Marilyn is in the house!

In CategoryCrafts, Sewing

About ten years ago (give or take a few years), I purchased a vintage wing chair from a local estate sale. I bought the chair because it had nice lines and was built just right for a person of my exquisite stature of 5’2″.
She’s lived in the unfinished basement and garage the past ten years, so she was quite dusty, and needed another good cleaning.

Next, I placed pieces of muslin over each and every area of the chair so that I could trace, and make pattern pieces. The photo above shows how imprecise the fabric is at this time, before sewing them all together and checking for a tight and perfect fit (see photo below).

I just couldn’t get a good fit in the “crotch” (keep it clean folks), area of the chair. This is the place where three different planes of fabric meet, which creates a “bunch in her panties” so to speak. I proceeded with cutting out the decorator fabric using the muslin pattern pieces, which of course is a painter’s drop cloth. This fabric is CHEAP and comes in huge sections, just perfect for slipcovers and curtains. It also looks a lot like expensive linen. Win-win!

I sewed together all the pieces, adding a ton of welting on all of her curves. This added a new level of frustration, but anyone who knows me can understand my fierceness when taking on challenges. The tuck in fabric was WAY to bunchy and I stewed over this for at least a month.

Finally, I bit the bullet and spent the entire day resewing the tuck in areas to reduce the bulk. I’m sure I did this process at least 4-5 times, trimming and replacing the slipcover on Marilyn each time, until the fit was nice and tight and sleek.

Now Marilyn (Monroe), who got her name because of her curvy silhouette, is in the house … the office. She’s updated and marvelous, and displays all her curves with a fit-like-a-glove slipcover. No sloppy, loose, tent dress for her! All I have to do now is add a little bling by way of pillows in dreamy blue/green/gray fabrics.

I guess that diamonds (in the rough) are really a girl’s best friend after all! I love my shapey wing chair!

Holiday Creativity

In CategoryKnitting, Sewing

This holiday, I tried to make lots of fun gifts for giving.  Here are some of my creations … enjoy!

This denim and flannel rag quilt was made by re-using my family’s old worn denim jeans.  (Go green)!  It took 262 squares of fabric, and a million (or more) 1/4 inch snips to create.  It is earth and doggy friendly, and is oversized to cloak my son and his family while snuggling up on the couch.

I’ve been wanting to make these coffee cozies for a long time, so I designed and made my son and his girlfriend 4 different ones to protect their hands from the steamy coffee and hot tea they so enjoy at the local coffee shops.

coffee cozies

Since my dad is always freezing, I knit him a pair of fingerless gloves in a washable wool, so that he can still have warm hands while doing the mountains of paperwork he always seems to have.

hand knit fingerless mitts

My daughter has carried the little wallet I gave her years ago, and unfortunately is getting a little tattered.  She was disappointed to  learn that the company no longer makes this little compact size anymore.  This of course became one of my challenges, so I made her several different ones that very closely mimic her old original one.  They are small enough to fit into your pocket, and hold your keys, money license and credit cards.  Very efficient indeed!  After several trial and error attempts on this one, I think I finally made the perfect product.

efficient little wallet

If  it’s made of fabric … I can design, or duplicate most things.  It’s taken me a lifetime to reach this level of creativity.  Hmmm so what am I waiting for?

Happy New Year!

Thinking Green and Red

In CategorySewing

I’ve been crafting, knitting and sewing like a maniac these days, in preparation for Christmas gift giving.   There were a few things  I was able to sneak in just for me.

Two such items (ahem) were these basket liners in decorator weight, linen toile print fabric.  Now that’s a mouthful to say!   This project allowed me to join two things I heart … organization and fabric.  It was a complete transformation.  Woo hoo!

From drab:

plain jane

To Fab! :  (uptown Julie Brown)

I bought one of these plain, ordinary baskets for a kiss and a promise.  The other one was not so cheap.  It didn’t take all that long to take measurements and construct custom-made, beautiful fabric liners.

You may think that I made these in green and red for the holidays, but you’re wrong.  This sage-like green and cranberry red are two of the warm and cool colors that can be found on the main level of my house. I love that these pretty baskets can organize and even make unsightly items look better. There are many other baskets I’m going to line, and they are just one more thing added onto my “after Christmas to-do list” (which is longer than Santa’s scrolled list).

How do you keep your  junk things organized?


P.S.  Lame-o on the date stamp on the red basket.  Ooops!

On a Roll … Crayon Roll That Is!

In CategoryCrafts, Sewing

I smell crayons

Ever since I was in kindergarten, I’ve loved the smell of a box of new, fresh, Crayola crayons.  I could hardly wait to open a new box and create free- form designs that I could color creatively.  Of course there were also color books that I enjoyed.

For a long time, I’ve wanted to make crayon rolls.  When I accepted an opportunity to be a vendor at a craft show, I quickly went to work making a handful of these beauties with a more sophisticated, but fun, pallet of fabrics.

My thought is that parents could use these as stocking stuffers for their children.  Having a personal set of crayons in a pretty little holder is by far better for children who use crayons to color at restaurants, appointments etc.  There aren’t those pesty communal germs (crayons in other kids’ mouths, nose …) to worry about as a parent, and your child can enjoy their very own artist gems.

for the budding artists

When not in use, the crayons are simply rolled up and tied.  Easy peasy!

They look so pretty displayed in a muslin lined basket.  Since I have some extras on my hand right now, and if you’re interested … just let me know.

crayons and other goodies

Skirt in a Day

In CategorySewing

Very retro fabric!

This weekend was quite productive.  I re-drafted an A-line skirt pattern I created late last summer.  That pattern was way too big, so I needed to take new measurements and draft a new one altogether.

Although I made a muslin skirt in order to adjust measurements, I didn’t want to make my first skirt out of expensive fabric.  Voila!  1970ish vintage linen fabric from my stash ( probably taken from my mom’s stash originally).  A skirt for free!

The skirt fits me perfectly, unlike the clothes I’ve made in the past from commercial pattern.  As an added bonus, it goes nicely with my watermelon colored Dansko sandals.  Woo hoo!

The next project on my list is to make my own pattern for a shirt to go with it.  You know … If You Give a Mouse a Cookie