How to be your own decorator

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 15, 2000

For people comfortable at a sewing machine, sewing for the home is a fun and affordable

way to revive home decor.

People who don’t sew will also find many projects suited to

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their skills that enliven their home.Before you tackle a home decorating project, you

should determine your personal style or the family’s style.

Are you and your family

traditional, country, contemporary, romantic or some combination?

To help define your

style and to get a clear idea of your likes and dislikes, visit furniture stores and fabric


Look through decorating magazines and books.

Check out catalogs.

You may

even want to keep a file of pictures and drawings of things you like to jog your memory

when you begin planning a project.Don’t be intimidated by the prospect of tackling a

home-decorating project.

You don’t have to start with a complete makeover of your

living room.

Select a project that fits your skill level.

Easy beginner projects include

making pillows, no-sew window treatments and covering lamp shades and trash cans.


you skills are more advanced, you might want to try making curtains, slipcovers or

perhaps a comforter cover (duvet).Accurate measurements are a key to any successful


Using a metal tape measure (cloth ones may stretch), measure your project and

then measure again.

Make a rough sketch of the item you’re measuring and put your

measurements in the right locations.

Take this with you to buy patterns, fabric and

notions.You will hear about three types of measurements for decoration projects.


size refers to the measurements of the window, table, bed or whatever you’re working on.

Cutting size means the measurement of fabric needed including drop allowances,

allowances for pleats or gathers, seam allowances, hems and casings.

Finished size is the

actual size of the completed project.Commercial patterns and projects from

home-decorating magazines and books will tell you how to determine how much fabric

you need.

If the project is a standard size, yardage requirement will be given.

If it’s a

non-standard size, there will be specific instructions on how to calculate yardage from

your measurements. (Please include the following statement at the end of the

article)Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work in agriculture and home


Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, and other related acts, in cooperation with

the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System

(Alabama A&M University and Auburn University) offers educational programs,

materials, and equal opportunity employment to all people without regard to race, color,

national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability.