Friday, April 23, 2010

My Sewing Motto

About a month ago I sent out a request for one of those saucer chairs for kids to recover for Catie, I wanted a really cheap second hand one and Julie came through finding one for under $2.  I was thrilled and finally picked it up the other day.

Turns out there was a reason it was only $2.  Julie had mentioned that as she purchased the chair she was actually a little embarrassed and wanted to explain to the sales lady that is was going to be recovered, I can understand that because this chair was disgusting!  I didn't want to touch it never mind use the original batting as I'd planned but it was perfect for my plans.  The picture doesn't due it justice.  At one point while we were in Calgary Brad's niece asked to sit on it and we were quick to refuse and move the chair.

I quickly cut off the cover, used it for a pattern and happily discarded it (there were stains that went all the way through!)

I had already bought my fabric so I got to work (it actually took me quite a bit longer than I had anticipated).

I'm calling this project a 50/50 success/failure.  I love the fabric, I love the bias tape and it was easy to put on, unlike the last time I used it on a chair.  I was a lot more careful so it turned out much better.  The thing I love most is that the cover is removable.  I used heavy duty snaps on the bottom so it can be removed and thrown in the wash and they worked even better than I had hoped.

I'd never used the pound on snaps before so let me give you a tip.  If you try to attach them at your kitchen counter using a cutting board to protect your counter you will curse the snaps over and over as you pound the daylights out of them and they still don't attach the way they should.  Instead just go outside, use your sidewalk and two or three pounds later you're done.  After my first test at the kitchen counter I was really worried because I had a lot of snaps to do (there are 12 pairs in total) and if they were all that awful I was going to hate this project but 20 minutes outside was all it took and they're beautiful.  I also used our heaviest hammer and that made a big difference.

There are two very important parts of the chair that I’m not happy with though and so that’s why I’m calling it a failure. Since the chair was so filthy instead of carefully picking it apart to use the pattern I cut it instead and added a seam allowance but I really think I added too much. The edges look kind of floppy and not awesome. I also hadn’t considered the weight of my batting. I think the stuff I used was much thinner because the chair isn’t very soft and comfortable. I think the bar’s are too noticeable and it looks very flat instead of puffy.

If the batting was fine I wouldn’t worry about the seam allowance but since I have to take it apart anyway I’ll just pick off the bias tape and then rather than having to do a lot more unpicking I’ll just cut around the edges and fix the seam allowance while I’m at it. Then I can add more batting and re-sew the whole thing back together. I think I’ll be a whole lot happier with it and when that’s finished I’ll post pictures so you can see both together.

For one more photo, this is where it sits in my living room and I really love the way the fabric co-ordinates with the couch pillows and the purple legs of the chair.  Who knew purple and red could work so well together.

It didn't take long after I started sewing again for me to adopt the following motto, "It wouldn't be a Laura project if I didn't have to do it twice."

Brad and I were just joking the other day that the next talent night I'll bring a volunteer up to the stage and we'll have an unpicking race, I'm really very good at it as I've had lots of practice.  This project will just help me improve that particular skill :)


Sharon@thisthriftyhouse said...

Love it Laura! So cute! (I'm pretty handy with a seam ripper myself--it comes with the territory!)

Kim Hawryluk said...

it looks awesome! good work!
I just discovered how great spray paint is when you want something the right colour - if you wanted to match the metal legs to the rest, you could spray paint them!

Danette Morton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danette Morton said...

Thank you for posting these projects. I've had two of these chairs hanging around for years in an unattractive pattern. I was just about ready to go out and buy yet another one for my daughter's room. Guilty over the waste, I turned to the web for encouragement to try a recover. Your posts have given me courage!

Unknown said...

Good job. It turned out well. The chair is so cute.
What kind of fabric did you use?
It looks like cotton in the pictures, but I imagine the fabric would need to have some stretch.

I'm hoping you will see this and reply as I have one of these chairs that I want to recover for my grandson.
Btw, I like your motto, but don't be hard on yourself. We all learn from our mistakes.