Saturday, February 28, 2015

Making Progress

Pieces are cut!  The chair is going to have a skirt and I will wait to cut those pieces until everything in the picture is sewn.  It doesn't look pretty yet but at least the scary part is over.

The game plan was to cut the fabric just like the original chair covering and assemble it the same way.  Since I can't make it "fitted" without some way to get it on and off of the chair, I've decided to have a Velcro opening on one side in the back.  Hopefully that will work!

p.s.  I attempted to reduce the grammatical errors in the last post.  My apologies!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Starting "That Chair"

Well, it's started.  That chair.  This chair:
(I know, I know.  The RUG!  Try to pretend it's not there, okay?  Or admire it's softness perhaps?  Believe you me, it's so lush you could mow it. ;o)
Where was I?  Fabric.  Sewing.
As you no doubt recall, slipcovering the chair has been on my to-do list for a few weeks now.  I've been wanting to get to it so badly and yet NOT AT ALL because slipcovering is chore sewing.  Nothing but work.
Procrastination ruled until Evie, my one-year-old, was sweet enough to make the picture of the ugly floral chair my smartphone screensaver for a week.  Yuck!  Time to put on the big girl panties and just do it.
At least part of it.
Sorry about the less than stellar pic.  I tried.
I sewed the seat cushion first and was shocked when it came together quite effortlessly.  I highly recommend nursing a baby once or twice during a sewing project so that you have plenty of problem-solving thinking time.  Works wonders!
Late night sewing pics :o).
I'm not as impressed with the back cushion.  Apparently I didn't do nearly enough nursing during the process because I kept making mistakes and in the end it turned out a bit too big.  It doesn't look nearly as polished as the seat and if it weren't for the cording, I'd make it smaller in a heartbeat.  The cording, however, turns a five minute job into an hour long ordeal that I really don't care to undertake.
Time for more stuffing???
Hopefully once the entire chair is slipcovered, the whole thing will look casually comfortable and make more sense.  I have a big order of fabric coming in the mail soon (super exciting!) and I want to "clear my plate" before it arrives which means this should get done ASAP.  All I need is more thread.

Oh goodness, I need to tell you my thread story.
First off, I stole the upholstery thread.
Not intentionally.  I accidently forgot to pay for it with the rest of my items (after standing in line at the cutting counter for an hour) and found it in the the parking freezing cold weather...with the very hungry tired baby already strapped into her seat.  I briefly considered driving to the loading zone, leaving the baby in the car by herself, running into the store and chucking it somewhere and running back out.  But I didn't because that seemed like maybe a bad parenting decision.  So, instead I took the darn thing with me and kept very careful track of it and went back to the store to pay for it as soon as I had the chance.  And then I brought it home and promptly lost it.
Yes, after all of that, I cannot find it to save my life.  Believe me, I have looked!  I even checked the collection of poopy diapers in my garage trash to see if the thread bag was used to wrap one of them.  I'm sure you will be relieved to know that it was not.**
Fortunately, I was able to rustle up a half spool of heavy duty thread which, unfortunately, ran out.
**Update -- just now the husband says "Yes, I saw that thread last night.  I think I picked it up and put it on a shelf.  I have no idea where it is though."
Oh well, at least the cushions are done.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Start of Something Big

If you recall, I had been looking for a fabric to "help" this chair via some sort of covering:
Furniture reno hasn't technically made it onto our financial to do list, but the general ugliness of all of my living room seating is wearing upon my beauty-loving nerves and I've been keeping my eyes out for some inexpensive fabric to, if nothing else, neutralize the look of things.
I've been scouting around online but the other day in Joann's I finally got a chance to take a peek at their selection of duck cloth, which I hear is a suitable fabric for slipcovering.  Noticing that it was NOT on sale, I dug through my purse and found a glorious 60% off coupon! 
You had better believe that at $4 a yard, I bought the entire bolt!
Washed and big wrinkles eradicated! Phew, was that a lot of work.
Ten yards, sitting there on my ironing board, staring at me for almost a week.
I'm terrified to begin.
What if I forget to cut the seam allowance and sew it up and it's too tight?!  What if the cording is impossible?!  What if my machine refuses to sew the thick fabric and the whole thing is for naught?!
These, my friends, are the doubts that assail me.
I think I'll procrastinate a bit longer.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Toy Organizer Repurposed Into Fabric Sling Book Rack

This is a post about a fabric sling book rack.  However, instead of posting pictures of the thing and leaving it at that, I am feeling chatty today and have decided you really need to hear the backstory and all of the minute details I would feel compelled to share with you if you happened to be so unfortunate as to enter my home and ask about my newest sewing creation.
Consider yourself warned.
(Here's your cue to pan down to the end, but you didn't hear that from me. *wink*)
Let the rambling commence!
There was a problem in my son's room.  Instead of a bookcase, he had a crate.  A bookcrate, if you will.
I know what you are thinking!  Smart woman. Classy.
Oh, he had a shelf in his room on which we could have kept books but I'm no dummy the fourth time around.  That floor shelf was much too conducive to strewing.  Crating is -- you must admit! -- easier on the tired parent than managing the repetitious book liberation of two small children. 
Still.  We ain't in college anymore Toto.
I've been making an effort to turn his room into a more personal space and though the bookcrate's days were numbered, I couldn't find a solution that didn't involved climb-able wall shelves.  Then I saw this puppy:
Smartphone at Toys R Us for the win!
Mobile.  Attractive. Why didn't I think of this?  I could definitely get behind the idea of using a standing bookrack, however, I could not get behind the $39.99 price tag.  I started taking stock of ways I could hack one for less when it occurred to me that our old toy sorter had a similar dowel-rod construction:
Pic taken the month my son turned one and a good example of why I wouldn't be putting any of those Pinterest spice-rack-turned-book-racks  (what handy ladders!) on our walls. Also why my husband forbid me to use my Ribba picture ledges from Ikea.
Truth be told, these organizers cost entirely too much to be buying new and transforming into a book rack.  I got mine years ago for $20 at Aldi and it's been out of use since my latest playroom reorganization so I had no qualms with repurposing it.
FYI, the bins are great and we use them elsewhere, but there's something terrifying about all dozen of them grouped together on the racks according to the original design.  Do you know how long it takes a zealous bin dumper to empty that thing?  Not nearly as long as it takes me to direct the picking up of everything (four million objects at least) that it used to contain!  Anywho-ha, where was I?
The toy organizer was out of use until this week.
When it got a new lease on life.
Da. da. da!

Custom fabric sling bookrack, at your service!
I know.  The world is now a more beautiful place.
Currently there are board books in the top, Golden Book sized books in the middle, and everything else in the bottom.
The plane fabric is by Ann Kelle (Ready, Set, Go Organic - "Planes in Sky"), something I picked up a couple of years ago.  I think I once bought a pack of identical bandaids from Target.
The yellow is a Riley Blake print (Medium Dots in Yellow).
I think the blue fabric was a 1.25 yard piece and I didn't have enough to line with it.  Hence the yellow.
 The top two "racks" hang from the top two sets of rods and the bottom one hangs from the third set and wraps around the bottom two rods.
And no, I have no idea how it was made ;).  You're on your own with this one!  It wasn't hard, per se, it just took some trial and error to work with the amount of fabric I had on hand and to get the slings to be at the right height.
Oh, and maybe I should have mentioned before, I cut down the rack to about twenty inches wide and the fabric is removable if you disassemble one side.
It's been in the room for a couple of days and thus far the baby loses interest after throwing out only three or four books.
In other news, that stool finally got a slipcover.
It's denim now.
The underside:
Two pieces of elastic keep it on.
Same fabric as the bed cover and pizza party bag and there was barely enough!  Can you believe these sad scraps represent the last little bit of it?
My stash is clean out of denim!
In other, other news, do you remember those pink curtains?  I thought I should update that the way I made the tabs didn't really work.
They started out looking like this:
But before too long, they preferred to do this:
The loops were too loose and to fix them, I put in another row of stitching below the rod.
Much better.
Phew.  End post.  Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Monday, January 26, 2015

"Evie" in Wire Art!


When I was in the process of opening my Etsy shop many moons ago, I "met" a lovely lady from Australia (Tasmania, no less!) named Jane who makes enchanting fabric and wire art. She heard of the birth of my little Evie and sent a sweet rendering of her name which I have been wanting to share with you guys.
Isn't it delightful?  "Evie" in Jane's own handwriting.
Her choice of fabric couldn't have been more perfect because I immediately wanted to display it with a precious pic of my sleeping babe.  (It only took how many months to actually do it?)
While brainstorming on ways to mount both picture and name, I discovered today that weaving embroidery floss through burlap is my new favorite pastime!  Why didn't I think to scatter a few thread flowers around the border?
Do try embroidering burlap when you get the chance!
And see what Jane is up to at her Planet Joy facebook page and Etsy shop :o).  I love, love, love her happy ribbon wreaths.

Thank you Jane!
p.s.  My sleeping babe today:
Also known as "Queen Sticky Hair."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Slipcovering! Part II

Sheeeeee's done!

Part I, if you missed it.

I prefer her photos in black and white.

So sleek.  So classy.  So...not brick red!  Improvement?  Yes.

The before and after:

I seem to have forgotten to take the exact same "after" pic as the "before" but I think you get the idea.

Turns out I didn't have to hit the fabric store for serger thread and was able to finish up the finishing sooner than I had anticipated.  (Plus, I told myself that I couldn't start painting the basement until I polished off the chair and I really want to start painting the basement. :o)

My poor serger.  It hasn't been in use for a while and here's how I found it...

I don't deserve to have nice things!

No fear, it cleaned up nicely -- which is good because it had a lot of work to do.

Pro tip:  The key to re-threading a serger is confidence.  They can smell fear. 
There were all sorts of options for putting the slit in the skirt for the recliner arm, but I ended up just doing this.

The fabric shows through and a flap is probably needed behind.  Or maybe I'll safety pin a piece of fabric there and call it good.

More angles of everything:

The original footrest skirt I made oh-so-long-ago is too short, but I can live with it.

In case you were wondering, this was the audience while I took pictures:
She's been so pleasant since she decided she can run on half hour naps.

Anyway, that's about it.  Oh, except that I put ties at the back of the seat cushion cover. 
I was happy to find an anchoring solution as that was the only part of the slipcover that had me worried.  Hopefully all of the pieces stay in place because reaching into the recesses of this recliner is terrifying.  You're apt to lose a finger.
She's not perfect, but we like her!
I'm on the hunt for a cute decorative throw pillow.  Maybe pink velvet.
Here's my next chair that needs slipcovering:
Ain't she a beaut????
The little kids like to pull off the cushions and turn it into a mini-trampoline.  It gets a lot of hard use but I don't want to spend much money on it so I'm having a hard time deciding what type of fabric to use.  Duck cloth is a popular choice for slipcovers and at $7-$8 per yard (for 60" width), it's certainly the most economical option when you need 8 yards, but I was hoping for a light gray fabric and I can't seem to find light gray duck cloth.  Medium gray sure.  Light gray?  Not so much!  Also, for stain hiding purposes, a patterned fabric would be preferable, even if it is tone-on-tone or part of the weave.
I thought I found something I wanted but it didn't work out.
The fabric search continues.  Any suggestions?