A picture is worth a thousand words

Posted by on October 27, 2016 in Blog Entry | 0 comments

A picture is worth a thousand words


…but a professional photographer is priceless.

Thank you Aaron Locke




Time for a makeover

Posted by on July 3, 2015 in Blog Entry | 0 comments

Time for a makeover


When I went to visit this home to measure the windows, this was the view of the living room. The home owners told me that they have lived in this home for  50 years and the draperies, parts of them, have been in this window for most of that time. They had purchased some drapery panels to fill in temporarily when the original set had fallen apart. The panels didn’t fit or operate properly. They were hung with this wavy metal piece to make the pleats. Lwd2

I have never seen hardware like this before. The swag valances were also hung by a ‘self pleating’ plastic gadget to make the folds in the fabric.

It was time for a makeover.

Together we picked out a lovely sheer fabric, a cream color Faille cloth fabric and new drapery rods. Lakewood

A nice clean look, a great fit, on hardware that works and looks good. Lakewood sheer

We did the dining room window also. Lkwd

This couple is now ready to enjoy their draperies for another 25 years.


Design Gallery

Posted by on November 20, 2014 in Blog Entry, Recent | 0 comments

Design Gallery

Located in Lakewood, Design Gallery has recently remodeled, rearranged, upgraded and added lovely new things to their shop.

Curtains by Design made new draperies for some of the windows and installed them  today.



Cabana Curtains

Posted by on November 8, 2014 in Blog Entry, Front, Recent | 0 comments

Cabana Curtains


I was asked 6 weeks ago if I could make cabana curtains for a new apartment complex – and have them finished in 5 weeks. One week to take measurements, write an estimate, order materials – 120 yards of fabric, 24 dozen grommets, 12 rods, 36 brackets, 24 end caps. Second and third week was spent finishing up other projects and waiting for materials. Week four and five we cut, sewed, cut and pressed and stitched, inspected, folded and bagged all 24 panels. The hardware was not ready to ship until the end of week 5. The cabanas were still surrounded by mud and not ready for curtains. Middle of week 6 the hardware went up, but it was still too messy to hang fabric. Today the curtains went up. Thank you Teri, Ethan, Patsi, Phil, Charlie and Travis for all your help.

Crayons and colorbooks

Posted by on August 16, 2014 in Blog Entry | 0 comments

Crayons and colorbooks

When I was in grade school, I seemed to get sick for a week at a time every winter. My mother didn’t allow my sister and I  to watch tv when we were home sick, that may encourage us to stay home. In reality there was probably nothing worth watching. But my mom had a wonderful tradition that was more fun and comforting. When I was home for a few days in a row, Mom would pull out a new box of crayons and coloring book. I loved the smell of a new box of crayons. I loved the colors, the new sharp points and fresh pages of a new book. I would spend hours coloring. Many times, especially in the evenings, my mom would color with me. It was a quiet and relaxing.



This week Greenhouse Fabrics sent their new line of fabric books. They are called Essentials. Each book has a rainbow of colors of new fabrics. There are cottons, silks, satins, faux silks, wool blends in every color. It is like having a new box of crayons.



new fabrics









If you are looking for the perfect color to match your walls, furniture, bedspread or rugs, I am sure you will find something in this new collection. Give me a call, I would love to help add some fresh new color to your home.

It is still fun to play with a new box of crayons.

How to enjoy your deck on a drizzly day

Posted by on June 3, 2014 in Blog Entry, Front, Recent | 0 comments

How to enjoy your deck on a drizzly day

How can you enjoy your deck on a drizzly day? With custom curtains of course.

This lovely back yard with a covered patio was well used as a place to relax and enjoy the company of friends and family. But here in the Pacific Northwest it is often difficult to enjoy the mild temperatures of spring and fall with a misty rain or breeze blowing across the yard.

open porchThese curtain panels are made from indoor/outdoor fabric to stand up to the rain and sunshine. We also added a contrast band of fabric at the bottom to keep any signs of dirt to a minimum.


closed porchWhen closed the panels create a warm cozy room that still has a view of the yard.


porch rodThe homeowner put up pipe for rods and found IKEA kitchen S hooks work well to hang the panels. Small grommets at the top make it easy to hang the curtains and to take them down if the weather gets too wild.


outside porchHere is a view from outside the patio. There is a 1/2″ chain in the hem to keep the panels from blowing too much.


porch panelsThis room is now ready for entertaining, enjoying a cozy fire or relaxing with a good book and a glass of wine.


inside porch

A bit of history

Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Blog Entry, Recent | 0 comments

A bit of history

I recently had a chance to add to a piece of history. Tacoma is rich in history. Tacoma also has many beautiful homes that each have their own story to tell of how they make up a part of that history. The current owners of this home asked me to dress a couple of windows with balloon shades. “Did I know how to make these? And could I have them finished in a few weeks for their home was going to be on the Historical Home Tour this year.” Yes, I would be happy to help.

I have made several roman shades in different styles. This was my first set of balloon shades. I wanted to make them full and rich looking to coordinate with other window treatments in the house. I also needed to make them using the new safety approved hardware. So I read about how to put them together and watched a video or two, ordered the parts and started in.

The owner had picked the design where the fabric is gathered at the top. The instructions gave some guidelines on how full the gathers should be. I wanted these to be rich and full. So I made the panels a bit wider than recommended. That was a mistake, I should have followed the instructions. Balloon shades get their fullness from the extra length of the panel that is then pulled up from the bottom and sits in poofs. saggy shades

This shade hung in long, limp droops. I didn’t like the proportions.

So I took apart the panels to a certain point, took out the extra fullness and tried again. This time it worked much better. altered shades

I then figured out the new EZ rig hardware from Rowley Company and finished putting the shades together. These shades can be lowered or drawn up with the chain loop on the side. There is safety shroud tape on the back of the lining that the cords run through to protect anyone  from becoming entangled in long cords.


The homeowners loved them. hallway shade  balloon shade


This house is known as the Branscheid house built in 1899. You can read more about it here.

The Nanny, a birthday and a doll.

Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Blog Entry | 0 comments

The Nanny, a birthday and a doll.

My daughter had an idea for a special birthday gift. She has a darling girl in her care several days a week as she works with and for a young family in Georgia. As the first birthday approached for this little one, Rachael wanted to give a gift that would be fun, meaningful and maybe last for years to come. Her idea was to give the book series of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. This series was and is a favorite set of stories for all of my children. We have read them aloud as a family and everyone has also enjoyed reading them alone. Age 1 is a little young for these complicated adventures, but it is certainly a series to grow into.

The second part of her idea and gift was for me to make a doll of one of the characters from the stories. We talked it over and settled on ‘Lucy’. I worked on this doll over the course of several weeks sewing a bit in the evenings. I haven’t made a doll from scratch in several years, I felt very out of practice. But this was a fun project. I appreciated the inspiration and lessons from Pinterest.


When ‘Lucy’ was finished, she was packed up and shipped to Georgia arriving just in time for the big day. This little one seemed very happy with her gifts. I hope she enjoys her stories for years to come. Lucy2  Lucy doll

birthday doll

A design idea

Posted by on April 23, 2014 in Blog Entry, Front, Recent | 0 comments

A design idea

It all started with a photo on Pinterest from Better Homes and Gardens and a local interior designer.better homes shade

She had a client looking for ideas for a roman shade for her bathroom. The room was in the middle of an upgrade and remodel. The homeowners were keeping the design and character of this 1920’s home to period. White subway tile covered the walls of the walk-in shower. Small hexagon black and white tile is on the floor. I showed the photo to the designer, she shared it with her client – they loved it. “But can you make this a top-down-bottom-up shade?” yes. tdbuMichelleSince then, this photo of the finished shades has been one of my most repinned photos on Pinterest.Michelle's catThis same designer has shared the photo with several other clients. I have now made 4 sets of these shades. Some open both directions. Some only pull up from the bottom. IMG_1860

serven shade3serven shade2finished shade

After making the first few sets, I have finally figured out a simpler way of laying down the twill tape. I use an iron on adhesive tape.iron on

First ironing the tape to the back side of the twill. Then after removing the paper backing,pattern

I iron the twill tape in place. The twill tape is then carefully topstitched in place. pinning

I would love to try other designs of twill tape or other trims.

trim ideas







Christmas projects

Posted by on February 28, 2014 in Blog Entry | 0 comments

Christmas projects


Every Christmas has its own sewing projects. This year I finished a quilt someone else started and gave it to one daugher. I altered, decorated and added to our Christmas stocking collection. And failed to take any photos of them. I had requests for an apron, which was purchased, a handbag, which is still under construction, and a stuffed whale. I think it is fun that my kids still ask for toys for Christmas even though they are now 25, 23 and 17.

The whale pattern idea came from this blog:

denim whale

This blog is written by someone in Finland. It doesn’t matter that even the translation is hard to follow. The pictures are fun. And if I could knit, it would be tempting to copy other things she has made.

My version is about 24″ long and made out of two different polar fleece type fabrics. It is very soft. This whale now lives on my son’s bed. blue whale

I then decided to make my daughter-in-law this hedgehog, just because. Rachel's hedgehog

This idea came from here:  My version is about the size of a baseball.


pin cushion


Maybe next year I will take more pictures of any new projects and post about them while it is still December.

What did you make this Christmas?