Slipcovers

Revolutionary Updates

I wish I could make decisions as quickly as my client Jacqueline can.  She says it’s out of necessity and time.   It has also been said that your first choice or instinct is usually the best one and we often way over think things. I know I do.  Sometimes we just want to go out of our comfort zone and pick something that is not what we would normally pick but afraid to take the leap for fear we will have regrets.   Choosing the right fabric for your slipcover project can feel like that especially because of the investment you are about to make.  

Jacqueline was getting ready to move into a new house and as you do, you look at your furniture and try to see what will work in the new space and what wouldn’t.   She dropped off two very different chairs that she’s had for a while but still were comfortable. 

She knew she could find a corner or space in her new home but not in the condition they were in…dated red checked rocker and a worn golden toned tapestry chair.   She quickly chose a print from Revolution Fabric, called Tangle.  Jacqueline had a great instinct on this fabric because the finished product turned out great with this neutral tone-on-tone design that is a nice combination of sass and elegance.  

To break up the pattern and to draw attention to some of the lines on the chair she opted for a solid tan fabric called Slipcover Twill also from Revolution Fabric.   A simple corded bottom velcro’ed to the bottom of the chair, and a placket covered zipper allows for a neat, tight fit that looks upholstered but is easy to take off. 

This particular fabric is washable, bleachable and dries in ten minutes, if you can believe it. 

For the rocker, she picked a complimenting linen-looking high performance fabric from Revolution Fabric called Hailey.  She wanted the same color of piping on the rocker as the chair and I think it was the perfect choice. 

You could easily have picked a creamy white piping to understate it, but I like the fun bold look of the darker contrast and it ties in nicely to the other chair as well.   A corner pleated skirt and side zipper complete this rocker and give it a fresh clean look that will fit where ever she wants in their new home.

If you are wondering where to start with fabric selection, check out my suggestions on preferred fabrics and then start looking at these different sources.   I’m also available for a complimentary in-home consultation.  Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, follow you instinct and go a little wild.  Remember, in the end, it’s what you love that matters.  

Enjoy the spring!

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Slipcovers

Lovely Linen for Lynda

Lynda is in the process of redecorating her house and wanted to reuse a couple of comfortable chairs she had acquired from Calico Corner.  

 She was looking for a fabric that would blend in with other upholstered pieces she had and provide a classic fresh look.   After much consideration she landed on a beautiful Italian Viscose/Linen blend. 

I have to admit I didn’t know what Viscose was, so I did a little research.img_7291 Viscose, part of the rayon fabric family, is a semi-synthetic material manufactured from a plant-based material called cellulose.  It is typically made from woody plants, such as trees and bamboo.  Though it has many wonderful qualities such as being drapable, breathable, strong, inexpensive, silky and comfortable, it also has a few pitfalls such as being prone to shrinkage, wrinkling, and fibers that may weaken when wet or exposed to excessive light.  However, this fiber is best when blended with other fibers and is usually what you find in home decorating fabrics.  Linen, a natural fiber, is strong and resists dirt and stains, lint and pilling, abrasion, and moths.  This combination of linen gives you the best of both fibers. 

Some viscose materials can be machine washed on a delicate cycle, others hand washed, while some require dry cleaning.    I tested a yard of this blend and found that it shrunk almost four inches on a yard of fabric.  If you decide to take this chance it needs to be done before the slipcover is constructed or it will not fit!   It’s a tough call to make and one that only the client can make.   Since the supplier recommended “Dry Clean Only” for this fabric, my client decided to go with that.

Lynda also had a classic sea-foam green suede loveseat that she wanted to repurpose to a beach house. She decided to use the same fabric. This piece worked up beautifully.

Because of the single long nature of the cushion and no back cushions, and to work with the grain of the linen, I needed to seam the back, cushion and deck, just like the original upholstery. It actually added a nice design feature. The back seams were a perfect place to “hide” Velcro strips for an easy removal. Velcro sewn onto the piped bottom attaches to the underside of the chair, resulting in a very tailored and upholstered look. img_7397

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Slipcovers

From Freebie to Fresh and Fabulous

Have you ever inherited a piece of furniture that you felt obligated to keep but doesn’t fit your decor or color scheme?  Or maybe you found a chair for a steal of a deal (or free) that would be perfect if only it had a different fabric.  I have!  I admit I have a slight compulsion (addiction) with this.  I am constantly looking for pieces to rescue.  For instance, right now I have two blue side chairs, a couple of barrel back office chairs, and some stools I snagged for super cheap that I thought still had potential.  I am working on a couple of those projects now so stay tuned for an update on those transformations.

My daughter picked up this free upholstered rocker and ottoman from a mom’s group in Charlotte for the baby’s room.  It was in perfect condition, except for the fact that it was a pale yellow stripe and very dingy (if you zoom in you can see what I mean).

Before: yellow striped cotton
Before: yellow striped cotton

Of course, my daughter looked past the outer shell and thought that her mom might be  able to cover it.  So she hauled it to the lake one week, I got to work, and in a couple of days she was able to bring it home with her completely refreshed …the chair that is.

I chose a vintage white bull denim from Big Duck Canvas.   White, you say?  Of course! Don’t be afraid to go light with slipcovers.  This creamy soft white is a perfect color to coordinate with whatever color scheme you have.  Or if you are like me and like to change colors and move furniture around often, it will go with anything.

As long as the fabric is washable and easy care, you can simply remove it and throw it in the wash.   I preshrunk this fabric so it would  be able to be washed frequently. A pair of arm covers would be an added bonus to lengthen the time between laundering.

The ottoman and chair would be a great addition in their new house and baby’s room whether it is a boy or girl.  I can’t wait until July to find out!

Update:  This chair will be perfect in a shiplap and pink floral inspired room….(it’s a girl).

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Crafty Things · Decorating · family · Organization · Slipcovers

A Thankful Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to Me!

When I finally took the leap and “hung my shingle” a little over a year ago, I had no idea where this business would take me, but I felt strongly about doing something that used my skills that was also a creative outlet, allowed me the flexibility to work around my husband’s schedule, our lake trips,  family commitments and grammy time. This endeavor has been that and so much more.  As a bit of reflection, here is a recap of all the projects completed since I started just over a year (whew….I’ve been busy).

“Fresh Look” features a drop cloth slipcover for my dining room table benches.  With the move, they split up, one going to the foot of a bed and one in a mudroom.  After a year of reconciling, they are back together at the same table but in my basement (I move things around a lot).

“The Chair with a Purpose” was another drop cloth slipcover to prepare a comfortable chair to welcome my new grandson, Ben.  He is now 18 months old!  This slipcover washes up beautifully and with two little ones, that’s a necessity.

“New Look for a New Home”  took a chair that was perfect for one home but didn’t fit into the color scheme of our new lake house.  It is my absolute favorite chair in which I sip my first cup of coffee in the morning or can curl up on the later to take a nap.  It ‘s not unusual to see evidence of wine or ice cream indulgences, but it is easily  washed away.

 “Red & Blue” featured my two side chairs that got a new look for their new home and my red side window panels.  They since have moved from the upstairs kitchen to the basement.  We sold the pool table and now have a wonderful big space to play Mexican Train, cards, and other games.  This year I plan to have a big family dinner at the table in the basement in front of the fireplace which is getting a makeover (look for blog on this in 2018).

“Inspiration” & “Room Transformation”  took two pieces of furniture in two different colors and with the help of slipcovers blended them together so they could conform to their new home in a new color scheme.  This room is in the process of another transformation which should be done next year.

“Cottage Chair Facelift” turned a classic wingback into a casual and versatile side chair and used a large piece of drop cloth my client already had.  I just love being able to repurpose things!

“Coral Cuteness” highlights twin chairs that were in desperate need of an update in a fun color. The fabric was old and fraying but nothing a slipcover couldn’t hide. You wouldn’t believe they are the same chair.

“Unusual Useful Upscale” isn’t your usual slipcover.  This cool old mail cart can be used for laundry or  on a dock.  Wouldn’t it be cute to see it filled with  colorful Christmas presents?

My Home Projects are featured throughout the year focusing on the projects I completed in moving into our new lake home.  January Home Projects featured drop cloth curtains in a sunny guest bedroom, a pool table cover repurposing inexpensive red and black checked tablecloth, a nautical cover for a parson chair, and a nautical inspired bed skirt.  February Home Projects found me making a teepee for granddaughter to play in, a pillow bed, simple café curtains for our master bedroom,  and window toppers for our master bedroom.  March Home Projects included a couple of Disney dresses for Addy, a cow print faux fur rocker cushion, and a couple of pillows.  Bathroom Rejuvenation  showcases a small update on my basement master bathroom featuring a black vinyl cushion covered in a cozy slipcover.

 

“A Sunny Little Chair” was a fun and springy slipper chair that brought the sun and warmth right when it was needed the most in the middle of winter and features a flirty skirt and cute back button closure.

“Shades of Gray” turned a Florida set with light green fern fabric into a Virginia family set that can withstand kids and dogs in a trendy and versatile gray with blue accents.

“From Drab to Fab” was just that!  All I can say is wow. These two Arhaus chairs now say “look at me!”

Cushions by numbers.   I made 22 cushions in a teal Sunbrella for Mary,  2 bright green swing cushions for Pam’s lake porch,  16 cushions for a poolside seating area, 13 cushions for Jessica who brought me her cushions from Pennsylvania, 4 cushion sets for a cute iron patio set, and not to mention 16 cushions and pillows for my lake house.  All in all I made  77 cushions this year. 

“Ben’s Big Boy Chair” was my attempt at slipcovering a personalized Pottery Barn chair for Ben’s first birthday.  He still loves it and it still looks great.

“Graduation”  took a comfortable but worn chair and ottoman and totally brightened it up with a creamy colored bull denim blend.  It washed up beautiful and was ready in a few days just in time for my client’s daughter high school graduation party.

“White after Labor Day” allowed my client to turn two random pieces into a she-shed beauty complete with all the fluff and frills using a white Bull Denim.

“Tickled Pink”  took two twin chairs that had been loved and half painted and gave them new life.  The little bit of pink was just enough to give the chairs some personality and is a perfect accent color for this trendy client.

“Wings and the Test of Time” showcases a dual-fabric slipcover for a treasured wingback. Looking forward to trying out some other ideas such as chenille or an old quilt.

“Bonus Chair in Boucle” features two club chairsIMG_4415 I got for a steal to put in my new workspace at the lake house.  It should be done by the holidays! I can’t wait to get my hands of the space to decorate. Club chairs are easy to slipcover and so I see seasonal slips in the future….this time something a little more wild. I see a future blog early 2018.

“California Chair in Coral”  was my most recent project.  I can’t say how much I love the difference this slipcover made.  It made a California inspired chair into a Virginia sunny basement chair.

Thank you for allowing me to work on your pieces and welcoming me into your world through my blog.  I hope that I have either inspired you to try something new, go after your passion, and maybe look at an old loved piece through different lense before giving up on it.  Let me know how I can help. I am taking projects for next year!  What will we create in 2-0-1-8?

With a grateful heart, Happy Thanksgiving!

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Slipcovers

California Chair in Coral

The right fabric makes all the difference.  When Julie moved to Virginia from California, she brought along this awesome chair complete with palms. The chair was in perfect condition but the fabric didn’t go with anything in her new home.     

 She was planning to repurpose it in her basement guest bedroom and was looking for something to coordinate with the grey comforter and window treatments in a “rainfall” pattern (below) that would bring a little light to the space.

There are thousands of fabric options available online, but it is usually a last resort for me.  Personally I like to see the fabric and feel its weight, texture, coverage and drape.  Unfortunately, the number of brick and mortar fabric stores seems to be dwindling.  The Fabric Emporium in Warrenton, VA would be closing  it’s doors after forty years due to retirement so I was hoping to score a good deal on fabric and just maybe find the right fabric for Julie’s project (any maybe something for myself too).  Everything was at least 30%  off!  The fabric I found is a variegated tone-on-tone, coral colored, textured stripe in 100% cotton.  Since the chair would be in a low traffic and use area, she decided not to have the fabric prewashed in order to retain the sheen and qualities of the decorator fabric.   Though she did not intend to remove it and wash it, this slipcover could still be removed if she changed her mind and wanted to change the color or pattern.

I followed the basic lines of the chair but repositioned the scroll on the upper back to allow the slipcover to be removed more easily with the help of two back zippers.  A simple corded finish on the bottom finishes this cute chair that almost looks upholstered!

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Julie also snagged a fabric swatch for $.50 from the fabric store and was hoping to make a couple of pillows to pull it all together.   I made lumbar sized pillow inserts with some down from an old pillow and poly fiber fill.  A little cording, a zipper and a back to match the chair and I was able to knock out two pillows, one for her chair and one for her bed. 

Do you have a chair that is just sitting there waiting to be noticed, begging for a makeover and a new purpose?   I can help transform your chair and even help with fabric selection. 

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Decorating · Sewing · Slipcovers

Cushions

The pollen is done for the most part, and you have cleaned and re-cleaned the patios and porches to rid it of the fine yellow mist of gunk that seems to get into the tiniest of cracks.  Now that this is behind us and warmer weather is finally here, it’s time to put out our porch patio cushions, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, your summer reading and relax.   But wait….your cushions may need attention too after years of wear, weather, sun and neglect.

My first client, Pam, sent me a picture of her tired and depleted swing cushions and wanted to know if I could help.  I sent her to JoAnn’s to pick out the fabric, some 3” foam and with a wave of my wand (if only), I made her these two delightful apple green—the season’s hot color– cushions perfectly coordinated with her throw pillows.  It certainly brightens the shady porch.

Mary had a bit more of a challenge.   Her cushions were in  desperate need of replacement.  The cushions were literally disintegrating when you touched them or picked them up.  The sun had completely dried out the fabric over the years to the point of crumbling.  The question was whether to buy new cushions or to make new covers. 

Her current furniture frames were still in excellent condition.  She had several chairs on her back porch but also wanted to coordinate with the current front porch décor.   Since she needed to find a fabric that would withstand the intense sunlight in the back yard over the summer, she decided to have cushions made in the exact same Sunbrella fabric she currently had on her wicker chairs and a coordinating fabric from Outdoorfabrics.com.  It has a great rating with a 5 year warranty against fading and mildew. 

When all was said and done, I made ten cushions, two double cushions for her recliners, two ottoman cushions and six dining chair cushions!  What a burst of color and brightness for this front porch and back deck with a coordinated and uniform look.  The little bit of extra time to match all of the stripes running up and down the cushions makes all the difference. 

Mary sent this fun picture to me. Completely unware that she had a top that just happened to match the Dolce Oasis stripe pattern on her new cushions.  Coincidence?   I think Mary really loves that print. And why not. It is vibrant, fun and full of life.  She certainly will get alot more years out of her patio set now. fabric match

It seems this year, more than in the past, I noticed a ton of options for cushions in the stores.   Many of these fabric are  spun polyester in which the color and design is printed on the base fabric.  Though these fabrics may wear well for a few years they typically are approved for 300 (some up to 800) hours of UV exposure so they may fade a lot faster.  Fabrics such as Sunbrella (and there are other brands too) are made out of 100% acrylic in which the fibers that the fabric is made of are dyed in a color solution before being woven into the design, not printed on the base fabric. Interesting huh?   By doing this, you now have a product that will be more fade resistant when in direct sunlight often for 2000 or more hours of UV exposure.  Of course, it makes sense that it is also more expensive.  So when contemplating your choice of whether to buy or cover your cushions, be sure to take this into consideration so you get years of enjoyment for your investment. Lots of fun stuff coming up this summer! Stay tune and let me know if you have a project you need done!

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Crafty Things · Creative Things · Decorating · Sewing · Slipcovers

Unusual Useful Upscale

I’ve slipcovered ottomans, parson chairs, loveseats, arm chairs, side chairs, wingback chairs, benches, and bar stools but never a piece like this!  This was a fun little project that included a little arts and crafts as well.

My client brought me this unique piece to recover.  She was envisioning a laundry cart or possibly a cart for towels on a boat dock.  We decided a nautical look would be a good fit.  Keeping with the repurposing theme, she brought me some salvaged duck cloth.

The arts and craft portion of this project included painting nautical stripes on the fabric.  I simply taped off the stripes and used a sponge brush to dab acrylic paint within the taped off areas. I carefully removed the tape to reveal the stripes.  After letting the paint set for at least 12 hours, I heat-set the fabric.   This process allows the piece to be washable should it need to be removed and laundered.

A side zipper for easy removal, silver grommets on each side for either fabric or rope handles and a simple hem to reveal the wood base and wheels,  finished off this unique piece.

What a transformation! This project should make you look at your old furniture pieces a little differently and imagine the possibilities.  What can I do for you?

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Decorating · Sewing · Slipcovers

Coral Cuteness

My client brought me a couple of interesting and challenging projects to work on to kick-start the new year.  She inherited these two great chairs from her grandmother.  Chairs like this are worth the time and effort to update, giving them a new purpose and a fresh look.  They were solidly built and held up well over the years, but were definitely in need of some attention, as you can tell by the fabric wearing through on the arms. 

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Her plan was to anchor the ends of her farm table with the chairs.  She wanted to find a fabric that would coordinate with her Pottery Barn pillows and table runner and compliment the area rug; something fun and whimsical with a little pizzazz.  She decided on a  coral geometric print for the chairs and a dark rosy color for the piping and trim that matched the back of the pillows and complimented the table runner. I think the chairs will be a nice accent pop of color to her room.  

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This chair was not without its challenges, though.   In order for the fabric to lay smoother on the curved interior tufted back of the chair, I decided to piece the back in three sections with contrasting piping to help with the matching of the pattern as best I could.  I like the vertical lines it gave the piece, breaking up the pattern just enough.

The other feature we needed to consider was the beautiful wood arms and legs.  A peak-a-boo arm and sassy short pleated skirt would ensure that we would let them show off.   Instead of a zipper, she opted for a contrast panel opening in the back with a covered button closure. 

Do you have an old chair that is hiding in the basement, attic or corner, or storage unit covered with stuff just begging for a second act?   If you have small children or pets, if you want a new look without buying new furniture, if you want to change your color scheme, if the piece is solid and has good bones, and if you like repurposing the old and making it new again for a new space, then slipcovering may be a good option.

I get such joy seeing the transformation from the old discarded pieces of furniture to something that is joyfully placed back into the rest of the house to use and show off. I would love to do a piece for you. 

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