Monday, November 28, 2011

Sweet Victory

I had the honor of making my first NFL cake last week.  A birthday cake for the son of a very special lady.  Unfortunately, this Redskins cake was being made as the team was suffering a close, but still hurtful loss to the evil Dallas Cowboys ;)  Scores aside, I hope the bday boy felt like a winner when he received this.  White Almond Sour Cream cake with Chocolate Buttercream topped with a painted chocolate Redskins medallion and football cakeballs!  Thankfully, the Skins pulled out a win this weekend.  May more good things lie ahead for them.  If not this season, then next.

November was also a time of celebration for one of our favorite families as their 1st born celebrated birthday #6.  Cole is a talented athlete, even at such a young age, and he is smitten with baseball.  His party took place at a local baseball training center, where the kids got to play with the parents, while assisted by a coach.  Hungry players received subs and cakepops after - celebrating Cole and his fave team, the Yankees.  This photo was taken by his Mom, Stacy, who is a wonderful friend and gifted photographer.

That's all for today.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. 
Until next time!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dining Room Chair Transformation

You know how one project always seems to lead to another and so on? Well, I am definitely a victim of that common syndrome. So let me tell you what led to this latest frenzy of sprucing up.

It started with a plan for new floors, a painted door, holidays coming, plans for a new canine addition to the family.  You get the picture and more on all that later.

Well, the new hardwoods had me thinking that the dining room might then have lots of wood going on.  Plus, I was loving some of the linen-look slipcovers that I was seening in mags and catalogs.  So, here's my hi/low of dining room chair slipcovers.

Here are the chairs.  Dark wood, modern design, odd-shaped back.

Because of the shape, I knew I could not buy slipcovers retail.  Nor did I want to pay the cost.  So, once again I went to my bookcase and found a book that I had purchased years ago about basic upholstery.  There were directions for a wood chair slipcover with a pleated back.  Perfect!  The pleat would allow me enough leeway to be able to slip the cover over the wide back top, but still have a tailored look. 

Next, I needed to make a pattern.  I took all the measurements recommended in the book and transferred those to some basic muslin.  The idea was to make a sample cover with the muslin, fine-tuning the dimensions as I pinned it onto the chair.  I then did a loose baste on the muslin sample and marked where I sewed the seams.  Once I was comfortable with the result, I took the sample apart and used it as the pattern for the actual slipcovers.

I calculated that I would need 2.5 yards of fabric per chair.  Then I was off to the fabric store.  I had an idea of what I wanted.  Something neutral with maybe some texture or tone on tone design.  I found several that I liked, but the costs ranged from $10-$28 per yard.  WAY more than I wanted to spend - even for the low end. 

I then saw another blog (how did DIYers live without the internet??) where someone used a painting dropcloth for curtain panels.  I went straight to Lowe's to see what sizes they had.  I noticed that the dropcloth actually had a really nice raw texture to it.  Much like the imperfections found in raw silk or linen.  Then I saw this collection from Restoration Hardware and I knew I was hooked!

The best part...the dropcloth cost me $30 for all the yardage needed for all 4 chairs!!  I WILL be using this material again when I re-do the curtains in the playroom.  I am giddy with excitement over this find!

Now...I will not claim that this was an easy project.  I am not a master, or even experienced seamstress.  I would consider myself "decent", and the result shows as "pretty good".  It was a challenge and I had to re-do several of the seams.  It was a bit painful.  However, I love the pleat detail and I jazzed it up a little and finessed the fit with the addition of grommets and some leather lacing. 

Cute, huh?  My corners, etc are not perfect, but I am very happy and can't wait to see the effect once the floors are done!

Until next time!  Redskins cake in the works!