Musings on Re-purposing My Sofa Fabric

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

First of all, I have to say, I’m sorry—I’ve totally been that girl who starts a blog and then goes on an extra-long hiatus. I could give a whole string of excuses, but let’s skip that and get to the good stuff: sewing and decorating!

Hubby and I have now moved into our house and started getting settled. The whole process has involved needing tons of new furniture, including our biggest item yet: a new sofa.

As much as I LOVE my old sofa—the one my mom reupholstered in a gorgeous light turquoise fabric—its bones were old and worn. The cushions were caving in and misshapen, and the lowness of the seating was hurting our backs. It was not a good situation, but I really didn’t want to part with that lovely fabric—it’s just so me, and I got every last yard that was left.

So before getting rid of the old sofa to make room for the new, my mom helped take the light turquoise fabric back off so we could re-purpose it elsewhere. I already have a couple ideas about what to use it for:

1. Barstools. Our kitchen has an amazing island, but it’s begging for barstools. I think the fabric would make a perfect seat cover that would tie them in with the adjacent den.

2. Ottoman. We have a very old, ugly ottoman that I’ve saved because it has so much potential. Recover it with the blue-green fabric and paint the legs, and voila—it would be adorable.

Happily, we have kept the turquoise sofa’s matching reupholstered love seat, and it works really well in our den. This room is still a HUGE work in progress, but this gives you the idea:

The new sofa is in our living room, and since it’s a neutral tone, I can sew fun, colorful throw pillows to my heart’s content.

What do you think I should use the old sofa’s soft turquoise fabric for?

My Mom’s Antique Singer Sewing Machine

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

My mom inspired me to learn to sew, and I remember using her antique Singer sewing machine when I was a kid. At the time I wasn’t interested in sewing décor or adjusting clothes for myself. Back then, my sister and I sewed sleeping bags for our Beanie Babies (remember those?!), and I made a few little fabric notebook covers — nothing difficult or fancy, but a precursor to my current interest in sewing. The Singer was not only my mom’s, but my grandmother’s as well.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, and especially to mine! I honestly can’t imagine a better mom.

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

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!

Fabric Yardage: Getting It Just Right

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Y = Yardage

When buying fabric for a sewing project, a seamstress wants to get just the right amount, including seam allowance. Figuring the correct yardage is a little like Goldilocks finding the bed that’s just right: Getting too much fabric isn’t terrible, but it does cost more; meanwhile, not getting enough fabric can be downright detrimental.

So I was thrilled when I found out the back of a sewing pattern shows the right amount of yardage needed for a project — broken down for different fabric widths and different sizes if necessary.

And like I’ve mentioned before, the pattern itself shows the most effective way to cut out the pieces to save on fabric — there’s as little wasted space as possible.

Gotta love a hobby that’s so user-friendly!

Sewing to Enhance Your Wardrobe

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

W = Wardrobe

When I first started sewing, I thought most of my projects would center on home décor. But so far, I’ve already used my sewing machine to hem a pair of jeans and make a cute apron, and I’ve seen tons of bloggers out there sewing adorable dresses and clothes that fit them perfectly.

I’ve even come across some wardrobe-related sewing projects I would love to tackle myself. Take, for instance, this sash skirt by Amy at This Big Oak Tree:

Image via The Big Oak Tree

I think it’s incredibly cute, and she offers a helpful tutorial on her blog. Have you sewn or altered any items in your wardrobe?