We all may dream of draping fabric on a chair, and with a few rips, pins, nips tucks and stitches, a perfect slipcover magically appears in just a wee bit of time. However, the reality is that this scenario has a good chance of ending in tears and an ill fitting cover. Sometimes, drafting a flat pattern for slipcovers is called for, and I call this scenario "making a muslin for a chair dress".
After all, slipcovering and dressmaking are kissing cousins!
This week I had the opportunity to facilitate a hands on learning and sharing experience for my friends and members of the Triangle WCAA. Thank you to Sandra and Cathy for assisting as floating instructors!
Also special thanks to a great friend and mentor - and expert apparel flat pattern designer - Debra for encouraging me to teach this class and for loading all the coffee cups into my dishwasher a the end of the day.
Taking time out to wish Tammy a happy birthday! Cake was designed by Jamesa (special delivery by Bianca) and the icing on the cake matched Tammy's earrings perfectly. Photo credit to Janet.
Donations were accepted for Make-a-Wish! Feels good to pay it forward.
Hopefully everyone will be inspired to make a chair dress real soon!
Kari Senter here, NC State student, Fashion and Textile Design major, lover of chocolate and all things foreign.
Why am I writing this blog post, you may ask?
This summer I’ve had the chance to shadow Linda, owner of Pencil Me In, in her workspace and learn from her and her process.
This post is about the office chair slipcover I made. Considering I had never made a slipcover before, I was expecting anything but a smooth ride, however; thanks to the instructions in “The Complete Photo Guide to Slipcovers, Pillows & Bedding” (by Karen Erickson) and a phone call to Teresa Bennett, owner of Cozy Cottage Slipcovers and the very person who wrote those handy instructions, I was able to pull it off better than even I expected.
Aside from the fact that this was my first ever slipcover, the challenge was to create a piece that fit with ambiance of the workplace. After lots of sketching and prototyping, I was able to make a slipcover from different textures and weights of white fabric, accentuated with contrasting cording and a panel of colorful patterned fabric by Jackie Von Tobel in the back.
Here are some pictures of my take on the office chair slipcover, which features a skirt with a flounce, my own label, and some cording resembling princess seams.
My main goals were to make something that measures up to the high standards in craft and quality that Pencil Me In upholds, along with achieving the aesthetic so characteristic of Pencil Me In. I hope you like it!
So much fun to have Carol in the workshop last week.
Hands on learning is still the best. Look forward to hosting an NC State textile student next week … lots to do to get ready and projects to finish!
Recently it was my pleasure to host a North Carolina State University student on a job shadow assignment. And I learned so much from the questions that Kari asked. Never stop asking the questions.
Modern times' quest for a paperless world gives me a new appreciation for the printed page. The faster paperless approaches, the more tightly I clench my fist to hold on to printed artifacts that may soon be unavailable. I am sure my love of the art and design of the printed page was ignited at my Dad's office (he was a county extension agent). There in "the office" I would pick over the racks of pamphlets (the 70's version of pinterest) where one could learn how to do just about anything from canning tomatoes to decorating the home to keeping bees. Spending time with my Mom digging through the attic recently unearthed this treasure: "Easier Steps to Slip Covering". Published in August of 1958 by the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service, it was written by Catherine C. KIng, Specialist in House Furnishings. Really not too much has changed and the first sentence sums it up: "Slip covers which are smartly tailored and properly styled give a fresh and new appearance to your room." Finders Keepers.
Shout out to Bill's Sewing
in Hildebran for loan of industrial walking foot and overlock sewing machines. These machines are so much quieter than my old reliables! Demonstrating the slipcover process at the Furniture Festival was so much fun.
Carolina Slipcover Girls
came together at the Hickory Furniture Mart. I enjoyed spending time with Emily of Emily Jane Creations, and Kristi of Pink and Polka Dot. They have a passion for all things slipcovered.
Upholstery demonstrations took place outside of Southern Style Fine Interiors. This artisan in the far left corner of photo was covering club chairs in luxury leather that was the green "color of the year" we have been hearing so much about. The chairs were very vogue.
Musicians were there too. It would be so nice to work with live music in the background all the time. I think this would be a great concept for the manufacturing environment and a great way to create jobs for musicians.
Local Artisans showcased their talents in paint, wood, clay, and metals. Many drew inspiration from Nature. I was inspired by these works of art!
I had so much fun this week hosting the Triangle WCAA and facilitating a Show-n-tell Showoff of embellishments!
Growing up in Tarboro, NC, I was never much of a showoff. As a matter of fact, when I was a little girl, I was very quiet and even painfully shy. Often when I did do a little talkin', my Mama would ask me, "Now Linda, you aren't telling me a little story, are you?" And I would answer, "Oh no, Ma'am, I am telling you the truth." Well today when Mama asks me if I am telling a story, I say "Oh yes I am!" And my stories are no longer little, they are big. And I always embellish them.
Now as you know, an embellishment can be part fact and part fiction!
Happy Mother's Day Mama!
You are such a big part of my story.
And that's the truth.
I am often asked if I can make slipcovers on location, and the answer is, “Of course I can!”. Really the more exotic the location, the more likely I am to say yes. Just holler and I can pack my bags lickety-split. I promise you will be amazed and entertained by the art of slipcovery. Here’s what I would need to get started: weekly financial compensation, plus all travel expenses for me and a design assistant of choice, plus cost of all materials and supplies, plus lodging, plus boarding expenses for Crackers, our company mascot. Here are some places I would love to travel to: Ocracoke Island, Ireland, Paris, Belhaven, London, Bald Head Island, and maybe New York. And the moon. Would consider others.
Now booking for 2013.
Embellish your slipcover, embellish your slipcover display. I had so much fun teaching this class at the Slipcover Summit in Hickory, NC that I think I will travel around the world and talk about slipcovers. How is that for embellishing? Now booking for 2013. Cash and checks accepted. Other compensation considered. Call to discuss. I am especially thankful for the students who showed up to support this class. Without you, it would not have been possible to begin my world tour. I learned so much from each and every one of you and I am confident you too will soon be practicing the art of showing off. So here's to showing up and showing off! Let the show begin ....