It's been a few weeks since I've given an update on the chair. Two weeks ago, my sister and niece helped me pick out some fabric at SR Harris and I managed to get a test piece that fit the back. Last week I finished sewing the front of the back with the real fabric. I tried and failed to do my own buttons but found someone a few miles from me that whipped them up in her garage for $5.
Here's where we are now:
It's a little crooked and I need to get twine for the buttons but it's coming along ok. I left out the pillow top because I know my sewing machine won't handle that many layers of this fabric on the top piece and it seemed a little more complicated. Hopefully next week I'll have some twine so I can get the buttons on and some tack strips for the back of the back.
September 1954 started with a couple of hurricanes. Hurricane Carol killed 68 people in the New England area and then Edna came in to the Northeast and killed another 20 people. There was an earthquake in Algeria that killed over 2000 people.
Workbasket Magazine answers some questions on plants in most issues. Here are some of the questions where the answer is DDT because arsenate of lead leaves a lead residue on the fruit.
Lead arsenate was eventually banned in the late 80s much later than DDT which was banned in 1972.
There was a section on sandwiches. Here is my favorite; The California Decker. I love how specific they are about buttering the toast but give no specific directions for the mayo.
There has been some progress on the chair. I measured everything to try to figure out how much fabric I need and I’m estimating 8-9 yards. I cut out a test piece for the back of the chair from an old sheet. Next I need to take a good look at the construction of the original and see what order I need to assemble the pieces. I found buttons that you can cover with fabric and a very long needle for sewing the buttons in. I'll use the old buttons for testing though.
The pansy is finished but the assembly didn't go that well.
Here are the finishing directions with my actions after them.
Cut a piece of millinery wire 5 inches long. I cut a piece of floral wire 5 inches long.
Bend 1/2 inch of each end back. I don't know why but I still bent each end back 1/2 inch.
Wind green around wire to cover it. The wire is green so I skipped this.
Sew one end to back of flower. If I do that how do I get the calyx on since the wires are bent? I waited to do this.
Run a thread through the 5 pieces of calyx 1/4 inch from the end, draw tightly together and sew securely. Push stem through center of calyx. If I draw it tightly together how will I push the stem through the center of it? I unbent the "top" and poked the wire through the calyx somehow and then put the flower through it and bent the wire back down through it. Then I sort of sewed the calyx to the flower and wrapped the remaining green thread around the wire and sewed the leaves to that.
Then I took a picture that hid most of the stray threads and then I threw it away.
I did work on the chair a little bit yesterday. I measured all of the pieces and made detailed measurements of the seat back. I'm ready to make a muslin version. I just need to find some upholstery buttons to cover and a 12 inch needle to sew those in.
The pansy isn't quite finished. The pieces are completed but they aren't assembled.
There's the purple flower, two short leaves, one long leaves and the tiny green pieces are the calyx. The only problem I had with the pattern is the formatting. It's hard to keep track of where you are with the way the extended stitches are written so I had to write it out in a slightly different format that was easier and a little bigger. The next part is the finishing - I have floral wire so I'm going to use that instead of millinery wire.
I spent about two hours last weekend and one hour yesterday working on taking apart the chair and documenting the pieces as I went. Today will be a little too hot to work in the garage so no work on the chair today.
As of yesterday all of the fabric has been removed from the back of the chair including the buttons. It took about two hours to remove the staples.
I found some fabric I like but I don't know if JoAnne Fabric had enough of it. It was in their clearance sale at $15.99 yd. They won't cut swatches for you so I bought a yard thinking if I didn't want to use it on this chair I could cover one of our ottomans with it.
I have a couple of other things I'm thinking about changing.
The inside back is done in pieces with the buttons at the corners. Is the piecing important or can I just do one piece with buttons? I think the piecing helps with the structure so the buttons don't pull and tear the fabric. But, it looks much so more complicated...
Can I leave the pillow part of the back out? It's a separate piece that sits on top of the piece with the buttons.
Next week I'll have a finished pansy to show and then the blog is going to pivot to a slightly different craft across time. I'm going to attempt to reupholster this beautiful chair:
The first question people ask when I tell them about this is, "Why? Wouldn't it be cheaper to just get a new one?". There are several reasons to reupholster this chair in particular:
The next question is, "Have you ever done reupholstery?". I've only done simple things like dining room chairs and ottomans. Nothing that needed more than cutting and stapling so this is by far the most ambitious project I've started. I've been watching videos and I have some library resources. I'm going to take it pretty slow and take a lot of pictures and mark everything clearly. I originally thought maybe I could keep some of the original fabric but it's nearly impossible to match or find a good contrast to the burnt orange fabric. I'll have to recover the whole thing and I'll update this blog every week with the progress.
I know you're thinking, can you get some of that really cool fabric in the first picture that's on the foot rest and arms? Even if I could, getting it lined up and straight on the chair is a level of difficulty I'm not going to attempt.
The pansy bouquet pattern is the winner for August. I thought the place mat would do better because I had the special yarn for it but it only got 4 votes.
Each pansy consists of a flower, five calyx petals, two short leaves and two long leaves. The crochet directions seem easy but the finishing directions are somewhat short so I may be winging it on that part. I think I'm only going to do one pansy to start with and see how that goes.
Next week I'll tell you about my next big project!
Hot August Night by Neil Diamond was recorded live at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. Some of the biggest solar flares were seen and the Summer Olympics were being held in Munich.
Top 40 songs included
The bestselling fiction book was Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach with The Winds of War by Herman Wouk in second.
The August 1972 Workbasket and Home Arts Magazine had four crochet patterns. You’ll choose between the Place Mat/Hot Plate/Coaster and the Pansy Bouquet.
The Place Mat/Hot Plate/Coaster uses Spinnerin Mardi Gras! Remember that from June?
I think I still have enough left to make at least one of the Place Mats.
The Pansy Bouquet uses Knit-Cro-Sheen in green, shaded lavender and purple. I’m pretty sure I have all of those colors.
Voting will be up until Friday night!
The two color handbag is finished and I think it turned out to be kind of cool.
Overall this is a fairly easy pattern. The bag is done in two sections; an outer layer in one color and an inner bag in a contrasting color. The outer layer has an open pattern so you can see the color of the inner layer. They're attached at the top but I stitched it down in some other places too.
The pattern wanted me to use four ounces each of brown and orange worsted weight yarn and a size F hook. I wanted to use brown and orange since they’re such classic 70s colors but I didn’t have enough orange yarn. I had already started the inner layer when I realized this and had to decide if I wanted to take it out or make something that had multiple colors. I went with rainbow stripes.
To give the bag a little more structure they tell you to cut a piece of cardboard the fits into the base of the bag and then glue a piece of crocheted fabric on to that. I had some cork that I could cut to size and used that instead. I didn’t glue crochet on top of the cork because I wanted it to be washable.
This bag is little heavier than I’d like but I still love it.
Next week I'll have August voting ready. We'll still be in the 70s!
The purse isn't quite done. It still needs some assembly and it will be ready for next week. It's not done because I've spent the last few days unpacking and admiring the beautiful vintage china and glassware my mother-in-law handed down to me.
Here's the china:
The china is Rosenthal Elegance Platinum that she purchased in Germany. This pattern was made from 1955-1959.
And here's the lovely glassware:
The glassware is Rosenthal pattern no 2000-8 criss-cross. It's hard to see how adorably cute the one on the front right is. It's tiny!
Hopefully you forgive me for not having the purse/bag done yet! I'll have it done by next weekend.
It wasn't even a close race this month. The handbag is the winner with all but two votes.
I know some people wanted to see this done in modern colors but I had brown and orange yarn so I thought I'd go with the classic colors.
The bag is done in two layers. The outside layer is done in brown and the inside in orange. Then, they're joined together, handles are added along with another bottom part and cardboard is glued inside the bottom to give it structure. That part should be interesting...
Next week there won't be a post but I'll be back on the 19th with the finished bag.
I'm from Minnesota and have been crocheting since 2003. I inherited a box full of Workbasket Magazines from my mother-in-law and became obsessed with the vintage patterns. I'm a member of Crochet Twin Cities, the local Crochet Guild.