If there’s one thing I really love seeing in a home, it’s nice textiles. I’m a bit of a design nerd when it comes to beautiful vintage or designer fabric! As a designer, I’m certainly aware that quality fabric comes at a cost (with a higher price tag). Sometimes it’s difficult to justify spending large amounts of your budget on fabric or convincing clients that it really will make a big difference. I totally 100% get it, so I thought it might be helpful to share tips for scoring nice fabric on a budget. I also threw in a lumbar pillow DIY to put that fabric to good use. That’s another way to save money- make it yourself. Click through for the post…To start, I thought I’d share some of my favorite resources for designer and vintage fabric- along with some of my favorite textile designers.
F A B R I C R E S O U R C E S
Typically, the larger wholesale retailers offer fabric by the yard at a better price. When searching for vintage or ‘used’ pieces, you can often find great deals on remnants. Maybe someone needed seven yards and only ended up using five… that usually means they’re going to let the remaining two yards go at a great price since their project is completed and the fabric is just sitting around.
Sometimes it’s also helpful to search by the designer or brand’s name… here are a handful of my favorites (I’m sure I’m missing a couple).
F A V O R I T E D E S I G N E R S
- Susan Connor
- Dwell Studio
- Kelly Wearstler
- Rebecca Atwood
- Nate Berkus
- Cole & Son
- Clark & Clark
- Brunschwig & Fils
- Dash & Albert
- Pindler & Pindler
- Lee Jofa
- Ralph Lauren
- Osborne & Little
- Kate Spade
- Robert Allen
- Cowtan & Tout
- Designers Guild
T I P S
If you’re splurging on quality fabric, be sure to do your research prior to placing an order.
- Check the durability or rub count.
- Request a swatch.
- Double check and make sure the swatch works within the intended space or with the existing decor.
- Once you have the swatch in person, how does it feel? Fabric with a nice ‘hand’ makes a big difference.
- Don’t forget to factor in shipping costs… some of the designers are based internationally and shipping across the pond can be pricey.
- Measure, then measure again. Luckily, most every resource allows you to make purchases by the yard… be sure to allow for overage, or if you’re buying a bolt- double check the width.
- Know how to clean and care for the fabric. Is it dry clean only? Washable? Appropriate for outdoors and resistant to fading? Practicality is another selling point.
L U M B A R P I L L O W D I Y
I’ve been sewing since I was a kid. I have my grandmothers to thank for that. I feel really comfortable sewing basic projects like throw pillows, drapery, or really anything with a pattern. With that said, I do know that if you spend a pretty penny on super amazing fabric, and you’re not 100% confident with your own sewing skills, you should probably hire it out. There’s nothing worse than trying something and blaming yourself if it doesn’t turn out, but I promise you a simple throw pillow is easy peasy! Here’s what you need to begin:
– sewing machine
– straight pins
– down cushion insert
Step 1 // Measure and cut the fabric. Depending on what size pillow you’d like, cut the fabric, adding one inch around the perimeter. I wanted an 8″ x 20″ lumbar pillow, so I cut two pieces of fabric 9″ x 21″.
Step 2 // Pin the fabric and begin sewing. Pin the two fabric rectangles against each other, making sure they’re perfectly aligned… the good sides facing inward. Begin sewing around the perimeter, removing the straight pins as you go. Be sure to leave one side open for your zipper closure.
Step 3 // Secure the edges. I like to to run a surge or reinforcing stitch around the perimeter, just to make sure nothing unravels when the cover is in the wash. This step is totally optional!
Step 4 // Add the zipper. I’m not going to lie… sewing the zipper is the trickiest part of this project. Rather than creating an entire blog post that is devoted specifically to zippers, check out this easy video on how to sew one. It’s really not that bad! If you have a zipper foot, it will be a piece of cake.
Step 5 // Flip it right side out. You’re pretty much done at this point! Flip the cover right side out and it should start to resemble a pillow.
Step 6 // Add the insert. The only thing left to do is add the insert. I always use down inserts. They feel more luxurious and look nice and full.
It’s really a pretty quick process. A nice pattern and some quality fabric make a quick statement! I’m always on the hunt for textiles and typically trade out my decor seasonally. It’s amazing how something like a simple throw pillow can alter an entire room.
What do you guys think? Would you hire or DIY this project? I’d also love to hear your favorite fabric resources… maybe there’s a few I should add to the list!