Friday, April 4, 2014

My clients moved from the suburbs of Minneapolis to Coronado, and though they had furniture that worked well here, the fabrics did not.  

This linen is much lighter and airier than the dark brown paisley that these chairs were wearing before.

The challenge (is there ever NOT a challenge in my jobs?) for the back cushions was they snapped on to the chairs.  The little tabs were sewn into a seam about 4" down from the top and went around the back and snapped underneath.  The only way to make this work was to cut off the tabs, cover them with the new fabric and leave just the snap head out.  Because of where they snap, you cannot see the little bit of original fabric that shows.

This bench in the hallway is from IKEA and the cushion is velcroed to the top.  If I've never mentioned it before--I HATE VELCRO--and avoid using it at all costs.  In this case, however, the solution was to cut the existing Velcro off and sew it on the new bottom piece, so the cushion stays in place.

I do not normally do upholstery, but dining chair seats are usually doable.   Let's just say these 6 chairs were a big, fat pain and took about 20 hours to remove the old fabric and all the staples.

Again, this fabric adds a lightness to the room.  And the existing yellow tablecloth matches the new seat covers.

Best of all, my clients love the new look.

Friday, March 28, 2014


My client got these cushions at Pottery Barn for a ridiculously low price.  The only problem was the color…it was bright green and not what she wanted.  Luckily, she knew the solution was to slipcover them.  Problem solved!

We ordered the fabric from Outdoor Fabrics, which has every conceivable Sunbrella made and at great prices.

I did these two chaises last year.

Then a few weeks ago, after attempting to wash these round cushions, my client realized new covers for the three of them were warranted.  

Fortunately, the fabric was still available.  Now, her patio is all dressed up and looking good!

Friday, March 21, 2014


Looks simple enough, but it wasn't.  Especially since I had never made a pillow like this.  First, I had to figure out how to do it.  So I googled 'double flanged pillow.'  I finally found an image, of a linen pillow, that made sense and I printed it, so I could continue to refer to it.

What made this more challenging was the fabrics--the main fabric is a wool and cashmere blend, not horribly heavy, but not as lightweight as linen; the pink tweed is also a heavier weight.  

The other challenge was the amount of fabric.  There was only exactly enough to make the pillow.  There were also 3 other pillows out of the wool/cashmere in a somewhat different style, what I call a fake flange.  The 'flange' was not a separate, mitered piece sewn to the body of the pillow.  It was just a larger than finished size that was then stitched 1 1/2" in from the outside edge, giving the illusion of a flange, when, in fact, it isn't a true flange.

Anyway, because I had never made a pillow like this, or even the other ones, it took far longer than it should have.  And though I do like the way it turned out, I won't mind if no one ever asks for this style again!

The designer has yet to see it, but I am sure she'll be happy.  

Friday, March 14, 2014


I made these Euro (26"x26") pillows for a client's daughter's master bedroom.  It is an embroidered silk.  The thing I've always noticed about these silk fabrics that have been embellished is how challenging they can be to work with.  Oh, they look beautiful in the store, but I think that whomever designed these fabrics has never had to sew on them.

Originally, my client wanted self-welting.  The problem with that on this particular fabric was the bulkiness that the bean-shaped, raised 'bumps' on the lines of embroidery presented.  Not only were they difficult to stitch through, they were not going to allow the welting to really work very well.  Since I cannot control where those bumps were, I needed an alternative.

I told my client this and asked if I could go to Home Fabrics and see if they had a brush fringe that would work.  She agreed, and off I went.  Luckily, they had one (on sale for $3/yard) that was perfect.  It brought out the variations of color in the embroidery thread and was a heck of a lot easier to deal with.  The pillows turned out lovely, and my client, and her daughter, loved the finished product, which made me happy.

Friday, March 7, 2014


Seaside Cottage Style is my friend, Laura Petersen's, business.  You can see all the fabulous things she does on her site.  

I did these faux-wing chairs for her living room.

Buttons, of course, down the back.

The cool looking burlap lamp shade that is visible in all these pictures is one of Laura's creations.

This view is from the kitchen, looking towards the front of the house.

And the sofa is wearing a slipcover I did for her about 7 years ago!

Friday, February 28, 2014


Last year at this time, I was spending 10 days in the Bahamas on Cat Island at Fernandez Bay Village. While there, Pam Armbrister, one of owners of the resort, ask me to make pillows for all of the cottages, once I got back to California, that is.  To make it more cost effective for her, I had her order already-made pillows from IKEA, remove the inserts and ship me the covers so that I could get them printed.  There were total of 30 pillows, 10 each of three different sayings.

My parents are there right now and sent me a picture of the pillow on the bed in their room.

Our plane from Nassau to Cat Island


The beautiful water, and yes, it really is that color!

Relaxing in the hammock

The beach

The cottage we stayed in is called The Beach House

Shoes are definitely optional and bare feet are welcome everywhere


Stand up paddling

The whole crew- in the front, me, my mother, my nephew and back row, my stepfather and my brother

Friday, February 21, 2014


This boat is being renovated, so the pictures aren't so great.  You can get the idea, though, of what I did.  Perhaps when it is all done, I can go back and take better shots.

All of the striped curtains are in the master stateroom.

They are on three sides of the room, but I can't get far enough back to show this.

On this wall, there are 8 separate inverted pleat panels.  Luckily, they range in length from 18" to 20", so they were a little easier to work with than 90" panels.  They are lined in blackout and when all are shut, the room is definitely dark.

Yes, there are portholes behind the curtains.

I could have cropped me (to the right in the mirror) and Pat (to the left, owner of Cotier, which is the shop this job was done through), but I figured you need the perspective.

This is in the salon.  I'm not sure why these turned out so dark, but they did.  

In this area, there are windows on both sides.  The inverted pleat panels are strictly decorative and do not function. 

I also made the small pillow in the same fabric as the bedroom curtains.  It has a contrast welting from the tie-back fabric.  The larger pillow is available at Cotier, and comes in many different colors.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Originally, my client wanted black slipcovers.  I told her with her dark wood floors, I thought it might not look good.  With a sofa, a chair and a half and an ottoman, it seemed to me like it would be too dark in the room.  Even with the high ceilings and French doors on three sides.  But, ultimately, it would be her decision.  In the end, she changed her mind and went with white.

The sofa has a bed inside, so I put a zipper around the deck so you can get it out without removing the slipcover.  

The chair isn't photographing that way, but it is considered a chair and a half, and it is pretty big.

Buttons down the back for easy on and off.  The sofa has them, too.

The family room - looking so much better.  I forgot to take pictures of the before slipcovers, but just know that they were way past their 'expiration date.'  They no longer fit properly because fabric does continue to shrink, and after repeated washings, they were a mess.  Not to mention the skirts were coming off and had to be pinned back in place.

My client no longer has to be embarrassed when someone comes to visit.  She's happy, which makes me happy!

Friday, February 7, 2014


It has been years, like almost 20, since I did slipcovers for leather furniture.  The first time I did it, the pieces had no loose back or loose seat cushions, and this made for a true slip cover -- in that it slipped because there was nothing to grab onto.  I swore then that I would never do it again.  And I didn't, until now.

My clients wanted to have this sofa and loveseat slipcovered.  I explained to them why it might not be such a good idea, but they really liked these pieces and wanted to do it anyway.  Since they were in the process of moving away from Coronado, and to make it a little easier for me, I went ahead and cut a pattern using a fabric I had, while the furniture was still close by.  All they needed to do was find a fabric they liked and I would then make the slipcovers.

Jump ahead three years, and they still had not decided on a fabric.  And by this time, they had moved back to Coronado.  Finally, they found a heavy linen that they loved and ordered it.

Because they like a 'cleaner,' non-wrinkled look, they decided against having me wash the fabric, and will have the covers dry-cleaned.

Both pieces got the buttons down the back, more for the look than out of necessity in getting the slipcover on and off.  And the wrinkles here will fall out in time.  It is very difficult, oh yeah, impossible, to fold a slipcover, so wrinkles do occur.  The overall look and feel, though, is not that of linen, but of a heavier fabric.

The 'new' sofa and 'new' loveseat with their existing throw pillows.

Although these turned out nicely, and having loose seat and back cushions definitely helps, I still would discourage slipcovering leather.  The important thing, though, as always, is my clients were happy with the finished product and can still enjoy the furniture they love.