Monday, March 24, 2008

Soft and springy.

We had a nice visit from my daughter and her family this weekend and I enjoyed the flower arranging, toy making, and baby holding involved.

I am so glad people like Betz White have encouraged us to make things from recylcled, felted sweaters. I used patterns from this book:

that I bought for my middle daughter (now 23) when she was a little girl. The patterns are simple and can easily be sewn together by hand. I always end up changing things a little when I use a pattern, but the toys in this book are so cute, and a great place to start.

I am looking forward to making more toys for this little sweetie.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Is there anything better than green vinyl?

I received this cute chair in trade for making a slipcover for someone else's cute chair over a year ago. It has been draped with various quilts and throws until this weekend when it got a real slipcover.

My preferred method for making a slipcover is to do a muslin pattern, or actually, an old-white-sheet pattern. I measure to the center of the chair or sofa and make a pattern of half. That way the slipcover is symmetrical, and I can write notes right on the pattern. I don't mind the extra step, as opposed to cutting the fabric right on the furniture.
BUT.... when I am doing a project for myself, I am usually trying to get it done with a limited amount of time.

Therefore, since I wasn't planning to add cording, and could just sew it as pinned, I put the fabric, wrong side up right on the chair and pinned it together, trimming seam allowances to a half inch. I left some fabric to tuck into the back of the seat. If I had made a pattern first, the slipcover would be a little neater in spots, but for this project, getting it done was the priority.

Because the back of the chair is wider at the top than lower down, there needed to be some type of opening in order to get the cover over the top. I decided to put a big pleat in the back with a twill tape tie, because that would be a faster option than buttons.

Ahhhh, that feels good.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Adrift in a sea of textiles.

Last weekend we went back to my daughter's house and I stayed with her and her sweet new baby while her husband and mine went on a men's retreat that involved fishing. I got in some great "baby" time, and if that wasn't enough of a treat, she took me to the L.A. fashion district in downtown L.A. Wow! What a place. We had limited baby nap worth to be exact, which was a little over two hours. He was so cute sleeping in the Moby wrap.

I only bought one little piece of fabric at a $2 per pound fabric store. Now that I know what is there...every fabric, trim, bauble, button, etc., etc. you can imagine... I will definitely have some projects in mind if I ever get a chance to go back. As it was, I was too overwhelmed to have any creative thoughts.

There are blocks and blocks of stores. Lots of stimulating color and texture.

We really had fun taking pictures, passing the camera back and forth.

This store with crowns and tiaras made me think of our friend Vallen who loves making crowns.

This photo that Raya took is one of my favorites.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Better than a paid vacation.

Like most people, I assume, I thought about starting a business for a long, long time before I got up the courage to actually follow through on the idea. I knew there was a market for slipcovers then, but I really didn't expect the craze to last for the next fourteen years. I wanted to be able to work from home so that I could be there for my kids (all grown up now).

The things that have surprised me and blessed me most about the venture, are all the great people I have met, and the positive feedback I have received. I am an introvert at my core, and was pretty intimidated at the thought of talking to customers, not to mention suppliers, who deal mostly with other men and can be a little on the gruff side.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to just go to a job every day that would actually pay me to take a vacation! But, I really wouldn't trade that for all the nice people I have met and the confidence I have gained. Which leads me to the purpose of this post.

One of my customers, who I have done a few jobs for, invited me into her art studio that she and her husband built in their backyard. It is so inspiring and amazing. She let me take some pictures, but my limited skills really don't convey just how enchanting the space is.

Greeted by bunnies.

I Love these wire shelves with the colorful ribbons and antique doll dresses.

Isn't this dresser awesome? She really has an eye for finding treasures!

Clever storage for her beautiful papers.

I love to see the projects she is working on.

Lots of tools. Love those tools!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

All Ruffled Up

I just finished working on a very cute linen slipcover. The client chose two shades of linen from this wonderful online store. She asked me if I could put ruffles on the cushions in place of cording. The fabric was lightweight enough for me to use my ruffler attachment. If you don't have one you should really consider getting one. I'm pretty sure they make them for most brands of sewing machines.

You can adjust the size and frequency of the tuck which will regulate the fullness of your ruffle. They are fun to use.

I usually make the ruffle and then sew it on to the main fabric.

But you can actually do both steps at once. It almost seems too easy doesn't it?

A ruffled up pile of cushion parts.

The sofa was a rose color before, so what a dramatic difference. I love when I get to do work for this very nice lady. She is very artistic and always making inspiring changes to her home. She let me take some pictures in her backyard studio where she does papercrafts. My photos really don't do it justice, but I will post them in a day or two.