Friday, September 12, 2014


The width of this doorway/opening to the backyard is 180".  When the designer told me she wanted one panel, not a pair, that would stack to the far left side, I told her it was too big an expanse, that there had to be a center support because the weight of the panel would bow the rod.  And with a center support, half the rings would be stuck on the other side of that support.

That Cara Clancy is so cleaver, though!  She had a rod made with the needed center support and special rings that slip past the center so that panel CAN be pushed to one side!  I was so amazed that this was even possible, but as you can see from the picture above and below, it's all on the left side of the rod.

We chose to less fullness than normal for the inverted pleat drapery panel. The usual is 2 1/2 - 3 times full.  In this case, I made it only about 1 1/4 times full. But because the panel will almost always be open, the less fabric in the panel, the less the window will be covered, and it still looks nice when it's closed.

The stripe even looks nice all bunched up.

More of an over all view of the dining room with the drapery panel shut.

Saturday, September 6, 2014


This bed in the guest room of my client's home has a very vintage-y vibe to it.  Though it looks to be old, the fabric is new.  

I made the 3 pillows - the 2 Euro squares and the long pillow in front.  (The headboard was done by the upholsterer.)


The Euro shams have a flat flange with pleated corners and the long pillow has self-welting.  We used the solid fabric on the back, as well.  The green makes the black and white really pop!

The print on the fabric, not to mention it being black and white, is what gives it the 'old' feel.

Friday, August 29, 2014


Though I've never been a big fan of's itchy, it smells funny, it's hard to work burlap is a whole other story.  

This roman shade is in the downstairs powder room of the house I've been working on with Cara Clancy.  To give it a little more pizazz, I added grosgrain ribbon, which shows best when the shade is closed.

The designer wanted bigger folds, so instead of six inches between tucks, I did ten.  The bigger the space, though, the more of the window the shade covers even when pulled all the way up.  In this case, the view is of the fence and the neighbor's house, so more coverage was preferable.

It is very challenging to take pictures in the afternoon of windows that face west.  Even the flash can't knock out the sunlight.  Hence the side angel shot.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


I did not take a picture of the draperies, but you can see them to the right in the picture below.  My client looked and looked for a suitable fabric to make the bed skirt.  Nothing she found really worked.  Then she noticed how well the draperies matched the comforter, so she went back and got more of the panels for the skirt.  

Getting skirts onto beds is always a challenging proposition.  And king beds are even more so.  I have to say,  I've never seen the job go more smoothly.  Not exactly sure why, but after I got the skirt on the deck and my client's husband came back in the room to help her put the mattress back on, I was on the floor holding the skirt in place.  It never moved, even when the mattress had to be slid over.  Very strange, but very nice!

I do not normally get to take pictures because so many times I simply drop the bedding off and never see the finished product on the bed.  I use duck cloth or denim for the deck, which is a lot more stable than using lining fabric.  Maybe that's why it stayed so nicely in place.  Whatever the case, it looked great and my clients were very happy with it.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


My client has two little boys.  Both when I went to cut the slipcovers and to install the finished product, I had to wade through legos, lots and lots of legos.  And all kinds of other toys that little boys love.

Both of these chairs are upholstered in a lovely damask, a cream colored damask.  Not the best color for little boys.  So a dark gray Sunbrella was chosen for slipcovers.

The good thing is the slipcovers can be removed for cleaning or simply to change the look of the room.

I did a short skirt on both chairs for a lighter look.

Buttons down the back of this chair.  The other one did not need to have an opening for ease of getting it on and off.  Since they are different frames, I decided to go without buttons on the one.

The chair below is the above chair in its 'natural' state.

Friday, August 8, 2014


This is the fourth slipcover I've made for this chaise.  With 3 large dogs, slipcovers are a way of life for Kim Kelly.  And linen is one of her favorite fabrics in the world.

This is a tiny black and white check, though the entire time I was working with it, I kept thinking it was a dark navy blue.  I also kept thinking what a nice dress it would make.

In her house, it indeed looks like it's black.

I did the small ruffle on the cushion in place of welting.  I also made the skirt a little less gathered than I normally do.

In its new home.

Same chaise, earlier cover.

And this was the very first slipcover I did for it.  I do not have a picture of the other one, the one that Kim sent home with me in April so that I could take it apart and use it as the pattern to make the new one.

Friday, August 1, 2014


Apparently coral is the new black.  

Very heavy fabric with very heavy cotton loop fringe meant using my industrial machine.  Luckily, I am no longer afraid of it.  When I first got it, well, that was a totally different story.  Now, I am just glad I have it when I get these fabrics that my regular machine could never sew on.

This embroidered coral (in coral) is a very popular fabric these days.

A herringbone (also in coral) with a tassel fringe.

The love seat, sofa and all the fabrics for the pillows are from Cotier here on Coronado.  The other pillows seen on the love seat are available from the store.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Well, this is not really MY car.  But it is in my favorite color!  I saw it on my way home last week from delivering the slipcovers in my last post.  I had to go around the block to go back and take pictures.  I don't know the year, or even if this is its original color, but I LOVE it!

It's such a happy bus!

 Even the surfboard on top matches.
And the VW on the seats.

Friday, July 18, 2014


It's kind of hard to see, but this fabric is a light blue and khaki stripe, and goes perfectly in this very neutral home.  

The button-back is really just decorative.  When I put the slipcover on the chair, I did not even unbutton it.  This chair does float, though, and the buttons are more interesting than a plain back.

Throw pillow with self-welting

Flanged pillow

The blue of the chair picks up the blue of the swimming pool.  

Friday, July 11, 2014


It's hard to tell from the pictures, but this chair is HUGE!  I mean, it was so big that I wasn't sure it would make it through my front door.  It did, by about a half an inch.  And if that weren't enough, the repeat on this lovely Designers Guide fabric was also quite large, something like 36".  A normal chair usually takes around 10 yards of fabric, even when matching is involved.  A larger than normal one might take 11.  This took 14 yards, and because I had to center all the cuts, there was a lot of wasted fabric.

I did a pretty good job of getting it all matched.

Buttons down the back are really more decorative than anything else.

Because the chair was so big, larger buttons were called for, as well.

This is the chair in its new home.

It looks so much better here than in my workroom/living room.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


This is where the 'Other,' as in A Little of This That and the Other comes in.  Clearly, I did not sew anything here.  I painted all of this furniture years ago when I lived in Chicago.  The first piece was old, but not valuable.  As much as I dislike dark wood, I would never ruin a piece that was worth something.  My house at the time was very colorful and these pieces all fit in nicely.  

I am not so good at drawing, but I have a pretty steady hand.   I made a stencil for the flowers on the top of the above piece , but painted them free-hand.  Same with the border.  I kind of penciled it in first and then painted it.  The pulls were an ugly gold, so I replaced them.

This dresser was purchased at a thrift/junk store in my Rogers Park neighborhood.  It was also an ugly dark brown.  I think it looks so much cheerier in bright lemon yellow.

The rocking chair was one I got back when I was 23 years old and was meant for rocking the baby I forgot to have.  I kept it until about 3 years ago, when I finally sold it.  It was a great chair, but I had no place for it in my house and thought it should go to someone who would actually use it.

The cedar chest below is still in my garage with wool sweaters in it.  I would put it in the house, but there is no room.  I suppose one of these days, I will sell this as well.

I know that chalk paint is all the rage now, but I like clear, bright colors.  I have an armoire that is begging to be painted.  I just have to decide on a color...