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1  Cafe-style table and chairs for a front porch in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by kate conspiracy on: February 24, 2008 12:08:33 PM

A table and chairs set for my front porch, so we can have coffee outside once it gets a little warmer, decorated from finds at a local consignment furniture store. I drive a corolla and couldn't fit it in the car so I ended up carrying the table the home Smiley


The table is obviously made from someone's scrap wood bin - two of the 2x2 legs are poplar and 2 are pine Smiley The top is strand board. I put a veneer strip around the end and then filled most of the top with wood filler to fill the gaps in the strand board. And then painted! I used 100% latex acrylic semi-gloss house paint over exterior primer. I wanted to paint a design on the top but couldn't find the right inspiration. I think I'll do some sort of centerpiece involving a citronella candle instead.

Close up of the seat design:

I replaced the degraded yellow vinyl with a layer of tyvek and followed by cotton duck. I re-used the original cotton padding since it was in good shape, and then used tyvek housewrap we had leftover to protect the cotton from moisture (tyvek is also used in those tear-resistant postal service mailing envelopes). I painted the design using the same acrylic house paint, diluted 1:1 with Golden's fabric medium. To get the outline colors I tinted it with artists' acrylics. Heat set it in the dryer as per the fabric medium instructions - it seems pretty flexible (no indication that it might crack) and it washed well. It'll only be spot washed as it's now part of the chair, so I think it'll hold up fantastically.

The chairs fold up:

They're actually a set of four - I did them all the same way, but two are hanging out in the house for when we have guests over.

They were made by an I'm-sure-now-defunct company called Leg-O-Matic (awesome name!) They have quite an elaborate but wonderful mechanism folding mechanism.

My kitten wanted to get in on the action Smiley

Thanks for looking! We've got a whole bunch more painting to do on the porch (like the chalky aluminum siding and trim in the background) but hopefully we'll have a nice garden-view retreat by this summer.

This whole thing was precipitated by replacing the old gross plywood that was our previous porch ceiling with some beadboard a little more appropriate for the house (built in 1800). Gratuitous ceiling shot:

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2  Painting cotton duck seat covers for outdoor use - sealing the acrylics? in Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions by kate conspiracy on: February 10, 2008 07:40:23 PM
I am working on a "bistro set" (a small round table and two chairs) for our front porch. The items will be kept outside, but under a porch roof. Here is a photo for reference:

First question: I plan to paint the table and wooden parts of the chairs with exterior latex acrylic (house and trim) paint. I want to paint the top of the table with artist's acrylic paint and then pour a thin coat of epoxy over the top of the table to seal in the painted design and give it a nice hard surface. Will the solvents in the epoxy upset the acrylics when it's poured?

Second question: I am reupholstering the seats of the chairs with cotton duck. I want to paint a design that will mimic the table on the cotton duck, using acrylics, potentially diluted with fabric medium. Do I need to seal the acrylics into the fabric when I'm done, since this it is intended for outside? What sort or spray or sizing would I need?

Thanks for any input / ideas!

Footnote: I'm planning the main color to be a dusty midrange blue, with light gray-blue seat covers.  The idea is to do a two-tone botanical design on the table (sort of like this duvet cover) with the lighter color as close as possible to the color of the chair seats, and a darker color, probably a milk chocolate, as the contrast. Then the same color chocolate would be used for a simple design on the chairs.
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3  Plant table in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by kate conspiracy on: August 25, 2007 06:46:33 AM
My first attempt at woodworking - although I thought I knew what I was doing when I assembled it in a different order than my instructions said (like I usually do for sewing patterns Wink ) everything had to come apart and get re-assembled closer to the original instructions. Initally I tried to assemble the legs and rails and set the table on top of it, but it was all cock-eyed, and in highsight it was pretty obvious that it would have been cock-eyed.

This was spun off from the coffee table project here - http://www.buildeazy.com/coffee_lounge.html

The basic differences from the project instructions above are the size of both the legs, the table, and the rails, how the legs are attached, and the lip to hold the plant pots in place. The size difference is obvious, as this table is long and skinny and not coffee table shaped. I used 1X2 for the rails instead of 1X4s, which I thought would overpower the piece. To attach the legs, I used hanger bolts (they look like this) which have wood screw threads on one side and bolt threads on the other. This way once the legs are on no hardware is visible from the outside.

The table top is a length of paint-grade board, with 1x3s making the lip around the edge. I glued the frame to the table top with wood glue, ample clamping and some short screws from the underside for good measure. I used poplar wood, because it was inexpensive for a first go at this type of project, plus I liked the purple and green streaks. I used black milk paint for the center portion, and finished the rest with just some sanding and a few coats of water-based polyacrylic.

The floor beneath where this table would go wasn't completely level, so I added some adjustable height metal feet (furniture feet section of Lowe's)

The table in its intended nook

Another picture - we finally finished painting our kitchen Smiley

sprouting garlic enjoying the morning light - the finishing touch was to "borrow" a few stones from a local stream bed for a little organic decoration
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4  Method for sewing room organization in Interior Decorating: Completed Projects by kate conspiracy on: August 25, 2007 05:39:16 AM
My husband got a sheet of pegboard to hang in his closet to organize cables, and I thought "brilliant!" BUT it usually can only be found in dark brown. So I took the leftover panels, primed them and painted them with some leftover latex paint from the walls of the room (it's a very pale sea green).

To give the hooks the needed room from the wall, I built a frame out of 1x2s and set the pegboard on top of that. Then I got some skinny house trim (from Lowe's - not quite where this stuff is intended to be used originally) and built a  frame for the top, painted it white (matches the trim in the room), and nailed it in place. So the pegboard is just sandwiched between the two frames. I used trim caulk to fill in any imperfect corners Smiley  If you have access to a router, you could just cut a groove into a larger piece of trim and end up with a really sweet frame, completely hiding the pegboard edge (or rather, not using paint to do so)

You can see the black screws (I'm going to touch up with a bit of paint) where the boards were screwed into the wall (through the 1x2 frame which is a bit larger than the white trim). Definitely want to screw this into studs!

The different tins have pins and such in them.

The little boxes and pencil box were found in the peg board aisle at home depot, and spray painted silver to look slightly less garage-y than their original color. They hold machine needles, hand needles, seam rippers and small tools.

The thread rack is just a bunch of 1" peghooks!

All told, the project probably just passed $40, including the 1/2 sheet of pegboard but not counting the paint which was on hand. I couldn't find the 1" peghooks locally (the home and hardware stores here just sold multipacks of peghooks) so I had to order those online.

The best part is, each panel is only attached with four screws into the studs, so if I want to take them down, it's just a little drywall mud in the screw holes and a little paint touch-up.

Now that I can find all of my sewing tools when I look for them, I'm actually in the mood to sew -

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5  Re: T-shirt pillow? in Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions by kate conspiracy on: April 26, 2005 08:04:02 PM
here's my version:

I have instructions here: http://www.savvyseams.com/apt/tpillow.php

I promise invisible zippers are very easy!
If you're sheepish, you could try an envelope style back, like on this: http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/1508-AA.shtml

or, just try the classic sham pillow (it has an opening in the middle of the back that is covered up by an overlap) http://www.waverly.com/Project/ShamDirect.asp (pretty good instructions)

I used a pillow form in my pillow - initially I wanted to do the sham method, but I didn't have enough fabric in the t-shirt, so I used the invisible zipper. You could also use a contrast fabric on the back (maybe even from another t-shirt?) to do the sham option.
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6  teatime in my head - messenger bag / tote combo idea - will this work? in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions by kate conspiracy on: April 10, 2005 06:03:22 PM
So, I'm thinking of making a bag Smiley

This bag, to be exact (forgive my miserable drawing skills)
but I have a few questions for whoever may have answers
So here's the bag:
I want to make it out of a lightweight slubby denim with black burlap as a contrast and lined with coated ripstop nylon. I want it to look rugged, not technical, but still be sorta technical when it comes down to it.

A: Removable shoulder strap. The questions are: how to attach/detach it? I could use those plastic clips are are usually used for attaching straps, and clip it to looks in the bag, but I hate the way they squeak when you walk. I also thought of using side-release buckles - sewing one half to the bag and the other half to the strap. The negative is then when the strap is detached you have two halves of buckles hanging in the bag, and you're limited to that one strap. Also, if it were you, would you make the strap of denim, burlap, or just use black webbing?

B: Tote handles. I want to make them long enough to throw over the shoulder. Outside will be burlap, inside will be denim. Pretty standard. (I guess LL Bean made this look popular?) Do the straps need to run completely underneath the bag for strength?

C: Here's where it might get iffy. I want to put a flap. The reasons why I think this may be iffy will be explained in a point or two.

D: Flap would close with a strap and a small side release buckle.

E: Burlap covering the bottom. Any advice on how to sew up the corners?

F: Because of the flap, the straps on the front will only be sewn an inch or two above the bottom. Is the front going to sag too much because of this? I have a idea to prevent this in "J"

G: I'll finish the edges with denim facings. Not sure how to finish the side seams though...

H: Again, how to attach the shoulder strap. I'm thinking that putting in loops and using clips may be the most flexible way to go. I think I may take the strapping that makes the loop and sew it down ontop of the side seam the whole way down to finish it.

I: coating ripstop lining makes it water-resistant.

J: thinking of adding a magnetic snap here to help pull up the front of the bag. Maybe I should use another strap and side release buckle? Would either option pull at the back too much?  Maybe I don't need anything at all?


K: Map pocket on the back. I'll set it in so the three edges and caught when the straps and bottom covering are sewn down.

So, yeah. I'm trying to sort my thoughts out on how to do this. I want this to be my really great everyday bag and weekends out bag.  Any advice welcome  Cheesy

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7  Purple Corduroy Blazer in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by kate conspiracy on: March 13, 2005 04:05:24 PM
The body of this blazer is from Simplicity 4698, which comes in B,C,D cup sizes. (I'm a D so it was nice not to have to adjust the bust, because that can be difficult sometimes). Also, the sleeves/shoulders are cut so you don't need shoulder pads.  I *really* dislike shoulder pads.

-The lapels are curved in the pattern. I made them straight.
-I added patch pockets with a banded top, including a little breast pocket.
-I cut the sleeve shorter and made long cuffs with buttons.
-I didn't interface anything. I want the jacket to be soft and comfy, and to have a "worn-in" look. I think I'm going to take a cheese grater to some of the seams as well.

Here's the pics:

This one shows one other little alterations I made - I put this little "belt" in the back. Sorry about the terrible quality of the pic, but the lighting in my apartment is horrible.
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8  "Choose Your Own Adventure" Bag in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by kate conspiracy on: January 22, 2005 08:21:04 AM
Modified to add: I've post the pattern and instructions now. If you want them, you can get them here: http://www.savvyseams.com/bags/adventure.html


So this is my bag that I'm calling my "Choose Your Own Adventure" Bag, for reasons that will make more sense when I get the pattern and instructions finished (It's snowing like crazy today, and it's quite cold, so I've got nothing to do but stay in and work on it Smiley ) Plus, it sorta looks like the type of bag you should carry if you were off on some fairy-tale adventure in the mountains. I made it "water resistant" by fusing coated ripstop nylon to the fabric (it also doubles as interfacing). So, it should be a pretty rugged bag. The seams aren't sealed though, so it's not completely water-tight, but it's good enough to protect the insides a bit.

It's a surprisingly minimalist bag for me, usually I go all out with pockets and such. This only has two pockets, plus the main compartment. This is the first thing that I've made *entirely* from my stash. The fabric is left over bits of a wool/poly blend  (actually it didn't take much fabric - less than 3/4 yard of 54", and I wrecked a little trying to figure out the design). The thread is extra from some other project. It's lined with a different wool/poly blend fabric, some bits that I've had for years. The buttons (which don't match, they're just about the same color) are from my button tin, which is mostly buttons from my grandma's button tin. The coated ripstop and fusing material - again remnants from another project. The zipper was reclaimed from something. (It feels great to use your stash - too bad it's still accumulating faster than it's being used!)

Okay, so here are the pics:


Close up of the strap pocket and my little free-hand embroidered savvyseams logo:


The front of the bag


Close up of the double-welt pocket (or do you call this a piped pocket?)


The green lining in the pocket

The zipper close and the lining

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9  Re: Skirt with no elastic, no zipper? in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by kate conspiracy on: January 14, 2005 04:24:23 PM
I used a vogue pattern (I can't remember the number, and I can't find it on the website anymore so I guess it's out of print) but I made several changes, but I can tell you how to make it from any basic A-line skirt pattern with front and back darts (everyone pattern company has several).

Make sure the waist is where you like it, otherwise trim the pattern down from the top, and make sure the length is the way you want. Then take the front piece (which if probably a piece you cut on the fold) and trace it onto pattern tracing paper, so you get a front piece that looks like this:

of course it's a terrible drawing but I think you get the idea. Think of the full skirt piece, but cut down one of the darts. So the finished piece is 2/3 of a skirt pattern, and you'll only sew the one dart in each piece.

So cut two fronts, one needs to have the side seam on the left, the other piece has the side seam on the right.

If you want to put the straps on the D-rings, make 1" straps to sew into the side seams when you sew the skirt together.  Then use some of the straps to sew the d-rings to the overlap piece. I used two sets of straps, the one you can see and then one at the waistband which is hidden by my shirt. I used hooks and eyes to fasten the underlap to the waistband.

I hate hems, so I just used one long strip of wide single fold bias tape as a facing to do the hem, finish the free sides on the over- and underlaps, and finish the waist band.

The pockets and just basic patch pockets, I just drafted the pattern to be like on I had on a pair of pants.

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10  Re: Skirt with no elastic, no zipper? in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by kate conspiracy on: January 14, 2005 06:13:13 AM
Wrap skirts! Of course, not every skirt works well in a wrap style, and it genereally takes 50% more fabric, but I think they're really interesting and then you can close it with a variey of ties for a romantic look (like on rayon, linen), or use straps and D-rings for a more rugged look (like on denim) or use side-lock buckles for a techno-type look. You could also use a row of buttons, either along the waistband, or down the overlap.

I made this denim skirt with D-rings I really like -

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