Friday, September 30, 2011

One down 5 more to go ......

One of my neighbors emailed me a few weeks ago asking if I could make chair covers for her. I said yes without really thinking too much about it. The chairs are an odd shape is why she has not been able to buy covers. And she wants the covers because she is Indian and has 2 small children and apparently Indian food, though it tastes lovely, stains particularly bad. She said she now realizes why all the Indian moms she knew as a kid had the plastic covers on their chairs.

So she needed something that fits the chairs well but is washable. And will look nice in her new dining room. We settled on a price and set to work.

I have never before made chair covers without a pattern. And the whole reason she needed me to make the covers is the chairs are odd sized so I could not use a pattern. I was a little terrified. Until, I found mu inspiration, this great book Fabric Remix by Sandy Stone.  In is she shows you ways to use fabric to re-do things that is very creative and she makes it all sound so simple.

Step one: She brought the chair to my house. I made a pattern from it so that I could figure out how much fabric I need. Basically what I did was drape fabric over the chair and trace the lines of the chair. Then I had to measure out and draw in the seam allowances to make sure that the cover would be tight but have room to adjust if needed.

Step 2: Next I sewed the muslin pattern pieces together to see if the pattern worked. Fortunately it was mostly right on the first try and I just had to make a few small adjustments. So I estimated that we would need 2 yards of fabric for each chair.
These chairs are very tall and I decided I wanted to do the entire back in one piece. Each cover only has four piece, back, sides of the back and the seat.

Step 3: Go shopping for fabric. This was more challenging than my client expected, but I knew what we were in for. She fell in love with one fabric and then there was not enough of it. After a couple of hours she liked one fabric but wanted to make sure it was washable. So she took a sample home and washed it.

Step 4: Since the fabric washed well, I went back to the store to buy it. Fortunately it was still there and they happily cut 12 yards of it for me.

Step 5: Ignore and avoid this project for about a week. I admit I was nervous and was hiding from this project a little.
Step 6: Make the first cover. I have to admit it went so smoothly I was not sure why I ever doubted myself? I guess all artists / crafters question their abilities from time to time. But apparently I was up for the challenge.

So as of now I have one cover completely done and 3 more cut out so I just need to cut 2 more and get them done and delivered!

Peace Out - C

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