I have been given many gifts from the women who made me. One of those gifts is the ability to sew. My grandmothers both worked in dress factories at one time or another and sewed clothes for themselves and their families. My mom used to make her own clothes too as well as for me. She also was an avid decorator — making pillows and curtains. Later in life, my mom became a quilter, telling a story, woven in the patterns and fabrics she selected.
I wouldn’t say that I am their best student though. My sewing skills may have peaked in high school when I sewed my own prom dress with my grandma’s help. Since then, I sew mainly pillows. I sew for myself. A real seamstress might tear apart my corners or my zippers. But for me, it’s good enough. As a “grown-up,” I’ve made Christmas stockings, my oldest’s crib bumper, lots o’ baby bibs, and for my youngest, a blanket crafted out of hankerchiefs. (He sleeps with that and the bear!) My aunt also has helped guide me. A couple of years ago, she re-taught me how to sew a zipper and how to make cording for a pillow.
Well, I’m going to need ALL of those gifts for the next project I’m tackling: making a slipcover for a wingback chair!
I love a home that was featured in the January/February 2016 Country Living magazine, particularly this image. I love the antique, dark table contrasted with the crisp, white chairs and modern light fixture. The light-filled space. The fiddle-leaf fig. I ripped the page from the magazine and put it in the clipboard I have hanging in my kitchen to inspire me.
I have a similar drop-leaf table that was given to me from my grandmother who got it from her grandmother. And I have a blank space that could use some love (and some functionality.) Now all I needed was the chair! My inspiration image has 2 chairs but I only have room for one. Last weekend I found it at a yard sale!
The Boss and I were taking Boo for a walk when I saw signs for a yard sale. Right before the walk, I had The Boss carry the drop leaf table in from the garage to put in the house to see if I liked it in the blank space — I did. It looked great! As we were off on our walk, I told The Boss that all I needed now was a wing back chair. I guess I need to articulate what I want more often because less than 5 minutes later I found the perfect chair for $20 at the yard sale! Well…not exactly perfect. It is comfy, it fits the tight space, and it’s a wing back but it looks like this. (I added the striped pillow.)
Not exactly the fabric of my dreams. Yuck. But, I had read a post on Thistlewood Farm about using drop cloths to make slipcovers (Karianne is sooo creative and crafty!), and my mind went back to all the sewing I’ve done in the past — the prom dress, the blankets, the pillows, and I channeled the power that all of my women have granted me, and… I’m going for it! I am going to sew a slipcover and turn this chair into the goddess she deserves to be. Bam! I don’t know how long it’s going to take me but I did buy my “fabric”: 2 drop cloths from Wal- Mart, $9.97 each.
I washed and dried them so I’m committed. Can’t return washed drop cloths, right?
I promise to document the process, warts and all. Better keep my seam ripper handy. And it’s probably not a good idea to drink wine and sew either, is it?? Any sewers out there who have “gifts” to offer? I could use ALL the advice that you have to give me.