Saturday, January 24, 2009

NYR #2, Dining Room Chairs Part One

For far too many months, we have been dining on some ugly dining chairs. I bought them at a thrift store with plans to paint and reupholster them.
But that was many moons ago and yesterday my husband admitted that he really wanted me to get on with this project ASAP. Because of the fumes, I won't paint them inside and because of the temperature, I can't paint outside this season, but I figured I could at least tackle the upholstery work. So I ran to fabric store and picked out material.
One final look at the gross rust color. And if that wasn't enough to demand a recover, most of them were stained. Anyway, here's how I did it:
1. Unscrew the seat from the chair base.
2. Remove the staples holding on the old upholstery.
If you are as lucky as us, you may be shocked to discover that the ugly rust colored fabric is actually an IMPROVEMENT on what was originally on the chair.
Really people? Was this ever cute?! Although it's heinous, I decided to leave it on so that the foam would stay in place and the chairs would have a little extra support. Moving on...
3. Lay out your fabric underneath your chair seat. Make sure there is enough to cover the sides. This is actually a picture of the third chair I did so I had already cut out a piece of fabric that was the same size as a discarded rust-colored piece.
4. Wrap the fabric around and staple your first staple on the center front of the chair.
5. Alternating left to right, work your way out from the center. However, do not staple all the way to the corner.
Be sure and pull the fabric TIGHT before you do each staple.
Otherwise, you could end up with a lump like this. If that happens, take out the staple and do it over again.
See how flat this side is? That's what it should look like.
6. After you've stapled the front and back, move to the sides and repeat. Again, it's best to start in the middle and move out.
7. Once all the sides are stapled you can work on the corners. I think it's best to fold the side fabric down first.
Then fold the front/back fabric over the side fabric and staple it all in place. It will take some maneuvering to get it flat, but it's worth the effort to work with it. You want to make sure no extra folds or puckers are visible on the sides. If necessary use multiple staples to hold it in place.
8. Clip the fabric away from the screw holes.
Once everything is stapled down tightly and the screw holes are free of fabric, the seat is ready to go back on your chair.
9. Screw the seats back on.
And you're done! See? All that pulling tight paid off. It looks super smooth on the outside!
Voila! There are two more steps (painting and a surprise that I'm not going to reveal until I post 'after' pictures) to do before I will consider these chairs "done," but for now, I'm happy that they are looking MUCH better.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

NYR #1, Christmas Wreath

I have made two New Years Resolutions this year. The first is to have 25 dinners with families from church. The second resolution is to do 25 things worthy of posting on this blog. Some 'design fixes' may be impressive, others may be small, but they are all crafty things that I want to accomplish this year.
I've thought of at least 20 things and I'm sure the rest of them will fall into place soon. Anyway, the first is pictured above. I embellished the Christmas wreath that I bought from IKEA by adding a bow made from jute upholstery webbing. I can't wait to hang it on the front door next Christmas. And yes, even though it is a Christmas wreath, I didn't decorate it until after the new year so it counts!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Here's Caleb modeling the pajamas that I recently posted. Notice how they are folded up on the arms and the legs. Again, the pattern sizing was way off! He's still cute though!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Addy's Kimono Top

Here is the Kimono top that matches Addy's pajama pants. If you would like to make this too, check out the pattern here at Habitual, another fabulous blog.
Put together, it's a lot of pink! But I figured she could wear them together or separately.Regardless, I've learned that making clothes for kids, especially baby girls, is a natural high like no other. It's so easy and the finished products are so cute! Hopefully I'll get a chance to make some more in the coming months. Of course, I've still got that slipcover hanging over my head... sigh.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Addy's Pajama Pants

I made these pajama pants for Addy by making a pattern from a pair of Rock's old pajamas.
First, I measured and recorded the dimensions of Rock's pants. Figuring out the cuffs was a little tricky, but I finally got it.
Then I drew my own pattern... in pencil. I had to erase a few times to get it right.
Then I cut out the pattern...
Pinned it to the awesome fabric I got from SewMamaSew...
And cut that out.
Then I came up with a plan for sewing it together and sewed them (sorry, I forgot take pictures of that process!). I was very pleased with the end result. It matches this cute kimono top that I will post soon.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Caleb's Pajamas

For Cousin Caleb in Seattle, I made some manly little pajamas.
These were from a pattern that I borrowed from my friend Missy. I think it was Simplicity. If you want to know which pattern exactly, just ask me in a comment and I'll find out.
Because of cool details like this collar, they were somewhat time-consuming. My only other complaint is that the sizing was a bit off. I measured Rock to determine which size to sew, but the completed pieces were long in the legs and arms. I guess I should have double checked that on my model before I sewed them together, but anyway...
I loved the end result anyway.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Baby Dress for Addy

Now that Christmas is over, I can go ahead and show you what I've been up to. If you hadn't guessed from the pictures that I posted last month, I made some clothes for my niece and nephew for Christmas.
First, I made this adorable Itty Bitty Baby Dress from Made By Rae. She makes awesome things (including this pattern that was 100% free) so go check out her blog.
The fabric for this and Addy's outfit (to be posted soon) were from SewMamaSew.