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Home Sewn: Projects and Inspiration for Every Room


Author: Cassandra Ellis

Publisher: Clarkson Potter


Publish Date: June 14, 2016

ISBN-10: 1101906952

Pages: 160

File Type: Epub

Language: English

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Book Preface

When I began planning Home Sewn, my starting point was my own home. Keeping fabric my foundation, I wandered through the house, looking and thinking. What did I need? What did I want to make? And what was practical for others to make from the delightful stuff that is cloth? Sewing home goods is (thankfully) something we can all do and, as well as being both simple and satisfying, textiles add that ever-important layer of color, pattern, and texture that convert a house into something much more indefinable—our home.

Cloth is, of course, my thing—fabric shops have been my go-to place for happy browsing since I was a kid. I have spent many years roaming stores and markets looking for the fabric that “speaks to me”—whether vintage, velvet, or floral, you always know when a piece of cloth is perfect for you and your home. Uncut fabric is obviously pure magic, the rows of bolts thrilling, and the stroking with a flat palm is, of course, unavoidable. I have always loved the thwack of the bolt of cloth on a cutting bench and the excitement of the purchase—with pattern in hand and deep in covert discussion with the attentive assistant, the promise of textile nirvana just a snip and stitch away.

I am a true advocate of making, and there is real joy in making quilts and curtains, cushions and napkins that you need or want for your home. Sometimes we make because we want to learn something new; other times because we can make something better than “a bought one.” Good-quality fabric is worth every penny, but usually you still can make something for less outlay than the ready-made alternative. When you make, it is also the opportunity to express yourself, your home, and what you love—“I’m free to be me.”

When I teach, I’m often surprised that, although every participant is eager and able to express their own style through their clothing choices, they can be paralyzed when it comes to their home. Of course, a sweater is easier to donate to charity than a sofa, and it is harder to visualize a whole room than take stock of an outfit in front of the mirror. But pillows and curtains, napkins and quilts are all easy ways to express your creativity. Sometimes you just have to give in to it.

All of the projects in Home Sewn can be altered to fit your aesthetic vibe. The patchwork curtain panels can become a riot of color, the ottomans a floral bouquet, or the bulletin board a vintage toile. Take the essence of the project and make it yours. Try not to be swayed by my metallic leather—instead look at the lines or shape of the project, because that’s the most important part of any design.

So I needed and wanted everything I’ve designed and made for Home Sewn. After the wandering and thinking about our home, I worked out what I wanted to make, and almost every item is resting within. The tablecloth sparkled under our annual Christmas party buffet (a most excellent party), and the quilted throw, well, Lily (pooch number 1) is lying under—yes, under—that next to me. The ottomans have held toddlers for naps and teenagers for daydreams, and the chair cover is still holding my fragile pink chair together. I could go on, but needless to say every room in our home is brought to life with these things, each of which tells a little of our story.

Some of the projects are simple to make, but all have a place, either to fulfill practical needs or provide a necessary dose of whimsy. The key is to make—that’s all.

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