Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Epic Saga Of the Dining Room Part III

Part three of the Epic Saga of the Dining Room will finally be the tutorial for the Parson Chair Slipcovers!

This might explain why I feel like this has been an "Epic Saga"!

Picture 1: the original upholstery that we did when we bought the $39 chairs.....reupholstering these was a real pain....the backs had to be popped out...covered and then popped back in....did it once....but never again....hence the slipcover project!
Notice how very lazy I was when I re stained the legs....didn't even do the whole chair frame...HENCE...the SLIPCOVERS!

Picture 2:  My animal print slipcovers....the ones my family thought were soooo weird....until animal print became all the rage!!!

Picture 3:  The ill-conceived fabric choice and the Part Slipcover/Part Upholstery style that I gave up on after 3 chairs!

Picture 4: FINALLY....the right fabric and a simple streamlined slipcover that looks updated and JUST RIGHT!

Follow along to see how to make a slipcover!

I wish I could say these were NO SEW....but alas....the only way to do this is to get out your sewing machine!

Step 1:  I actually made a muslin pattern for this project so that I had good pieces to work with when I cut the actual fabric.  Check out this blog post that gives a great explanation of pin fitting a slipcover for a Parson's Chair.  SEW PASSIONATE PIN FITTING A CHAIR

Step 2:  Cut out all your pieces!  This type of slipcover has 3 pieces....chair back, chair front and seat!  I cut all 24 pieces at once (YIKES that is another reason this is an EPIC SAGA...3 pieces times 8 chairs!!!)
Anyway...if you cut all the pieces at once, you can save fabric...I was able to do a layout that left me with enough fabric for a whole extra chair...in case we ever have a stain that won't come out!






Step 3:  Lay the seat piece on the chair.  Make a cut that leaves the"tuck in" as well as the side flap for joining to the back piece.






Step 4:  Pin and then stitch the miter which will form the tight corner on the front of the seat.

Trim this excess away after you are certain that the fit is correct.











Step 5:  Pin the front and back pieces together with wrong side out....

I also use a pencil to trace the actual line of the frame....it seems no matter how carefully you cut your pieces...they don't match up perfectly.  The pencil line lets me sew the perfect line and the finished seem doesn't have bumps or puckers.


Step 6: Of course I forgot to take any pictures of this...but you simply sew the front and back together along your pencil line.  The back is attached using the extensions from the seat piece.


This photo shows the "loop" of fabric that will become the pleat at the back corner of the seat.



Step 6:  Do a final fitting of the three pieces....tucking in your "tuck ins".  I did not sew this together like many tutorials do.  I thought it would be easier to get a good fit.

Because I may need to wash these....I did finish all the edges with the serger.





Step 7: Use a ruler to measure and pin the hem.  When you sew the pieces together...the bottom often shifts so this is critical for an even hem on each chair.  I was awfully glad this pattern was so forgiving.



Step 8:  Make the pleat by tucking and hand sewing the back seat corner.  I find that I have more control when I do this by hand....but maybe one of you experts out there know a secret for doing this better!


Step 9:  Hand stitch the hem....now I know you could do this by machine, but again...since all of the chairs sit side by side....the hems have to be exactly the same distance from the floor...and the hand stitching lets me do some tweaking!







Repeat Steps 1-9......OVER AND OVER AND OVER....EIGHT Times in my case!

It sounds like I am complaining.....I am NOT!

The whole look of the room has changed....for the better....


And with the Sweetwater Daughter's help and the newly edited living room....
I am really pleased with the look of both rooms....just a few more tweaks in the next weeks and I'll be done with the updated rooms!


So ends my EPIC SAGA.....
Did you know....that it took Odysseus ten years to reach Ithaca after the ten-year Trojan War in the Epic Saga the Odyssey....so I am awfully glad my EPIC SAGA didn't take quite that long.

If you are frustrated by my lack of tutorial writing skills.....

This video is a great one to watch to get clear directions for making a similar slipcover



Have a Great Day!

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Epic Saga Of the Dining Room Chairs! Part II: Slipcover for the Ottoman

 Part II of the Dining Room saga is not really about the dining room at all!
Huh? You say?

Well remember how the living room needed to have some of the many patterns edited out?
The ottoman was covered with a very busy pattern.
 
We interrupt this post for a little learning!
ot·to·man
ˈätəmən
noun
noun: ottoman; plural noun: ottomans
  1. 1.
    a low upholstered seat, or footstool, without a back or arms that typically serves also as a box, with the seat hinged to form a lid.
  2. 2.
    a heavy ribbed fabric made from silk and either cotton or wool, typically used for coats
The ottoman was brought to Europe from Turkey in the late 18th century. The word ottomane to refer to furniture appeared at least as early as 1729 in French. In Turkey, an ottoman was the central piece of family seating and was piled with cushions. In Europe, the ottoman was first designed as a piece of fitted furniture that wrapped around three walls of a room. The ottoman evolved into a smaller version that fit into the corner of a room.
 Back to the Regular Posting

FYI...the ottoman is one that we made using a thrift store coffee table with padding added to the top.  It has had several reincarnations.....and recovering it is a pretty simple process!

There are hundreds of tutorials out there for making an ottoman like this...here are a couple if you are interested.


I headed to the fabric store to find some off white upholstery fabric....and really nothing struck my fancy...

Not being a patient person....I hit on the idea of using plain old canvas....for a short term solution!
off-white....cheap....sturdy....
$4 bucks a yard and I needed a yard and a half
 
Since I really want to find a more elegant off white fabric....I decided to do a simple "slipcover" this time.  AND it will be easy to launder if "gasp" someone puts their feet up!
 
 
I started by draping the fabric over the ottoman to cut it to size.
I always cut the fabric with a generous amount of overhang.
It is easy to cut OFF fabric....not so easy to ADD it!
 

Then with a little help from Marvin....I pinned each corner with the fabric "wrong side out"...well with canvas it didn't really matter but I thought in the name of writing a tutorial I should tell you that!


It is almost impossible to show white stitching on white fabric....but I just stitched the "miter" and trimmed it off.  This makes a wonderfully tight corner.




More help from Marvin as I checked the slipcover for fit....here is where you DON'T want extra fabric....it needs to fit very tightly!


Then I measured from the floor to mark an even hem and used the machine to finish the bottom edge.

With most projects, I don't worry about doing careful edge finishes....but since this may need to be laundered...I was super careful and serged the seams as well as double turned the hem.

The finished project doesn't look too bad for $6 and an hour's worth of work!

Makes me want to put my feet up.....


Stay tuned for Part III when I actually do the chair slipcover tutorial!


Have a Great Day!


Monday, August 26, 2013

The Epic Saga Of the Dining Room Chairs! Part !

You know what an Epic Saga is don't you?  A long long story about something that lasts a long time!  You know like the Odessey or the Illiad!

Maybe some of you remember my long ago (February Post About the evolution of our dining room)!
Maybe you remember this lovely fabric....



Maybe you remember that I was going to update that post when I finished all 8 chairs!




Well....way back in February....I did 3 of the chairs....





They looked okay.....
But doing each chair was a BIG project....
It wasn't fun.....
It was WORK!

And besides....as pretty as the fabric was....I wasn't in love with the way it looked....

I think I was sort of DONE with the geometric print.


So.....for FIVE long months.....the dining room had mismatched unfinished chairs....OH MY!


I just couldn't get my head around what to do...but I did know I didn't want to put the effort into finishing 8 chairs with fabric that I didn't like!


When I turned the calendar page to August...I knew I had to get this resolved or there would be mismatched chairs for another FIVE months!

I took a trip to the fabric store with a friend who helped me process what look I really wanted instead of brown geometrics....we looked at every bolt in the place!!!!  She was very patient with me!!!!

I decided on this crisp brown and white floral print....
Bought 12 yards of it....and was ready to roll!!!


The Sweetwater daughter stopped by that evening.....I showed her the new fabric!
Sweetwater Daughter:  "Mom, I don't really like it in there!"
Me: "Well....I can't return it....and I spent a hundred bucks!  Do you really hate it?"
Sweetwater Daughter: "Noooooo....I just think it doesn't work with what is going on in the living room with all the patterns"
Me: "Could we get rid of some of the patterns?"
Sweetwater Daughter: "Let's just do it and see!"

Mr. S was out mowing the lawn....and in the time that took....the Sweetwater Daughter and I had rolled up the patterned rug....switched out some of the patterned pillows.....figured out a way to lighten up the coffee table ottoman and seriously streamlined the patterns in the room!  We also moved the printed fabric art and replaced it with a more contempory print!

The room looks crisp and streamlined now!
I will show  how I covered the ottoman bench with a canvas slipcover in Part II of the Saga!

Sweetwater Daughter: "Now your fabric looks good....with the white woodwork, the pottery and the silver."
Me: "Whew!!!  I didn't want to think about a hundred bucks worth of fabric sitting in the "fabric stash"!
Mr. S:  "I'm done with the lawn, what have you guys been up to?"
Sweetwater Daughter and Me: "Nothing much!"

I was on a roll!  Stayed tuned for the rest of the story and the tutorial for how I made the slipcovers!
Here is a sneak peek!

Oh...and BTW....I actually have ALL 8 chairs almost completely done!
That's how I know the fabric was the right choice...
When I saw the first finished chair...it motivated me to get them all done in short order!

That...is a tale for another post!
Stay Tuned!

Have a Great Day!  I am off to my first day of Back to School Workshop!
Good Bye Lazy Days of Summer!












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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Leather Side Table Knock Off

This is one gorgeous table!

Home Shopping Network, $199.95

At that price this table is really pretty affordable.  But still,  $200 for a table that is going to sit in an out of the way spot seems like a lot.
This table was stuck out of the way in the lower level on it's way to the GW drop off.



Don't Laugh!
The awful finish is the result of my less than successful attempt at faux painting---arghhh! 

Now....this is my Knock Off Version of Mr. Berkus' little table....for not even $25!


I am pretty pleased with the results.  Not perfect, but certainly better than before!

 This faux vinyl from Hancock Fabrics was on the sale table. (and I had a coupon). This piece is nice because of the grain and it stretched a bit, making it easy to work with.



 Using a T-square makes it easy to cut straight pieces.  I can't tell you how often I use this tool.  You can buy one at Home Depot for $12.00.



The air compressor and stapler were a godsend for the project.


An electric stapler would work too!





When ever I start a project....

It is always a puzzle to figure out exactly which part to do first.  Each piece of furniture is different.  I just do what seems to make sense.  For this table it worked best to do the legs and then the top!





So far so good.  Covering the sides was a lot more difficult.

I finally got it done by using strips of mat board to create a nice clean edge.

 Can't show you pictures because I only have 2 hands and there was no one around to photograph the process.

It is probably good no one was around to hear some of the language I was using.

But I finally got it done....wheww!

Now for the Nail Heads:
Did you know that you can by a roll of something called Nail Head Trim in a 10Ft. Roll?


DYI Upholstery Supply sells it for $14.98. I bet you could think of all kinds of ways to use this...hmmmm!

See how it works. (note the gloves....this stuff has little sharp edges that make you bleed all over your fabric if you don't wear them)




The hardest part on this project was getting the trim on straight...
more bad language I am afraid. I used the carpenter square and it helped a lot!

When I look closely, I see the mistakes but the trim option was way easier than individual nail heads.
The little table in it's new spot!

Total cost....$23 including the band aids I needed before I figured out I needed to wear gloves!

Take THAT Nate Berkus!
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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Braggin' 'Bout My Bargains!

Oh Wow! Wait 'til you see my latest "Bonne Volanté" (Goodwill) Scores!

I was feeling a little sad yesterday when I had to miss out on a Goodwill Shopping Spree that some of my friends were having!  I couldn't get there in time to join them....(then it turns out that the party got cancelled anyway!)

So later in the afternoon....I headed out on my own to do some back to school clothes shopping!  It turns out that this was way better at the "Bonne Volanté Boutique" than any retail store!

 


First...I thought this little flower frog would be the highlight of my trip!  It is going in the gift closet for a gift for a flower loving friend someday! 










Then...off to the rack of black pants...you can never have too many black pants....RIGHT?
I don't look at each pair of pants...I run my hands through looking for "good feeling fabric"! 
I felt something that seemed like a high quality knit....
...could it be?
...OH MY!
...YES!
A pair of Black Wook Knit "ST. JOHN COLLECTION" Pants just the right size!  $4.99!
SCORE!

If you aren't familiar with St. John Collection.....leave it to say this is pretty high end stuff!
You could buy a pair just like them for a mere $700...

Even better....I have the matching Blazer in my closet from Goodwill...$15...and THAT would retail at over $1000.








You do the math!!!!  A St. John's Suit for $20 saving me $1680.....

And the knit is this amazing stuff...
You actually feel thinner when you wear it!  (Maybe that would be worth the price....NOT)

The 2 pieces are a perfect match because St. John never changes the fabric or the color!!!





That wasn't all!

 






The fashion magazines are saying that Navy Blue is one of this season's trend colors.

This pair of Navy Ann Taylor stretch cotton pants cost $3.99!











 




A pair of silk trousers from Ann Taylor....in my favorite beige...$8.00













I am a sucker for anything Eileen Fisher.....so I just had to splurge and spend the $12 for this lovely taupe jacket!  Now you know that retails somewhere over $200!
I put the Eileen Fisher Silk top I got for $10 at a consignment shop under it...
Pretty Fancy!!!



And you gotta love this Maxi Dress from Ann Taylor!


Last but not least...
For those more casual days.....this shirt has such cool colors and I love anything PLAID!


Let's see.....less than Fifty Dollars.....and I feel like I've been on a Shopping Spree in the finest stores.....well maybe I have been shopping in a fine store:  "Bonne Volanté!

What have you scored at the Thrift Store Lately?
Share your bargain hunting stories....they are always fun to hear!

and another thing....

I would love some suggestions from other bloggers about ways to photograph clothing!
I am not into being the "model"....
I kind of doubt Mr. S. would have the patience to be the fashion photographer at Sweetwater anyway....!!!!
So if you have a creative way to take pictures of clothing.....please share!

Have A Great Day!