As the extremes of seasonal weather, no matter where you live, continue to affect us all subtle changes to your living spaces can bring a respite to seemingly unrelenting weather elements. Understated window treatments, easy to sew bedroom pillowcases that double as shams, and elegant bolster covers are uncomplicated and quick to make as coordinating room accessories that can considerably change the look of living areas.
Elegant, simple curtain swags are easy to sew using just about 3 yards of a cotton print or plaid and an additional 3 yards of inexpensive muslin or coordinating solid-color fabric for lining. Use fabric that is 36" or 45" wide for a seamless rectangular swag. Sew the two fabric lengths right sides together using a standard 5/8” straight seam leaving an approximate 6” opening to turn right-sides out. Press and hand sew the small opening closed. Drape the swag over a decorative curtain rod and the window will have an elegant soft-topped frame, similar to the look a solid cornice gives to a window but without the formal stiffness.
A window valance can be made the same way, using much less fabric. Most simple valances are just 18” to 22” wide and slightly more than the widow’s width. Hang the valance on a decorative curtain rod using just a few decorative rings that clip to the fabric and slide easily over the rod. A few wispy curly willow branches could be fastened to the rod as well for an organic yet minimalist look.
Pillowcases are another of those easy-to-sew rectangular shapes that can have a big impact when made to coordinate with bed sheets and bedroom curtains. Most standard size pillowcases are a finished size 22 inches by 32 inches. Add an extra half inch or more for seam allowances. If the pillowcase is a print, consider using a coordinating solid for a bordered opening. Close the pillowcase’s open end by adding a few buttonholes and large fanciful buttons that show through the border or buttons covered in the same fabric, for a unique pillowcase that does double-duty as a pillow sham. Use ribbon ties to close the pillowcase opening instead of buttons for a softer look.
It is easy to make a bolster cover for a bolster shaped pillow form that uses just under one yard of fabric, a few stick-on hook-and-loop tape shapes, and some wide ribbon. Hem a rectangular fabric shape on all sides making sure to cut a fabric rectangle large enough to encase the bolster form, allowing for approximately an 8” overlap on the pillow ends, adding any all-over hem allowance. Fix the hook-and-loop tape to the long hemmed edges so that the hemmed fabric will close over the bolster pillow securely. To close each end of the bolster cover stitch a simple casing at each end and drawing a ribbon through to gather, pull snugly, and tie off. Alternatively, simply use ribbon to gather and tie the extra fabric at the bolster’s ends close to the edge of the bolster form. The extra gathered fabric at the bolster's ends will give the specialized pillow form the look of New Year’s party poppers!
Any of these home sewing projects can usually be accomplished in a few spare hours, will showcase your sewing creativity, require just a few yards of fabric, and little sewing effort. Your living spaces will have an updated look and fresh perspective.
Sew happy, sew well.