Circa 1997

Circa 1997, I dug out my grandmother's sewing machine.  The same machine she made dresses for me on.  Dresses that were underappreciated, at the time, and missed dearly now.  I hated being measured and having things pinned to me.  A few times I got pinned myself.  I've always wondered if she was trying to tell me something.  

Circa 1997, I found a place in Mobile that would do a relatively inexpensive tune-up on Mamaw's machine.  When I got it back I commenced to sewing.  I'd never had a lesson.  But I could read and figured anybody who could read and follow directions could probably sew.  I was right.  Ask my fingers.

Circa 1997, there was this couch we were handed-down.  It was a long, low, tuxedo couch.  Straight lines.  It was green and had a floral-ish fabric on it that was in good shape but not our cup of tea.  It came from my in-laws and it was free, that was our cup of tea.

Circa 1997, I discovered this fabric place that sold fabric...by the pound.  It was, is, called Fabrics by the Pound.  I found a fabric by Ralph Lauren that was a heavy linen floral.  I forget what I paid for it but it wasn't much I can assure you.  I brought it home and commenced to washing, drying, cutting, and sewing the fabric.

Circa 1997, I completed my first ever slipcover.  It was a huge accomplishment for me.  I knew it wasn't perfect but it worked and we liked it.  

Circa 2011, I no longer have the sewing machine or the couch.  However, I do have the same gumption and a little more know-how.  In 2001, I bought a new sewing machine and with it came sewing lessons...a year's worth.  I learned how to sew baby clothes for my little baby boy and in doing so I learned techniques that would carry over into sewing for our home.  I do still think that any reasonably intelligent person can be self-taught a seamstress...sewer.  (That can't be right, what do you call a guy seamstress?)  If there had been the free tutorials out there on the www who knows what I could have accomplished in less time trying and erroring.

I just slipcovered a wing back chair that was handed down to us years ago, then handed back, then just recently handed back down to us.  I'm so glad to have it back.  I knew it would be great slipcovered and would give me a chance to try using a drop cloth for fabric as recommended by Miss Mustard Seed.  

The first step in the process: I watched her video tutorial series on slipcovering a wing back chair. 

Slipcover Video Tutorial Series Part 1 - Custom Piping from Miss MustardSeed on Vimeo.

Slipcover Series Part 2 - Cutting Fabric from Miss MustardSeed on Vimeo.

Slipcover Series Part 3 - Positioning Fabric and Pin Fitting Chair Back from Miss MustardSeed on Vimeo.

Video Slipcover Series Part 4 - Pin Fitting Wings, Arms and Back from Miss MustardSeed on Vimeo.

Video Slipcover Tutorial Series -Part 5 from Miss MustardSeed on Vimeo.

Video Slipcover Tutorial Series Part Six - Skirt, Cushion, Tips and Inspiration from Miss MustardSeed on Vimeo.

This series is a wonderful example of Miss Mustard Seed's talent and generosity.  She offers many more tutorials free on her blog.  

In addition to this series I used this information on making a boxed seat cushion with a zipper found at Sew, Mama, Sew!.

from Sew Mama Sew
a close up of a neat-o piping tip
This tip is from a post on making portable box seat cushions.  It is a cute project on its own but, in the detailed instructions are valuable tips I used in making my seat cushion cover for our wingback.
  • tips on how to insert a zipper ~ this was so easy! I will never fear zippers again
  • how to handle joining up the ends of piping ~ this turned out great and looks like a pro did it
  • how to make covered piping using fabric on the bias ~ I didn't need to use this for this project, but I will use it in the future.  Making a bias strip doesn't take as much fabric as I thought it did. This tip is like a magic trick!
I'll share my chair and a few tips of my own next post!