Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Unveiling the secrets of upholstery!

I attended one of the best crafty/sewing classes ever a few months ago.  A fantastic upholstery course run by Elisabetta Renwick on the Kapiti Coast.  Elisabetta runs the course out of her home in Raumati South.

I came home with...

My very own footstool at home in our bedroom.  Love, love, love it!

The course was $170 and you also had to provide a metre of fabric (with specific instructions provided to make sure you got the best bang for your buck and the most suitable material).

The course had four students - so lots of one-on-one instruction when needed.  Each of us had a large table, our own compressor staple gun (fun stuff!) and all the materials we needed in our own basket.  It felt really organised and her documentation for us to take home was superb.  I really can't speak highly enough of the course - I've been to quite a few crafty type classes and lectures (at handmade etc.) recently and its been the best by far.

The very exciting staple gun.

Our own box of tricks - rather a lot more hardware supplies than my normal sewing enterprises!

We started with a basic wooden skeleton (homemade by Elisabetta).

And quickly began adding different upholstery elements - like webbing (apologies if this isn't the right term as the course was a few months ago and I'm not great at remembering terms at the best of times!).

That staple gun is getting a good work out!

Followed by hessian sacking cloth.  A nice, neat staple gun finish!

Glue some comfy foam on top (precut to size for us thankfully!) - note, we even got our own bins!

Nice layer of padding/wadding over the top.

Neatly sewing up the sides (don't worry we're definitely not finished with the staple gun) ...

Beginning to look like a footstool!

Not on to the even more fun stuff - the fabric.  I had a beautiful teal upholstery weight fabric from Fabrics Direct in Wellington.  (With the added bonus of a shop dog - the staff were super friendly and helpful)

Thinking about buttons (also from Fabrics Direct although Elisabetta - in white in the background) offered to provide fabric covered buttons and piping for us too!

Yup, definitely keen on the button and a quick lesson on how to apply it so it doesn't pull out of the footstool and how to get it to tuft as well. Aren't you envious of my neat stapling? (I really, really want an air powered staple gun - one of the many annoyances of not living near my parent's house and my dad's toolshed)

And the final product again - 

Comfy, stylish and made by me!  Can't argue with that!

The course was expensive but given the amount of materials, tools, size of the class and Elisabetta's teaching ability and knowledge - a serious bargain.  The documentation includes where to get the best supplies and I feel capable of moving on to larger pieces of furniture if I need to.

Monday, June 29, 2015

What I made on the retreat

I was lucky to finish something on the sewing retreat.  I started a trouser muslin and still haven't finished it so at least there was some physically productive sewing going on!

Another T Shirt - they're rapidly becoming a habit.  This was a speedy T and I couldn't be bothered to look online to see how a pocket should be done (it would have turned out a lot better if I had!).  But this is a summer sleeping T (and the fabric cost $2 as it was seconds) so I had a quick fix mentality!

Green and light blue.  Prefect sleeping T for summer - though in the depths of winter, its really hard to imagine!

Green for the front, blue for the back, collar, hem and pocket.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sewing Retreat

I'm finally beginning to sort through my photographs from the last few months (or longer - oophs!).  I came across the Fabric Hoarders Sewing Retreat from last year and had to finally post about it.  Such a great weekend with a great bunch of people!  Its the second retreat the group organised and this one was a little larger than the previous AND catered!

On our way to the retreat, I finally made it to Pete's Emporium in Porirua with the wonderful takahe bites and the fantastic Sixty Six Stitches.  Despite the less than sewing related images on the front door, inside contained a few treasures.

But a lot of tat too!

I did spend a bit of time actively NOT buying stickers (my collection being a little excessive as is).

A row of tulle...

Rows of ribbons and sequins...  Obviously there was a lot of fabric on display too!

The next sewing retreat is coming up soon, I'll have to see if I can stop off on the way...

So on to the retreat:
We stayed in Riverslea Retreat near Otaki.  The owners were so accommodating if somewhat bemused by the presence of so many sewing machines (I brought my machine and overlocker and many others did the same) in what is sometimes a more spiritual retreat space!

We each got half a table in the main hall and there was spill out room in the dining room and the hall for cutting out, spreading out and ironing.  Bliss!

There was even an outdoor sitting area for wine hand sewing.

As most people knew each other from the normal monthly meet ups, it didn't take long to get settled.  Though I did organise a little sewing craft and table quiz for Friday night to get us in the creative mood.

Hand sewn and embellished cards based on the idea behind this card.

There were some really lovely finished cards - as suspected, we're a crafty, creative lot.

And here's the currently reigning FH quiz champions!  (Essentially I just googled sewing quiz questions.  Not sure I'm up to thinking up a few more for the next retreat - table quizes are not my thing)

Riverslea is beautifully situated quite a bit away from the state highway and close to a swimable river.  We were really quite spoiled.

Having contacted Levana in Levin about a possible Saturday visit, they were kind enough to move their monthly opening (I think the original date clashed with a NZ celebration in happy coincidence).  So lots of fabric stroking, coveting and quite a bit of purchasing ensued.

I need to remember that Levin also houses Cordall and should see if we can organise a fieldtrip to them on the next retreat.  Some lovely foldover elastic!

This has seriously wetted my appetite for the next retreat!