Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Reupholstery: Stripping the Wingback Chair

Just a little bit left to go!

So I got around to the wingback chair I mentioned in my previous post this past weekend. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend to get started. It was in the upper 50's and sunny and perfect to sit outside with the radio on while ripping off fabric and playing tug-of-war with staples. I don't have too much to say about the process at this point because you really just remove staples, remove fabric, and repeat. I've been keeping the old fabric pieces and labeling them as I take them off so that I have a template for my new fabric. I've also managed to salvage some of the old materials. So far I've found a penny and some crazy 80's fabric under the green fabric. I should have all of the old material off by the end of the night and I'm planning to get started immediately on re-tying the springs! I have a bunch of pictures below that are mostly in order of the removal process.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Upcoming Projects: Reupholstering and Sewing

I thought it would be fun to share some of the things I'm getting ready to start working on both sewing and re-upholstery related.

What a spoiled little pup!

One of the projects I'm most excited to get started on is re-upholstering this wingback chair. I found this thing on the side of the street last fall for free and carried it home where it then sat in the garage for the last couple of months. I finally brought it inside and into my room, and as you can see my roommates dog immediately tried to claim it as her chair. The chair is actually in great condition, the current fabric is a little stained and worn around the lower deck, but other than that it's fine. Right now my room mostly consists of things that are green, white, dark brown, and some gold and bronze. I really want to add some color into this 'reading corner' and I figured this chair would be a great place to start. 

I just purchased a whopping 8 yards of this medium weight cotton Hamilton Reflections Fuchsia fabric (shown above) from It was pretty pricey, but I had a giftcard (thanks grandma!) from Christmas that I decided to put to use. I think the print will be big enough to not be overly busy while adding in some pops of color that are complementary to the room currently. I definitely think it will modernize the chair for sure! I'm also planning on getting some fabric to make pillows in other fun bright colors that I can sit on the chair or throw on my bed. One of the fabrics is shown above, and it is also from - I haven't ordered it yet. I just got an email saying the fabric is a going to ship a little bit behind schedule due to all of the orders they're currently processing (everyone probably got giftcards for Christmas). In the meantime I need to pick up some burlap, foam padding, staples, twine, dacron, and cording. I'm debating on whether i want to line the borders of the chair with cording/piping or use tacks. While I'm waiting on the fabric to get here I'm going to start stripping the chair and retying the springs and adding new padding. I'm so excited about this project.

Before they sold out last fall I managed to purchase one of the denim kits that Closet Case Files was selling with the ginger jeans pattern. The kit came with the pattern and enough denim and notions to make two pairs of jeans. The pattern is a skinny jean pattern that includes a normal rise and high waist variation. My kit came before I left for break, but I haven't gotten a chance to do anything with it. I need to get some muslin fabric to make up a practice version before I cut into the denim. Once I get the fit together I'm going to whip these up because I love jeans and two new pairs tailored to my body specifically sounds like a dream!

I also purchased a Watson Bra & Panty Kit from Blackbird Fabrics in the peach color (the photo above shows the sapphire and black kit). The kit includes enough fabric and notions to make one bra/underwear set. The pattern isn't included, but the pattern I'm planning to use (shown in the photo above on the left) is the Watson Bra and Bikini Pattern from Cloth Habit. The pattern includes variations for both a long line bra (shown above) and a regular length bra, both sans underwire. I've seen and read great reviews of this pattern and it looks like a pretty introductory pattern to the lingerie world of patterns. I've been accumulating quite a stash of knit fabrics that would work great with this pattern and I think it would be a good way to use those little scraps I always seem to have left behind.

I have a list of other patterns and fabrics I want to sew into things, but the stuff listed above is what I'm focusing on first and foremost. Plus this post is already long enough so I'll leave you with that. If you're really interested check out my pinterest page and look at the Patterns Fall/Winter board. Hopefully I'll have time to work on some things soon!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Christmas Makes: Finlayson Sweaters, a White Russian Sweatshirt

Eating, and eating, and more eating!

I had a wonderful holiday, I got to go home for two weeks and spend a bunch of time with my family. It was great to get away from work and things in CO for awhile, but it is nice to be back. There's a few weeks before the semester actually starts back up again so I have time to get back in the swing of things here, and do some recharging. Before I left for break I did quite a bit of sewing. I made both of my roommates By Hand London Sabrina dresses (which I'm not going to post today because I only have one subpar picture). Both dresses fit great considering I didn't make muslins of them as I wanted them to be a surprise. I ended up hemming one by about 4 inches and taking the other in just a wee bit on the sides.

Fabric: Black Ethnic Diamond on White Cotton French Terry Blend Knit Fabric - Girl Charlee 
             2 x 1 White Cotton Solid Rib Knit - Girl Charlee
Pattern: Finlayson Sweater Pattern - Thread Theory Designs, Inc. 

I've never made my brother, dad, or grandpa anything I've sewn so I thought this Christmas I'd gift them all with Finlayson Sweaters. This was my first time using a Thread Theory pattern and my first time really sewing any menswear. I thought the pattern instructions were clear and organized and very well written, and all three of my sweaters turned out fantastic. One thing I really liked about this pattern was the different ways you could customize the sweater. I chose to make the version lacking the hood and front pocket, but I was still able to add details at the collar and back of the neck. I think the collar is my favorite part of this sweater. I love how it folds over and how the use of a contrasting fabric really stands out. This sweater was for my brother who's 23. I thought this print was really fun and 'young' and I was hoping he'd like it a lot.

My brother modeling! It fit him great, he even wore it as his Christmas outfit

The fit on this ended up being great, it was a little bit loose in the arms, but I think that's due to the fabric having a lot of stretch. Hopefully once it's washed it'll tighten up a bit. 

Fabric: Deep Forest Cotton Modal Lycra French Terry Knit & Sandalwood Cotton Modal Lycra French Terry Knit -
          Girl Charlee

I unfortunately didn't get pictures of my dad and grandpa wearing their Finlayson's, but they fit them both great as well. I made my dad the Forest Green one and my grandpa the Sandalwood color. I think they were both surprised that I had made them sweaters. It was fun to see the looks on their faces when they realized that, yes, I really did make them! For these two I didn't use ribbing on the cuffs or hem, instead I just used the terry knit fabric. Girl Charlee didn't have ribbing in matching colors and I thought white or black would stand out too much.

Fabric: Koala Gray Cotton Jersey Sweatshirt Fleece Fabric - Girl Charlee
             Black Cotton Solid Rib Knit - Girl Charlee
             Black Piping - JoAnn Fabrics
Pattern: White Russian Sweatshirt - Capital Chic Patterns

Last, but certainly not the least is a gray quilted White Russian Sweatshirt that I made for my mom. I've made two White Russians before ( one quilted and another appliqued ) and loved the way they both turned out. My mom had previously mentioned wanting a quilted one, and boy did I pull out all the stops on this one. I loved the way it turned out so much I wanted to keep it. I used real ribbing for the cuffs, hem, and collar which makes it look more like a RTW item. My favorite detail besides the quilting is the black piping I added at the raglan seams! I'm not going to lie, I was inspired by the piping on this fabulous wool top that Katy from Katy & Laney made. All in all I think it was a successful, but a little stressful, handmade gift giving season.  Next year if I make clothes for my family I want to start much much earlier that way I don't have to cram it all in last minute. I'm planning on posting again later today or sometime tomorrow on all of the upcoming projects I have planned. Can't wait to get back to my sewing machine now that I've had some time away.