Monday, August 31, 2009

New Life for and Old Chair

When my husband Marc brought this chair home from the Salvation Army a few years ago I said it was fine as long as it lived in his den, which is where it stayed until his daughter moved in with us last November. We did some major rearranging in the house and the chair ended up in the living room. You know how when you live with something ugly or unfinished long enough you just get used to it? That's what happened with that chair. Last week I got a new futon cover and the chair looked just AWFUL with it - I had to recover it before I got used to it!

I really loved the original fabric from the futon cover so I used it to cover the chair pads. The fabric was really worn out on the top side, but the bottom side had a few spots that looked pretty good - I used those spots for the tops of the pads and the piping, and used the more worn out areas for the sides, and back. I didn't bother putting in zippers or anything like that, I made them like a pillow case and left a big opening on the side that you can't see and sewed them up by hand. If you look closely you can see that they are somewhat amateur, but I try to focus on the overall effect and not obsess over the details, and I think I was pretty successful.

I am starting a new design job next week and I feel like the new improved living room is sort of a metaphor for my life: most of the necessary elements were in place but just needed a little sprucing-up and updating.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Woody is Ready for Fall

I made this jacket for our dog Woody last night. I found the free pattern on line here. I had to enlarge the pattern (Woody is 19" around the middle). I used the sleeve of a vintage man's jacket that I have had in the basement for years. Woody does not like getting wet (we had a funny trip to the beach with him this summer, he had no interest in the lake and sat under an upturned chair and sulked the whole time we were there!) My mom knit the sweater below for him recently, check out the monogram!

I do realize that putting garments on a dog is mostly silly, but since Woody does not like water, and Chicago winters can be pretty cold, I think he will like having them. I know I will love walking him in his new duds!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hadn't Done That Before

My friend Sue asked me if I could recover a window seat for her Mom. Could I? Yes. Had I? No. I tend to be a little intimidated by tasks that I have never done before, but for me the best way to learn to do something is by the seat of my pants (whatever that means!) - to have to do it.

The window seat sat in my basement for a few weeks, out of sight but not out of mind. I would think about it at night and realize "oh yeah, I said I would do that..." Finally I just brought it upstairs and studied it, then slowly started taking it apart. The seat was covered in denim that was worn out, but the pad inside was in good shape. Denim is very easy to disassemble because the fabric is stronger than the thread used to sew it so you can just rip it apart. I tore the piping off of one side and used that piece as the pattern for the top and bottom. I did the same thing with the sides (which had to be pieced). I reused the piping (took the roping out and recovered it), and even reused the zippered section (after I asked Sue's mom if it would be ok - the fabric was faded but would never be seen anyway).

I'm really happy with the way it came out and I'm so glad I said I could do it, even though I never had. Now I can recover the pads on a cool rocker we have that has seriously hideous purple and yellow plaid covers because, hey, I've done that before!