making progress in the sewing room

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Decorating, Guest Room, My House, Room Makeovers56 Comments

Well, I’ve been making slow and steady progress in the sewing room over the past couple of weeks.  In the afternoons, when I’m done with my work-work, I’ll head upstairs and work on it for about an hour.  My tendency is to plow through a project and get it finished as soon as possible, but I’ve learned in recent years that projects are more enjoyable when they are spread out and done in a leisurely way.  Fewer mistakes are made when I don’t rush.  I have to fight my propensity to rush, though, because I love productivity and crossing stuff off the list!

But, the sewing room is a little easier to work on in pieces, because it’s not one I’m in a lot.  Out of sight, out of mind.  If I was sitting in the middle of it all day, it would probably feel more urgent.

I decided to focus my efforts on the left side and back wall of the room, so I could move the wardrobe and sewing desk back into place and have a little more room to move the daybed away from the other wall when I’m ready to work on that.  With all of the furniture pushed into the middle of the room, I couldn’t quite fit the step ladder over on the right side of the room and I’m going to need it to hang the fabric.

So, I primed and applied two coats of paint to all of the trim and wainscoting…

The window frames and sashes are such a pain, so I’m glad to have those behind me!  It’s looking so good, though.  What a difference!

And then I started hanging the fabric panels.  It’s been a while since I’ve done this technique (I did it in my PA house in the master bedroom), so it took me a couple of panels to get into a groove.

Working with fabric is easier than wallpaper in some ways, but it’s more challenging in others.  In this case, it’s a much more economical choice and it’s looking great.  I’ve always wanted to deck a room out in toile.

sewing room | miss mustard seed |

I especially love how it frames the windows and makes more of a feature out of them.  I am planning to install white plantation shutters in this room, so they will match the others visible from the front of the house.  I think it always looks sharp when all of the window treatments look the same from the exterior.  I had considered making toile curtains, but since I’m planning to add a bed crown, it felt like that might be a lot!  A lot of fabric and a lot of sewing!  Plantation shutters will provide privacy and shade, but will look clean and allow the trim to be seen.

sewing room | miss mustard seed |

This week has been busy, so I’ve been doing just one panel a day.  It’s been slow, but effective and now I’ve finished with the left and back walls.

And I love it!!  It’s such a fun and classic way to make this sewing room/guest room special.

sewing room | miss mustard seed |

I can now move the furniture back and start working on the right side of the room.  Here is how it’s looking now…

sewing room | miss mustard seed |

Caulk will work magic on those cracks and I can’t wait to be rid of this peachy off-white.  The entire house was painted in this color and we only have four more rooms to paint before it’s totally gone.  It’s not that it’s a terrible color, but everything was this color…doors, trim, and walls.

I also need to finish working on this patch.  Patching drywall isn’t my forte, but it’s coming along.  I’ve sanded and applied another coat since this picture and I think it just needs one more coat.  Once the bottom half is done, I’ll add the trim pieces.

So, things are moving along…

I’ll share more about this fabric treatment in the future, but HERE is the link to the tutorial I wrote for HGTV a few years ago.

And, to answer a few questions…

Is it removable & good for renters?  

Yes, it is removable.  You can just peel the fabric right off the wall and even wash and reuse the fabric.  The walls are not damaged and just need to be wiped down with a damp rag or paper towel to remove any residual starch.

Can you use any fabric?  

Yes!  I have done this technique with very light cotton, linen, and heavier woven fabrics.

How do you clean the wall?  

I just run a vacuum over it every couple of months to remove any dust.

Will this work in a bathroom or kitchen?  

Yes!  I helped one of my friends install fabric as a backsplash since she was having trouble with peeling paint from the regular use of an electric kettle.  The starched fabric worked perfectly and never peeled off.  My mom starched fabric to a metal partition in our military apartment bathroom in Germany and it stayed put for four years.  When we moved, she just peeled it off.  (As a side note, it was a cute blue and white German folk art print with wreaths and dancing couples!)


making progress in the sewing room | | miss mustard seed

making progress in the sewing room

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56 Comments on “making progress in the sewing room”

  1. Oh my goodness I absolutely love it. Do you have a tutorial? Do you think it suits every age of a home? Our is from the 20’s I would love to do this.

  2. You are amazing and an inspiration. Could you demo just one panel. You said this is an economical choice. Is there a fabric source that is economical? It’s going to be a beautiful room.

    1. Yay! I know, it’s a pretty frivolous room and not one we needed, but when the previous owners added a nice guest suite in the basement, this room became of an extra. It is great for storing my fabrics, setting up a machine, etc.

    1. This is going to be a beautiful room when the walls are finished and the plantation shutters are installed. I had plantation shutters in my previous house and loved them. The fabric on the walls is beautiful!

  3. Oh, it’s beautiful!! I love the toile! Question…..I rent my townhouse so curious about products used on hanging fabric panels and if this is something that can be removed without damage to walls?

    1. Yes! This is a perfect solution for renters. The fabric is hung using liquid starch. When you’re done, just peel it off the walls and wipe the walls down with a damp rag or paper towel. You can even wash and reuse the fabric!

  4. It’s going to be my favorite thing. I love all of your choices here! So beautiful already!

  5. Hi Marian,
    I just received my candle purchase from Oldfield Society and I love them! The candles are wonderful and it was a joy to open. She puts a lovely note inside along with other goodies. Just love it! Thank you for letting us know about this great company!
    Love the toile! I have cutains in blue and green as well as some chair cushions in red.
    It looks really pretty with Blue Transfer ware dishes hung near my blue toile curtains.

  6. This is so beautiful! It’s looking amazing! Since moving into our house 6 years ago, I’ve become the Queen of Drywall patching… at least that’s what my husband calls me. One thing I didn’t know till we fixed our kitchen walls this year is the importance of priming the patches… so I’m hoping in the fall to fix the fixes I did in the bathroom as you can see shiny and smooth bumps from where we took out the old wood fixtures… and we’re thinking of doing shiplap on the bottom half and a fun wallpaper on top! Or if I can’t find one I like, a fabric… anyway, thank you for sharing and inspiring!

    1. Yep, I’ll be priming this before painting it. Thankfully it’s behind a door and will have fabric over half of it and trim over the bottom. Any imperfections will be well hidden!

      My husband calls me the “caulk queen”, which is a name I would rather not have! I sort of hate caulking, but I am good at it! 🙂

  7. It’s so beautiful! Can’t wait to see the final reveal! I thought for sure it would look too busy (for my taste anyway) and make the room look smaller. But from what I can see it makes the room look bigger and it’s just amazingly beautiful! Not too busy at all!

    1. Yes, lots and lots of toile in a room doesn’t make it look crowded and busy—toile adds character and interest and a spacious dimension. I remember reading a quote by a designer who said the best thing to put with toile is more toile!

      Marian, this room is so pretty! You will enjoy the fruits of your labour for many, many years!

    2. You know, I would’ve thought that, too! I have studied many rooms that are small and toile on toile on toile and they look wonderful! They aren’t busy but look cozy and classic.

  8. Hi Marian
    Have you ever watched the Chateau Diaries on Youtube? The chatelaine is a Brit named Stephanie, who moved to France about 20 years ago now, and has been renovating it ever since. She did a great and very informative episode on toile. It’s not just a pattern, but there are stories that go with most of them! Some patterns have been around for centruries. She also has a tour of various rooms that she rents out, and in one of the rooms their is a bed that has the same sort of idea you have for the daybed. I’m sure you would love this show. I’m addicted to it! Your room is looking marvelous, and will stand the test of time! Cheers, Pamela

    1. I’ve been watching Stephanie and even the Escape to the chateau DIY series and loving all the decor they use. I recently watched the Chateau Diaries episode about Toile De Jouy and found it fascinating. Seeing the toile in Marions room shows how versatile a fabric it is, from a 16th century Chateau in France to a 20th century home In Minn, it’s just classic. Marion you are bringing the room to life.

  9. Marian it all looks so beautiful but how did you choose your shade of white. I’m really struggling with finding the right white for my home.

  10. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE anything toile! Your room is just beautiful! When my daughters got married & moved out, I redid both their rooms & one of them has creamy white walls with pinky red bedding & custom made window treatments. My antique bed from my childhood is there as well & I almost wish I could move it there! Enjoy your room; it’s so lovely!

  11. Oh, I wish I would have known about this technique a few months ago. It would have been a huge time and aggrivation saver for the bathroom in our Bus to RV renovation!! And cute to boot.

    On a side note, I’ve done a bit of drywall patching and IMHO, if I never have to do it again it will be too soon!! Good luck with it 🙂

    1. Oh yes! it is perfect for an RV makeover! Well, next time. 🙂 And yes, I hate patching drywall, but I’m pretty proud of how this patch is coming along!

  12. I love it! I would like to add a pattern to the back of my wood china hutch. Would this work on wood without damage? Thanks

    1. yes, this would be a great option for that. I would test it out in a small area just because you’re adding moisture. It’s possible that it could discover the wood before it dries. You could also starch the fabric to a piece of luan (thin wood) cut to fit the back.

  13. We have outfitted our entire house slowly with plantation shutters from BLINDSTER. U might want to check them out . This room looks lovely !!!!!

  14. I used to think toile was kind of cheesy, but yours looks great over the wall. Maybe I had seen cheap designs or it was used improperly. I wouldn’t use it in my house because ours is in the Craftsman style. I’m actually working on removing some of the kitsch left by the previous owners to make it more authentic and true to the period. I’ve used the cornstarch fabric trick on windows in rentals to give more privacy in areas where I didn’t want curtains. My husband was a bit dubious about this DIY, but it worked great and came off easily when we moved.

    1. Yeah, toile and craftsman don’t really jive! It sounds like you’re heading in a great direction in that house. Good job listening to it! 🙂

  15. Where did you get the toile for $10 a yard? Your room is beautiful. I love blue. I used to have my home in blues and loved it. I now find myself in the farmhouse trend of black and creamy white. Regrets of not sticking with the blue.

    1. I think I got it from when they either had it on sale or I used a coupon code.

  16. Marian, you are going to have the prettiest Sewing Room ever! It’s going to look so beautiful when you are finished. The blue and white toile fabric you are using is just so pretty! You always do such a wonderful job with everything! Bless you! Thanks for always sharing everything with us and letting us know how you do things. We appreciate you so much, Marian!

  17. I generally love wallpaper; but your toile fabric looks BETTER than wallpaper…. so wonderful against the new paint color….. this room is going to be fabulous!!!!

  18. Does the fabric stretch when it’s wet? This is absolutely beautiful. I loved your PA bedroom, but I like this fabric even better.

    1. A little bit, but it depends on the fabric, too. The stretch can be helpful when you’re lining up the pattern.

  19. As far back as I can remember, (I’m a little older than you, Marian), my mother used fabric as wallpaper. I remember a tiny green calico pattern in the bedroom I shared with two of my sisters, teal blue burlap in another bedroom, and toile like yours in my parent’s bedroom. I’m sure there were others as well. She used wallpaper paste, applied to the wall. I don’t remember ever taking it down, but I would think it could be done just as easily as starch.

  20. How do you achieve such clean lines? How do you keep the fabric from fraying? The window sure did pop after applying the fabric! Looks amazing!

  21. May I ask you. How do you stretch time? In that you have 2 sons, cooking, laundry, driving, bill paying and banking. Ordering and schedules for classes. Husband time, animal time.PLUS all this decor stuff, videos and the list keeps going? OH and self- you always look polished and happy and healthy? Do u have family and or domestic help? My word! I’d love an email reply,I am shocked.

  22. Hi!
    love the toile especially the color u chose, blue is perfect for a bedroom. I have a question If I can, what creamy white paint would u use in a room, most whites look grey? Is there such a thing as creamy soft white? Thank u

  23. I really love the toile! I never knew that you could use fabric like this. I always learn something new from you and it’s so fun! Thank you for sharing!

  24. My mom & gramma always used Argo starch to hang wallpaper. Kinda wish I had an Argo starch box just for memories!

  25. Hello Creative Women! You have so many good ideas and I think I am to the point of where we begin!
    Next year we will be moving to another state and we will be house-sharing with on of our children and family.
    Options are limited for office/workspace, so we have selected on elongated closet that has space for the two of us to work in. It is a bit larger than the average linen closet and has shelving on three walls. DIY office furnishings painted with MM milk paint to aliven it.
    Here is the plan. “Take Me Back…”
    1. Remove shelving on 1/2 of long wall and all of the short wall.
    2. Make short wall a focus wall – wall paper or stencil.
    3. Lighting- increase lighting on all sides. Use light tiles (?) and fixtures with wire shades
    4. Adapt office furnishings to fit into one long wall. Paint and stencil with MM paints (refer to hand-painted dresser makeover video
    5. Stencil paint floor – no carpet or rug in here.
    6. Windmills, bees, and lambs, with some pastoral scenery (like the painted chest) in this article.
    7. Cover office chairs and put in one captain’s chair-wood stain.
    8. Portalbe room Fans (cylindercle) make covers (like those that are used on vaccums , etc)
    9. stock shelves with fabric and sewing supplies/scrapbooking boes (2)/genealogy research/office supplies Use cube storage or abd wure baskets for organization.
    10. Barn door (single)
    For me a plan list is absolutely needed – then I can determine what has to be hired and what is DIY.
    I am crazy for the “tin” and wood look and I know that this will be a space we enjoy.

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