Tuesday, 12 July 2011

First Cooking, Next DIY?

So it has been a while. Somehow between the madness of exams and the exhilaration of graduation I kept documenting things to blog but then failed to blog them. I'm in the process of a blog redesign but until that happens I've not-so sneakily used last summer's design as a holdover. So what have I been doing exactly? I started and finished my first sewing project, DIY-ed the sewing box/table in one night, went to London, went to France, photographed loads of food, and finished university. Pretty crazy stuff!
So about that sewing box/table...
In my last entry I talked about (and photographed) old furniture that I found around Glasgow. There was a small sewing table. At first I wanted to refinish and reupholster it. While not impossible (as DIY King and Queen YHL have shown) it seemed like a lot of work (and money) for a university student.
After sending pictures of the box/table to my dad he suggested taking apart the fabric parts to ascertain how they did it. Despite my desire to redo the whole thing (refinish and reupholster it that is) I realised that he was right about it possibly being more trouble that it was worth since its only purpose just now is to hold sewing things. I figure that I can always refinish it later, you know like when I have a job and stuff.
I began ripping the fabric out. It was glued and stapled and actually tougher to remove than I thought. I ended up using a metal spatula to help remove some of the excess glue. The bottom of the box actually had horsehair or something that looked an awful lot like it underneath the velour. Removing it required opening a window as it was also pretty dusty. Finally I had everything ripped out. I drew a plan and headed to the fabric store leaving the table/box looking like this:

In the meantime I continued to search the fabric store for a solution that was durable and budget-friendly. Velvet and velour were immediately crossed off the list as the colours weren't great and it was a lot more than I wanted to spend. I ended up settling on some drapery fabric that was reduced to something like 6 GBP a meter (from 24 GBP!) and a satin that ended up costing slightly more since it wasn't as wide as the drapery fabric. I also picked up some fabric glue (the store recommended G├╝termann fabric adhesive which despite its toxic smell worked fantastically) and some drapery trim. Final cost, approximately 37 GBP. Not bad for a piece of free furniture. In the end using drapery fabric was a total win since it was so wide that I only needed one meter of it instead of three!
Putting it together was fairly straightforward. I made the bottom cushion first with a piece of cardboard as the base. In between I put cotton wadding before gluing the edges of the fabric to the cardboard. The bottom of the drawer was the same process minus the wadding (I also ironed the fabric to get a smoother result. This proved useful in the next step). the sides were a bit trickier as they required measuring the fabric, folding it, ironing it, and then gluing it directly to the wood in a straight line. Since it was meant to be one piece of fabric gluing became a bit more difficult. I chose not to pleat the satin in the top (didn't seem necessary) and nearly had a heart attack when I started running out of fabric glue. Thankfully I managed to make it last for gluing on the trim. The top pincushion of the box was easy enough. I simply followed shape/pattern of the old pincushion. I managed to use the silver clips off the old piece as well. Not sure I will end up using the pincushion but I definitely didn't want to leave it away since it was obvious that something was missing. 
Four hours after I started I finished the project. I'm really happy with the results. Next project? Some sort of pincushion. I'm hoping Pinterest will guide me...
And now for the reveal...

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