Monday, April 26, 2010

Amy Butler Sun Surf Halter (Deployment Project #77)

Just a simple project to share with you today.   If you are a new or beginning sewer - - this is the perfect beginner project for you!!  I love Amy Butler patterns - - to me, they are the easiest patterns and directions to follow!!

IMG_5075IMG_5082 IMG_5090 IMG_5078 IMG_5089 IMG_5079 IMG_5088 

This sweet little top is only 4 pieces of fabric and super simple.  But it looks so cute on my little model!!IMG_5034

We went to Mount Vernon last week for a field trip and I couldn’t resist getting some pictures of her with the Potomac in the background!!


On a side note - - if you are a beginning sewer and would love a step by step how to - - join up with Grosgrain for her Frock by Friday as she helps us make a compete dress by Friday.  Jump over there to find the link to the free pattern and make a dress along with her!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A few Simple Changes

I wanted to take another look at the Drop cloth chair re-upholstery and point out some of the things that I changed while re-upholstering this chair.  Design changes that make the re-upholstery job quicker and easier!

IMG_4924 If you take a closer look at the arms of this chair before shot - - you can see that they have been sewn together without cording.



When I re-upholstered this, I found it was much easier to add cording to both sides of the arm. 

 IMG_4993 IMG_4991

By adding cording to both sides of the arm – that allowed me to easily use curve-ease to put the sides of the chair on.



On the original chair, they used upholstery tacks to attach the sides – this a decorative way of adding details, but it is:

A. not the look I was going for

B.  not easy to do at all!!

If you need a tutorial to help you with curve-ease, you can visit mine here.


By using curve-ease, you can see that I got a very smooth finished side that shows of the shapely curves of the chair!!


Just a couple of little changes, that made my re-upholstery job much easier, and added new details and definition to the chair.  As you do more re-upholstery projects, you will become more confident in knowing what things you can change around in your projects!!  I try to use curve-ease whenever possible because it makes the job so much easier and the finished look is so much nicer looking!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Introducing Ethel and Drop Cloth Chair Re-upholstery (Deployment Project #76)

Let me introduce you to my newest family member… Ethel.


After my new (less than one year old) very expensive embroidery/sewing machine broke down for the third time in year that I have had it.  I knew something had to change.  That was 2 months ago and my machine is still in the shop getting fixed - - actually, it got sent back to the factory, but is STILL not fixed.  After talking with a representative from my sewing machine company, I found out that I was actually killing my machine with all the re-upholstery stuff I was doing on it.  Going  through up to 10 layers of thick fabric actually broke the feed dog spring on my machine - - not a common piece to break!  He suggested that I find an old 1950’s Singer machine and use that for my re-upholstery projects.IMG_4998

I found Ethel on Craigslist a few weeks back.  She’s simple, but she is a workhorse!  She will plow through anything and just keep right on going - - no little annoying beeps or error messages.  IMG_4995

There is something enduring about her.  IMG_4996

Her simplicity. 


Her history.


As I’m using her, I wonder about her past.  Who used to own her?  What did they make with her?  Has some mother sat at her and made dresses for her little girl?  Has a grandmother sat at her and made a quilt for a newborn baby?  Has a mother and daughter worked at it together to make a wedding gown?IMG_5000

Let me just throw in here that if you are only doing one re-upholstery project, or even two, you have nothing to fear - - you are not going to break your machine.  I do one to two re-upholstery projects a week - - that much pounding on a machine is just too much!!

So, let me show you the first project that Ethel has completed.


This is the chair I was telling you about yesterday.   This chair is going in a little boys’ room.  My friend wanted a vintage look that would be durable for two toddlers!!  She also did not want to spend a lot of money on the fabric for the chair.  I ended up using drop cloths to re-upholster it.


I had never used drop cloths, but of course I have read about them everywhere on blog world.   I decided to try it out.   I would say that all in all, it was easy to work with - - maybe a bit more difficult to work with than a heavier weight upholstery fabric - - but for a loose, informal look I think it is fantastic.  I did wash the drop cloth before I used it - -they stink something fierce straight out of the package!!


This chair has quite the history.  My friend bought it when they were stationed in Germany.  Brought it to DC when they moved here,  and now, I’m re-upholstering it before they move back to Germany! IMG_4992

Look at the before fabric - - ugh!  Time for a make-over!


When I got the fabric off, I realized that this chair had been re-upholstered once.  There was still some of the original fabric on the chair.  It was originally upholstered in a chartreuse green silk.  I can only imagine that with all her fun curves and details, she was one fancy lady!!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Embroideries (Deployment Projects #67 - #75)

Seems it’s time to update you on some of the projects that have been going on around here in the Deployment Count.  Things seem to be going crazy around here.  With spring in the air, it seems new projects are popping up every day!!

So my embroidery machine has been working overtime lately!  I have had a ton of work embroidering things for friends and even some for myself.

I’ve done blankets,


and onsies,




and pillowcases,



IMG_4965 IMG_4966

and a custom pillow.


Let me tell you about this pillow!!  My friend Michelle is getting ready to PCS (that’s army for permanently move Permanent Change of Station) to Germany.  Being the organized person that she is, she is making sure that she has all her decorating ducks in a row!  So my machine has been busy making stuff for her!  When they move, she is going to have her two little boys share a room and she is completely re-doing their room - - going with a vintage transportation theme.  It is going to be adorable.  The sheets that I personalized above are for her sons.   My favorite part is this pillow that I surprised her that will go on her chair that I am finishing up the re-upholstery job on tonight.


Isn’t it adorable?  I took this old graphic of 4 vintage airplanes found on the Graphics Fairy (one of my favorite go to sites!) cropped in on just one airplane.


Then I created a “company sign” for her boys own Transportation Company and added their names as pilots.  Next I had my embroidery program convert the graphic into an embroidery design and then embroidered it on a very thick weave textural fabric.  I am so pleased with how well it turned out.  I have never wanted a video camera more than when I showed my friend!  You would have thought I had just told her that she had won a million dollars!!  It was priceless!



And, just a little aside, here is another project I’ve been working on - - one of my favorite projects.  I’ve been teaching Charise how to sew.  Isn’t she just adorable?



She wants so badly to sew with me and be my little helper.  Right now we are just sticking to straight lines, but I have no doubt that someday, she will pass me up in her sewing skills!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Blogs and Bags and Deployments – Oh My!!! (Deployment Project #66)

If I knew how to make music play in the background of my blog - -just for this post - - I would have Disney World’s, “It’s a Small World” playing right now!  But, since I don’t know how to do that, just mentally let that song play in your head!!

The Blog world is really such a small world!  I’m hoping that you can follow along with this story, because it really is good!!

First off, let’s start with Mrs. K.  Mrs. K is a follower of my blog - - I think the point my blog started standing out to her was when we had all that snow and I made all those BDU/ACU bags.  Mrs. K  was in love with them - - she loved them because her hubby – Mr. K – is in the Army also.


One day, Mrs. K was sending her husband a message on Facebook and saw a picture of one of his friends on Facebook.  Mrs. K thought that the person in the picture looked vaguely familiar.  Mrs. K took a closer look and realized that the picture was my Handsome Hubby!


Handsome Hubby :)

Mrs. K asked Mr. K how he knew Handsome Hubby - - - turns out Mr. K and Handsome Hubby are roommates in Afghanistan!!    How crazy is that?!?!?!?!


Here they are in front of their “hut”

So…. after Mr. K heard from Mrs. K about a million times how much she LOVED the bags that I made, Mr. K asked Handsome Hubby if I would make one for his wife.  It was my joy and privilege to make Mrs. K a bag this past week and send it as a surprise to her from her hubby!!!


Mrs. K’s bag!!

Now Mrs. K and I are friends - - in fact, I’m trying to convince her that they should move to the DC area and be our neighbors!!  Mr. K is coming home soon - - if all this volcanic ash would clear up! - - I am so excited for them to be together as a family again (Mrs. K had a baby just a couple of months ago, so when Mr. K gets home, he will be seeing  and holding his son for the first time!)  Doesn’t that just bring tears to your eyes? 


Baby K

I am kind of sad that Mr. K is coming home soon - - because that means my Handsome Hubby will lose a good friend to hang out with :(  In fact, poor Handsome Hubby, all his good buddies are leaving within the next two weeks, so I’m praying that some good guys are heading his way!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Station Sign (Deployment Project #65)

I was completely inspired this week when I got my House Beautiful Magazine in the mail - - awesome stuff in there this time!!
First thing I learned… I am trendier than I thought!  AND  I have no clue why I was doing those Re-upholstery tutorials…
Check out these chairs - - yup – there they are sitting there in all their “un – upholstered glory.”  IMG_4969
House Beautiful
Remember this set of chairs that I couldn’t post about for FOREVER because I made a rule that I can’t post until the project is done?  Yeah, they sat in my house looking exactly like this for at least 5 months!  Who knew, I should have just left them - - I am so trendy and I didn’t even know it!  (If I would have know that it was cool, I would have at least taken a picture of them without their backs!!
Seriously  - - I guess there will not be a Re-upholstery 300 series because apparently all you need to know how to do is take the fabric off, not know how to put it back on – anyone can handle that!!
House Beautiful
OK, seriously though, I was really inspired by one item that I saw!
Look at this Station Sign! - - I love it!  It has a vintage look to it and what a huge statement it would make on a wall!!   But, when I looked at them, I saw something a little different in my mind - - -  something almost exactly like that, but personalized!! - - AND cheaper!! 
Mine: FREE
Theirs:  $295
Here is my version:
What do you think?  It’s my version of a military record of where we have been stationed and Handsome Hubby’s deployments.  It’s so personalized and has a ton of meaning for our family, but yet is really makes a statement in our entryway.  And what a conversation starter!!
I started by re-purposing a failed project:
This was one of the kids desks before I re-did the school room.  It was a great idea - - nice piece of wood for the top of the desk - - covered with the world map - - just add legs.  It was great for the first week of school, but after kids leaned on it and tried to dance on it  diligently did their school work on it… it was worthless!!  IMG_4951
So, I took the legs and brackets off, removed the map, and spray painted the wood black.  Then I freehand painted on all the different places we have lived/been stationed along with Handsome Hubby’s deployments and the years in an antique white.
Can I just tell you that I am in love with this project?  I am so pleased with how well it turned out.   Wouldn’t these be fun to “list” different vacation spots you have gone to or street names that you have lived on?  Oh the possibilities!!

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