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...  

Friday, June 27, 2014


I have been sewing like crazy and this is about all I have to show for it!  And this was a birthday gift for a fellow yogini.  Several weeks back I posted pictures I was having printed onto fabric, and this is the only one I've made so far.

Of course, that's because I've been making so many other pillows that I am actually getting paid to make, that making my photo pillows is not a real priority.  I made 3 giant, and I do mean GIANT pillows today.  The down inserts are 30" x 30"!  The actual pillows were 34" square.  I also made 2 smaller pillows, which really aren't that small until you put them beside the jumbo ones.  They took 24" inserts and were 28" with the flange.  But I have no pictures of those.  They got picked up and delivered to their new home.  One of these days I am hoping to get photos of all the things I've made in the last 2 months.

Friday, June 20, 2014


This is the second time I have done this sofa and chairs.  Last time, 3 or 4 years ago, my client chose a tiny blue pinstripe.   This time it is a golden yellow interlocking chain print.  As I was telling her, in some ways a pattern like this is easier, and in some ways, harder to work with.

It makes it easier to cut out, especially when the pattern is so even, as this one is.  And it didn't hurt that it is an outdoor fabric and has a lot of body to it.

What makes it a bit more challenging is it has to be matched more perfectly.

The living room

I matched it pretty dang well, if I do say so myself, and I do!!  My client was impressed and happy with the new color and the brightness it brought to the room.  Can't ask for more than that!

Friday, June 13, 2014


These are all photos I've taken, and, for once, I did not alter them in Photoshop.  I did, however, enhance the color somewhat.  Because they are being printed on fabric, the colors tend to get rather muted.  I thought if I started with more intense colors, they might come out more true to life on the fabric.  Once I get them made, I'll post those pictures.