Friday, February 27, 2015


This vintage rattan chair and ottoman got new covers!

I forgot to look at the selvage to see the mill and pattern name of this fabric.  Sorry about that.  I do know it is an outdoor fabric (but not Sunbrella) and so is pretty indestructible.

The pattern was fairly large, so to take advantage of all the different scenes, I did not match the seat, back and ottoman pieces.  Also, if you turn them over, they still do not match.  Fronts and backs are all different.  It was the only way to not completely waste fabric.

From the side

I also made a couple of covers for the throw pillows my client already had.

There are also two 19" x 16" pillows in a tweed-y fabric for the newly reupholstered vintage rattan sofa.  I did not take a close-up, so they are only visible to the far sides of the pictures.  Again, sorry about that.

My client wanted me to slipcover this piece, but what you cannot see is how impossible this would have been.  It actually folds out flat, kind of like a futon.  A slipcover would not have worked.

This is the fabric that was on it before and the temporary solution that we came up with 4 or 5 years ago to put off having the sofa recovered at that point.  I made a sort of 'slip' that tied on the sides.  We were not trying to hide the fact that it was a slip, just extending the life of the sofa.

It worked very well, but the time came to do it properly.  And my client's husband had always wanted a green sofa, which it finally is.

This home in Pacific Beach is my clients' winter home; that is, they are here in winter to get out of the cold and snow of Rhode Island.  

Friday, February 20, 2015


I love small things: tiny seashells and sea urchins, sand dollars the size of erasers, minuscule buttons, small bottles, really anything lilliputian.  Not sure why or when this started, but for as long as I can remember this has been the case.  Maybe because I am tall, and growing up I hated it and wanted to be short, which really wasn't a possibility.  

When I saw this 2 1/4" tall object in a shop here on Coronado, I had to open it to see what was inside.  I was not disappointed!

Teeny, tiny colored pencils!  Twelve of them!

They are from Japan.

I, of course, would never actually use them because they wouldn't be so pretty.

I have them sitting on my desk and any time I notice them, I smile.  That's as good a reason as any to have them around, don't you think?

Thanks to my angel trumpet for lending its leaf for the first picture and to my chippy, weather-worn table for the others.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


I did this chair a while back, but never got around to posting it.  This fabric was one of the oddest I've ever worked with.  It looks like denim, but it is mostly, if not all, polyester and the reverse side is a black fleece; a faux-denim, if you will.  Very strange.  It is very soft, though, not even a little rough like real denim can be until it has been washed many times.  

My clients had just moved into the house, and I slipcovered it before the rest of the new furniture had arrived, so I was taking pictures of just the chair, trying not to show how much empty space there still was.

Side view

And the back, with the ever-popular covered buttons.  You can not tell from the photo, but the buttons are actually a stripe that is the sofa fabric (the sofa that had yet to be delivered at the time of the slipcover delivery.)

With a throw pillow, to add a bit of color.

Then, today, I was at my client's house measuring for something else and was able to get a shot of it, moved to its new 'home' on the other side of the room so that the buttons would actually show.

Along side the other chair that came with the (not pictured) new sofa.

Friday, February 6, 2015


My friend, Laura Petersen from Seaside Cottage Style, bought an old trailer and has spent the last year fixing her up.  Before the renovation, she had thought to name her Pearl.  After deciding on a decorating theme, kind of a mix of Marie Antoinette and beach, and a color for the outside, she changed her name to Delphine.  Delphine is French for dolphin, and Marie Antoinette's crest is a dolphin.

A view of the dining area, which is to the right just inside the door.

The sleeping area, which is to the left.

I made the coverlet, and so that it is reversible, used a very soft 'fur' on the back side.

Close up of the furry lining.

Standing in the sleeping area, looking towards the front of the trailer.  

I made the cushions for the dining area.  The fabric is a tweed in blue and khaki, with a solid khaki welting.  And if the cushion are flipped over, the other other is the solid khaki linen.

Throw pillow in a blue cherry blossom print with a pleated ruffle.

On the reverse side of the pillow, I used a creamy moire satin, which I washed to remove the water marks.  It actually came out very nicely, and makes a great back for pillows and welting.

Mademoiselle Delphine from the outside.

Friday, January 30, 2015


This small, occasional chair was in need of a make-over.  There was nothing really wrong with the upholstery; it just was tired, and my client wanted more color in the room.

The solution?  A blue and white ticking stripe.  My client ordered this fabric from  It was a great weight and it washed very nicely.

As with any barrel chair, it is always more challenging to do a slipcover.  There has to be lots of darts and seams that a less rounded chair would not require.  Still, the stripe helps hide those seams and darts.

In this case, the buttons were a necessity to get the slipcover on and off the chair.  We kept the skirt short so as to not weigh down the look. 

(I also made arm covers out of the same fabric for a chair in the bedroom of my client's son, though I did not take a picture of that.)  

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Here in Coronado we have high rise buildings just to the south of the Hotel Del, called the Shores.

Part of my job was to make new covers for the sofa throw pillows.  

I came very close to making the pillows and the new seat cushions with the wrong side of the fabric.  Luckily, I was out walking and ran into the designer on this job and asked, in passing, if the blue side of the fabric was the right side.  She said, no, the black side.  That could have been a disaster had I not asked! The funny thing is either side would have worked.

The 'new' bar stools.

This job was more of an upholstery job, and even though I am NOT an upholsterer, they turned out really well.

The 4 chairs around the glass-top table.

From the back

The renovation is still in progress, but the new pillows and cushions have gone along way to make the condo look fresher and more up-to-date.  Of course, the view of the Pacific Ocean never gets old!

Friday, January 16, 2015


I delivered these large, very large, cushions to my client's home in Rancho Santa Fe the day before Thanksgiving.  We were having temperatures in the eighties at that time, so they needed to be done so my client and her family could take advantage of the gorgeous weather.

When I say they were large, I'm talking the two side cushions were 94" long!  It's not so much that making cushion covers that long is the problem.  No, it's more that when you have batting wrapped foam that long, it gets unruly, to say the least.

My client chose a brown Sunbrella to more or less blend in with the brown wood of the trellis that covers the seating area.  We used a light aqua for contrast welting and throw pillows to mimic the color of the pool water.

I apologize that the pictures are not better.  I was shooting in the middle of the day, with not a cloud in the sky and bright sunshine.  The shadows were quite challenging.

A close-up of the welting and throw pillow in aqua Sunbrella.

Friday, January 9, 2015


I never make anything for myself.  That is partly because I don't pay myself to make things for me, but mostly it's because I sew most every day, for most of the day.  So when I don't have to work, I simply cannot sew.  I was sick at the end of 2014/ beginning of 2015 and decided that I was going to make myself a present.

I got this adorable hot pink polka dot fabric at Home Fabrics for just $8 per yard.  I washed it to pre-shrink it so that I can just throw it in the washing machine when it gets dirty.  

I have had this Parsons chair for, well, ever, and had never taken the time to make a slipcover for it.  Since it is upholstered in white duck cloth, it has gotten really grubby.  I got tired of looking at it and decided to, finally, do something about it.

The slipcover has a button-back, though it is really difficult to see.  The buttons are solid pink.

Now, when I walk into my sewing room/office each morning and throughout the day,  I am greeted with a bright, pretty new gift to myself.  
And I deserved it!

Friday, January 2, 2015


This slipcover was a hurry-up-and-get-it-finished-before-Christmas job.  The fabric is from Lee Jofa and the pattern is Jacobean Tree.

I made it from the existing slipcover, which style was exactly what my client wanted.  Besides, the day I went to measure and cut, my client was talking to me and I could not concentrate, so I chose to take apart the current one to use as the pattern.

Whoever made the one I took apart did not do it like I do...that is, I cut half and flip it over since it is a mirror image.  This one, not so much.  I had to cut it exactly as the taken apart pieces were so it would go back together properly.

My client insisted I take this shot as it shows the other two pieces I've done in the room, the white denim chair and ottoman in the center and the light blue denim chair at the top of the picture.

I got a little nervous that the slipcover might not fit even though I was using the slipcover I took off, so I pinned the entire thing together and took it over to make sure.  It seemed to fit fine, but the original slipcover had just a 1/2" turned up hem and the new one looked like it might be just a tad short.  The solution was to add a 2" ruffle at the bottom, which, in the end, was the icing on the cake, so to speak.

My client loved it!  She kept saying it looked it should be in an English cottage with a low-beamed ceiling.  I was also very happy with how it turned out.