Sunday, January 14, 2018

diy roman shades

I've always been a fan of roman shades, and I've even made one previously, but I was looking for a different way. Something simpler.

I ordered this cool fabric from for the front fabric and got 2 yards per window. The cost per yard was $10.00. As it turned out, I had about the same amount of fabric in a white fleece already in my fabric pantry. With the cold winter months upon us, having a fleece lining would help insulate the windows.

I measured out the width of the windows and purchased some really cheap blinds. I paid $2.99 per blind and the hubby hung them for me.

I measured the same width of the blinds for the fabric plus 2 inches. The back fabric I measured the width of the windows minus 1.5 inches. Right sides together, I sewed them - just the right and left sides. I left the top and bottom open.

I ran my serger down both sides.

Then I turned them inside out and ran the serger over the top and bottom edges. 

I laid it out on the kitchen table and put the blinds on top.

I started cutting out the cord that keeps all the blinds together and removed it completely. Make sure you keep the cord that run through the blind slats untouched - this is what makes it move up and down.

There were 3 sections of string.

What was left was the string for pulling up the blinds. Then I started taking out most of the blinds, except for roughly 15.

A tip was to have the cord pull pointing towards you so it doesn't look bumpy under the fabric. You'll just pull the blinds up or down from behind the fabric.

I used up my fabric glue, but the Tacky glue worked just as well.

I really thought about gluing the blinds down onto the fabric. What if I wanted to wash them? How would I do that? Honestly, I can't remember a time where I've taken the fabric shades or other roman shades for washing. When the day comes, I may just take my steamer to them.

I measured about 4 inches per blind slot, then I glued the top and bottom over the shades. The glue attached itself to the fleece very nicely and I didn't even have to weight parts down.

After about an hour or two of drying, I hung them up.

I really like them!

The were very easy to put together, and they slide up and down nicely. I spent roughly $16.00 per window in materials and it took me about 6 hours to make 4 of them.

I love them and I think .... I may start on the bedroom.

Monday, January 1, 2018

diy oversized chart - part 3

My 2018 New Years resolution this year has a theme of "finish what you start." I'm going back through things I've started in the past year, both home and work with the intent of finishing.

This blog series I started last November, 2016 - the DIY Oversized Chair.

We rearranged some things in the house today, and we pulled the slipcover off the chair and washed it. I do love this canvas material, it washes up fabulously. 

Good time as any to take some finishing pictures and put this one to bed. I rifled through my camera and found some photos.

The biggest mistake I made with this chair was going expensive on the foam. Form for the seat and back cushion ran me a good $500. Don't do it - start with inexpensive stuff.

I thought the back cushion would be like a wedge, an angular cushion for the back. I bought this form way too thick for that I needed. In hindsight, I would have gone with really big pillows for the cushions.

The frame was done and I began stapling down some foam over the arms. Cotton went down over the seat and I used last years curtains for the under upholstery. The polka dots were really bright, so I just turned the fabric to the wrong size.

Cotton over the arms making them nice and soft.

Cutting and draping the upholstery fabric over the frame.

Until it was done.

If you done any upholstery before, it's the same. Drape, cut, and staple down. Here's an article I did on upholstery if you're having trouble visualizing.

Stapled down the spider guard. Keeps those little critters from rooting inside the furniture.

Little peak from the back.

I then started making the slipcover, and looking through my pictures I couldn't find any of my progress. But .... I did a blog of slipcovers here - the same techniques apply. Another mistake ... getting white canvas fabric, but thank goodness it's washable.

It only took me a year to post the end result, but here it is.

I think by the time I was done buying all the materials and putting in the labor, I probably should have just bought a chair. The pro to this is that I know the frame is solid - poplar is not going to break anytime soon. The cotton under lament is the best you can get - and the foam is guaranteed for 15 years. So, yea, I could buy one, but the life expectancy of this one is far longer.

Burke has been using the chair for over a year now, and it's big enough for him plus an occasional visit of the dog and daughter.

Would I do it all over again? 
Yep, probably. With one under my belt and the lessons I learned, the next one should be a cinch!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

how to make a christmas elf

I saw the cutest elf on social media and thought ..... what a great idea for Christmas for the little ones in our family.

I'll make one for each kid (happy excited face). Then I counted .... the total - 27. Still with my excited voice in my head, but less enthusiastic .... let's only make 1 per family. That brought my count down to 10.

I've attached the pattern and embroidery file (for Brother) below.

I thought a lot about the gender part of the elf. Do I put dresses on the girls and pants on the boys? Can I make just one elf in a gender neutral way? I made a couple different faces and showed them to my 3 year old grandson. When I asked him to pick the one he liked the best, he pointed to the one I purposely made more feminine. 

My mom came to visit for a week during Thanksgiving and she helped cut all the fabric. Thank goodness for mom cause cutting is the WORST!

While she was cutting, I embroidered the faces, shirts, and boots.

I sewed, then lightly stuffed the ears, attaching them to the neck and head back.

Then came the neck piece.

Legs were next. Sew together the legs, white shoe trim, and big elf shoes.

Fold in half and sew. For each arm and leg, leave a small spot between the notches for stuffing.

Turn them right side out.

Sew the little pleats in the arms.

Add the hands.

Sew together and turn right side out. Again, leave little openings between the notches for stuffing.

Next the body front. Sew the body top to the bottom, matching up notches.

Sew the legs to the body bottom.

Make sure the feet go the way you want.

Sew down the arms.

Here's the back bottom and top. There is one photo with 3 different phases of the construction. 

Sew the back and bottom to the front, matching up the notches.

Shove everything inside the body.

Turn the head right side out and shove inside the body too, matching up the notches. Sew. This is the toughest part of the whole thing. Double stitch to make sure everything stays together.

Pull everything right side out and stuff. I stuffed the head and body VERY firm.  The arms and legs were stuffed lightly to make them more bendable.

Hand sew up all the little openings that you used for stuffing and add the hat. I sewed the hats to the head. Then I used a little fabric glue over the back and where the bell was connected to the hat.

I could not be happier to put these guys into their boxes and send them on their way to their kid house. While I realize that not all the kids will be crazy about their elf, I do hope they know that each one was made with love and with them in mind.