April 28, 2011

Adventures in Slipcovering - The Finale!

I have finally finished my first slipcover!

Can you believe that is even the same chair? I was sort of shocked when I did the side-by-side comparison!

This has definitely been my biggest project undertaking thus far. Thank goodness for Miss Mustard Seed! I feel forever indebted to her and and her video tutorials!

My Mom and my washable, blue, fabric marker deserve a shout out too - couldn't have completed this project without them either!

My previous slipcover posts were only pictures of my prototype made with canvas drop cloth. So here are a few pictures during the process of making the real deal. * Just a note. Sorry most of the photos aren't that great. I snapped them very quickly as I was working on this project. Since I have a toddler at home I was usually working after bedtime so the lighting was never great.

Here is the beginning. Just laying out the fabric and cutting the pieces.

Here's where the blue fabric marker came in handy. I had a hard time pinning in some areas, especially the little crevices and around curves. For the crevices, I would push each piece of my fabric into the crease and draw a line with the marker. Then I would match up the two pieces and pin along the my blue line. On the cushions I used my marker to mark all the rounded corners because I found it impossible to make a straight pin form a rounded corner. How Miss Mustard Seed does this without a fabric marker I have no idea. She is magical.

See the faint blue lines below? And it washes right out when you wash the slip cover. Or if you dab some water on it.

Here is a close up of the front arm piece. It's the only piece on the body of the chair that I piped. Piping and I have a love-hate relationship. I didn't have to use my seam ripper once during this project until I got to the piping. Ugghhh. I am glad I only piped the arms and the cushions. Any more piping and I would have thrown the whole chair and the slipcover through my dining room window.

Here is the completed body of the slipcover. I was pretty happy with the body. I am so glad I did a prototype first. I really learned a lot and this second time around my seams met much smoother and whole body just looked more neat and clean.

I did not do a prototype for my cushions for several reasons. One - I didn't have enough drop cloth and two - I have sewn pillows and I thought sewing cushion covers would be similar. Well, I guess they would have been without that darn piping! Looking back I wish I would have done a prototype. I think if I had I would have decided to cut the size of my cushions down slightly before making my real slipcover.

Below is a picture with the top cushion. It's just fits a little too tight on the sides. I knew it was a tight fit when I cut the foam, but I thought the covers would pull the foam in a little making a perfect fit. I was wrong. My cushion looks much taller than the old one too. However I swear I traced the old cushion exactly so I don't know how that happened.

Here it is. Finally complete - both cushions piped, skirted hemmed, all done.

This is not a perfect slipcover, by any means. There are a lot of mistakes. A LOT. And if I look at some of the details up close I see all the imperfections. But if I stand back and look at the big picture I am pretty pleased. Especially considering this is my first slipcover and really my first big sewing project. Before this, I was the girl who sewed so infrequently that I had to get my manual out every time I hemmed a pair of pants to remind myself how to thread the machine. :)

The color of the fabric looks more pale in these pictures than it is in true life. At least on my computer.

If you are a first time slipcover maker and you decide to go with a patterned fabric, this is the one to go with. It's very forgiving when it comes to matching. I really didn't match up the pattern on any of my pieces and I don't feel like you can tell.

I am really happy with the back. I love the bows. I decided to go with this option because I thought it would make for a better fit and would be easier to take on and off when I have to wash it. And with a wild toddler in my home I definitely plan on washing it a lot.

The picture below is probably the most accurate, as far as color. Still not perfect, but better than the rest.

And just for fun....the before and after one more time. :)

Next slipcovering project......my couch! Wish me luck!

Linking up with Miss Mustard Seed, of course!!

Furniture Feature Fridays

April 26, 2011

Katrina Rose

The story behind the "The Peggy Martin (Katrina Rose)" is pretty amazing. Here is an abbreviated version:

Peggy Martin had to steel herself against grief and dread the first time she returned to her Eden, a 12-acre family homestead that lay beneath a mat of dried, cracked marsh mud.

She had lost her parents to the storm surge Hurricane Katrina hurled on this tiny town in Plaquemines Parish. The home she and her husband had built 32 years before lay in salty ruin.

Her garden, once a paradise with 450 old roses, one of the most important collections in the South, was drowned in 20 feet of water.

But amid this gray destruction, when the waters drained, Martin found a survivor — a nameless old rose.

New life already was sprouting along the arching canes that once had hidden the tractor shed in an explosion of bright-pink blooms.

Today, the resilient old rose again blankets the shed in pink. It's easy to spot from the road that snakes past the homestead and follows the Mississippi River south to the Gulf of Mexico.

Why the rose lived when so much else died, Martin has no idea.

About 4 years ago, my mom ordered me one of these roses from Teas Nursery. It was delivered in a small 2 gallon pot wrapped inside a cardboard box. I was surprised it made the journey through the mail. It was just one, little stem with only a few leaves.

Today it looks like this.

It's at least 12 feet wide and covers the whole back wall of our Master bedroom.

I love the way it blooms in large clusters.

It has just started blooming for the spring. There are a million more buds waiting to open.

This weekend I spent a good hour laying underneath the rose and taking pictures. I couldn't stop. It was so beautiful and relaxing.

So pretty!

And I love the little buds right before they open.

There is no better example of God's beautiful creation.

Anyone else have a Katrina rose? Has yours taken over your backyard too?

I'm linking up with A Beach Cottage for Good Life Wednesdays!

April 25, 2011

Easter in Review

We started the weekend off with a little Easter cupcake baking.

The most amazing Coconut buttercream....yum....

The nugget enjoying his Easter breakfast on his new Easter plate.

He LOVED the magnadoodle the Easter Bunny brought him. And I love that he can draw without me worrying about him ingesting large amounts of crayon wax.

These little eggs candies were too cute and I couldn't resist snapping a few photos.

Then we headed to Grandmother's for lunch and egg dying!

I think Aubrey needs another year before he is really ready for the egg dying. He wasn't quite sure what to make of the whole thing.

On to the Easter egg hunt! He had a great time playing with the basket.

And throwing Easter grass everywhere..

Once he was sure he had made the biggest Easter grass mess ever, he was ready to go back inside.

And play some piano. This is his new favorite game at Grandmother's house. He thinks he is so cool sitting up on that bench.

I love to look at his little feet dangling while he plays.

Then we feasted on my chocolate cupcakes with coconut buttercream.

Best. Cupcakes. Ever.

If I do say so myself.

Hope you all had a fabulous Easter too!

In other news, this week my finished slipcover will be making it's reveal...finally!

April 20, 2011

Easter basket and a homemade bunny

This is going to sound silly, but when I was pregnant with my son one of the things I looked forward to most as a new mom was holidays. I have really great memories of the holidays as a child. My Mom did such an amazing job making them special by letting us decororate the house (even if it looked tacky), make special sugary treats (which we did not get on a regular basis), and always giving the most special, thoughtful gifts (many of them handmade).

I look forward to doing the same with my son. At 18 months, he isn't quite old enough yet to decorate our home, make sugar coookies and do craft projects, but I am really looking forward to the next few years when he is.

I've had a lot of fun creating his Easter basket this year. I've been collecting little things over the last month or so.

I found that cute little Easter plate at Target a few weeks ago. I love the little chick and the polka dotted egg. The sticker book I found at Target too (you can't really see it, but it's behind the bunny). He LOVES stickers.

I am pretty proud of this bunny. I made him myself. It's my first handmade stuffed animal and I'm pretty happy with how he turned out. It wasn't too hard at all and actually pretty fun! You can get the pattern and instructions here.

I love the striped ears. I was going to use polka dots, but my husband insisted that polkadots are for girls. I don't agree, but I am glad that I went with the stripes for this.

I picked up this little set of wooden and plastic cars at Ikea when we were in Florida a few weeks ago. There were originally four, but somehow I lost one in transit.

We are pretty strict when it comes to what we feed our son, so he's never had sweets or chocolate. We did try the smash cake for his first birthday and he wanted no part of it. So we are thinking we might let him try some chocolate for Easter. I'm excited to see what he thinks!

Wow, how time flies. This is my little man last year at Easter. He had just started sitting up that week. Now he is a wild man and runs through my house like a tornado. Seeing this picture makes my heart happy.

Happy Easter!

Linking up with A Beach Cottage for Good Life Wednesdays!

April 18, 2011

Chalk Talk Mondays

I think it's good for the soul to dream.

Some days I dream of silly things like what my living room will look like when I finally finish my white slipcover and find the perfect thrifted coffee table to refinish.

Many days I dream of my 18 month old son and how he is growing and changing so quickly. What will he be like as he gets older? What will his hobbies be? What sports will he play? Will he like music? Will he like to cook?

Others days I dream of having more hours in the day to spend thrifting for old furniture, painting and refinishing those pieces and being able to take my time and enjoy the process.

What have you been dreaming of lately?

April 13, 2011

Polka Dot Spring Wreath

When I saw this spring wreath tutorial from Jones Design Company, I knew I had to make one!

And I knew I wanted to make it with polka dot fabric. It took me a few days and several fabric stores to find the perfect dots, but when i came across this putty-colored fabric with small white dots I knew it was the one! Of course it was the only fabric in the store that was not on sale that day so I only bought enough to make my wreath. But I am dying to go back and buy more. Wouldn't it make the cutest throw pillow?!

Emily from Jones Design Co does a great job on her tutorial so I won't repeat all the steps here, but I took a few pictures along the way. The first step is cutting lots of strips of fabric for the ruffles.

And yes, I use a piece of an old cardboard box as a "fabric cutting board" cause I'm classy like that.

Next, you sew a seam down the edge of your fabric so you can create your ruffles.
I loved the way all that polka dot fabric piled up in waves after going through the machine.

Next you make your ruffles and wrap them around your wreath form.

Now you can decorate your wreath however you like. Emily did hers with an adorable birds nest and glittered eggs. I wanted to keep my decoration simple since I already had a busy polka dot pattern going on. So I opted for one simple, white, fabric flower. The fabric flower is also from one of Emily's tutorials. Clearly she's a crafty genius and since I am not I love her DIY tutorials!

These fabric flowers are so fun and really easy to make! I've made lots of them and I've used them to decorate everything from pillows to headbands to this wreath!

Next I just looped a piece of grosgrain ribbon around my wreath so I could hang it.

Ta-da! Super easy, really fun and I'm loving it!

What's your favorite DIY spring decoration? I would love to see them!