A study in sewing

StudyMy desk in the study, which I don’t think I’ve ever shown you, is looking rather busy at the moment.  Since my sewing machine arrived on my desk, I’ve been sewing project after project.

Other than Baby Brain creations, my machine’s been whirring away on bunting recently.  I have a trip planned to Ikea in the next week, to have a look at some storage solutions – as you can see, it’s overflowing with buttons, fabric and paperwork!

Stool

Nursing stool

Well, the baby hasn’t arrived yet (only a week and a half to go to due date!).  In the meantime, I’ve been finishing off the upholstery side of the rocking stool that came with our nursing chair from my lovely friend Helen.  All it needed was a staple gun!

The edges aren’t the most professional, mostly because I don’t have a clue what I’m doing, but definitely fit for our purposes.

photo 1

All we need to do now is wait for the weather to brighten up a bit (more snow due this week, folks!), and then set about painting the wood white – I think it really would make it.

Fixing up the chair

Fabric

Following on from my post about the nursing chair, we collected the 5m of lovely velvety grey fabric that I bought from eBay (finally, a purchase that’s gone right!), and it came in a huge roll that seems a bit overwhelming!

The books from the library were useless.  Well, that’s a bit unfair – they were useless for my purposes. Lots of talk about hammers and ripping stuff up.  I’m just re-covering cushions, so I’ve returned the books and I’m just muddling through.

I’ve decided not to repaint the chair’s frame right now, because the weather is appalling and we’d never get it done outside at the moment.  Nor do I particularly want to be breathing in noxious fumes inside!  We can always do that later if the mood strikes us – it would definitely look brilliant in white.

Sewing cushionThe chair has a seat, back, two arm cushions and a stool that need re-covering, so I thought I’d start with the most simple of them all, the seat.

I started by cutting a piece of fabric bigger than the size of the cushion I was covering, big enough to go up the sides as well.  Using Charlie’s sewing machine, I stitched it inside out on three sides, stabbing myself repeatedly with pins.  Quite literally, there’s been my blood, sweat and tears over these cushions.

I then cut away the excess fabric around where I’d sewn and turned the cover the right way around.

Sewing cushion 2This made me happy, because it was actually starting to look like a cushion.

Because the sewing machine isn’t an upholstery one, try as I might, I could not for the life of me get it to stitch the fourth side because the cushion was too thick for it to get anywhere near the needle.  I ended up stitching velcro to each side of the join (having taken the cushion out again, harder than it sounds), and velcroing it shut.

I then made two tabs for the back, to attach it to the chair frame, again with velcro on, and again, much harder than I just made that sound (it took about five attempts to get it right).  Et voilà!

Nursing cushion

 

Chair fabrics

Upholstery fabrics

These are the three fabric samples I ordered for the nursing chair.  The bottom one’s very much like the fabric on our sofa at the moment, a slate grey, and the top one doesn’t look as nice in real life as it appears in pictures.  It just so happens (and this never happens!) that I like the cheapest one (the middle one).

It’s supposed to be grey-beige but looks like the platinum one we had our eye on when we went to the upholsterers.  It’s £8.99/m and the eBay seller lives about 5 minutes from my house so I can collect it.  The upholsterers thought we’d need 3.5m of material, so I think I might get 5m, just to be on the safe side.

Looking at the other items this eBay seller has, I’m wondering if I need more supplies.  They seem to have upholstery nails and jute webbing, and I don’t even know what they’re for.  Still awaiting these books from the library, hopefully they can shed some light on it.  I know I need some more foam for the arms, but I think the other cushions are fine.

My friend Charlie’s an angel and has already brought her sewing machine around for me to use once we’ve got the fabric sorted.  It’ll be a bit trial and error though because none of us can remember how to use a sewing machine.  It’ll be better than the Singer though as it has a foot pedal so there’s a real chance I might be able to sew in a somewhat straight line this time.

Nursery done!

Nursery

The nursery’s now been painted, hurrah!  In the end we went for Sorbet (Dulux) on two walls, which is a pale pink, and then B&Q’s Grey Hints for the rest of the room.  When the decorator was painting the grey, I was worried it wasn’t quite grey enough and it would just look dirty white, but it seems to have dried really nicely and they’re good contrasting colours.

We’d quite like to put a shelf or two up (especially as we have nothing to put the baby monitor and temperature egg thing on), so we’re on the look out for reasonable shelving, although I could always paint a pine one white I suppose.

Nursery paint

It’s really satisfying to have the room painted – the furniture is all finally where we want it now, so we’re just waiting for the arrival to really complete the room!

I’m expecting a few fabric samples from eBay for the nursing chair and stool and then I’ll have a go at reupholstering that – my lovely friend Charlie is going to lend me her sewing machine (thank you!).  And if it turns out like a dog’s dinner, I’ll put a throw on it.  Nobody need ever know…