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Posts Tagged ‘repurposed’

Detail of Sofa Pillow

One of the many pieces of advice I have heard everywhere regarding the pregnancy is to get myself a body pillow.  I heard this from so many people and read it in so many books that a few months ago I decided that I could not live without one and picked one up at Target.  Unfortunately the body pillow was not my passport to comfort and deep sleep.  These people and books all forgot to mention the other thing that comes with a body pillow…extreme heat!  And I already feel like my body temperature is about 10 degrees above normal.

But oh well.  It was worth the try.  I found another great use for the body pillow when I took it out to my living room and found that it fit the back of my sofa just about perfectly.  Mike and I tried sitting on the sofa with the pillow behind us, and it was oh so comfortable! 

I covered the pillow with some fabulous fabric that I found shopping at the Los Angeles Fashion district (yellow, of course, and only $2 a yard!!) while visiting family.  One of these days my living room is going to go into yellow overload, but maybe I can squeeze just a tiny bit more of my favorite color into it…

I made up the pattern for the pillow as I went along.  I measured the length and width, and cut the front rectangle from that measurement.  For the back, I divided the length in 2 and added a couple inches, and overlapped the pieces to make an envelope style closure.

Sofa Pillow

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Upholstered Chair Detail

I used the rest of this week to finish up that upholstered chair I was working on over the weekend, and it looks amazing!  I love the fabric, and it goes so much better in the room!  The living room now has the grey loveseat that I recovered a while back, and three yellow chairs.  I feel like I am getting closer and closer to having this place just right.

Next on my list is to make pillow cases to cover some bright red pillows I currently have on the loveseat.  Now that I have recovered this red chair in yellow, I don’t think the pillows go with the room anymore.

Upholstered Chair

When I think back on the two upholstering projects I have worked on, I realize that maybe I should have started with this one instead of the loveseat.  This project went so smoothly, as the upholstery is very simple and basically a “slipcover” to begin with, so there was no stapling, hammering, or changing padding involved.  If you ever consider re-upholstering any of your furniture, I recommend starting with something small and basic, it will help boost your confidence for your bigger projects!

Have you ever done any re-upholstering?  What was your experience like?  Did you start by dipping your pinky toe in the water, or did you dive in head first?

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More upholstery

After feeling sick this week, I decided to take it a bit easy on the weekend. I did get some stuff done, though! I was able to work on reupholstering a chair that I have had for a long time, that needed a little face lift. I am still in the process of decorating our new place, and the colors in this fabric go much better with the other furniture in the room (the chair used to be red). This project is going much more smoothly than the sofa I recovered this summer…it is much smaller and much less complicated! As you can see, I have yet to sew all the pieces together, but my guess is that it will take very little time to finish this up.

What did you do this weekend…did you enjoy any Halloween festivities? Are you happy to be done with October and on to November?

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The longest work-in-progress is finished!  I started trying to recover this couch back in May.  When Mike and I decided to do it, we thought this would take a lot of work, but not too much time.  Four months later, I know that we were wrong (about the time thing, not about the work thing)!

It feels so nice to have this project done.  Our new place has not felt like home since we moved in because we haven’t really had much time to make everything nice in there.  It really feels like we have conquered a huge obstacle here.  Now I feel like I can get on with making some curtains to go on those curtain rods, and some pillows to go on the “new” couch, and maybe even a coat of paint to tone down the harsh white walls!  Ugh!  The list really never ends!

Actually, this leads me to a question I have for you…do you have any home design blogs that you really enjoy reading?  I am in desperate need of inspiration!

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As promised, today I am sharing some more details about my leather bag.  First I should tell you that I fashioned this bag after a lovely bag at Anthropologie (suprise suprise).  Mine turned out a little more square-shaped, but for my purposes I think that is better.

The first thing I did was rip out the seams of the jacket.  I left the back of the jacket in one piece even though it was made up of 4 pieces of fabric because I knew that I would want to use it as one piece.  There was also a front flap and two cuffs that I removed from the main body of the jacket but did not deconstruct completely because I wanted to use them as they were for the strap.  I took apart everything else.  I discarded the jacket lining because it was not in very good condition and I wanted something with a little more style to use as the lining of the bag.

I had some trouble deciding on what part of the jacket to use for the main back piece of the bag.  I finally ended up taking the two front pieces (they were separate because of the zipper) and sewing them together. This made a large enough piece to cut out the back.  The added bonus of using the front of the jacket for the back of the purse is it had 4 pockets that I was able to include.  These are really useful for storing my phone and wallet because I can access them very easily and they are more secure than storing things in the front pocket.  What the back of the bag lacks in style it certainly makes up for in convenience.

The pockets on the front of the bag were cut from the arms of the jacket.  It was helpful that the jacket was pretty large because I was able to use some of the “smaller” parts, like the arms, for some suprisingly large pieces.

I bought most of the hardware that I used on the bag, with an exception of the zipper.  I reused the zipper that was on the jacket.  That worked out really well because it was the perfect size for my bag.  If I was making a smaller bag I probably would have used the zipper still, but I would have cut it to size and used thread to stop the zipper from coming off.

To line the bag I made another bag out of the striped fabric and sewed it to the inside of the leather bag.  I didn’t add any pockets to the inside because there are so many pockets on the outside, but I may end up adding some if I need them.

Finally, I made the strap from the cuffs and front flap of the jacket, which ended up being just the right length!  I can wear it over one shoulder comfortably, like I usually do with purses, but it is also long enough to put over my head, across the chest so that I can carry it easily while riding my bike.  Yay!  No more messenger bag for me!

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This is what I was up to over the weekend…refashioning a leather jacket into a shoulder bag!  Mike has been doing lots of studying, so I have had plenty of time on my own to work on my sewing/crafting (though I never seem to have enough time to think that trying to tackle my un-upholstered couch is a good idea…I think I’ll have to work up to that one!).  I have heard about people refashioning leather jackets and then selling them on Etsy, and I decided to give it a try.

This was my first time sewing with leather, and I found out quickly that it is a bit different than working with regular fabric.  One thing that I found I had to be careful about was once you poke a hole in the leather, there is no getting it out.  This meant that I could not use pins to hold the leather in place, which was a little difficult at first, but since leather is so sturdy, I soon got the hang of it.  The leather would pretty much go wherever I told it to, unlike fabric, which can sometimes have a mind of its own.

The permanent hole problem also showed up when making the actual stitches…I had to be extremely careful to line everything up properly, and only sew the seams once to avoid having a whole bunch of extra holes in my bag.

You can see from the pictures that I haven’t quite finished the bag yet, though I am getting really close.  I still want to put a couple of tabs on the pocket flap that will go through the little loops on the bottom of the pocket.  I have made the liner for the bag, but I still have to put it in and attach the zipper.  And of course I have to put a strap on it.  I will post a finished picture of it on Wednesday so you all can see how it turned out.  I will also give you some more details on what parts of the jacket I used for what.  Because a leather jacket has only so much fabric, you have to be a little creative in using it.

How was your weekend?

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I have had this dress shirt for a few years now.  I originally bought it because I loved the fabric, but it was a bit to big for me, so I never really wore it.  I have been admiring all the summer tunics that have been in style this summer, so I decided to make the top into a tunic.

What you will need:

  • dress shirt that is two sizes too big for you
  • seam ripper
  • matching thread
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • straight pins
  • iron

1. Remove the collar with the seam ripper.  Re-stitch the along the top where the collar once was.

2. Remove all the buttons from the top.

3. Measure 6″ down the front and mark with a pencil or a straight pin.

4. Turn shirt inside out.  Align the front button panel with right sides facing.  Secure with pins.

5. Stitch just on the inside of these button panels, starting at the bottom and ending at the mark you made in step 3.  Iron seam open.  At the top, the button panels will be folded in half.

6. Stitch the top of the folded button panels at 1/4″ (or smaller if the button panels are smaller).

7. With the shirt inside out, measure 6″ (more or less for shorter or longer sleeves) up each sleeve and mark with a pencil or straight pin.  Cut sleeves at this mark.

8.  Fold cut sleeve over at 1/2″ and iron.  Stitch along sleeve edge at 1/4″.

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