I’ve become a little bit
very guilty of late of buying vintage fabrics Without A Purpose. I see a pattern I like and I have to give it a home. This goreous stylised floral fabric from France was no exception – just look at those colours! I didn’t feel too bad about not having a use for it as owning it was good enough.
Meanwhile, we have a mini Poang chair in the lounge… My sister gave it to me when my eldest was born as her children are now at secondary school and so it’s been long outgrown. The cover was plain red canvas, a little faded in places and so the poor chair looked a little bit tired to say the least. And then one day while I was playing around with my fabrics, I realised the solution to the tired chair was in my hands. And who doesn’t need a complicated sewing project when you’ve got a toddler and newborn trying to out-scream each other?
I quickly realised though that a new cover from scratch was going to be near-impossible as I have so little time these days (and the children try to eat the pins so I really can’t hang around when the sewing stuff is out on the kitchen table). So instead I decided to pull the existing cover apart and replace the top part with the funky French fabric. The joy of this method was that the bottom layer had very fiddly zipped openings for the cushion pads and I really don’t need to do complicated zippy things.
And so the following day, off I went! Sewing machine out, unpicked bits of fabric all over the table and the nice new fabric laid flat. I quickly cut out the new bits (top piece plus two little back bits to hold the cover onto the chair at the top and bottom) and there it all was ready to sew back together. Only problem was, I couldn’t remember how it had all been sewn together in the first place. Then I would focus hard and think deeply about it and remember and just as I was about to do the first stitch there would be a scream or someone was sick or someone needed feeding or changing and I would have to down tools. Then I totally forgot how I was going to do it and would have to try and do some deep thinking again. And so this went on in a loop the whole bloody day. Work out how to do it. Get distracted by screams. Forget how to do it. Start again.
In the end, I managed to sew it all together in short bursts never lasting more than three minutes at a time, because that’s just how things were that day. No one napped. No one played nicely. No one would even sit there and watch tv. They knew I was working on a project that Must Be Stopped. You can see in this photo quite clearly how desperately wonky the stitches are, the sewing machine going faster and faster as I realised I was running out of time
And then suddenly, it was finished! And amazingly, the cover fitted, despite the hasty, not-quite-right sewing. The pattern is reasonably symmetrical although it was impossible to get it perfectly so as the weave was slightly skewed. I love how it looks and I’m so glad that the fabric-without-a-project has been used for something.
And best of all, Clover tried out her new-look chair and said she really liked it. Well done Clover – that was the right thing to say. Now can I have my pins and tape measure back please?