sleep that way. It’s like a mosquito in my ear. Maybe worse!

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Valentine’s Day French Baker’s Apron

Skill Level: Beginner (basic sewing skills required)

Approximate Cost: Under $30 depending on fabric selection

My family will concur that I am a messy cook, and a messy eater. When I sit down to enjoy a meal at the table, al fresco, dashboard diner, TV Takeout, or on the run, I know better than to go sans napkin. I’ve also been known to don a cooking apron or an old shirt replete with stains. 

No shame.

No apologies.

Most times it’s just a tea towel. I even keep one on hand across the arm of my easy chair in the family room. I think of it as an adult bib.

And yes, they make those. I’ve been tempted to buy one. Perhaps a blog for another day…

But to be honest, when I cook, I don’t wear an apron. I keep a tea towel over my shoulder as my dad did, but I don’t protect my clothes. I just know better than to cook in my nice shirt!

My kitchen aprons are old, dated, and in need of a purge. I’m always making stuff for others. So with Valentine’s Day approaching, I decided to create a new one just for me (I doubt my husband will wear this one…or maybe he will), something colorful, slightly whimsical but with an elegant twist. That way, when company comes over, I can look adorable in my outfit and still cook safely behind the shelter of my apron!

This apron project was a surprise to me when I finished it. I chose a longer, French baker’s style. I really love the complementary pattern and color contrast; and the idea of making something not just functional, but fashionable appealed to my practical side. While it’s not a low-sew project, it’s well within reach if you have some basic sewing skills and maybe an eye for design!

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Let’s face it. Your sewing machine is your best friend…when it’s working or sitting in the cabinet. But true to Murphy’s Law, the minute you want to finish or even start a project, it’s inevitable that something will go wrong.

Nine times out of ten, it’s just a simple thing. It’s unlikely you’ll experience a major shutdown (except me, of course, when I’m on a deadline…). While most of these time stealers are quick fixes, they can come with a hassle factor of 10+, enough to bring your progress to a grinding halt if you aren’t equipped with some basic know-how. Read the rest of this entry »

Difficulty Level: Easy

Materials Needed:

Sweater of your choice, large enough to fit desired stocking size

Optional – Low-temp hot glue if you choose no-sew

3 inch piece of coordinating ribbon for each stocking

Fray-stop clear nail polish (glue stick will also work)

Parchment or wax paper

I have a weakness for sweaters; like an Achilles Heel kind of weakness. I like anything sweaterish, and not just sweaters. I like blankets, hoodies, scarves, socks, mittens, pillows and yes, sweaters. Living in the Midwest, sweater weather is looked forward to after a hot summer. Even as Indian Summer prolongs the warm weather, we pull out our sweaters in anticipation of cooler days.

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