Tuesday, January 3, 2012

SYTYCS Entry: The Pillow Chair

As you may recall, I am participating in the So You Think You Can Sew Competition at Mommy By Day... Crafter By Night. This week's theme is "For the Home." I thought and thought and thought about what to make for this challenge. Most things I thought of seemed too easy or too boring. My kitchen curtains would have been perfect, but I made them last spring, so they wouldn't count.

Finally, I thought about making a cute little chair for my 3 year old little boy.  He begs for the mini chairs at Target every time we pass them, so I thought I'd try my hand at making him a little chair he can read or watch TV in.  Here it is!
I think it's safe to say that he LOVES his new chair.  He would sit there all day if I let him.

It's a fun little cozy spot and he loves to sit there and read.
Personally, I love the bright colors.  I'm definitely pleased with how it turned out.
I'd hoped to write you all a tutorial for it, but...I kinda made it up as I went along, which makes writing a tutorial a little difficult.  But, I can tell you a bit about how I made it, so maybe you can figure it out, too, with my help.

I started out by staring at some of the chairs in my house.  I've never made a slipcover or anything before, so I had to wrap my head around how the different pieces of fabric are put together on a chair.  I drew a few (awful) sketches (I may be creative, but drawing has never come easy for me...).  I figured out the general shape and size of what each piece needed to be.

And then, I got out some extra fabric from my stash and got to cutting.  I'm a visual person.  See, my husband could have come up with all the right dimensions in his head.  Not me.  I have to manipulate it and see how it goes together.  So, I literally just started cutting shapes out of the fabric and sewing it together in the way I thought it should go.  I ended up with this:

It's pretty much the right shape.  Yay!  I was now ready to do the real thing.  I unpicked the whole thing (I had machine basted it together, knowing that I would pick it apart, so it really wasn't so bad), straightened edges, and made sure everything was lined up the way it ought.  And then I used my mock-up as a pattern to cut out the real fabric.

I used "Sophia" fabric from IKEA, about 2 yards.  I laid my mock-up pieces out on my fabric, making sure that the stripes matched where they needed to, like where the seat top would be attached to the chair back.

The curved piece there is, obviously, the arm of the chair.  The skinny, short, rectangle is the front of the seat.

The almost square rectangle below is the top of the seat.
Here you can see the rest of my "pattern" pieces:

I ended up having to make the back of the seat back longer.  And I had to figure out as I went what size to make the bottom of the chair (as the mock up had no bottom...).  Like I said, I kind of made it up as I went along.  :)

After I cut all the parts of the chair out, I sewed the seat front (B) to the top of the seat (C).  Then I sewed the arms (A) to the seat front (B).  And then, I sewed the seat top (C) to the front of the chair back (D).  
When I finished when all that, I pressed my seams.

Next, I pinned the top of the arms to the front of the arms (A) and the seat top (C) and sewed them together. I repeated the same thing on the opposite side.

Again, I pressed my seams and made them look nice.  Then, I pinned the top of the chair back (the long strip) to the front of the chair back (D), sewed them together, and then did the same for the back of the chair back.

I sewed a couple more arm pieces (A) to the backs of the arms and then sewed the arms to the back of the chair.

At this point I had about the same shape as my mock up.  After pressing seams again, I measured the bottom, sewed on a bottom square, leaving a hole to stuff it through.  Then I stuffed it, using two very large bags of poly-fil and stitched up the hole I'd stuffed it through.  I stuffed it pretty tightly-packed, so it could be sat on without squishing down too much.

It was definitely worth it to make this.  It was much cheaper than if I'd bought something similar, and it's worth it just to see the smile on my little guy's face when he uses it!

I would love it if you'd hop on over to Mommy By Day...Crafter By Night and vote for my project.  Voting is open!

The poll over at  Mommy By Day...Crafter By Night will allow one vote per computer.  Voting will take place all day Wednesday, and Thursday until 8:00 PM EST (That's 6:00 pm for those of you in Colorado!).  Those moving on to the next round will be announced at 10:00pm EST on Thursday night.  I really hope I'm one of them.  :)  Voting has ended and I'm in the top 9!  Thanks, guys!


Susan said...

Turned out cute. Good luck! I'll be voting. :)

Briana Richardson said...

My kids would love these chairs! I'm just checking out the competition. Serious talent out there!

Tenderfeet Stitches said...

Oh my goodness your little dude is so cute. I love the chair and I bet my kids would too!

Catrin said...

Wow. Awesome. I love this... I would have enjoyed one of these, when I was a kid. Found you through the http://www.sew-much-ado.com Linkparty
Greetings from Germany

Susan @ athomewithsarasays said...

Making your own pattern for this is so impressive. It looks like just the right size. Great work. I love it. He is so cute too.

Rhiannon said...

Amazing, just found you over at Mommy by day. Off to vote for this, I pinned something similar to attempt, but it's clear I need a bit more skill! Great fabric choice too.

Jessie said...

I love this! Great work matching up all the strips, too--that's definitely something I wouldn't have thought of until it was too late.

I just found you off of SYTYCS--good luck!

Kimberly from "bugaboo" said...

I'm impressed! I thought at first it was just a slip cover for one of those mini chairs, but you actually stuffed it and everything! And what cheery fabric! Great job!

Melissa @ LoveBugLiving said...

I'm not sure I could attempt this, but yours looks great! He definitely looks comfy in it too!

Abby said...

That looks so amazing! My little one would love this but I'm not sure I have the patience

Elizabeth said...

So cute!

Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust said...

So smart. And I love the stripes. Thanks so much for linking it up to Fabulous Friday. Please do come back next week!

Warmly, Michelle

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