Jun 27, 2011

Tailored Touches

It has been six months of renovating, rebuilding, and repairing. It's time to bring in some softness. I've been putting off making a pleated shade for the kitchen window.  It looks way too challenging, and I get super stressed and sweaty (gross) when I am sewing because I freak out that it is not going to turn out perfectly the first time.  I absolutely hate redoing work, especially when I try to make it perfect the first time!  So I tried to follow Martha Stewart's (somewhat vague) tutorial on how to make a custom roman shade. My window in the kitchen is wide and short, so the formula for determining the space between pleats was tricky. And I'm pretty sure I did not put the rings in the right place, but the pictures were like 1x2" and I couldn't enlarge them.  Anyway, I'm obsessed with this fabric.  It's Covington's Bosporus Toile in Flax. I want my whole home to feel that relaxed, calm, and cozy in classic toile way. Ahhh, I am so happy to see this project finished!!!

My other kitchen project is still incomplete. My hubby wanted a kitchen nook with a bench, which I thought was a great idea for the small space.  So I picked out the lovely upholstered Tribeca bench with tufted back from Ballard Designs (LOVE!). But at 36" deep (and $899), it's too bulky for our 1950's home. We ended up building a frame with the intentions of upholstering it. Well, more like me upholstering it.  After staring at the plywood frame for a month and a half, I was ready to tackle this enormous project.  Let me start by saying I had no idea how to make this.  Google is amazing, and I am consistently floored by the amount of information I can find and apply immediately.  I found a fabulous tutorial on making box cushions.  These are actually portable cushions and not at all in line with my project, but I needed to learn how to do piping--so easy!  I was going to need about 6 yards of fabric, so I ended up getting two large drop cloths from Home Depot.  The fabric is sturdy and much like canvas duck cloth, plus it has a great neutral stone color that goes with my Antique White cabinets without being too matchy.
Long story short, I ordered 4" medium density upholstery foam, cut it with an electric knife--so cool!, measured the top, sides, and skirt for each bench, then I made 12 feet of piping from the drop cloths.  I sewed the top L-shaped piece to the piping, that to the sides, the sides to the bottom piping, the sides to the skirt, and then hemmed it.  Easy enough, right?  Eight hours and lots of sweating and stress later, I now have an upholstered bench in my kitchen.  It's so cozy!  I'm now in the middle of using every throw pillow in our home to make it even cozier.  So far, my favs are the toile (of course) and the pale blue and tan stripe on the far right.  Or maybe the brocade.  Or the flap pillow.  Well I clearly don't really have a favorite, but when I have a tiny round table, I will never want to leave!!!

Stay tuned for my next upholstered project--a headboard!!!


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