Focus Month: Sewing for the home

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Whew. This has already been quite a month, with moving and everything. But I am still doing my focus month thing, it’s just sort of morphed this month. March’s focus is setting up the new place and Sewing For The Home.

It’s cheating a bit, allowing “setting up new place” to be part of the focus, but sewing for the home involves figuring out some furniture things, getting curtain rods and all that awesome interior design stuff I get hot for. Primarily it’s “sewing for the home”, but there’s auxiliary stuff that is going to be done as well.

I collect housewife books, hitting most eras from the late 1800’s onward—ones about the best way to clean things (vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice, through the ages), first aid, how to arrange one’s day to fit in all the housekeeping, how to entertain, etc. A side effect of that are sewing books and new bride books. They’re full of what you need for the home, from flatware to curtains. My particular favourite (besides my 1960s new bride book, with ads from Sears in it) is a Singer Sewing for the Home edition from the sixties. The two colour illustrations are amazing, though their glory is dwarfed by the full colour plates.  When I have more things set up at home I’ll get pictures or scans, so worth sharing.

I pulled it out when we moved to the last apartment, using it to guide the few curtains and shower curtain I made for that place. Now that we’re in our first “real” apartment, with a living room that can be just a living room, that sort of thing, like houses in films. It’s getting not only curtains to coordinate with the walls, but some actual furniture pieces, handmade kitchen and bath towels, that sort of thing. Home sewing is the most satisfying thing, because it is mostly straight seams and hems that transform yards of whatever into useful things in about an afternoon.

I made quite the fabric purchase online last night, at, thanks to a generous tax return. Other than a bit of shirting that was less than $2 a yard I couldn’t resist, everything is for this month’s focus. You can skip over this bit if you don’t care about fabric.

Kitchen towels! Gorgeous red (which is kind of daring, with the green kitchen, but there’s dark wood-look stuff in there too, so it will go) towelling that’s 90/10 cotton/linen.

Hand towels and washcloths for the bath! We have plenty of bath towels, but our washcloths have served double duty for the kitchen for some time and are hella gross. Which means I get to try my hand sewing terry (blue to go with the insane blue of the bathroom walls) and binding with twill tape.


Our living room is big enough that when we have formal(er) dinners we’ll be eating in there, so the yellow walls were kept in mind (along with personal preference) in choosing orange linen for napkins. Cloth napkins guys!! It’s like I’m a princess.

Choosing a curtain pattern was difficult, as we’ve yellow and white walls in the living room (which is the only room that doesn’t have those stupid Venetian blinds) and the furniture is more or less white and blonde wood, but the loveseat is a sage and there are other pops of colour going on. I ended up going for green and ivory ticking striped cotton. I had to get loads of it, as there are three windows. AND I got curtain weights, because they’ve simply got to hang right. I bought the liner curtains pre-made, because who can resist the scalloped edges of these damn Ikea net things?

There are other projects that I already have fabric for, because I am a supplies hoarder and love deals. The other household sewing I hope to do this month are:


  • Potholders (I’ve fabric for the outside and the heat-resistant stuff for the inside)
  • Refinishing the cushions of some wooden chairs (this is going to be so fun)
  • Maybe a new pillow, if I can find down (I also picked up down-proof ticking at
  • A couple other things that will totally show up as I go along


Whew! It looks like a lot of sewing, but it’s all measuring and straight lines. And ironing. And pre-washing. Crazy excited for this month, I’ve been waiting since January for it.

2 Thoughts to “Focus Month: Sewing for the home”

  1. YAY! ALso check out for good prices on linen. I got a bunch there (that i have yet to actually do anything with) around christmas.

    Dave and i just went to ikea on sunday to get recycle bins for our back porch and i caved and bought some natural linen pre made curtains. I’m going to tack doilies on them. maybe I can bring it over on one of your days off and we can work on our home stuff together. 🙂

  2. Ooh yes! I was trying to figure how much linen I’d need for the napkins and a blog post I found linked there. But since I was getting so much stuff and has free shipping on orders over $35, I went with their slightly higher linen price.

    Totally need to have small time crafty days. I’m spending today setting up my crafting area, so hopefully soon!

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