Book Review: Modern DIY Upholstery

by Erin on July 26, 2015

moderndyiupholstery

When I saw that this book was available for review I stuck my hand straight up and said, “Me, please” and it just came a few days ago.

I have NOT yet re-upholstered anything according to these instructions, but I can tell it’s only a matter of time, because reupholstery projects involve three things I really enjoy: thrifting/yard-saling, choosing fabric, and hammers.

I’ve only really ever upholstered a couple things in my life: a few chair seats (thank you, staple gun!) and a couple of futon covers (after the first of which I said NEVER AGAIN in a loud voice, but obviously I wasn’t listening to myself as I went on and did another one). *Note: do not try to sew futon covers in an un-air-conditioned room in the Chicago summer.

But this book has really set me on fire to go prowling for an ottoman or two, or maybe even a settee. The pictures are lovely, the instructions seem clear upon reading (haven’t done any yet, of course …) and there are even time-lapse videos! Here’s one with the author recovering a wicker laundry hamper. 

I’ve probably bought half a dozen vintage upholstery books in the last ten years or so (including this one):

but none of them have really gotten me to actually DO any upholstery. I think this book will be different.

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I’ve been working in the actual city of San Francisco for about a month and I’ve realized that I need a “San Francisco coat”.

What’s a “San Francisco coat”? It’s a coat that is:

    • lightweight but wind-resistant
    • water-resistant but not waterproof (waterproof coats are usually too warm, and it doesn’t really rain that much in SF)
    • full enough to go over full skirts
    • movement-friendly (sufficient shoulder ease)
    • HAS POCKETS (of course)
    • long enough to be another barrier between you and the seats on public transit (just in case)

So here’s the current candidate (found on Etsy from seller mbchills):

Simplicity5304

It’s possible to be a “San Francisco coat” without the buttons and collar, but I prefer buttons to zips in coats (zips are too binary; a coat is either zipped or it’s not unless you do one of those fancy zips that open from both the top and the bottom and even then that little section of the zipper gets too much stress and breaks).

I’m thinking of making this coat—the shorter length—in a lightweight gray denim, if I can find such a thing. (Sometimes I imagine fabrics that, while technically possible, do not actually exist.) I’m a little daunted by those welt pockets, but, hey, I read somewhere on Pinterest that what doesn’t kill me will make me stronger.

I have zero plans right now to line this darn thing, but we’ll see what happens when I actually start making it. I also have zero plans to do all that top-stitching, but I see some nice opportunities for piping. I’m pretty sure I’ll also shorten the sleeves a little; not all the way to three-quarters, but maybe to a length that is just shy of my watch.

I’ve never actually made a coat before — I’ve cut out TWO coats, neither of which ever made it to the “put it through the sewing machine” stage.

It was pretty warm for SF last week—cardigan weather, really—but you never know when you’re going to get another week of gray, 50, and windy, so I’m hoping to start this sooner, rather than later. Wish me luck!

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I’m With the Bandana

July 12, 2015

Been a while since I posted a new dress, huh? Here’s one that’s been waiting patiently in pieces for ages: This is in some black bandana print so old that I can’t remember when or where I bought it. It is not great fabric — it’s pretty stiff and there were plenty of print faults […]

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Today’s Pattern Story: Simplicity 2898

June 29, 2015

  Pink: What’s my cue, again? Green: I say “Double-cross me, will you?” and turn around, and then you say — Pink: Oh! I remember: “I thought you were safely bringing up the rear, but it’s curtains for both of us, now!” Green: I don’t know why you can’t remember this. Pink: I just want […]

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It’s another shirt-shirtdress!

May 15, 2015

I finally found the right old shirt to complete this particular shirt-shirtdress: I’ve made this particular … can’t really call it a pattern; let’s call it an agglomeration, okay? twice before. (This one I blogged about.) Here’s the back: I made the back panel wider this go-around, and used the same shirt for the back […]

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Everyone loves a parade

May 8, 2015

For some reason (can’t think why) this fabric reminds me of ticker-tape parades: It is, as you may have already guessed, another Simplicity 2389 bodice with a Heidi skirt. It’s a slightly grabby fabric — you can see it’s hitching a little on my dress form. Either that, or the center front seam is a little […]

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YAWD (yet another winterish dress)

April 27, 2015

I made another dress like this one, right down to also using Liberty Lantana fabric: The name of this particular print is “Haberdashery”, and I fell in love with the weird faux-patchwork: (“Haberdashery” is a fairly stupid name to call a Liberty print, because it is nigh-unGoogleable, but here it is at Shaukat iffen you […]

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Stealth Liberty of London?

April 10, 2015

I feel like this fabric (at Mood) is a Liberty print, but I can’t find verification of it: I ordered some (because duh, and because I hadn’t spent my fabric allowance for February OR March) and it doesn’t feel like Tana Lawn, but might feel like the Liberty poplin range — I couldn’t tell for […]

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Plaaaaaaaaaaaaaid

April 9, 2015

Been forever since I posted a new dress, huh? I’ve done a teeny bit of sewing since October, but only got around to taking some pictures last weekend, or maybe weekend before last? This dress is all sorts of mashup. The bodice is McCall’s 6727, only with the neckline taken up an inch or so. […]

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The Bookpile

April 7, 2015

Do you have a bookpile? I have a bookpile. I assume everyone has a bookpile, unless they have been cursed by an evil wizard and are unable to read again until they finish some impossible task, like spinning straw into gold. (Aside: do you all know the word tsundoku, which in Japanese — supposedly — […]

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