Be seated in style and comfort with this gorgeous book full of ideas to revamp the things you siton everyday. if your chairs are looking past their best, or in need of a makeover, you will find beautiful projects that can turn sorry-looking seats into stylish centrepieces. Jemima Schlee’s clever use of fabrics, textures, yarns and paint not only add personality and character to any interior, they are also an ideal way for thrifty types to create a new look on a budget. From homely armchairs and pouffes to eye-catching footstools and vintage-print stools, these are the personal touches that can transform a house into a home.
…a project to transform an old footstool and add a striking shot of colour & pattern…
You will need:
(Roughly) 25cm of felt in turquoise, pink, red and orange (nb: felt can run, so either dry clean or use linen or coloured drill in its place)
White cotton drill measuring the upholstered top (including sides) of your footstool plus 5cm all round
Threads to match all your fabrics
1m iron-on BondaWeb
Pen or pencil
Herringbone tape (5cm wide x the circumference of your stool plus 10cm)
Jumbo rikrak the circumference of your footstool plus 5cm
Cut your base fabric to size: the length and width of the sides and top of your footstool plus 10cm.
At this point you need to make a decision about the size you will want your pieces and whether you will need more or fewer pieces than I have used here…. Photocopy the templates and cut out. Play around with them on your footstool and work out how many you will need.
Photocopy the templates re-sized if necessary and cut out.
Prepare your coloured felt pieces: spread out your strip of BondaWeb paper size up. With a pen or pencil draw around the orange swirl templates (template a), placing the shapes close together to avoid wasting the BondaWeb. Cut the drawn shapes off in one piece and iron onto the orange felt following the manufacturer’s instructions – generally this will mean a medium hot iron without steam. When the bond is securely fixed, cut the pieces out using paper scissors. Do the same with the ‘star’ pieces (template b) in turquoise and pink.
Finally, draw as many circles as you need (2cm wider in diameter than you have printed template b) on the BondaWeb, iron them on the red felt and cut out.
Lay out your base piece of fabric right side up on your footstool and arrange the pieces as you planned them in step 2. When you are happy with the positioning of the pieces, remove the protective paper backing and use an iron to adhere them to the base fabric, starting with the large circles.
Assemble and iron on all the pieces working methodically and ensuring you don’t iron on the glue side of the felt by mistake.
Thread the sewing machine with threads to match the felt pieces and zigzag around each piece slowly, raising and lowering the foot at sharp turns, and keeping accurately to the edge of the pieces. You can keep white thread in the bobbin throughout this process as long as your machine’s tension is good and you don’t get specks of the bobbin thread pulled through to the front of your work.
Once all the felt pieces are stitched on, turn the base fabric wrong side up and lay it over your footstool. Use pins to shape the corners so that the fabric fits snugly and remove it carefully from the stool ensuring the pins don’t fall out (appliqué.
Stitch along the corners by machine twice for strength, then trim the excess fabric 1cm from the stitch line.
Place the cover over the stool again, right side down and trim all around to the depth your require. Remove from the stool. Fold your herringbone tape in half and tack all the way round your cover encasing the raw edge. As the two ends meet, overlap and trim them to cover the raw ends. Machine close to the edge of the tape on the right side sewing all three layers together.
Tack or pin the jumbo rikrak around the inside of the hem so that half of it protrudes beyond the hem on the right side, overlapping the folding the ends in to avoid fraying. Stitch by machine along the centre of the rikrak using white thread.
Reduce or enlarge the templates to suit the size of your stool. The motif is stronger if it is slightly larger than the top surface of your footstool and drapes over the edges.
Add extra interest to your cover by stitching your appliqué onto a striped base fabric, such as ticking.
… make a beautiful Easter themed wall decoration …
you will need:
A selection of card or wrapping paper
Scallop-edged craft scissors
Access to a printer
Darning needle and sewing thread
Print the outline template for the hare, chicken, egg and bluebird onto the back of assorted coloured card and/or wrapping paper.
For hares and bluebirds: With a darning needle and sewing cotton, thread through the shapes where indicated on the template and tie the two loose ends in a simple knot.
For eggs: Cut around using craft scissors, then thread as for the hares and bluebirds.
For hens: Cut a length of sewing thread 25cm long and fold in half. Spread glue on one side of one of the small eggs, stick another egg to it, sandwiching the thread in between them 3cm from the ends of the threads.
Spread glue on one side of a hen piece, lay the egg and thread across it before placing another hen on top. Press hen pieces together around all edges. When dry, cut of the extra threads extending below the hen.
For the primroses and cherry blossoms: Cut out and fold each piece along its central axis.
Glue three pieces together to create each blossom. If they are a bit askew, carefully trim edges flush after gluing. Thread as for hares and eggs.
…soft leather lined with Liberty Lawn, a great way to use up precious scraps of each…
You will need:
15cm x 25cm soft leather 10cm metal zip
13cm x 24cm printed cotton fabric for lining
Thread to match the leather Leather sewing machine needle Sewing machine
Rotary cutter (or scalpel), cutting mat and steel ruler
Trim your leather to a rectangle measuring 13cm x 25cm using the rotary cutter or scalpel. From the scraps, cut a rectangle 2cm x 8cm. Cut your lining fabric to 13cm x 24cm.
Place one short end of the leather right side up on a strip of tissue paper. Position the zip centrally along the short edge and sew by machine using a zipper foot.
Tear the tissue away and, folding the other short end of the leather around to line up with the other side of the zip. With the wrong side out, stitch the zip to the leather, again backing it with tissue to help it move smoothly through the machine. You now have a tube of leather joined by a zip.
With the leather ‘tube’ inside out and the zip open, position the lining rectangle right side down over the zip and leather so that the three short edges align. Stitch in place by machine through all layers.
Take the other short edge of the lining rectangle and align it with the other side of the zip and stitch by machine.
Now pin the folded long edges of the lining fabric, right sides facing, and sew one side from zip end to folded end by machine. Do the same with the other side, but just half way down from the zip to the fold – this will leave you a gap for turning out. You will end up with what looks like two separate tubes.
Take the small leather rectangle and stitch a couple of millimetres in from either long edge to help it hold its shape. Stitch the full length of the two sides of the leather, from the zip to the fold, inserting the folded leather rectangle in one seam 1.5cm below the zip (make sure you do this with the zip at least half open).
Stitch at 90° across the bottom corners of the leather, 2cm from the point.
Do the same with the bottom corners of the lining.
Turn the purse through the gap in the lining so that it is leather side out and use slip stitch to close the gap in the lining seam.
..dipped in chocolate and topped with a roasted coffee bean…
You will need
230g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
100g granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
270g plain flour
2 tbsp finely ground espresso
several coffee beans
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
Baking parchment or greaseproof paper
Heat the oven to 150oC/Gas mark 2. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.
Combine the butter, sugar, and salt in an electric mixer, or with a wooden spoon in a large mixing bowl. Mix until the butter combines with the sugar but isn’t perfectly smooth. Add the flour and ground espresso and mix until the dough has just about pulled together, but try not to over-mix.
Lightly flour a surface and roll the dough to about 5mm–7mm thick. Aim for a uniform thickness for even baking. Using a circular 4.5mm biscuit cutter cut out shapes as close to one another as possible. Press the scraps together, roll them out, and cut out more.
Bake for about 20–30 minutes. Cool the biscuits on a wire rack.
Set a sheet of parchment or waxed paper on a work surface. Break the chocolate up and put it in a small heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Melt the chocolate, stirring, until it’s smooth and warm; don’t let it get hot. Dip half of each biscuit into the chocolate, place on baking parchment and place a coffee bean on the hot chocolate of each one. Leave to harden at room temperature.