Sunday 27 May 2012

Sucking Up Complaints and Getting My Hands Dirty

I was thinking about my earlier post “House Envy” and specifically, my complaints about my worn-out couches.  My great-grandmother was an amazing craftswoman, adept at sewing and all sorts of artistic embellishment.  She had incredible patience and an eye for detail.  She had a small stone cat that she decided was too plain and so she clipped plush fur from a stuffed toy and glued it, tuft by tuft, onto the stone cat.  When she finished, it looked professionally done.

She told me that you can teach yourself to do almost anything provided you’re willing to take your time and be patient. 

So I decided to swallow my complaints and teach myself the finer points of upholstering.  I’m a decent sewer.  I’m tall, but on the short side of tall with a short waist and long arms.  Which means I end up having to alter a lot of my clothes to make them fit.  I sew Hallowe’en costumes for my children and over the last few years, I’ve patched a number of the holes on our couches.

I ventured out and bought myself a set of upholstery needles and three king-sized bedsheets.  Then I spent the next four days custom fitting a set of slipcovers onto our couches.  I’ve tried standard slipcovers in the past and discovered they don’t tend to stay put very well.  Instead of simply wrapping fabric around the couch frame, I sewed it into the upholstery.  That should keep everything in place as children and cats bounce all over the living room.

It looks pretty good if I dare say so myself.  Once again my great-grandmother’s advice has been proved right. 

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