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Jul 29, 2013

Rainy Day Sewing Projects

I knocked out a couple of sewing projects this weekend. It rained on and off most of the weekend so it was a good time for some indoor activities.

First up was re-recovering this little footstool.

recovered footstool

If you remember, I'd originally recovered it with dropcloth material and a freezer paper ink transfer.  But once I'd bought the turquoise/yellow chair from Target, the beige & brown just didn't match. When I was cleaning out the linen closet I found an old set of curtains that were nearly the same yellow as in the chair. They are a rough, almost-dropcloth-like material too.

I was planning on just folding over the material at each corner and stapling it under, but after several dozen tries I couldn't get it to lay to my liking. So I sewed the corners down the same as I did the first time I recovered it. This time I also added a little seam on each top edge by folding the material over and sewing a thin line (hem?) No real reason for it, I just thought it'd be fun.

recovered footstool
recovered footstool

To attach the fabric to the stool, you simply unscrew the stool legs, pull the newly sewn slipcover on, fold the edges over, and staple them to the bottom. Start by stapling once in the center of each side (pull the fabric taut), then do the corners, then fill the spaces between the center points and the corners. You then reattach the legs and you're done.

recovered footstool

The stool is still a little plain looking. I think I'm going to make a stencil of one of the ikat patterns on the chair and paint it on to the top of the stool.

recovered footstool


The second project was a new dog bed. I love making dog beds. They are so easy, and they make the dogs happy. There's nothing I like more than making my dogs happy.

This entire project required no new materials. I used two old blankets, a waterproof fitted sheet from Goodwill, and a curtain panel from the As-Is section of Ikea that I had in my fabric stash.

Little Dog (Sasha) has been having some minor incontinence problems lately (we're trying a change of diet and homeopathic drops to see if it helps), so we've had to throw out a few dogs beds. You can wash a cover, but there's only so much you can do for the bed itself. And we have an abundance of old blankets that we aren't using anymore.

I folded the two blankets into the size I wanted and sewed the corners together to keep them from sliding around. I removed the elastic edging from the fitted sheet, folded the sheet over, and sewed up two of the sides to make a sleeping bag shape. This crib sheet is wonderful because it's a nice quilted fabric on the outside, but plastic on the inside, so even if she does have an accident, we can remove the cover and the sheet, wash them, and the blankets still stay dry.

waterproof dog bed

The open edge of the "sleeping bag" closes with buttons, much like a duvet cover. I couldn't get the button hole setting to work on my sewing machine - I think because the plastic layer of the sheet kept sliding - so I "freehanded" some button holes just by sewing-turning-sewing-turning to make rectangles. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

simple button hole

I then sewed buttons on the opposite edge. Here we have it with the blankets inside and the buttons done up. I like it already.

waterproof dog bed

The outer cover is a loose weave charcoal curtain that is so very soft. The plan was to sew it in an envelope style so that the interior section could be removed easily. Unfortunately the material is so stretchy that the center kept gaping open. So it was more buttons. I sewed them on the inside of the top flap and then just pushed them through the fabric on the bottom flap. The weave is so loose that I didn't have to make button holes.

waterproof dog bed

The finished product is kind of whomp, whomp. It's okay for now, but I think I might remove the buttons and add velcro later. Or take out the stitches and just make it a standard cover with a zipper.

waterproof dog bed


Chloe is very much in love with it, even with all its flaws. She wouldn't stop laying on it, at every level of construction. In fact, after sewing the outer cover, I left it on the floor to go get a snack, and came back to find this:

Chloe dog

After I kicked her off she sat beside me to watch. This bed wasn't getting out of her sight.

Chloe dog


I'm pretty sure Sasha isn't going to even get a chance to pee on the new bed. I might have to make a second one.




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