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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Custom Dining Room Slip Covers

-Personalizing Your Style-

Nothing is more exciting than decorating your home and adding your own personal style to that design process. Throughout  the last few years I have made a variety of dining room slip covers and I wanted to share a few of those images with you, as well as show the various styles available for you to choose from in the event that you are interested in having slip covers made for yourself.

This morning as I meandered the internet for slip covers for chairs I found quite a variety. This is also consistent with the variety of requests I receive from customers, each one a bit more different than the last. In short, I can pretty much make any type of chair cover. Knowing what my customers are looking for when it comes to style helps a great deal but despite that, I am always happy to help guide those that need it through the design and ordering process because I know it can be rather overwhelming. 

The time I invest in putting together the project details behind the scenes once your measurements have been received including the yardage that will be calculated, fabric picked, and creating a pattern to fit your style requests take a decent amount of time on my part and so it is my hope that this particular post will serve to lead you through some of the basics so that by the time you are ready to contact me for an order, you already have an idea of what you would like in the way of style.

The chair style for your dining room chair covers is either going to be the general Parsons styled chair, or other. If it is different, then I require an image, and you are free to send that along via etsy or via email (Craftzies@gmail.com). I just ask that you message me via etsy-my favorite mode of communication when it comes to orders on Craftzies-and let me know you have emailed me an image. 

Knowing the quantity of slip covers you are looking for is necessary when determining the fabric you would like for two important reasons. First, I need to make sure there is enough fabric available for the project you are interested in and I cannot do that until I know how many slip covers you need. This mainly comes into play with upholstery fabrics at local shops such as Mill End where they purchase a limited supply of a particular fabric and they either have enough of the print you are interested from their availability at their one store, or between their two stores.

If the shop does not have enough of the fabric you have selected in order to fulfill your request, you can either decide to mix that fabric up with another fabric, or go with another fabric print altogether in which the yardage needed is available for your entire order. The second reason why the quantity is needed in order to determine the yardage is because multiples of slip covers in conjunction with upholstery fabrics picked, ends up leading to less yardage needed for the project. That means that if you want one upholstery slip cover you may find it requires two and a half to three yards of fabric in order to complete the project but the request for a set of six may in the end require only 14-15 yards of fabric.

Measurements are essential for determining the specific yardage needed though many customers ask what the general yardage is for one slip cover, and also for multiples up to sets of 8 and I would say you are looking at about 3 yards of medium weight cotton fabric needed for a parsons styled slip cover that is full length with a draw string, hidden elastic or side ties to cinch up the back. That does not include the fabric needed for a set of 4 rosettes in back which is about  an additional half yard and usually an alternate fabric option. Slip covers that have arms also require around half to ¾ yards of fabric to cover the arms per slip cover.

Fabrics that are on the bolt usually have a width of around 44/45” and require more yardage than the wider fabrics that are of upholstery quality. The general yardage needed, based on my project notes, is about 15-16 yards of fabric for a set of 8 full length upholstery slip covers. If you were interested in a set of 6 to 8 slip covers in medium weight cotton fabric with a print, you can expect a minimum of 2.75-3 yards of fabric per slip to compensate for the narrower width and the pattern being matched up throughout.

If the chair style you are looking to cover differs from that of a standard parsons styled chair then I really like to have an image of your chair, whether it is an image you pulled off line from the manufacturer or one you took yourself. Many customers like to save themselves some time and send over the measurements from the manufacturer. Images are fine but I usually ask for additional measurements as what they provide is usually just so you know if the chairs will fit under a table or in the space you have, and are not enough to get a solid fit on my part when making your new slip covers.

The fabric you pick will determine not only the yardage needed, but if more than one bolt of fabric is needed for the project as you can expect about 12-15 yards of fabric on bolts in the fabric stores. In some cases they may have less though places like Joann’s usually carries about 14-15 on full bolts when they arrive in the stores (that’s what they say at least). Again, upholstery fabric in quantities yields less yardage needed, fabrics on the bolt as opposed to the rolls usually has a narrower width and that-along with fabric patterns in which the pattern needs to be matched up-alters the yardage needed. In many cases customers like to send me fabrics they have picked and I have no problems with that. You will see details on ordering and sending fabrics and such in my other blog posts, and I have listed those below for quick reference.

Upholstery Fabrics- http://www.craftzies.blogspot.com/2012/07/upholstery-fabrics.html

Fabric Bolts! Fabric Bolts!- http://www.craftzies.blogspot.com/2012/07/fabric-bolts-fabric-bolts.html


The real question is what style you are interested in? Here are some options to ponder:

Full Length Slip Cover-This style offers a straight, simply skirt with a cinch in the center back that is by way of a drawstring, hidden elastic or side ties.

Short and Simple Slip Cover-This style is similar to that of the Full Length Slip Cover described above however the skirt on this is much shorter, falling anywhere from about 6”-12” in length. The skirt can be gathered, pleated or with all sorts of frills and other such details as well.

Chair Back Slip Cover-This is a style in which only the back of the chair is covered. This requires much less fabric and prices are lower than the full length versions.

Seat Slip Covers-This style is where only the chair seat is covered, attached via ties or snaps.

 These slip covers are usually machine washable and can be made in solid colored medium weight cotton, medium weight cotton print, or even an upholstery fabric. Prices for solid cotton is the lowest price, cotton prints slightly higher, and then upholstery is priced higher. Upholstery fabrics picked are priced slightly differently than the cotton fabrics chosen in which I charge you for the fabric needed and then a flat rate for the work. You can also expect to pay the shipping fees that the postal service charges me and in some cases I am able to offer you an estimate of what shipping costs will be. My price is around $15-$20 per slip cover for the work, not including materials or shipping for upholstery fabrics, and I have on Craftzies an estimate of around $55+ for slip covers in upholstery weight fabric as fabric priced around $17/ yard + ends up being around that $55 for a finished, full length slip cover similar to what you see in teh images below.

Whether you would like a shorter chair skirt, a simple no-frill styled skirt, tiered layers, zippers to cinch up the slip cover backs, draw string to cinch, hidden elastic, side ties, or something entirely different, together we can design something perfect for your slip covers.

For example, the customer who ordered this set of slip covers had a set of twins and opted for the hidden elastic in order to cinch the back up because she didn’t want her boys to go around pulling out the ties in back whenever she wasn’t looking. Hidden elastic in back solved any potential problems there.

This customer only wanted the back of her chairs covered, and she needed them to be tight because her cat was on a personal mission to destroy the chair backs. A tight weave from an espresso suede cloth and wide wraps around side ties with a big button solved continued cat destruction.

Here are a few more from previous orders to give you an idea of fabric choices and styles.

The budget you are working with is also important to keep in mind when planning your project. Upholstery fabrics tend to run about $17+ per yard, and you are looking at about 2.5-2.75 yards on average for one full length slip cover and around 12.5-13.5 for sets of 6, and about 15-16 yards for sets of 8, give or take a bit based on additional details. Medium weight fabrics in solids are usually the most economical based on price per yard, especially when comparing those prices to the yardage for upholstery weight fabrics, and prints that are more referred to as quilters cottons have a tendency to require around 3 solid yards per slip cover and that does not decrease all that much when you increase the quantities because of the narrower width and in the case of prints, the extra materials needed in order to compensate in that regard.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Digital Sewing Pattern Collection

Hello and thank you for stopping by. I am excited to announce that my Digital Sewing Pattern Collection is finally finished and absolutely fabulous! Without a front image of each pattern it was nearly impossible to know exactly what I had available (no matter how organized the actual pattern collection was arranged) and so a digital copy seemed like an excellent way to quickly peruse the patterns. As it turns out, I have about 245 patterns in my stash. Who knew?! I knew I was a little pattern obsessed but seriously...

You can check out the collection here if interested > http://goo.gl/fSCLK

As some of you might already know, I originally hosted upwards of about 735 sewing patterns via the link above as a project for a friend. Since returning her patterns to her I have put together my own collection including my favorites from her patterns as well as all of my own patterns. 

For my personal collection I have uploaded a copy of both the front and back cover of all patterns to Google docs so I can access the front and back details on each pattern from my phone while shopping for supplies and while chatting with customers or blogging. I have also uploaded a copy for all of you to view as well in the event you are interested in having items made via Craftzies or Sophia. It may also prove a lovely little internet stop for those of you hoping to cheer away a rainy day or two. Nothing helps make the sun come out like dreaming up some new fashions!

If you check out the collection you will notice that I didn't bother uploading the back sides of the patterns to Picasa for all of you to see as it just didn't seem necessary. Making your own digital pattern collection however is as easy as taking a picture of the front and back of each sewing pattern you have, uploading the images, and then you're finished and ready to go.

 Here are some of my favorites:

Before I head to the craft room to work on a project I would like to wish you all a fabulous day, a fun time perusing the patterns, and a little reminder that should keep us all motivated: 

The one with the most patterns means nothing, 
its what you do with them that counts :p

and on that note I'm off to sew! See you soon-Lindsay ;)

Friday, November 2, 2012


Happy Post-Halloween everyone! I meant to post a little Halloween cheer the other afternoon but as so many of you know, Halloween comes by in such a flash (snaps fingers) that between my last minute decorating and picking up some candy there was hardly any time. I didn’t even finish my new witchy dress and I certainly did not have time to make myself a proper wand. Not that the kids cared. They were just pleased with the bags of candy I think. That’s right, I said ‘bags o’ candy’ because despite my usual ‘one candy per little monster!’ rule I had a bunch of cello gift bags left over from the packaging for the Craftzies costumes. Ed also brought home a bunch of print outs for a free download for Plants vs. Zombies and so two candies and a free video download worked well in the gift bags. I even had some extra creepy skeleton hand hair clips I tossed into some bags to just clear out the Halloween leftovers.

The boys and I were quite pleased with ourselves when one little 4-5 yr old held his similarly aged friend back upon seeing the house decked out and said “eek…I have a baaad feeling about this house…” hehe And then when the candy was delivered through the spider webs on the door (it kept the dogs inside :) it really scared their little Captain America boots off!  The last of the trick or treaters came at 9:20 and they were adults lol. They got a big handful of extra cello bags full of candy and they were super happy & so was I. I have a holiday dress to fit into and it might not be made yet, but it will by the time the holidays roll around and I mean, seriously, take that candy away!

This is my third year making Halloween costumes and I am always amazed by the Halloween rush. I really am. I also realized this year while making the costumes that I don’t necessarily need to limit my costume making just to Halloween. A few days ago I received a message via etsy asking if I could keep some of the gnome costume listings up as they wanted them, but would be able to order in a bit and I had to laugh because at that same time I was pondering keeping custom listings for the Princess Danni dress up because I really like making that dress and quite honestly, it’s not like the Game of Thrones costumes are going to lose popularity. Speaking of which I just had some happy news, my third Princess Danni named Haley received her dress and absolutely loved it so that was some happy news! In some cases the costumes take a while to put together so offering them as custom orders year round will only help me out when the Halloween season is so quickly upon us again.

Here are all of the costumes I have made so far, many of which you may recognize:

Babies and Toddlers:
Pebbles & Bam Bam-

(this is one photo of the Bam Bam Costumes though this costume has been made in different wild animal prints depending on fabric availability).

Little Pumpkin-

Mr & Mrs Potato Head-

Baby Frog-

Little Gnomies-

Junior/ Adults:
Classic Garden Gnome-

Pine Tree Car Freshener-(looking for the images...)

Zombie Bloomers-

Mummy Wrap Dress-

Star Trek Dress-

Magenta (Rocky Horror)-

Little League (Wizard of Oz)-

Mrs. Fox (Mr & Mrs Fox)-

Princess Danni Dress (Game of Thrones)-

 I had big plans of adding additional Game of Thrones costumes, and more baby and toddler costumes such as the owls, pandas, and so many others but there just wasn’t enough time. And so, I am officially declaring that the Halloween costumes you saw in the Craftzies shop this year will now be available all year long because I am just going to make them all year long. That’s all there is to it! Besides, I realized that it is really tough to find decent costumes out there. Now I get it. I have almost always made my costumes but after my sister and I hit one of those Halloween stores I realized why people go a little bit crazy for getting their hands on a decent costume.

I was on the lookout myself for one super fun witchy hat but I never did find one I could settle on. I only found one I considered a possible hat but I was not really feeling like I wanted the giant feather popping out of the top. In the end I made myself a hat and I absolutely love it! I will have my cutie take a photo of me in it but for now here is an image of it on my model. Ohh it’s fabulous. First of all, yes, that nice big brim is made with wire inside so you can mold that to how you want it. Second, the inside is lined with foam to hold that perfectly pointy shape and best yet, it even comes with a cord inside for those super windy days when you’re off flying about. You know the ones…

So, how about a little bit of witchy magic with a hat all your own? Each one is of course handmade by moi, and they are mostly hand sewn so please expect that once you place your order and give me your size/ measurements, your lovely witchy hat will arrive within 7-10 days. If you are international, you can expect shipping to take a little longer, but I will of course use my own magic in getting these made as soon as possible. I just love that wired brim and of course it made me want a big black wire ribbed hat just like this but more of a ‘non-witch’ point if you know what I mean. I am thinking something fabulously dramatic and fashionable. http://goo.gl/uJ0zZ I have a new red wool coat that a black hat will look so perfect with. I can feel a new project coming on…

Until then, as Halloween is over and we are now into the Winter Holidays, you will find I am busying myself with two things, first, custom orders for those of you who have been ever so patient in waiting until the Halloween orders were finished (TY TY TY!), and then inventory for Holiday gear. I am making new Happy Panda items, accessories for ereaders, tablets, and computers. I should have some travel totes, aprons perhaps, maybe a few table clothes, kimono robes. I have a list of new items I have been wanting to make so you just might find a few new items pop up in the next few weeks as I work my way through all of these fabrics I have in the shop. You will see shop updates including the removal of my pattern Madness sale-as soon as I get those patterns I have listed in the shop removed then (with computer voice-‘all the patterns belong to me'). In place of the pattern madness sale you will find a new blog post (coming up soon here) on my digital pattern collection. I am very excited to almost be finished with that blog post as it requires a detailed inventory plus images of all of my patterns. No small feat for sure!

I am off to message a few people and then go clean the craft shop-it is a mess for sure-but in the mean time, here are some fun links I have found, not necessarily in any relation to each other, but I like!

Lindsay ;)