Good morning lovelies! Recently I was browsing through some of the adorable fabrics at The Ribbon Retreat, when I saw this super fun Owl Fabric. I knew my nephews birthday was coming up and this fabric would be perfect to make something fun for him. My nephew is 2 and all about being a “big boy”. He doesn't want to use sippy cups or sleep in a crib anymore. He has an older brother and sister to keep up with, so he wants to get rid of all the baby stuff. Keeping that in mind, I started racking my brain for what I could make my little monkey nephew for his b-day. Then it happened. That imaginary light bulb above my head went off. Ding Ding! I don't know if that is the sound a light bulb idea moment actually makes, but in my head it does, so just go with it. I remembered I had an old, sun damaged chair in my shed. One that is the perfect size for a 2 year old. Then Bam! the project was created in my head! I love those Bam! Moments when things just come together. Awesome right?
I brought in my chair from outside and gave it a good rub down. It may have had a bit of dirt and such caked on it. It was outside, so it has no reflection on my cleaning skills, which are pretty awesome if you're wondering. I then took a good look at my chair. It is always important to really check things out before you start cutting. I knew I wanted to use the old chair cover as my pattern, so I wanted to make sure I paid attention to how it was secured onto the chair before I got scissor happy. Once I had an idea of how everything would come off and go back on, I cut the cover off the chair.
Where the seams were, I cut my cover. This created my patter pieces. The original cover was sewn by the manufacturer, so I wanted to add heavy duty Velcro to make sure all bottoms were secured in the chair. No diaper bottoms falling through on this chair!
I laid out my pattern pieces on my fabric. Make sure you watch the way your fabric is laying. If it is a directional fabric, like my owls here, make sure that your pattern will be facing the way you want it. I had to make sure none of my owls would be upside down when the chair was finished.
I pinned my pattern pieces onto my fabric. When cutting out my pieces, I gave an extra ½ inch for seam allowance. I needed enough room to do a few reinforcement stitches throughout the chair.
Once all my pieces were cut out, I pieced my fabric together. It is kinda like putting a puzzle together. I can see why every three year old in the world likes puzzles. They are pretty darn fun!
Once my pieces were pinned together, I got my sew on. I ended up doing three sets of stitches. I started with a straight stitch and then finished up with a tight zig zag stitch. I knew the seams would be getting a lot of tug and pull as cute little diapered bottoms plopped down onto them.
After my seams were secured, I added my bias tape. Remember last time how I told you bias tape had changed my world? I was not lying. I have used it quite a bit since. Like in my Stars and Stripes Skirt. I love the finished look it offers to a project. This project was no different. I had some brown bias tape in my stash (yes I have a bias tape stash now. I told you I was serious about it being mind blowing). Honestly pinning the bias tape was probably the most time consuming part of the chair. You want to make sure it is pinned just right, so that when you sew it on, you have no gaps between the fabric and the tape. You can put on an episode of Vampire Diaries or whatever other vampire teen drama entertains you and start pinning. It took me two episodes, but honestly it is because I kept stopping, so I could see who else's life was being threatened by a head vampire...in fact maybe you should just listen to music instead. Then you won't take forever and a day pinning bias tape like I did.
Once your bias tape is pinned, get to sewing. Take your time though, checking to make sure everything is lined up correctly. Nothing stinks more than to finish sewing on your bias tape, only to realize it had not been lined up and you have to seam rip everything and start again....not that I am speaking from personal experience (I blame it on the Stefan-has-lost-his-humanity-what-will-happen-next teen vampire drama).
Once you have completely sewn your cover and the whole enchilada is looking good, have a cute little red head test it out. My red head happens to be about 65 lbs and is definitely not a two year old. I am so glad she tested it out because it let me know I needed more Velcro. Having a bit of Velcro just on the side was not enough. I ended up adding a whole strip to secure the bottom of the cover to the underneath part. This kept all little bottoms from sinking.
I also spray painted the metal part of my chair with white spray paint (the kind with a primer already in it). I loved how it came out and it was a huge hit at the birthday party. My niece Ava even tried to steal it from my Nephew. Nothing like a little toddler tussle to let you know your hours spent making something are well worth it :)
Are you ready to make your own chair now? Look around your house or at thrift stores. You never know what treasure is waiting for you to re-purpose it and make it new again. Fabric like this and this doesn't hurt either in upping the cuteness factor!
Stay Cool Lovelies!