Decorating · Sewing · Slipcovers

New Love for an Old Chair

I found this chair over ten years ago at a consignment shop and have had a love-hate relationship with it ever since.  I love it and my husband hates it. Or at least he did.  IMG_4332

With the mini-makeover of my lake house basement master bedroom and in conjunction with our ongoing downsizing and merging of household items, I tagged this piece for that room.  The green and red stripe Ethan Allan chaise style chair and ottoman would be perfect for it with a new slipcover.

I decided to use a bleached drop cloth mainly because it was handy, cheap and I needed a lot of fabric. I wanted something that was bleachable, washable and replaceable in case I needed to redo the seat cushion.

The back features two short side zippers for easier removal over the large scrolled back.  I added a little functional detail by sewing on frog-closures to the pleats on the chair and ottoman.  I love the touch of nautical look it gives the chair and ottoman.  IMG_4673

This chair is a prime example of an excellent piece to slipcover.  It has great construction, simple lines, highly functional and a new purpose and home.

What a great place to put your feet up on, read a good book or take a nap.  I think my husband likes (and maybe even loves) it now.  Stay tuned for the complete room makeover.  Just a few finishing touches and it’s ready to go!




Crafty Things · Creative Things · Decorating · Slipcovers

January Home Projects

This year got off to a productive start.  I always start the year with a list of projects I want to complete over the course of the year.  Some items have been on that list for several years, so clearly I am over-ambitious and optimistic at the beginning of the year, but I don’t think this is a bad thing. It keeps me motivated, looking forward and creative.

These are the projects I have completed for January.

Window Treatments: This guest bedroom needed  a little something to cover the top section of the windows on the sunny side of the house. I wanted to keep the color very neutral and thought a good quality drop cloth would make inexpensive, readily available and  natural looking window treatments.  I knew I probably wouldn’t actually wash them, so I just constructed them with a fold-over panel to double up the fabric to block out the sun even more.  So that the panels would slide easily across the pole for easy closing and opening, I added drapery clips every 6″ or so.  Perfect.

Pool table cover:  One of my favorite things this past winter has been the red and black plaid that you see popping up everywhere.   I have a shirt dress with this print but I’ve seen jackets, scarves, dog wear, etc.   So when I found this print in a flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth from JoAnn’s after Christmas for 70% off, I snatched it up.  I wasn’t exactly sure when or where I would use it but for a couple of dollars, I would find a use.

While taking down the Christmas decorations in our basement, I quickly pulled it out of the bag to spread out over the pool table to protect it as I packed up the Christmas crates.  Then it hit me.  This would actually make a great pool table cover. So with three tablecloths, this is what I made.  What do you think?  Can you see me?

Chair cushions: My kitchen table has two chairs from a previous table that sit a little low. img_9225 My initial plan was to reconstruct them to fit and recover them.    I decided it would be easier to just make new ones but would use them as a template on how to do it. I made a template of my chair seat and used a basic drop cloth for the fabric.   I stuffed them with the batting from the purchased cushions so I would feel like I got my money’s worth.  I then tufted them just like the original and put  Velcro tabs to attach to the chair spindles instead of ties to keep it clean and simple. They turned out great! BUT….I forgot to get a picture before we left the lake, so you will have to wait a couple of weeks for an after picture.

Parson chair slipcover: I found this basic parson chair at a thrift store for $6 (you can see why below).  It would make a great desk chair in our lake basement pseudo-office/nautical themed bedroom.  I decided on a blue duck cloth with red ticking welting and a cute nautical themed lace-up tie back for easy on and off.  Since the original chair was vinyl I stapled batting onto the seat and back of the chair to prevent the slipcover from actually “slipping”.

Bed skirt: My last project for the month would be a bed skirt for the same bedroom/office in our lake basement. I used the same drop cloth I purchased for the chair cushions.  I wanted a standard skirt with box pleats at the corners and in the middle of each side, but I wanted a little more pizzazz. So I painted on a double red stripe positioned on each side of the pleat to tie in with the welting on the parson desk chair and also pull in the red from the pillow. I opted to Velcro the skirt to the box spring instead of making a fully constructed bed skirt. Cute and super easy to get on and off without having to remove the mattress.

Serging:  Since I was on a roll and was getting comfortable with my new serger, I also tackled my basket of clothes that needed mending over the last year. It’s empty!

I also decided my drop cloth slipcovered chair at the lake needed to be washed (that’s the beauty of slipcovers).  IMG_5407So I slipped it off and threw it in the washing machine.  It came out great, except I realized I never finished the seams so I had a messy inside of tangled strings. SO….I walked over to my serger and proceeded to serge all the seams. It looks so pretty and clean again.  I can’t believe my serger is celebrating its first birthday and I am only now brave enough to use it.  I LOVE it and can’t believe I got along all these years without out.  Never again. It’s my new favorite thing.

Now to set my focus on February.  I have a few projects in the works for my home and a few for some clients, but still have time for more! What can I do for you?




Decorating · Sewing · Slipcovers

Cottage Chair Facelift

This cute little cottage upholstered wingback chair came to me with a desperate need for an update.   It was a chair my client had in her stall at the store “Reclaimed” at Smith Mountain Lake.  It just wasn’t selling in its current state.  It was a little dated and very definitely a Victorian shabby chic cottage style.  She provided me with a large drop cloth for the job. img_8274

Not all drop clothes are created equal.  This one (Sibiu brand) was a blend of cotton and polyester. It did shrink a little but not near as much as the 100% cotton drop clothes I had worked with in the past.  It also did not ravel or wrinkle as much, didn’t have as much stretch, ironed beautifully and was easy to work with. 

Normally a wingback would take about 9 yards of fabric, give or take, but this chair did not have a separate seat cushion, thankfully.  I was a little worried I wouldn’t have enough fabric to do the job especially since she wanted to have a gathered skirt.  I decided to be very methodical about this before doing any ripping or cutting of fabric to be sure I would have enough and if not, that I could get this same drop cloth somewhere.   The large drop cloth had a seam down the middle, which I proceeded to rip out, essentially giving me two  69×100 pieces, which was just easier to handle.   I graphed out the two pieces and measured all the pieces of the chair in rectangles that I would need to complete the chair to include a gathered skirt.  img_8634I then started to draw out the rectangle pieces on the graph paper, using up every space in the most efficient manner.  I am so grateful I did this, as it saved me a lot of time, guessing, 2nd guessing and most importantly, I had enough fabric….barely.  If I made a mistake, I would be screwed.  I was not going to make a mistake.

Once I had all the rectangle pieces cut, I was on to structuring of the chair cover. 

I finished most of the chair the first day and spent the next day on the gathered skirt and finishing details of trimming and finishing seams, clipping corners, clipping threads and adding a tie detail to the back skirt. I always feel like I am giving my slipcovers a hair trim at this point.

Here are the before and after pictures.

What a transformation!  It’s like it went to a salon and got a whole new makeover.  If it could talk it probably would say it feels ten years younger and ready to take on anything. The creamy drop cloth fabric worked beautifully for this chair and now this chair can be the perfect accent in any room regardless of the color scheme.   The best part is it is completely removable so it can be thrown in the wash if need be.

I think Kathy loved the chair so much she decided to keep the chair for herself. Until next time, do something creative!





Decorating · Sewing · Slipcovers

New Look for a New Home

Unlike my ugly gold chair from a previous post, this chair didn’t start out so bad.  It is a well-made, fairly new, comfortable and a fun-printed chair, but in its new home it seemed too bold and wild for the space.  I wanted to create a clean fresh color palette.  In a sincere desire to reuse and repurpose what I have I needed to work with some of the bigger items that I have in my house like the brown leather couch. I decided to go with a lake color scheme of blue and cream with pops of color (I just love red).  We’ll see how that goes, it usually changes as I go and things just sort of evolve and fall into place.

I again used the drop cloth from Lowe’s for my fabric choice, but to kick it up a notch, I trimmed it with a blue denim colored piping.  Since the back of the chair would be visible when you walk into the house, I wanted to make the back closure a little more special than a zippered closure.IMG_5391

In keeping with the clean lines look, I constructed an overlapping back closure banded with the same blue denim fabric.  I covered buttons with the same fabric for the button closure. I completed the chair by sewing the same width of blue band around the entire bottom of the chair, just for fun.

  I love it, and the best part is that it is super easy to get on and off for cleaning.   I pre-shrunk the drop cloth twice so it should wash beautifully and fit like a charm.  What do you think?

 ‘Till next time~ Denise