Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bright Yellow Kitchen Chairs

I did this refinishing project last fall but am just now getting around to documenting.  I decided it was time to pass along the old kitchen set that my parents had kept for years to my sister (who needed a table), and time for me to do something new! 

Before our big move I bought some vintage chairs with great potential.  They had upholstered seats (which I swore never to get as kids would destroy them), and wobbled quite a bit.  I loved the finish actually, but I knew I needed to add some screws for stability, and on half the chairs the finish was flaking.  So do I go safe and re-stain or bold?

 Bold of course!  I was refinishing the chairs in my parent's garage and after getting a coat of the sunny yellow on my mom casually asked me if I meant it to be so bright (probably thinking--eek!).  Yes I did mean it.  I love bright yellow.

After a lot of brainstorming I decided to try adding a thin baltic birch plywood to the upholstery frame.  I roughly cut out the seat shapes, used some wood clue and clamps to affix wood to the frame, and then used upholstery tacks to secure it in place.  Then I used a router to get the edges flush and pretty.

I am no carpenter but they turned out just as I hoped (quirky and bright).  I left them unfinished as I decided what to do, and then decided to leave them unfinished for fun.  I do wish I had put a clear acrylic on the wood to protect it from stains, I plan to go back and do that someday.

I still enjoy my silly sunny chairs.

DIY Fabric Napkins

I officially have two weeks left until my due date, consequently I've made a massive mental list of projects I would like to do.

One pressing item on my list:  fabric napkins.  Because that is what you need when a newborn is on it's way.  Just kidding.  My oldest has hit a phase where she hates being messy or having a drip of water on her while eating, as well my toddler is too cool for bibs but is a pretty messy eater.  We were going through a lot of paper and cloth towels at meal times.  I wanted something more fun than worn out dish towels and that we could reuse more systematically.

I'm sure it has been done before, but I decided to make my cloth napkins out of flour sack cloth.  They are my favorite towel to have around for drying and covering baked goods.  I grabbed a pack of four at the store and chopped each towel into quarters.  I rolled one edge over twice and stitched, then on the last raw edge I made some colorful bias tape out of fabric scraps (I love yellow in the kitchen!).  At the last minute I decided to add some twill tape so I could hang them if I wanted.

Each family member gets one at meal times and afterwards if it's clean we hang it up to use next time.  As a result of my adorable napkins I now want to build a skinny buffet table for our kitchen (I have the supplies, just need some tools) to house said napkins, cookbooks, and other kitchen things.  Also I want to make an ottoman.  And an over-sized wax canvas bag (wax is in the mail!).  Don't try to follow the thought process of a full-term pregnant woman, we do ridiculous things.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Raglan T-Shirt

Partially inspired by the Spring Top Sewalong, partially due to the fact that most of my shirts no longer fit--I decided to finally sew a new top.  I used a pattern from my Sew U book (which I need to use way more) and altered the front bodice to have more room.

It came together quickly and will be easy to hem and take in a little post-baby.

I've already started plotting a few more t's to keep me from looking shabby this last stretch.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Handmade Teepee

We don't have much going on in our backyard and I wanted to have something fun for the girls to play with this summer.  There are a number of tutorials out there, but I remembered seeing this teepee tutorial years ago.  Like most everything I do, I used her pattern as a starting point and then changed it.

I wanted each section to be equal (rather than have a big opening like Rachel's version), so I cut my panels about 44 inches wide tapered to 5 inches wide at the top.  I thought a round opening would be fun so I just went for it.

I cut a few inches off the wood due to necessity (I may have wedged the teepee against our ceiling...).

I didn't want to sand the wood, but didn't want to hear about splinters all summer.  So I decided to use strips from a vintage sheet I had lying around to hold the wood in place.  I was a little short on the length needed so I added a strip to the bottom of the teepee as well.

I haven't pulled it outside yet, but so far the girls seem to like it and I think it's totally cute and girly. Hopefully hours of fun will be had in this girly teepee this summer.

Big Black Apple Dolls

I love trying to make something homemade for my girls for their birthdays.  This year I decided it would be fun to make them a doll.  I've always thought the Black Apple Doll was adorable, and have sewn a few in the past.  This time I wanted to make them a little more special.  I enlarged the pattern to give me a starting point and then got creative with the rest.

I'm totally in love.  Way more than the girls love them, but isn't that how it always is?

I stressed about the face and left it for last on both dolls.  That was silly to do.  What if I had messed up after I had finished the whole thing? 

I painted the eyes on and then stitched the eye lashes and mouth on.

The hair took forever.  My girls are young and I knew I needed to adhere the hair on pretty well.  So I stitched every piece of yarn on to the head.  I used pins to sort of weave the yarn on the head and then I tacked everything down.  I found the technique/idea here.

The peach doll has tiny suede moccasins..Ack!  I die over them.  My oldest doesn't like to wear shoes so I thought it would be fun to leave her doll barefoot.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Dotty Pillow

I have been in dire need of some fun pillows to offset my vintage couches.  The room was looking a little too seventies for me. 
I have a few more to make.  I love using hidden zippers, it makes the pillow come together so quickly.  Hello bees!  I like adding silly details.

Coat Rack

As with any new space, we soon discovered that the coat closet was not in the ideal place.  Most of the time coats were littering the floor in the kitchen or draped on couches.

After much online pursuing (and a good sale going on) I decided on these hooks .  They only went to three, but I wanted five hooks.  So I decided to get all 'no.1' hooks.  Who wants to be 'no.2' anyway?  I think I will re-number them in the future, but for now I think it's funny.

This should have been an easy project, but I ran into a few silly things (I highly suggest buying your own screws, the ones provided were poor quality). It's not a real project unless you've been to the hardware store more than once right?  Despite the setbacks, I'm glad to have somewhere to hang my coats!