Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Slipcovered Chair -- Grand Finale

Hey Liz, people would ask me, you finish that chair you were covering yet?

I'd grumble, grumble, grumble in reply.

I hate that chair, I'd say.  I don't even want to own it, much less sew a cover for it!

Well, I might have changed my mind you guys.

After months of procrastination, I sewed the last few seams of the slipcover and put it on the chair...and wow.  Pretty awesome.  So awesome, in fact, I'm not even going to post a picture of it right at the top of this post.  You have to see the whole she-bang from the beginning!  Come along...

Here we have the original hand-me-down chair:

(a special blend of tan microfiber, faux leather, and old school floral)

Next, the fabric:


The new cushion covers:

(Please take note of the coin-sized hole in the vinyl on the right side of this picture.)

Also, note that of these products -- and I tried them all -- hair spray worked...


...to get out these blue pen marks:

(hard to tell in the picture, but one of my delightful offspring attacked it with a ballpoint)

The chair slipcover in progress:


This part was almost as unpleasant as the pictures documenting it.


Purchased 10 yards and used at least 8.5 of them.



The progress stopped at this point in FEBRUARY.  What is it now?  July?!

Truth be told, I got bored and disheartened trying to figure out the skirt for the chair.  Then it finally occurred to me that I didn't have to do a skirt and I could piece the front and back, hem it all of the way around, and call it good!

So I did.





It will probably always be wrinkled but frankly I don't mind.  Or rather, I don't care enough to make the wrinkles go away!




In honor of it's completion, I may have bought a celebratory throw pillow.
What can I say?  It matched my curtains.




Evie's pointing to the spot she plans to rub her next pizza face in.


Remember how I told you to take note of the little hole in the vinyl?  Since the original pictures were taken, it is no longer coin-sized:


My children take their mission of destruction seriously.

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One more take of the original:


And the final product:


In the living room...


Can you even believe how different it looks from before?  A totally "new" piece of furniture.

It's showing up my couch though.  Not cool.


Perhaps my next project?

I might not be able to resist.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Liturgical Vestments {For Kids}


Earlier this spring, my dear friend Meagan put in a special request for child-sized priestly vestments and altar linens for her three boys.  I was happy, if not a little terrified, to oblige and ended up sewing a number of pieces to send her way in time for Easter.


While I'm sad to say I didn't do a good job of photographing each and every item, I thought I'd post a photo dump of what pictures I do have, chat a little about construction, and share where I got the materials.  I know when I see something online that I want to replicate, being able to see as many pictures as possible is always helpful. (Please don't hesitate to ask questions in the comments and I will do what I can to help.)  Fair warning, this is a long post!  Hang on to the end to see pictures of the boys playing Mass at the gorgeous child-sized altar their parents put together for them.

To start, I made two chasubles.  The first chasuble was double-sided, red and gold:


These pics are taken with the stole underneath.


The beginning...


(If by chance you try this with the same fabric, note that the cross spans four of the brocade's circle motifs.  This was made to fit a child whose shoulders are about 40" off of the floor.)

my mom's sewing room

I mapped out the cross and sewed the ribbon to the fabric before cutting the shape of the vestment.






Later, I went in and added fabric to the neckline in front to make it wider.


I made my own pattern and it took much more fussing than I anticipated and my first attempt was perhaps not as curvy as it could have been. (Something I realized much too late!).  My second chasuble, with the white fabric, was more fiddle-ish.  Or is it fiddle-esque?



This one was lined with polyester satin.


I top stitched all of the way around (at about an eighth an inch) but I wish I hadn't.


It looks like I didn't take a full picture of the cross piece of the chasuble before I attached it to the front.  My apologies!


The white brocade and I quickly became enemies because the pattern was off kilter and no amount of cross-grain tugging (blocking, I believe it's called) would set it to rights!  The circle motif also landed in the fabric in such a way that I couldn't (without being too wasteful) center a big circle in the middle of the cross.

It was probably fine as it was but I chose to get fancy and cut a piece out of the gold fabric and satin stitch it onto the white. A heavy fusible interfacing gave the gold the necessary stability for this.


What a difference lighting makes in the pictures, ay?


Also, to attach the ribbon, I used two rows of straight stitching -- one row next to the inner edge (think 1/16"), and one next to the outer edge.  If there is a way to avoid puckering, I don't know what it is because changing the thread tension didn't make a difference!

It seems I don't have a picture of the alb by itself, but I used the same pattern and method from this post and added lace at the hems.  Here's a pic of a similar alb:


I love doing raglan sleeves and highly suggest finding a pattern with them.  They are much easier and less time consuming than setting in sleeves.

That's the last of the chasuble pictures and it appears I don't have any of the stoles and maniples, (blast!) but here is the whole kit and caboodle before it was sent off:


Included: chasuble (x2),  stole (x2),  maniple (x2),  chalice veil,  burse,  pall,  purificator,  corporal,  altar cloth (and a St. Terese costume for their sister)

I really enjoyed sewing with the beautiful fabrics and trims.  Last time I handled stuff like this, I was working in a community college theater department making costumes for The Three Musketeers.  That said, if anyone is wondering if I'm throwing my hat in the ring to sew more vestments, the answer is yes...just not this year.  Or next ;).
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Materials

Fabrics


I ordered a half yard of the red, but thankfully they sent me almost 3/4 yard because a half yard would not have been enough.

Trims

  • Metallic gold ribbon:  Hancock Fabrics.  I do not see the product online. In store, it was in the ribbons "by the yard" section and cost $0.99 per yard before a coupon.  Very thin stuff, not grosgrain.  I believe I purchased 8 yards and then went back for more, so it was important to find an inexpensive ribbon.
  • Metallic fringe: 1 in. Metallic Fringe from Hancock Fabrics
  • All of the laces and the narrow gold trim (the crosses on the stoles) were from my stash (I'm still pulling from this stuff) and for the altar cloth (which you'll see in the pictures coming up next), I unruffled some ruffled lace, like so:


Important note:  I used all purpose thread for everything.

Oh, and one more thing (I promise!) -- before you sew on brocade, reinforce your corners and turn them VERY carefully because the weave is loose and it will bust open easily.  Don't ask me how I know ;)


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Now, FINALLY, the pictures you've been so patiently waiting for...

The altar:

The boys:




The littlest one is wearing the green vestment from this post.

And here is where they store everything when it's not in use:


Amazing, huh?!  I wasn't privy to the making of the altar but if you have questions about it, throw them in the combox and I'll track down the answers for you.


And last but not least, meet my godson:


And future priest?  Pray for me, buddy!