Believe it or not, sewing is not something I really enjoy. It’s something I do, so I can get the look I want. And I don’t hate it so much that I’m not willing to do it. Sometimes I get in a mood to sew and then I have to take advantage of that. I’m in one of those moods now, so I got three out of four of the dining chairs slipcovered and I just love how they turned out.
I know they are frilly. I know they have bows. I love them anyway and embrace that they are graceful chairs that deserve nicely tailored skirts!
Here’s how these chairs started out. I bought the four on Craig’s List for $300 and had them stripped for an additional $200 for all four.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them, so I left them stripped for a few months until inspiration struck.
I stained and painted the frames for a two-tone look. You can read about that HERE. Now the cream leather seats weren’t working. They were custom made for the chairs and were excellent quality, so I decided to keep them as is and just make some skirts for the seats.
I used one grain sack for all four seats (with enough left for a pillow case) and some of a mid-weight antique hemp sheet for the skirt and piping.
The sewing machines were humming Wednesday night while the boys were at Awana. My mom came over to help me with cutting pieces and sewing the piping. It was so awesome to get all of the prep work done, so by Thursday, I was able to crank out three of them. Since sewing and upholstery isn’t super enjoyable to me, I just put on a movie to keep me entertained. Anyway, here is how they turned out…
I used grosgrain ribbon for the ties.
Of all of the skirted chairs I’ve made, these are my favorite. Instead of a pleat, I did a full very ruffle and this is the first time I’ve used fabric other than linen or drop cloth. I have a beefy sewing machine now, so it went through those layers of hemp like butter. I haven’t written a review on it, because I’m still getting used to it myself. I have a lot of sewing, upholstery and slipcover projects on the list, so I’ll let you know once I get through more of those.
I meant to work on the final slipcover today, but I got sidetracked and ironed and hung some of my new curtain panels in the family room. I made these a few years ago after I painted the walls blue. I was gearing up for the book and some other things, so I made a quick decision on the curtains. I like them, but they are a lot more modern than most things in my house, so they’ve always felt a little off to me. There are four windows, so replacing them means sewing eight new panels and I just explained how I felt about sewing. Sewing eight panels did not sound like fun to me.
Then, one day, I received an e-mail from a woman who was launching a new custom drapery business and asked if I would be her “guinea pig.” She would have a chance to work with a client, get feedback and get some initial advertising and I would not have to sew eight curtain panels! I selected a cream Belgian linen and received one set of panels a few weeks ago to make sure the sizing, quality, etc. was right and I just received the rest yesterday. (More on that company later.) So, today I’ve been ironing the panels and hanging them, which, of course, led to more. I removed the blinds, since the curtains are functional drapes, which revealed all kinds of grime and nastiness, so I had to clean the windows, sills and casings.
It’s the kind of change that takes some getting used to. I’m used to patterned curtains, so switching to cream was a big visual change. I love how they are just soft and compliment what’s around them instead of competing.
The quilt is over the day bed until I reupholster it in a French General fabric I bought. Blue and white, of course.
And we’re going to remove the builder-grade trim and replace it with chunkier pine board trim in a bright white to match the trim in the 1940′s part of the house. We’re also going to put in a 3/4 height wainscoting in bright white. I think that will make the painted furniture and upholstery stand out better and the bright white will play nicely with the cream drapes.
It’s been fun for me to get things done in my house that are just things I want to do. So many of my projects center around freelance tutorials or things I need to paint/refinish/upholster to sell, so it’s nice to do some things just for me.