Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Adventures in Upholstery - Ducks on a Wednesday Afternoon

I love it when we get to do really creative fun stuff every once in a while.  This was one of those super fun projects.  You'll never guess what we ended up doing with these duck faces.  We made 2 opposites, and put them at the top corners of a customer's winterfront for his big truck.  Weird combo, hey?  Their company name is Duckeez, so it's actually very appropriate.  Fun!

First, we picked out a simple duck face, a la Donald himself, and printed him out at the right size.
Next, we cut out around the outside lines, and cut out his mouth.  You can see by the white piece I'm tracing around on the right.  I had to get artistic and fill in the other lines freehand.  Just like art class! 
For the first layer, we decided to do the beak in yellow, so we put a layer of yellow vinyl under a layer of black, and stapled them together.
I sewed on all the lines for the beak, and I left the eyes for the next part.
We worked as a team on this one, cause we wanted to get it done fast!  While I sewed the second one, Dad trimmed the first one.  The idea was to trim closely on both sides of the black, to get a thick black line.
On the back, he trimmed the yellow very close to the stitching line so it won't show from the right side at the edges.
Next, we layered some white vinyl for the eyes, and did the same thing.
Lastly, we sewed in a little red tongue.
I love how cool it looks from the back.  
And here it is!  Now you can see what I meant by the thick black lines.  
In order to sew it to the winterfront, we sewed it to a piece of matching vinyl and made a "plaque" out of it.
And finally, the very last step was to sew the finished plaque onto the corners of the winterfront.  I had to roll the whole thing up and shove it under the arm of the sewing machine.  I made sure to trace around my plaque so I could sew it in place without it shifting.
And here it is in all its glory!
Just what I needed to pick me up on a Wednesday afternoon.  Cool, hey?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Adventures in Upholstery - Overstuffed Armchair

I'd like to share with you a very short and sweet post about this chair.  I know it doesn't look like much, but this was the single most complicated sewing job I've ever done in my life.  Tailoring a coat is easier than this was.

This lovely pink leather was definitely tacky, but the good thing was that once we took it apart, it made excellent pattern pieces.  Fabric tends to fray and shred and doesn't hold its shape.
Before - Pearly oyster pink leather, anyone?
It's really hard to visualize, but the backrest, arms, outside back, outside arms, and front arm plates are all one giant piece.  Once it's sewn, you simply pull it onto the chair and staple it in place.  There's even a 'box' sewn to the inside of the backrest cushion to insert the padding.  All the seams are topstitched.  The most complicated parts are the curved areas at the front of the arms and the front of the 'wings'.  And even more complicated was how all the inside layers attached to each other.  Normally, when sewing furniture, I only have to rack my brain once or twice during each project to figure out a complicated cushion or something tricky.  During this project, my brain got a super workout.  Every single time I went to sew something to something else, I had to think harder than ever and flip it upside down, inside out, look at the original chair, to make sure I was doing it right.  I made my share of mistakes and had to unstitch a few seams, but thankfully I didn't wreck anything epic.  This was a labour of love.  My only qualm was that the customer chose this tacky gold fabric.  Not my first choice.  And it was very, very thick.  That's what reminded me of sewing a coat.  This chair will be nice and warm!

Overall, even though this was an incredibly challenging project, I am extremely proud of myself for sewing this, and I'm very happy with the end result.  P.S.  I forgot to mention that there were TWO of these monsters!  TWO!  I had to do that much work twice!  Holy geepers.  I did this a few months ago, and I'm just reliving the craziness of it now.  Chock this one up on my list of greatest accomplishments!