Maker Spotlight: Jessica Rhodes

Maker Spotlight: Jessica Rhodes

Hi, I'm Jessica from Park and Division. I first learned to sew when I was very young -- my mother owned a Halloween costume and craft business -- she had a sewing room filled to the brim with different fabrics and I always loved watching her work. Growing up, I would fix clothes that lost a button or hem my own pants but I didn’t start sewing in earnest until college when I started to alter vintage clothes to fit and worked on costumes for our campus theater group.

Fast forward to 2013 when my husband and I bought our first house. As we began renovating it, I was inspired to use my sewing skills to decorate -- I made a shower curtain out of a dropcloth, made floor pillows for my son’s bedroom, and sewed a box cushion for a vintage daybed.

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We are now in our third house, a historic Italianate home that we are slowly renovating room-by-room, and I’m challenging myself to make most of the soft goods by hand - table skirts, curtains, cushions, pillows, duvet covers, shower curtains, the list goes on. I love sharing what I learn along the way, and hope I can inspire others to customize their dream home!

Q&A

What do you think about fabric.com?

The main thing I love about fabric.com is the vast selection. I regularly spend hours going through pages upon pages of fabric to find the perfect choice for a project. And on those wonderful occasions when I know exactly what I want -- the detailed filters are so helpful. I really appreciate the range of prices -- from designer fabrics like Schumacher to inexpensive, quality linens.

What are your top fabric.com projects?

My first project with fabric.com was this wraparound floor-length shower curtain in our bathroom -- the first room we renovated in our current home. I was excited to find this Schumacher fabric by Veere Grenney -- the floral stripes are a beautiful compliment to the graphic floors and deep cognac walls.

This box pleat console table skirt is probably my favorite sewing project to date -- it’s a design I’ve loved for years but never thought I could accomplish on my own. I am so glad I spent the time to figure out how to do it -- the console now sits under our television in the living room and makes that corner look so much more polished. The gorgeous green linen really pops against the khaki tape trim.

I got my feet wet in the box pleat table skirt arena with this entryway table -- table skirts are such a great way to add layers to your house -- with the seagrass here, under the vintage rug, topped by the rustic striped linen, there is so much interest and softness.

Top 5 Must-Haves from fabric.com

  1. Heavyweight linens are always my favorite category to search on fabric.com. They are a dream to work with for home decor projects.
  2. A good staple gun is essential for many upholstery projects - reupholstering dining chair cushions is one of the best beginner fabric projects!
  3. Trim can easily take a basic project and make it stand out. I love using trim on pillows, curtains, table skirts, the bottom of an upholstered couch or chair, or even on clothing.
  4. A good pair of scissors is essential -- I love these when I’m working with the heavier weight linens and cottons I often use for home decor projects.
  5. The wide variety of performance fabrics available these days is a lifesaver for people (like me) with kids and pets, who want beautiful upholstered furniture without the worry. I love the large selection fabric.com has!

What is your biggest piece of advice for other makers?

If you’re new to the world of sewing and creating with fabric and you’re a little intimidated, just start somewhere. There are so many tools and techniques out there, but it’s amazing how many things you can create with a simple sewing machine, fabric, thread, scissors, and an iron (the essentials). If you’ve exhausted your beginning appetite on pillow covers and curtains, don’t be afraid to try something new. Most things are not so complicated that you can’t figure them out with a little bit of research, brainstorming, and some simple math. Don’t hold back!

cutting fabric

What has your shopping experience been like with fabric.com?

I have always had a pleasant shopping experience with fabric.com. I especially love the option to order samples - they always come labeled and often ahead of the estimated arrival day.

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