Sunday 31 January 2010

Sofa inspiration

Hello Friends.
Before we get onto sofa goodness. I must say thank you for these two lovely blog awards.
Thank you to Devonaz

Thank you Marigold Jam
I just need to say these two awards come with rules and stuff. I'm afraid I don't do rules on my blog. Sorry. I do rules everywhere else, honest. It's just here I rebel. Sorry again, but even though I don't do the rules part, I really do appreciate the sentiment and though behind them. I just don't understand why if you want to give someone something you have to attach rules to it.
So once again thank you very much girls, I'm truly chuffed.

Sofa Inspiration.

Thank you, thank you, for all of your comments, thoughts and help searching for patchwork sofa covers. You've all been fantastic.
This chair is from Freds World. I really like this one, I think it's the colours. There is nothing here that jars or catches the eye too much and of course all of the fabrics are very pretty.
This one is from Make your way around Britain blog again the colours are all similar, nothing 'too in your face'.

This one is from Vintage Home, quite different to the others. Still floral and patch worked but this one has stronger colours and more contrast.

And lastly this one is from Posy. I love the use of the old embroidered linen and goodness knows I must have enough of those to cover my sofa, but I really don't think this would be hard wearing enough.


Soooo... I think I'm going to go for it.


That's maybe not the right thing to say on a blog, as now there are people out there with expectations. Lol!

I think Esta was right with her comment, when she said I could maybe do with a spotty or check fabric to break up the pattern a bit. Only I don't have any spot or check suitable and for me this project was to recycle the fabrics I already have without incurring any extra costs, apart from a couple of zips.

I think as Martha suggested, I will make it a little more 'organised' (fabric amounts allowing) I'll try and make the patchwork more symmetrical. If I use red on the front of one arm I'll try and do the same on the other one, that kind of thing.

Also I'm going to try and make the covers as fitted as I can, but make separate pieces. I'll make separate pieces for each arm that fit but just tuck well in down the cushion side. Then a separate piece for the back that will tuck in. Hopefully this will look like one big tidy cover but I'll be able to remove it in smaller parts for washing. Does that sound like a good idea? Well only time will tell.

Thanks once again for all of your comments, "for and against", it really has helped to hear what you think especially as a lot of you are seamstresses. I looked at a lots of websites for inspiration and tutorials which have been helpful, and now I'm going to do my own thing. After all, the fabric won't have cost me more than £10 as it's all from charity shops. I will be recycling, it will be a new sewing experience for me and it will make the sofa unique. If the worst comes to the worst, I'll have ready made pattern pieces for new fabric.
Hopefully it will be a win, win situation.
Keep your fingers crossed for me.
Well all that Internet searching wasn't getting any sewing done. I needed something simple to keep my hands busy. You might remember I acquired this piece of patchwork from the charity shop last year. It's a decent sized chunk but a very odd shape. To make the best use of it, I've started to unpick the hexagons from the top skinny end and restitch them down at the bottom to make a squarer shape.
I decided it would look odd if I started to add new fabrics as these are all from the 1970's or earlier and not the sort of colours or patterns that I have in my stash.

I'm so looking forward to getting it quilted so I can give it a wash, it's a little bit fusty!
Hopefully next time I'll have a little tutorial on 'raw edge machine applique' for you.
See you next time.
Love Fi x

Thursday 28 January 2010

Sofa solutions.

Edit; Just found this picture here, while trying to search Nostaligia at the Stone House (after a tip off from Caroline that there might be inspiration there) Sorry it's not at the bottom of this post but my Blogger won't cooperate with things like that.
Hello, come in.
Thanks for coming round. I really appreciate it.
Now then, did you remember to bring your interior design/soft furnishings hat with you today?
Where are my manners!
Tea, coffee? Cake? Let's get down to the business of the day. This is my new (new to me.) sofa. Isn't she a beautiful shape, just what I wanted... and I've been wanting a sofa for my kitchen for soooo long, over two and a half years. In fact, I've wanted a sofa for this kitchen since before we even moved in. Oh yes. It was always planned to have a snuggly, cosy, comfy sofa in here. I've been very patient, don't you think?

Notice Sneaky Dog looking very shifty, hmmm... we'll come to her in a minute.

It's quite big, 6'6", that's 2m long for you youngsters.
As you can see, it fits beautifully at the end of my kitchen.
I might even be able to move it where the dresser is with all the blue and white tureens. Putting the table at the end of the kitchen.

Now here's where I need your help dear friends. Notice how Mrs Sofa is now wearing a very unflattering stripey throw, accessorised with 3 plastic bottles filled with glass marbles?

Well here is the reason. Sneaky Dog!
Yes SD seems to think this sofa is hers. More specifically her new bed! (you can see her real bed on the floor at the side of the sofa.) Now as lovely as SD is, she is rather dirty, hairy and... aromatic, to put it politely.
See, I thought the bottles with marbles would roll as she jumped onto the sofa, making a loud rattle and frighten her off. Excellent idea but...Wrong!
Plan B, pile up laundry basket, shopping basket and anything else I can lay my hands on, on top of the sofa so there is no room for SD. Wrong again! SD just pushes them out of the way and settles down.
We are now on plan C, which is SD being shut out of the kitchen and sleeping on the landing, but none of us are happy with this. SD thinks that, as she has now moved closer to our bedroom, she might as well just sleep in our bedroom, so, much pawing of the door and whining ensues. Not good.
It's also a bit of a shock for the children when they get up in the middle of the night and open their bedroom door to be faced with a large black dog sat, looking excitedly at them, no doubt thinking 'is it time for breakfast?'!
This new sofa is actually far to good to be in a kitchen where it will be abused by teenagers, said dog, cooking smells, dumped school bags, balancing laundry baskets, etc. It really should be a sitting room/lounge sofa, but we don't all end up where we rightly belong, do we?
Sooo, short of chopping off SD's legs (so she can't jump up) or having her laminated (so she doesn't shed copious amounts of hair) I need to make some sort of covering for my sofa.

A throw is definitely out of the question. Anything that needs delicate, artistic draping, isn't going to look good for long in my house. Noooo, it would look like the laundry basket had tippled over spilling its abundant contents within minutes.
No, I need some sort of slipcover or fitted covers. This is where the heap of chintzy thrifted fabric comes in.
What do you think to this...

Yes. I know it's a bit of a shock,(don't choke on your tea) but you'll get use to it in a minute.
Do you think I could somehow patchwork a cover for the sofa?
To be honest I've never made any thing as big as this would be. I'm not even sure I could do it. There is an alarming lack of homemade, sofa covering inspiration out there in Google land. Here I've just draped what fabric I have, to give you an idea of what it might look like. I'd obviously patchwork it up more than this. I'd try and use different fabric on the seat cushion tops and the side edges and different fabric on the side and front end of the arms.

I'll have to make new cushion covers of my throw cushions too. I'm thinking something plainer, maybe like my vintage embroidered cushions. (like the ones on my sidebar)

What do you think?
Will it all be too much?
I suppose if it all goes horribly wrong I'm only wasting my time, (all of the fabric came from charity shops) and even then I can use it as a pattern for nice fabric when I can afford some.

Gosh! I'm pooped after all that folding, draping and tucking!
Come on then, get your thinking caps on. I want your advice on this one. All your thoughts, good and bad, pro's and con's, amazed laughs and guffaws at how awful it looks. Come on I can take it. Have I really lost the plot this time?

Sneaky Dog just wants us to hurry and make up our minds.
We're wasting precious napping time!
Itching to start stitching

Fi x

Thank you for all of your encouraging comments on my last post. A few of you asked for a tutorial. Now I'm no expert on machine applique but I'm happy to show you what I did, be it right or wrong. All I know is it worked for me! So I'll try and cobble something together for you, hoping it encourages you to have a go.
Edit: Just found this post on Vintage Home blog, thank you Caroline.

Tuesday 26 January 2010

Applique revealed.

I'm so,la. And I just can't hide,la,la,...
Hello my lovelies.
I'm soooo excited, I've been waiting to share this post with you for aaaaages! Ok a couple of days. But it seems like ages.
Remember, I couldn't show you because it was a gift. A new home gift as it happens.
I teased you with a sneaky peak of chimneyed roof top.
Well now I can show you aaaaall of it. Hoorah!

I'm a tad pleased with it, can you tell?
Calm, caaaalm... Yes I'm calm now. On the left is a business card with a lovely line drawing of said shop. On the right is my textile interpretation.

I have wanted to make an applique picture for yonks, but never got around to it. I think sometimes there has to be a reason to do something and so far I've not really had the reason. I really enjoyed making this, and I'm quite proud that I machined most of it without taking the needle out of the fabric. (don't know it that's the right way to do it, but it felt right to me.)

It actually started off as a card, but when it was finished it was too large for my blank cards, and Wonderful Man pointed out, it was too nice to be a card. (praise indeed!) Luckily, after a short forage around I found a new picture frame lurking in the back of the cupboard.
The most awkward part was trying to get it in the picture frame without the obligatory bit of dust or hair getting trapped behind the glass! It took three attempts! I hate framing pictures.
Now then, I have something to ask you.
Will you all please pop back next time to help me with my new sofa? We have an important decision to make and I need your advice and opinions, if you don't mind?
Good. I was hoping you'd say that.
See you soon.
Fi x

Monday 25 January 2010

Escape to Aysgarth.

Oh! Thank you so much for all the lovely, funny comments you left on my last post. You did make me laugh! You're truly a bunch of nutters!
This was our Saturday morning.
A drive to Aysgarth Falls for a little fresh air. That's Wonderful Man down there at the wet end.
The previous evening had been spent with a house full of teenagers (#1's 17th birthday celebrations) so we felt we needed to escape for an hour or so. (I can't understand how I have a 17 year old, after all I'm only 27! cough! cough!)

The dress code was wellies and woolly hats.
And as you can see we pretty much had the place to ourselves.
Bliss! (I wasn't going to mention it, but we also had a scrummy lunch at the National Parks Centre where we had left the car. Well it would have been rude not to!)
All these 20 minutes are working wonders for my old embroidery.
I found it quite unexpectedly in a box of lace and fabric from an auction. When I unrolled it I found all the original silks safely inside. It's previous owner had only completed a part of one corner, so I thought I would try and carry on with it.
Although I've had it for months now, it's never been fished out of the bag so often. I find it's the ideal project when I get to the end of the day and still haven't managed to do any sewing. This particular photo was taken while snuggled up in bed. A little embroidery and I feel I've done my bit, can't let the side down, can I!

Saturday 23 January 2010

Ta-daa! I made a...

Hello my lovelies.
How are you doing with your 20 Minutes a day hmm?
I must say I have found it difficult some days, but on the whole I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I'm getting done. I know if I hadn't become the 'ringleader' in all this, I would only have managed about 2 days sewing so far this year! Lol! Having to answer to you lot really has made me get up and get my **** into gear.
Any how, I said I would show you what I made with my applique didn't I?

Here is rather a big clue. A magnetic snap fastener!

Yes, a handbag!
Here is the back with my little MarmaladeRose label. It's the same shape as the CK bag only I made this one 2 inches wider.

Ta-daa! The front!
I also made the strap narrower and shorter, stitching it on this time with the buttons just for decoration.

I put some strong card in the bottom so that it didn't sag. (I wish someone could do that to my bottom.) And lined it with a pretty floral, including a couple of little pockets.
Sorry about the wishywashy photos, no natural light!
Do you like it? I'm really pleased with it, but I think I'll have to have another go - I prefer a rounder, squishy shaped handbag.
Here is a little taste of todays sewing session.

I'm afraid I can't show you anymore just yet as it's a little gift for someone special.
I think I'll take you to Aysgarth Falls next time you pop in, then I should be able to reveal my new applique after that.
Till next time
Fi x

Thursday 21 January 2010

CK bag and applique.

Today is a bit of a catch up. I keep checking in on all of my 20 Minuters (there are over 40 of us now!) to see your progress and get some inspiration. So I thought I'd show you what I've been sewing.
As you can see, one of my Christmas presents was the Cath Kidston book, 'Sew'. Inside the front cover of the book there was a packet containing pattern pieces for the projects in the book and fabric pieces to make the bag on the front cover.
I had a little difficulty with the button holes that you make on the strap, but I didn't give up. I got there in the end. All I can say is that it's a good job I practiced on scrap fabric first!

I swapped Caths button fastening for a magnetic fastener. (Don't ever buy these new. Buy cheap toilet bags from charity shops and cut out the magnetic fasteners. It's quite easily removed...and it's recycling.)
I also lined my bag with some pink spotty fabric.

It was very straight forward to make although I was a little disappointed with the finished size. It's quite square but on the front cover of the book I thought it looked more rectangular.
For one of my daily sewing sessions last week I was at a bit of a loss as what to do. Well it was late at night and I was just trying to fit some sewing in so that I didn't let the side down. lol. I sat at my sewing machine and attached the new darning foot that Santa brought me. The little square below was the result.

Not very exciting in itself, but that then inspired me (remember we talked about this) to experiment a bit more.

Obviously this meant rummaging in nearly every box of fabric I own, and making the biggest mess possible on the spare bed. As my wonderful man says, "You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs!" Very true.

I started to sew. As I turned over my work to trim the end threads I was pleasantly surprised with the reverse.

I used some old embroidered linen that had seen better days.

some ribbon, I love ribbon.

And I cut (after a lot of deliberation) into and old pair of Sanderson curtains that I found in the Charity shop. The base fabric is the softest needle cord with a lovely girly, floral print that I bought at last Novembers Knit and Stitch Show in Harrogate.
And I have to say...

I'm was very pleased with the end result.
Next time would you like me to show you what I've made with this piece of free motion, raw edge applique? (Sounds impressive when you use the technical terms doesn't it. Teehee!)
Happy sewing.
Fi x