Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Gowns Galore!

Haven't had a lot of quality quilting time this week, but I have worked on wedding gowns and prom dresses! One neat project was to add a BIG bow to the back of a wedding gown.  The fabric supplied was a camo, pink organza and ribbon in green and pink!  My friend Google found me a link to some bows I liked, so I got to work and came up with this:

Hopefully she will like what I came up with!  I think it came out really cute, and it will be a fun touch to a themed wedding!

The one quilting project I worked on was to create a journal to give as a door prize for out ladies retreat this weekend.  Of course, Google helped me out on this one, too.  I found a cute free download for an umbrella and used it as my pattern.  I used fusible web and raw edge applique to add the umbrella, then quilted in the word Blessing (I ran out of room for the s on the end....I'm sure it will still be appreciated).  I then quilted swirls in the background and finished it in the usual way.  It came out really cute!
I have three more sets of fabric pulled to make more, so those are on my list to finish up this week.  I have three memory quilts in the works, so hopefully will get to show those next week!  

To see more WIPs and Whatnots go to this weeks post on the Quiltsy Blog!

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

How to Slipcover Your Office Chair

Like many things we own, often our sewing or office chair will start to look really bad, but still be quite functional.  Most chairs are actually fairly simple to make a basic slipcover for - just a seat and a back.  Even if your chair has arms you will probably be able to make a seat cover with an elastic band that will keep it firmly in place.  I created my covers with selvage strips sewn on to a heavy muslin backing, but you could certainly do this with any fabric yardage you have and not have to sew strips together!

For each cover you will need fabric yardage for the top and lining large enough to cover your chair seat or back plus an additional 10 - 12 inches width and length. (I chose a white cotton denim fabric for my lining because it would be sturdy).  Thread, elastic cording, newsprint or other large paper for making a pattern.

Place a sheet of newspaper over the pad on your chair that you want to cover.  Use a pencil or pen to trace the outline of the edge of the seat.  Fold your pattern in half to make sure it is fairly symmetrical and make any corrections needed.  Next, measure the height of your seat pad and decide how far you want the cover to go under the pad.  (My seat is about 2 inches thick and I wanted my pad to come in about 1 1/2 inches)  Add these figures together and add another 1/2 inch for your seam.  (For mine - 4 inches)  Trace around your original pattern, adding this extra amount all around.  Remember to take into account that your elastic band will have to draw all of this fabric in around the bottom of your pad - that is why I only made a small overlap for my seatback, otherwise it would have been very bulky because of the denim backing.

Use the newspaper pattern to cut out your top and lining pieces.
Take these to your sewing machine and sew them right sides together with a 1/2 inch seam all the way around, leaving a 4-6 inch gap at the center of the back edge for turning.  Trim seam allowance to 1/4 inch and turn right side out.  Press edges

Sew a 1/2 inch seam allowance all the way around your cover to create a casing for your elastic band.  Stitch all but 1 inch of the opening you left for turning as well.

Now you can thread your elastic through the casing.  I like elastic cording because it tends to keep its stretch well for this type of application, plus you can use a cord lock to make it more adjustable.  I had salvaged the cording and elastic from the bottom edge of a jacket and it was perfect for this job.  To thread your elastic through the casing you can use a large safety pin, an EZ threader (this is what I used) or a bodkin.  Depending on what kind of elastic and fabric you use this might be a bit of a job, but persevere - it's worth the results!

Once you have your elastic completely through the casing pull it snugly, pin it together and try it on your seat.  Adjust to where it hold firmly, then either use a cordlock to hold the ends of the elastic in place, or sew the ends of your elastic together.  If you are sewing the elastic, do an extra good job of it because you don't want it to pull out! (Then you can sew up the remaining opening for a neat finished look)   After adding the cordlock to mine, I cut the ends of the elastic and sewed them together with a bit of leftover fabric to cover the ends so they won't fray and look shabby.  
For the seat back, I left the opening at the bottom.  

I think these slipcovers will wear quite well, and it will be nice to be able to launder them if needed.  This technique can be used on a variety of chairs and barstools - it's easy to do and can give an outdated piece of furniture a new look with a minimum of time and effort.  Best of all, I didn't have to spend any money on my chair makeover because I had all the supplies on hand!

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Sensational Selvage Slip Cover for Sewing Chair!

Yes, I do have to say it - the slipcover I made for my sewing chair really is sensational!

Thanks to my friend Candy I took a day and just did some sewing for me!  (Though I think she was encouraging me to work on my Dear Jane quilt - oh, well!)  I walked into my sewing room and said to myself  "What would I like to work on today?"  My eyes landed right on my sad looking, torn rolling chair and I knew it was time to make that slipcover for it.

I upended a container of selvages looking for enough long ones and pulled out a nice selection of strips.  Then I had to dig through my closet to find the heavy weight muslin I had left from another project.  Once I found that I measured the seat and cut out a square of fabric that was about 10 inches longer and wider than the top of the seat and started covering it with selvages.  When I was finished I decided that it would be easiest to complete if I lined it with another fabric.  I had some nice white denim in my tote bag bin, so decided to use that.  First I rounded the corners of the pieced selvage section.  Then I laid this right sides together with the denim and cut it out to match.  

I sewed them together with a 1/3 inch seam allowance, leaving a gap for turning.  I turned it right side out, then sewed a seam 1/2 inch from the edge to make a casing for the elastic.  For my elastic I used a nice round elastic that I had removed from the bottom hem of one of my husbands coats (he dislikes those and I get to cut it out and use it for my creations!!)  After feeding the elastic through the casing, I used one of the cordlocks from the coat to hold the ends so I can adjust it - double bonus!  I also stitched up most of the opening from turning it, just leaving a small area for the elastic to come out and go through the cordlock.  I added a scrap of fabric to fasten the ends of the elastic together so they can't accidentally get pulled back through the casing.  I should have rounded the front corners just a bit more, they are a little bulky, but it's not a big enough problem that I'm worried about it.

I did the top section the same way, but made a pattern to cut out the cover instead of just eyeballing it.  I traced around the top cushion, then added 4 inches all the way around.  After cutting out my top and backing I put it together the same way I put the bottom together, and it fits perfectly!  I'm really glad I took the extra care and time to make a pattern for this and make it look nice - especially because the back of the seat is visible.  I'm so pleased with this project!

Hope your Saturday was good and you took a little time to do something to please yourself!