Simple Sew: Double Welt Cord

December 22nd, 2010

Last Sunday I went in search of double welt cord.  I’m in the middle of reupholstering a chair, and I was seeking this specialty trim to hide some staples.  I read somewhere that you need double welt cord to make double welt cord trim, but I have since learned this is not necessarily the case.  My day started like this:

tweet 1

As I browsed the local fabric store, I realized they had no such thing as double welt cord in stock.  Wrenching my hands, wondering what to do, nervously pacing back and forth, I paused next to the upholstery supplies.  It was then I heard from behind me, “Whatcha looking for Hun?”  I thought at first this was some bored sales clerk, but then I realized by the way she said ‘Hun’ she was, in fact, a well intentioned stranger.  A stranger I shall dub ‘Saint Seamstress’ for reasons which will be revealed.  

I’m prone to striking up conversations with strangers, so I related my dilemma, wholly expecting her to shrug her shoulders, say “I dunno” and walk away.   When I explained I was in the middle of reupholstering a chair, and I needed to trim the edges to hide the staples, she immediately said, “Have you thought of using gimp?”   Gimp?  Gimp!  I knew I had encountered someone who speaks upholstery language! 

So I tackled her to the ground and made her answer all my questions under extreme duress.  

I kid.  No, I explained I didn’t want to use gimp this time, like with this bench, rather I wanted that polished double welt cord look you see on high end upholstered chairs.  I started rattling off questions and then I hit the jackpot. 

tweet 3

This lovely woman stood there unshaken at my brazen unending questions.  “Am I insane to reupholster with velvet? Velvet is so fussy and temperamental, always prone to puckering.  Is velvet really the diva of fabrics?”  “How do I round this corner with my piping (pointing to the old smoke scented foam seat)?”  Where can I find inexpensive quality foam in this town?”   And the ultimate question: “How do you make double welt cord trim?”

She shared all her secrets, tips and tricks with a smile on her face.  Don’t you love when experienced professionals share their knowledge with the world for freeeeeeee?  Why didn’t I get her name?  Why didn’t I give her my name?  Why didn’t I snap a photo of us with my phone for me to remember this blessed soul for all eternity (and then of course add to this post)?  Why God whyyyyyyy????

Sewing Your Own Double Welt Cord

Start by cutting your fabric on the bias, then sewing it together to form one long strip.  Make sure you have about 2” width of fabric to form your cord casing.  ‘On the bias’ simply means cutting ‘on the diagonal’ so that your threads criss-cross and therefore bend around the turns better.  At least, that’s my amateur definition.  Someone much smarter than me with more experience figured that out a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. 

bias long strip

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare

A Perfect December Day

December 21st, 2010

  .

A perfect December day consists of a visit to a friend’s house . . .

mia mantel

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare

Better Brighter Blog Photos

December 20th, 2010

Greetings!  I hope you all had a good weekend.  We had a great party despite the huge storm that is pounding California, and a splendid time was had by all.  Today I thought I’d address a question I keep getting via email and in comments:  “How do I take better, brighter photos for my blog?”  I do not consider myself an expert in photography by any means so I wonder sometimes why that question is even directed at me.  However, I have taught myself a few tricks for achieving higher quality images in the past year, and every now and then I take a pretty good shot.

The most important thing I have learned to make for a better brighter photo has everything to do with light.  And a good camera.  When taking photographs, either for your personal use or for your blog, good natural light and a kick booty camera are your two very best friends. 

Most photographs taken outside on a sunny day with a point-and-shoot turn out pretty well, all because of the natural light present.  Yet with interior shots, it’s tough to be as blessed with natural light unless you’re shooting a room with walls of windows on a sunny day.   When shooting pictures indoors in less than ideal conditions, here are a five tips I shoot by.   

My Five Tips for Better Brighter Blog Photos

1) Use a Good Camera

I think it’s essential to invest in a good SLR digital camera with variable settings (F-stop, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, white balance, etc.) if you want to have high quality interior photos.  I know there are a lot of comparatively inexpensive point and shoot digital cameras out there, and they are perfectly fine for so many everyday uses, but for high quality blog photography, invest in a good camera.  I use my Nikon D60 that allows for changeable lenses, and I use two kinds of lenses that I mention in my FAQ page

2)  Know Your Manual 

When my hub bought me my Nikon D60 three years ago, I always used the auto setting just because it was so darn easy and I was, at first, intimidated by the manual settings.  80% of the time, the ‘Auto’ setting worked fine and produced adequate images. 

However, the ability to manipulate your camera’s light settings makes all the difference in the world in less than perfect light conditions, and when shooting interiors or detail shots.  Here is just one half of one page in my Nikon’s manual but look how much information can be gathered from this quick camera tour.   

nikon image settings

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare