Home sewing in the lounge room

11 June 2018
I've been sewing a few odds and ends to suit our new lounge room colours and style.  I didn't want to spend much, or anything really 🙄, so I looked in my fabric stash to see what cotton or linen I had in the right colours.  Out came some blue and white cotton I've had for at least 15 years, that made a skirt for a large lamp, and a Tilda fat quarter from last year that I'd forgotten about. That fat quarter made a skirt for a small lamp. I also had some dangly pink edging and that added just the right finish.  It's amazing what you can make from what's sitting in a cupboard.




Making the casing - it's just a tunnel in which to thread elastic so the skirt will fit at the top and flair out at the bottom.


 The skirt covers an old and boring lamp shade and can be removed to be washed.

These little lamp skirts are so easy to make and they'll change an old lamp into something fresh and lovely.  They're like a tiny skirt with an elasticised waist band. Just measure the lamp shade you want to cover around the base of the shade, and from the base to the top. Cut a rectangle of fabric to those measurements, adding a little extra for your hems. Hem the bottom and make a casing at the top. Through that casing, thread a piece of thin elastic and make what will look like a little dolls skirt.  Before you finish off the top casing, place it on your lamp to make sure the hole will sit nicely on top of the lamp. When you're sure of the fit, sew up the casing and iron the skirt. Finished!

I'm also making two cushion covers. The blue fabric I'm using for one of them is on the machine. I'll show them during the week.

You don't need an expensive sewing machine to make soft furnishings. I bought my simple, non-computerised sewing machine on eBay about 12 years ago and it's still going strong now.  You can make a wide range of household linens - aprons, napkins, tablecloths, tea towels, pillow cases, cushion covers, tote bags and all of them will be unique and cost a fraction of what you'd pay at the shops. That sounds like wise economy to me. 

26 comments

  1. Oh how I love the little balls underneath that lamp cover!
    I just moved to another home and discovered an forgotten box of fabrics. You inspired me to get them out and make the best of all these fabrics!

    Love from Holland x

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  2. Debbie GemmillJune 11, 2018 7:42 am

    I just bought an inexpensive, boring lampshade for the lamp in my sewing/yarn room. Your post is the perfect inspiration to go through my fabric and see what cuteness I can create. Thank you!

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  3. Damn it , I should have kept that lamp, almost identical to yours. My sewing machine is similar to yours, it just keeps going. Beautiful work and great economy.

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  4. Now that looks like something even I could make! It looks so pretty with the light shining through, almost like a tiffany lamp.

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  5. Love the little bobbles on that lamp shade. Just right with that beautiful fabric!
    I would love to learn to sew....one day!

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    1. Belinda, this is the ideal first project for a non-sewer. It's all straight sewing. I even attached the bobbles with fabric glue - so it's just hemming and joining the two ends together.

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  6. I love this idea, but what bulbs do you use? I'm afraid of a bulb getting too hot and starting fabric on fire. I have seen this happen!

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    1. We've used LED lights for years and they're pretty safe. Here is some information about them: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/led-light-bulbs-fire-risk-david-lee

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  7. I love this! Thank you for the instructions, especially the part about the rectangle. I have thought about making lampshades before but could not figure out how to do it; now I know. I also love the fact that, when homemade, it coordinates with your surroundings. My Singer machine is a 1953 zig-zag and I love it!!

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  8. Those are so festive! I love the way you decorate your home. I still need to get comfortable using my sewing machine. It's a Singer Featherweight from the 1950's. Your blog inspired me to learn to knit, so hopefully I will learn to sew, too. I love hand sewing, mending, and darning socks. Have been thinking about you because I just adopted three adorable hens. They are so sweet, and very petite. We were fixing up the chicken coop this afternoon...

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    1. I'm so pleased you have your three hens. I'm sure you'll love them and enjoy their eggs. xx

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  9. I love them, especially the blue cover. I have two lampshades that could use new covers. I'm going to follow your instructions and make lamp covers. Thank you Rhonda.

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  10. I was wondering what the difference was between a lampshade and a lamp skirt and now I know.
    Claire in Melbourne

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  11. What a great idea Rhonda. You have done a really nice job. Pauline

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  12. They both look beautiful Rhonda. The blue/grey and white one goes perfectly with your colour scheme.

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  13. What a really good and basic idea! The way you explained it, I think I can make that too :)

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  14. The old Singer straight stitch sewing machines are fantastic for beginners as not much can go wrong with them (that a bit of sewing machine oil and maybe a small adjustment or two can't fix). The manuals are usually online free. You can get the older machines pretty cheaply at thrift shops or boot sales/garage sales/eBay/etc. The older machines are sturdy, will sew through pretty much anything up to leather, and they last forever. I have an 1898 machine that is wonderful to quilt my quilts. Doing well for a 120 year old machine!

    Of course, the cheapest option is just needle and thread. It takes a bit longer, but is viable alternative for people with no machines. (After all, sewing machines have only been around since the 1800's) Just have patience, lightly mark where you want to sew, secure it with pins or clips, put on something gentle to listen to, and relax and enjoy the process. It's not a race. There are all kinds of YouTube videos to show different stitches and how to knot your thread.

    Being able to sew something for yourself, your family and/or your home is an immensely satisfying task. Very worthwhile on many levels, personal and practical. Start small and easy, then you will grow more confident with each successful completion.

    As always, thank you Rhonda. I look forward to your posts. Blessings to you and yours x

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  15. So clever! This is so simple and effective, Rhonda. Straight to my Homemade homewares pin board on pinterest.

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  16. Very nice! I love ball fringe anywhere. I have it on the bottoms of all my kitchen curtains.

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  17. What a great idea! I've been saving t-shirts, nasty little stains o the front. I'm cutting strips up to crochet into throw rugs. Thanks for sharing, Elaine

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  18. How charming! I love them, Rhonda!

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  19. These look terrific! And this looks like something I could do!

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  20. That is a fantastic idea--cute, but also so much more readily washable! Brilliant. The pom-poms make it extra fabulous!

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  21. Your two lampshades are looking so pretty. I will do this for a couple of lamps that I have, such a good idea! :)

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  22. Such a great idea! They’re beautiful

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  23. Your lamp skirts are lovely. I once made a new shade by taking the old damaged one off the frame...very carefully, and using it as a pattern on new fabric. I really enjoyed making the new shade and I can remake other shades for the lamp if the décor changes

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