Friday, December 2, 2011

Updated: Like a Cheapskate in a Thrift Store

You may remember my little $1 thrift store project from here.

I took an old director's chair purchased from Valley Thrift and transformed it into a would-be luggage rack. That project is finally complete! I actually finished it in an evening of motivation prior to Mansi & Calvin's visit. Which of the following options did I pursue:

1) Fashion a replacement fabric cover much like the red one in the original photo using the same fabric that I used on the upholstered bench. This has dowels that slide into grooves on the top of the former seat.

2) Create a cover (with the same fabric as the upholstered bench) much like the red one except don't use the dowels. Instead, staple the fabric cover to the underside of the rack.

3) Don't use a fabric cover at all. Instead, buy thick, sturdy ribbon and staple multiple straps to the top of the luggage rack. This would be similar to what you would see in a hotel room, like this.

I chose Option #1 (mostly because I had the fabric on hand and I didn't have any ribbon accessible the night I did this). A little sewing action took place at the Whites. I am a novice seamstress, but I do have a great sewing machine that my mom gave me. She is an accomplished blanketer (NOT a quilter, she says she's too young for that) and had an extra sewing machine at her house. I certainly did not follow proper sewing protocol with this project.
I don't want to emabarass myself with in progress photos here, but I'll give you the play by play. I had scraps of the black and white bench fabric, so I decided to use that. I pieced together two good sections and sewed them together vertically. I tried matching the patterns together, but that proved too difficult for my first-time sewing skills. I also sewed white fabric (also leftover) to the back for added strength. Instead of sewing the black and white pieces first then sewing the white fabric on later, I did it all at once sandwiching 4 pieces of fabric together.
Next, I folded the front and back seams. Instead of pinning them, I decided to iron them flat. That worked pretty well. Plus, it allowed me to avoid sticking myself with needles, which surely would have happened. Proper sewing protocol says you should pin the pieces, iron, sew, iron, repeat (or so I'm told by a googled video). I basically just skipped the pinning altogether.
The director's chair came with two dowels. This is what held the red fabric in place. I decided that if this method was sturdy enough to hold a human, it could hold some luggage. I sewed little pockets for my dowels to slide into. Then, I jimmied the fabric covered dowels into the trenches on the inside of the director's chair. Voila:
My half-hearted sewing worked okay for this project, but I wouldn't call it high quality!

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