A Fortune of Fortuny

There’s a fortune of Fortuny for sale over at One Kings Lane. Like, the fabric-covered cabinet shown here is over $12K. So although I won’t be partaking in it, it’s free to look. Such luscious and elegant textiles! Here are my favorites:

Fortuny Fabric Favorites

If you like Fortuny, you can find remnants on eBay, did you know? There’s nearly always someone selling left-over remnants there. They’re pretty affordable. You can frame them, make small pillows or piece them with other remnants into larger pillows, or make little handbags.

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Dupatta Curtains

True to my global style, I can’t get curtains from Bed, Bath & Beyond at the shopping center outside our neighborhood. No, that’s too close! Do you know what’s perfect for curtains? Dupattas. Dupattas, if you’re not familiar with them, are like long wide scarves or lightweight shawls. They’re worn by women in India as part of clothing, usually with churidars which are like long tunics. Here’s a dupatta from Jaypore, made from silk and handwoven and hand block printed:

Silk Dupatta from Jaypore

Couldn’t you see this as a fun curtain? It could be in a boho style room, or a curtain for a girl’s bedroom.

Dupattas are shorter than saris. Dupattas can be around 80-90 inches while saris are often 6 feet or more in length. While you can cut a sari to curtain length, a single dupatta is usually already a perfect length to hang as a curtain. Just back the dupatta with a cotton fabric to block sunshine from degrading the dupatta fabric and any color dyes, and you have curtains! While you’re sewing a cotton backing onto it, you can add a pocket for a rod at the top, or install grommets for a rod, or hang with rings. It’s very easy to convert a dupatta to a curtain.

I’ve been on the hunt for a long time for the perfect dupatta to make cafe curtains for our master bedroom. And I found it at Jaypore:

Dupatta Curtains

Yes the dupatta is a bit sheer, but as I said above, you will want to add a lining to protect it from the sun. This will soon be cut and sewn into curtains, and of course the DIY post will be coming soon!

Meanwhile, there’s a large selection of beautiful dupatta on Jaypore right now so I’ll share a few more to get your creative curtain visions going. Because I was inspired to get many more dupatta but chose only one. So please, someone, buy the rest so there’s no temptation. :)

At a generous 100 inches in length, this would make a subtle patterned curtain for a tall window or tall ceiling. It’s a Maheshwari cotton silk dupatta, handwoven by master craftsmen and block printed by hand using Khari technique (I think these might all be one-of-a-kind so while they’re available today as I link to them, no promises about availability tomorrow!):

Dupatta from Jaypore

A modern leaf pattern on organic silk, this would make a bold graphic statement when paired with mid century modern furnishings:

Modern Leaf Pattern Dupatta from Jaypore

I see this silk dupatta textile hanging in a sunny bohemian breakfast nook:

Jaypore Dupatta

This cotton-silk dupatta is so unique – I challenge you to find something like this in any curtain department:

Black White Red Dupatta from Jaypore

How about add a little dash of India style to a beachy decor vibe? It’s possible with a blue dupatta like this. The lightweight silk would fly on the breeze of open windows in the summer:

Jaypore Blue Hand Woven Dupatta

Finally, florals hand-painted on silk, from India but perfect on windows overlooking an English cottage garden:

Silk Dupatta with Hand-Painted Florals from Jaypore

I hope this shows you just a taste of the range of colors and patterns on dupatta textiles. You can also find vintage and new dupatta on eBay and Etsy, as well as online stores that sell Indian clothing.

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DIY Sari Fabric Christmas Tree Skirt

Sari (or, saree) cloth is perfect for Christmas tree skirts. It can be glittery and sequiny. It can be woven with gold. Yes, sometimes real gold. What’s more festive than that?! You can easily find inexpensive vintage sari fabrics on eBay and Etsy for this DIY project. Saris have many yards (or meters) of fabric so they’re perfect for projects like this that need a good length of fabric.

The sari I used was found at Nalli sari shop in Chennai, India many years ago. When I bought it, I chose it thinking it would look great in our living room. Who would guess what it would become some day? Here it is now:

Sari Christmas Tree Skirt

This is a long post, but this really is an easy DIY, even if you don’t sew much. You’re just going to cut straight lines and sew some straight lines. (*Disclaimer below) Here’s a diagram showing what we’re going to do:

Diagram for Making Sari Fabric Christmas Tree Skirt

For this project, it’s best to choose a sari that has the same border on both edges. Because the long edges you see in the diagram above will become the outside border of your Christmas tree skirt when it’s done.

The Parts of Sari Cloth 

Here’s my sari before I cut it:

The Sari

Do you see the different pattern on it at the bottom of the photo? That’s called the pallu – it’s the part of the sari that, when worn, goes over the shoulder and cascades down the back.

Pallu on a Sari

Sometimes it is decorated more than the rest of the sari. If it is, you can work the pallu into your skirt design, or you can cut it off and save it for another project.

Saris might also come with blouse fabric attached, as mine did. See the square of fabric with my sari, the one with a different design? That’s used to make a blouse to wear under the sari. You can use it for your tree skirt, or save it for something else. I’m going to make a pillow with my blouse fabric.

So now let’s get on to sewing the sari tree skirt …

Continue reading “DIY Sari Fabric Christmas Tree Skirt”

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Outfitting a Special Holiday Table: Add a Dash of Global Textile

It’s the season for decorating tables. For holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, dressing up the dining table makes meals feel more special. But what if your table isn’t feeling all that special?

Much like our clothing, table settings need accessories to look polished. One easy way to polish an outfit is to add a scarf in an interesting fabric. Likewise, a quick easy way to add interest to a table is to add a textile to it. I like to play with fabrics from all over the world. Today, here’s a before/after example from our dining room – with just one quick change.

Here was our table a few days ago:

This Autumn Dining Table Setting Is Missing Something - A Textile

Because any horizontal surface in our house is a magnet for clutter, I usually leave our dining table “half-dressed” all the time so it doesn’t get messed up. By “half-dressed” I mean I’ll set up a centerpiece and leave placemats or chargers at each spot. We can do this because the dining table is used only for eating – we work on laptops and do hobbies and crafts elsewhere in the house. Plus, the only place for a dining table in our house is in a dining room that’s separate from other rooms. So it’s not a room where we hang out, like we might do in an open floor plan. So leaving a “half-dressed” table works to keep the room nice for whenever we need it.

But truly, the table felt like it was missing something, like it was missing pants or a shirt or something you must wear to be in public.

How does this look? A little more polished?

Thanksgiving Table All Dressed Up

I simply added a textile under the centerpiece area – a Japanese kimono fabric.

Here’s a close-up of the fabric:

Bamboo Pattern Silk Kimono Fabric

The kimono fabric colors are perfect for an autumn table. A few more views:

Celadon Brass and Mother of Pearl

Thanksgiving Table Setting

Autumn Table Setting

Table Setting for Thanksgiving

By adding the patterned textile, that extra layer makes it look like there’s much more than what is actually here. There’s really only a few simple things:

  • Fall garland from a craft store – I look for highest quality available
  • Acorns collected during walks around the neighborhood – I come home with pockets bulging like chipmunk cheeks
  • White pumpkins – must remember these are real pumpkins, before they rot into a gooey mess!
  • Mix of brass and wood candlesticks
  • Celadon ceramic pieces from World Market, and Baan Celadon in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Rattan chargers from a store in Bangkok
  • Gold leaf chargers from Crate & Barrel but I got them at an estate sale for only $2 each! At a $1M house down the road – love estate sales at those homes.

Autumn Table Centerpiece Ingredients

So if your table feels like it’s missing “something,” try adding a textile to it and see if you like it better. You can easily add a length of fabric as a runner or tablecloth. No sewing required. I watch eBay for kimono and obi fabrics which are often sold in 14″ wide strips which are a perfect size for table runners. You can find scraps of sari fabrics on eBay too. Keep an eye open for nontraditional table ideas like embroidered scarves and patterned shawls in the clothing area. Mostly, look for textiles with lots of color and pattern – they will go a long way to liven things up, much like adding a colorful scarf to your outfit!

Also you can see a very different look on this table with a different Japanese textile as a table runner in a table setting I created for the Christmas holidays.

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