Archives for category: Sewing

There hasn’t been a lot of sewing in my world this past year. But I did manage one crafty weekend to whip up a couple holiday gifts for two of my favorite kiddos.

First up a stocking upgrade by request. A friend had a stocking for his daughter that was missing one very important thing – her name! Now this is a girl after my own heart when sparkle is concerned so I knew where to start – red glittery felt. Then came the hard part – finding the right letters. After an intensive internet search, I found a font that reminded me of the curly elf shoes – perfect for a stocking. Printing, cutting, tracing and more cutting and the result was a super cute (as my nephew would say) Christmas stocking.

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Somehow that project reminded me that my youngest nephew is missing something his older brother has – his own superhero cape. Since I went overboard the first time, I still had plenty of fabric on hand (I think this is the fourth cape from the original purchase – and finally used up almost all the cape fabric). I had to go back and check photos to make sure the color combo was different and a few hours later, a super hero cape for Christmas.

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I came back to sewing with a vengeance last weekend, taking on my largest (literally) project yet. I had been wanting to cover foam for a bench cushion on my front porch for years, but was too intimidated. Yet, when a friend asked me to re-cover his garden swing I found myself saying Sure.

Not only was this a huge project, but it’s a treasured family heirloom – the swing has been enjoyed by the family since his great-grandparents! Taking a closer look at the pieces I knew I could make it happen, but the shear scale was intimidating. Almost 10 yards of fabric, 5 yards of velcro and over 250 yards of thread went into this project.

I set-up a sewing station, ironing station and two cutting stations (turns out my new porch makes a great cutting table – complete with scissor guide). I’ve never measured and sketched so much in my life. When it was time to do the cover I knew cutting that fabric in the wrong direction meant heading out to buy four more yards of fabric. But, measuring, re-measuring, and measuring again was worth it. I was most proud of letting that set the tone for the entire project. I quickly realized it was going to take longer than anticipated so I cleared my schedule and took my time.

Taking a lesson from baking I knew the only way to end up with a finished product I was proud of and put some good energy into this cozy hang-out spot, I needed to slow down, take my time and enjoy the process. And I did. Not only am I incredibly proud of how well it turned out, but I am proud of the process as well. And… this means when I finally have furniture made for my porch, I can make the cushions!

The Before

The Before

Getting ready... Ironing station placed strategically to watch Wimbledon and the World Cup

Getting ready… Ironing station placed strategically to watch Wimbledon and the World Cup

The new cushion.  Six feet of squishy foam to replace the not so comfy old seat.

The new seat cushion.
Six feet of squishy foam to replace the not so comfy old seat.
What do you see in the fabric? So far we have: mountain bike tires, wagon wheels, flowers, citrus fruit, suns, and sea urchin.

I do love making pillows!

I do love making pillows!

Covering the back we discovered the old layers of fabric. Instead of removing them we added the new one to the mix. It's an honor to be part of this generation's layer of history.

Covering the back we discovered the old layers of fabric. Instead of removing them we added the new one to the mix. It’s an honor to help add this generation’s layer of history.

The After

The After

Cozy enough that it passed the laying down test and graduated from porch swing to swinging couch.

Cozy enough that it passed the laying down test and graduated from garden swing to swinging couch.

I did my first my home improvement project last year – well first one that I shelled a lot of money out for, that is.

I had my side porch expanded so I could actually use it. I figured evening and weekend work when the sun is out would be much more enjoyable if I was outside. Plus it will give me outdoor space to entertain and an added bonus was covering up a chunk of the yard that used to need weeding.

Since it was finished last fall I haven’t really had a chance to use it and so was stuck with sticker shock. But my friends and family have my back and have been helping me make it useable and cozy and pretty so I’m excited about it again!

I have my great-grandparent’s colorful garden chairs and my nephew painted me a glittery turquoise pot and wooden flower for my birthday. Then the big birthday evening… I came home to find a grill from a friend – and promises to teach me how to use it :). I’d just finished setting it up when another friend appeared with a glider rocker he’d found for free that will make a great reading/work/nap chair.

Finally… the pretty but empty porch is filling up with functional pieces that make me feel loved & happy every time I’m out there.

The sunny Sunday we had today was the inspiration I needed to recover the glider to add a good punch of color to the porch and make it mine (and cover the cushions with outdoor friendly fabric).

I wasn’t completely sure the strategy in my head would work, but figured I had nothing to lose so I dove in. The padded arms were the first to go (comfy maybe, but the look of the bentwood arms wins out) and I was happy to see all that was left were two stand alone cushions and the footstool top. The footstool was easy – I know how to work the staple gun!  For the cushions, I wrapped them in the new fabric and used lots and lots of pins to fit the cover. Then sewed it most of the way, slid it back over the cushion and hand sewed it closed. Bingo, a brand new chair!

The Before

The Before

Good bones

Good bones

The After

The After

Direct comparison for good measure

Direct comparison for good measure

I’ve now officially made just as many tutu’s for boys as girls and I’m so proud the latest was for my nephew. Interesting coincidence that in both cases they requested purple?

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Enjoying his tutu

Enjoying his tutu