I Spy Zebra Print Chairs in Modern Family

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Z = Zebra Print

Happy last post of the A to Z Challenge! I had planned to do Z for zippers, but I haven’t had time to try sewing a zipper yet. So instead, let’s talk zebra print.

I used to really dislike most animal prints, whether in the form of clothing, accessories or décor. But blogging about interior design and noticing the zebra print chairs on the set of Modern Family made me start to rethink things.

Animal prints are actually great natural patterns, and — used well — they can add visual interest to a space while tying together a color palette, making them a win-win in certain settings. Take, for instance, Gloria and Jay’s breakfast area in the show. Maybe it’s my love of parsons chairs, or maybe it’s my love of the classic contrast of black and white, but Modern Family’s zebra-print chairs really had me at hello.

Image via setdecorators.org

They tie in perfectly with the black-and-white tribal-patterned vase and romantic floral accessory in the background while adding just the pop of interest this neutral space needs.

Maybe when I get into sewing more décor, I’ll find a place to use zebra print where it’s sophisticated and beautiful rather than in your face, screaming over-the-top animal print — which is how I used to think of it. Oh, how tastes change!

What I’m Reading Now (An Unrelated Update)

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

U = Unrelated Update

Believe it or not, sewing isn’t my only hobby. (Shocker, I know.) I also love reading, and I can’t seem to get enough of books lately. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen how excited I was while reading the Hunger Games series. It was just so well written and unique.

A few books before those, I read the first two titles in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy — The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire. I was about equally obsessed with these as I was with the stories about Katniss and Peeta, but I didn’t read the third book immediately because a friend agreed to loan me her copy when she finished it. So my unrelated update is (cue drumroll): I’m now reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (the third and final book in the series), and I’m not gonna lie — I’m pretty excited about it.

Sorry if I sound a little crazy, but maybe (hopefully) there are other bookworms out there who completely know where I’m coming from. And if so, this post’s for you. What are you reading these days?

My Reupholstered Furniture: Ooh La La!

Friday, April 20th, 2012

R = Reupholstered

When discussing how Sew Alluring all began, I mentioned my mom’s “fabulous sewing skills,” noting that when she reupholstered the sofas in my living room, I was completely inspired to learn to sew myself. Today I thought I’d share photos of the beautifully reupholstered furniture my mom has generously done for me, and this includes more than the seating in my living room. She also reupholstered a wing chair for my bedroom — twice! — and two chairs for my previous dining setup.

My sofa and loveseat date back to my college apartment (and my sister’s college apartment before that, and I’m pretty sure they pre-date her college experience as well). Needless to say, they were a little tired.

Back in my UGA days, the set didn’t look nearly as good as it does now. It had a large, dated floral print, complete with unidentified stains and a few tears here and there in the upholstery. Classy, I know. I don’t really have pictures that focus on the sofas as they looked before reupholstering, but you can see the pattern in this picture of me and hubby on the old loveseat.

The sofas have been classed up a lot by the modern turquoise textile I found on a fabric-shopping trip with my mom, and she gave us the awesome gift of reupholstering as a wedding present (not to mention the wedding itself). We really lucked out (!) because now they look like this:

My mom originally reupholstered the antique wing chair I mentioned for my childhood bedroom in cute shades of blue and turquoise-green. When I got older, she kindly reupholstered it again in a gorgeous cream fabric I fell in love with.

Now it sits in a corner on my side of the bedroom. I’m still a bit horrified that Buttercup has adopted the chair as her unofficial dog bed, and she sleeps there every night. Thank goodness for Tide-to-Go pens! There’s a matching ottoman too, but that still lives in my parents’ house.

And let’s not forget that before I got my new dining furniture, my mom also helped me transform two ordinary chairs into parsons chairs because she’s just that awesome.

If you’re thinking the chairs match the simple pillow I sewed as my first project, you’re absolutely right. The chairs actually came first.

One day I hope to be able to reupholster furniture myself! Have you braved an in-depth sewing project like that?

Pinterest: An Inspiring Paradise for DIYers

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

P = Pinterest

I love Pinterest! It has a wealth of inspiration, for sewing and other crafty projects, decorating ideas, websites to check out, recipes to try, and so many other wonderful things. The best part is, it helps organize all these pictures so I can come back to them later, plus (yep, notice I couldn’t stick to just one best part…) Pinterest has a beautiful layout — it’s definitely perfect for people with an artistic eye.

A screenshot from my Sew Alluring board

I have a pinboard devoted to sewing, of course, and it’s appropriately named Sew Alluring — check it out for sewing and fabric-related treasures. I also have 12 other boards, for design ideas, DIY projects, rooms I love, general eye candy, nifty quotes, delicious-looking recipes, and things that make me smile, about 95 percent of which is pictures of puppies. For those of you counting, you’re right — I also have a few other boards thrown in the mix, bringing my current pinboard total up to 13. But I’m sure that’s subject to change…

Are you on Pinterest, too?

Organizing My Sewing Supplies

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

O = Organizing

I’ve become somewhat of a seamstress by now (or at least I’m trying), but leaving the sewing machine out all the time left my beautiful dining table looking like an absolute wreck. I knew I needed to find some way to corral all my sewing paraphernalia — a place to put things away when I’m not working on a project. And I found the perfect solution.

When I was a teenager, I used to oil paint and do all sorts of other artwork. My parents helped me make an art desk by using storage shelves and a cabinet with a board on top as the surface. We even covered it all in contact paper so it looked really adorable.

Since the art desk had just been taking up space in my parents’ house, and since I now need extra storage for my new hobby, the shelves and cabinet currently live in the extra bedroom in our apartment and house not only my sewing machine and supplies, but also part of my hubby’s enormous video game collection.

It’s really quite perfect, and everything is completely organized. I have a basket for the fabric pieces of current projects, bins for the sewing machine parts, a spot for my sewing bag, and, of course, the tabletop for the machine itself. I LOVE it. (By the way, don’t worry — I typically do keep the cover on my sewing machine.)




Where do your sewing machine and supplies (or other crafting accessories) live when you’re not using them?