Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lets face it, we are simply addicted to fabric.  We love it in every color, texture, fiber, and pattern. Sometimes we joke that our dream houses need to have as many rooms as there are design styles because we can never definitively say which is our favorite....

Thankfully we get to hang out at the Whole 9 Yards and help you decide which one to take home.  We spend all day talking to you and helping you choose, and we get so excited when one of our favorites becomes one of yours, but once you take it home we hardly ever get to see the finished product.  So we are starting something new - our first ever Instagram contest.  (if you are not familiar with Instagram please feel free to come into the store and ask us about it - we LOVE it! But basically it is a photo sharing app for smart phones)
Here's how the contest will work:
1: Come in during our Anniversary Sale - October 22nd-25th and purchase fabric.
2: Take a picture of what you had made with the fabric (just a little incentive to actually get that project completed!)
3: Post your picture on Instagram with the hashtag #lookwhatididW9Yards by February 29th, 2015.  (Also don't forget to follow us!  We are called whole9yardsportland and we love to post pictures from our workroom, sneak peeks at new fabrics, day to day happenings, and even your project pictures!)
4: We will be holding a random drawing of all entries on March 1st to determine the winner, who will get their choice of one of Amy's fabulous crewel pillows.

Cant wait to see all your entries!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

How much fabric do I need? - Drapery edition

With our annual sale just days away we thought it would be a great time to have a crash course in drapery and curtain yardage figuring.  This is the most math-heavy aspect of our world and depending on the pattern repeat of the fabric can be a little daunting at times. With that being said however, there is a fairly simple formula we follow that I am going to walk you through now!

First, some vocabulary lessons:
In our world a panel is what we call a finished drape or curtain.  Typically windows will have two panels that hang on either side of the window.  A width of fabric is how wide it is on the roll (typically 54") and each panel can be made from as little as one width of fabric, but can go up depending on the size of the window and the style of the curtain/drape. And fullness relates to how many widths of fabric it takes to make a panel.

So here we go:
1. Step one is to first decide on the style of drapery you want.  We will cover this more in-depth in another blog post, but your basic options are a flat panel (including a rod pocket, gathered on rings, and grommets) or pleated. (Which includes so many variations that we really need to get that other blog post written!  Our favorites, however, tend to be a Classic 3-finger or a 2-Finger Euro.)  For this example lets decide to do a flat panel gathered on rings. 

2. Step two is to figure out your Bracket to Bracket measurement.  You do this by measuring where your rod brackets (or track) are to be hung.  If you are able to go outside the window frame where the fabric can stack back when the drapes are open, all the better. (We like to go "high and wide" with our draperies!)  For this example lets say that the bracket to bracket is 65".

3. Step three is where the math starts happening...multiply your bracket to bracket number by the fullness amount.  For most pleated drapes you need 2.5-3 times the fullness. For flat panels gathered on rings or grommets, 2 times the fullness will do.  Rod pockets are usually 1.5-2 times fullness.  65" x 2 = 130"

4. Divide the number from step 3 by the width of the fabric you are using (most are 54") and you will get how many widths of fabric you need to make the finished panel. Just a note - if you are between numbers always round up! 130/54 = 2.41 - so 3 widths are needed.  (Which means each panel will be made up of a width and a half of fabric!)

5. Now we figure length.  As I said before, we prefer drapes to hang "high and wide" whenever possible.  Measure from where the rod is going to hang above the window, to where you want to the curtains to end. For this example lets say we want the curtains to finish 93" long.  

6. Take the length measurement and add 14" to allow for top and bottom hems.  We call this the cut length.  You may also have to take into consideration the pattern repeat of the fabric you have chosen.  (This is a bit more advanced so feel free to bring the info you have gathered so far and we'll help you from here!) 93 + 14 = 107" cut length 

And finally...
7. You take the number of widths you need (you found that in step #4), and multiply that number by your cut length (step #6).  Divide that number by 36 (which is the number of inches in a yard) and that tells you how many yards you need! 107 x 3 = 321" needed.  321"/36 = 8.92.  So this window will need 9 yards of fabric!

Of course, all curtains have their unique challenges.  We are happy to go over your measurements and calculations to assure a perfect fit!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How much fabric do I need?

Figuring out how many yards you need for your particular project can be very daunting, especially when you are trying to take advantage of our 30% off sale (October 22nd - 25th) so we have put together a few ballpark numbers to help.

1.5 yards will do a square table topper, or 4 dining room chairs
2.25 yards will do 6 dining room chairs
3 yards will do a table cloth, and is also the amount for an ottoman
7 yards will do most chairs with a loose cushion on the seat (think a classic wing-back)
10-12 yards will do a loveseat
12-16 will do a sofa

See, not so hard!  Of course we will help with fine tuning the details when the time comes, so no worries!

We also keep several copies of this great chart around the store, or feel free to print it out and carry it with you for on-the-go yardage figuring.
 *hint* click on the chart to make it larger

Friday, October 10, 2014

Anniversary Sale 2014

Wow!  We can hardly believe its already our 23rd birthday! 

It has been such a pleasure working with you, our marvelous customers, over the last few decades, and we cant wait to see what fun we will have in the next few.  

If this is your first time coming to our big Anniversary Sale, then let us just say "welcome." 

If this is your second, fifth, or even 23rd sale then we have a few changes up our sleeve - the biggest being the pricing! Instead of searching through all the bolts to see how much your favorite fabric is marked down, we are pricing EVERYTHING at 30% off! Wahoo!We are also having a new Instagram based drawing so check back soon for more details.

The sale is still a couple of weeks away, so make sure you come on in and get the lay of the land prior to the 22nd. We can help you checkout samples and figure yardage for all your projects.

Hope you are as excited as we are, and see you soon!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The gift of trust.

Truly one of the greatest joys of this business is in meeting new people who give us the gift of their trust. They allow us to come into their homes and bring all our creativity and energies. Here is one such story...
I first spied Karen from the corner of my eye while I was helping someone else. As I was totally engaged with the customer and project at hand I couldn't approach her, but in my mind I registered "who is that sweet women in that fabulous orange coat?" I didn't know if I would ever get to work with her directly as she had left the store before I was free.

Later I saw a note on my desk that read "Karen loves your crewel pillows and wants them once they come back in. Also, she'd like you to come to her home for a consultation." Yipee! She was the woman in the orange coat! So began one of my sweetest experiences working with a client.

Karen is one of those people who takes care of everyone else but herself. She loves her family, art and color but she had let her house and her intended projects slip by her. When I came in the picture she had decided to get her house in order, make some changes - make the space work better for her. She had made several false starts, tried some paint colors and moved some things around, but got stuck and stopped.

After our first consultation, we created a list of the following goals and with some great teamwork we made A LOT of progress!
  • New paint colors everywhere. (The girl LOVES color!).
  • Reupholster a chair and ottoman.
  • Get a new rug.
  • Redo the bedroom.
  • Rehang art.
  • General organization and de-clutter. 
Here are some "before" and "afters":

Kitchen Before:
Kitchen After:
Living Room Before:
Living Room After:
(how fantastic is the "Udder Madness" cow print on that chair?!?!)

Bedroom Before:
Bedroom After:
Of course like any project there is always more to do! We are still working on the following, so stay tuned for even more progress!
  • Drapes in the living room.
  • Reupholster another chair.
  • Get the art framed and re-hung.
  • The outside back porch.
So, are you inspired to pay a little attention to your project? Maybe all you need is a little bit of help!