Thursday, December 30, 2004

You are at the top of the list Dee...

I did a post the other day too, and it came up someplace else.

I guess that is just the way things land in cyberspace sometimes...


Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Test - to see WHERE this lands. Last time I posted, it landed several posts down (not on top).

Do we have a Resident Computer Genius?

Monday, December 27, 2004

You can't get anything done with the kids and hubby around? Oh is that so???

I am someone else knows more about maxi lock which is serger thread used for homesewers.... I do use it for my slipcovers and it works well in home machines. When you go to commercial machines, maxi lock will break, so one needs something stronger.

I know Claudia gets serger thread from some place, and Shirley has serger thread. I'm sure you asked them what they use...

As for group rates, get a commitment from others first before you order. Being a dealer would be nice, but not if you have to put a lot of money up front.

Thanks for thezipperlady's website .....

K with SA
As far as zippers.... did you know we have someone who is in that business?

The Zipperlady. You can find her online at

Hi All...

Best wishes to everyone.

We will start mailing out the issue of the Slipcover Press for Dec/Jan... I guess we could call it our winter edition. Make sure I have you snail mail address, if you have not been getting the Slipcover Press.

Also if you are on any other forums and folks do slipcovers, would you let them know about the Slipcover Press, please...

Wow Dee, you are something else. What do you want to know specifically about a group buy? We have done it before.

I will try to help if I can.

Karen, Re: group purchases...

So, how is it normally done? My initial guess is: I receive the order, then repackage items and mail USPS (so, purchase cost [+ S&H] + packaging material cost + postage cost = final cost per person].

I will see what's involved in becoming a distributer; otherwise, they might not give us a wholesale price (details were not clear when I last spoke with them). Give me another week to figure this out (because I am accomplishing NOTHING with husband and kids home for winter vacation...).
Happy 2005 to all of us!

I've been researching thread (construction, fiber, size) on the CHFI Slipcover Forum - I'll post everything here as soon as it's finished. Several of us have discussed a direct group purchase from American & Efird (manufacturer of PermaCore, etc.), and I'm trying to negotiate distributer pricing with them. If anyone here has ever worked out a long-distance group purchase before, please post details! We're not sure how to proceed...

I love research; I really miss my research days... *sigh*

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Karen and all, best wishes, today and all the coming year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Yes, Shirley it could have been redirected depending on how they have set their spam mail, or junk mail setting.

I do not send mail from the slipcovernetwork site directly, nor from the slipcoveramerica site.

If someone requested a pricing summary and did not get it all they need to do is send another email and ask for one. We are happy to help out.

So, spread the word. I think we have sent out about 200 of these already to folks all over the country.

K with SA
is there any chance people who you sent list by email may have had that email and attachment redirected to their junk box by their isp ?

If this is the case, what do you reccomend ?

Monday, December 13, 2004

The Slipcover Pricelist Summary which covers North America and then broken down by several regions of the USA attained in 2 ways...

1)Email attachements is fast and easy. Can be zipped off as soon as I get business information. Send email to and for our records we need to know the following:

Name of Business
Address of Business (including, city, state and zip code)
Phone number of Business
Website or email address.
How will they use the information..

2)Hard copy costs $5 for processing and mailing. A check or credit card should be send to The Slipcover Network 8118 Skipley Rd Snohomish, Washington 98290.
We do need the same business information for are records as I have stated above.

We are so happy to share this information.
Karen with Slipcover Network
several people asked me for the price list lately, Karen, would you give instructions about how to get one ?

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Hi All...

Found a great site for Hemp fabrics. Looking into wholesale pricing.

Hope everyone is well.

Thanks! I'll probably go with natural.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

I sell more natural color fabrics, than white. However when we are done it looks like white in the room, if there is no other white.

Love that natural look in Hompsun, denim, linen fabrics.

People buy my natural canvas about three times as often as the bleached white.
For those who work a lot with textured, neutral cottons...

Which do customers seem to prefer: white or natural/off-white?

I'm thinking about getting a full bolt of... something... (Hobnail? Something from Z-Tex?), wanted to know if customers tend to lean toward one or the other.


Friday, November 26, 2004

well, just some general guidelines. This is Homespun Fabrics PO box 4315 Thousand Oaks Ca. 91359 Hob Nail patternway color white , and though it took longer than predicted, it's beautiful when done.

It needs to be cut 5% large for me, I am not rewashing for removal of residual shrinkage. Rewashing makes it even more wildly wiggly and stretchy.

I'll take my chances hiding the 5% extra in the dressing of it on the chair. There's no claim of residual shrinkage made, says preshrunk, but leaving %5 extra was acceptable to look at, and safer than assuming.

Crinkle ( crashed ) voile was great for lining the skirts, I cannot believe such an unlikely choice had all the needed properties. It will give if asked, and will sew on then shrivel, good for this Hob Nail.

Sewing it makes it stretch, and the more you add, the more stiff and the longer it gets. You must consciously limit this when adding each new layer. Skirts were the thickest, I used big honking ( thank you Dede ) walking foot, ( only for skirt ) and as I sewed, pushed toward the needle the incoming fabric. I unscrewed the presser foot pressure control untill it was very light pressure.

The leg hole facings are cord casing used as bias double fold tape would be used. I left the seam allowance in there, all of it. I zig zagged slowly as near my nose as I could place the machine. It's stiff, yes, but it turns up like a collar, and it's very near the diameter of the cording on the rest of cover. It's secure, uniform, and hugs the legs.

Shirley Hendry Walsh...........................

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Well, because I love what this Hob Nail looks like done, I am going to add it to the list of fabrics discussed at " Washed and Rewashed Fabrics, Tricks and Tips " at this next summit.

For instance, in order to top stitch it with a cord edge finish, I had to ( after experimenting ) apply 12% less cord to the fabric than when it measures flat. Said differently: if I had an edge that needed cord being 19" I'd consciously limit the cord applied to 17" or a bit less.

Hard to control unless you apply empty casing to face, pull it evenly, and then fill it with cord. Comes out perfectly flat with my sewing it, maybe needs adjustrment for machine and operator.

I got roller coasters untill I found the courage to eliminate that much, I didn't get to that point but by steps. A filled casing was hard to control, the empty one went on just as fast.

Again it came out flat and the right size once done, and did not require a walking foot to do this well .

Dede, I got your package. Thanks, I am going to try a couple.
Struggling to finish this Hob Nail job for six french DR chairs. Struggling to regain interest in all the remaining holiday sewing, but this is a pickle of the dill variety.

Sticking to the plan, too far gone to change, and no fresh ideas have occurred to me anyway.

It requires patience, and many many many many notches.

I may break out the Pfaff1222e before the day is done to secure with slow zig zag the facings around leg openings and then just whack off the excess.

The thicknesses are a real issue, and next time I may use voile facings everywhere, maybe complete ones cut bias.

This is luxury work, despite the washable kitchen~y nature, and it needs to be priced as to expect it to take as long as any job needing careful sewing.

It will be a luxury for the end user who decided to place expensive chairs at the breakfast table.

Email me for pricing talk and my decsion about the next time I price it.

Anyone ever done this have suggestions that have not come to me yet ?

Sunday, November 14, 2004

10pm Sunday nite here in Arizona. Claudia and I just finished doing a dog show. Wow we talked to a lot of people. Offering pet furniture, critter covers for their furniture, plus photos of their dog on pillows for holiday gifts and other occasions.

Claudia also told folks about here sewing workroom. 250 cards were past out.

Check out to see her pet site.

K with SA

Saturday, November 13, 2004

oh yeah, I didn't rewash it, no. For the reason you said, it's stabilized by this last adding of sizing. Fabric would be even more stretchy without it.

Maybe I should quanitfy the changes, I see it as big, but then I am nervous about my promises. If you weren't looking for the changes, and it happened all at one or over time by EVENLY, then it's not a big deal.

I had the benefit of seeing on of Karen's sample covers that got washed funny, and putting this in context, I am LOOKING for this stuff, it was obvious to me.

When I cut my french chair cover I left hills of excess at the leg openings, a half inch or more, as I cannot predict further shrinkage.

On a non washed ( remember it was prewashed, so it acts washed even with more sizing added ) a nonwashed piece of fabric wouldn't look right with all that excess. The Hob Nail just rolled and poofed, it looked fine to me to leave it there ( in case of shrinkage ).

Had I washed it, I still wouldn't know if I had gotten all the shrinkage out. And, this is a perfect case of, even if it came out of the dryer small, I could dampen and pull, and it would give up more size. It isn't absolute, like shrunk and it's gone.

Though I wish it were available at true wholesale, and I wish it sewed faster, I do trust this. I trust the Hob Nail a lot, I'd put it over any shape furniture that presents itself. I trust it to pull it tight, I trust it to come out of the washer and dryer and go right on. I would not, this early in my testing, dry in hot. Maybe others have ?

Friday, November 12, 2004

Dee... let me tell you how they wash or pre shrink fabric at the mill. They do not wash it like you or I would. It is dipped in a big bay of hot water, then dried and rolled back onto a huge roll.

So what does the fabric do but re-stretch out. So when it come off the roll it is bigger than it would normally be even after being dipped in water.

If you are selling a washed/ or pre shrunk product one does need to make sure it is pre shrunk.

Homespun actually rolls the fabric off the bolt for you, and she sends it out to be washed before she shipped it to her clients. She has pre shrunk it for you. You may want to call DeAnne and find out how hot she sets the water, and if she dries it too, to get a better idea of her shrinking procedure.

Hope I have helped.

Shirley, do you think this is a case where it would be better to NOT WASH before sewing? The fabric is already pre-shrunk by the mill - maybe the sizing they evidently add to the wash would help the fabrication process?

I really appreciate your insight.
just because the bleach has been rinsed out twice does not mean they didn't go back and add sizing. Sizing is added back to most if not all " washed " cloth.

All I know is that white Hob Nail will come out blue white when washed in hot and strong detergent, from my experience. It arrives on the bolt a little softer shade of white, like chalk.

And, yes, it's very elastic.

Sizing is acceptable to me, it makes it easier to sew. You need only be aware for the sake of promising how washable it is. If it got lighter in spots and not entirely, it would then perhaps be a problem.

Could you explain this further?

"The hob nail white has a tea stain overcoloring which will wash out and then it will be white white. Use cold water and mild soap predisolved and this may retard this happening. The tea stain like color and sizing may be one and the same, it will wash out with hot if that's your preference."

According to the Homespun website, all of their fabric is woven from untreated, natural (undyed) cotton. White fabric (according to them) is that same "natural" fabric, bleached and then double-rinsed.

Is your experience different than what they are claiming? Also, is the difficulty you're having sewing Homespun due to its inherent elasticity?

Z-Tex has some nice white and natural-colored textures, but the old 50 yard minimum still applies. My samples don't feel as "stretchy" as Homespun.


The hob nail is the heaviest pattern way, and the natural seems to have more substance than the white white, which looses some substance in the bleaching.

I only used it twice before, and I was nervous about delivering, it seems hard to tame while sewing. Customers reported great happiness with it after washing, and it did cover enough ( hide ). I can forsee circumstances where it just won't hide enough in white white colorway. I think the natural would always cover well.

The hob nail white has a tea stain overcoloring which will wash out and then it will be white white. Use cold water and mild soap predisolved and this may retard this happening. The tea stain like color and sizing may be one and the same, it will wash out with hot if that's your preference.

It takes me twice the time to sew. You have to look at that statement in context to me: I can wizzz through, and this I cannot wizzz. The normal strategies I use half asleep don't work. I sewed cord in casing after casing was sewn to face pillows and cushions. That pulled the perimeter back down to the original perimiter size, overlocking having pulled it out like it was rippled. Think roller coaster.

I will box them on my 206RB Consew, as I am fearful adding boxing will stiffen if small stitch and stretch once again. I can use a long stitch, and 0/3 cotton. Remember it's to be washed. I made facings with viole ( yep ).

The good news, is these are french chairs with a huge hump in the seat, and the customer wants as much leg to show as possible. So, it draped over that hump and turned the leg joints well, and draped over those legs to then close with an overlap all in one piece. It's very flexible, it's one unique saving quaility.

I can add a 5" skirt after pleating front corner, without a band. I faced the skirt with voile, it cannot hem decently, I tried straight stitching and blind hemming, it just waved uncontrolably. I added it as if it was lining, and stitched the top.

You cannot make a folded or turned tie with it, but that's true of many washables.

It has texture, which is the one drawback that sinks the sales of the canvas I prefer. I looks organic, it's as friendly as bedding.

I am going to say this, whether it's PC or not. This yardage was ordered by a retailer in a brick and mortar store. The price was not reduced by much, and quantity was not the issue. This person really wanted this stuff, and there you are: if the customer would choose it over anything else you offered, you are where they are, stuck with the way things are. All considered, I'd offer it again, if I get my time paid for. I feel good about the outcome.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Shirley, please tell us more about working with Homespun. I love the texture, and as Karen has mentioned before, it is an environmentally-friendly product.

My only concern (as yours) is that it is too lightweight - what have you learned?
I can sell environmentally friendly. It's a part that fits into the whole, when I sell washables for allergic families.

There's lot about fabric that distresses me, the goo, how much it changes once washed ( what was in it ? ) how much less substance it has once washed. Can we get more natural stuff ?

I am currently using the Homespun nobby white, after hesitating about the thickness and the price. I like the idea it comes washed and natural looking.

It's been easier to sew than I imagined, though with some changes to my routine: I am sewing the cord into the casing after the casing has been applied to the cushion face, to shrink it in a bit. Overlocking does stretch it out.

Tell us more about what you heard.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Hi all...

I just got back from San Francisco... a GREEN FESTIVAL, you now environmentally friendly to the EARTH that we live on. I attended several workshops focused on Interior Design, home decor etc. I have been concerned about the fabrics, building materials that we use inside our homes, for ourselves and our customers.

My focus was to see how we can help ourselves and our customers with better health inside their homes and to offer alternatives for healthier living. Also to use products that help reduce energy consumption, rather than just to consume.

My goal over the next year is to become wiser in this area and to seek out new resources in this field. We are already helping our customers to recycle their furniture, when we offer then the opportunity to have a slipcover instead of buying something new, and getting rid of the old furniture.

Now to find fabrics, that we can offer our customers that our natural and are fair trade if they come from other countries.

Any one else interested in knowing more? Anyone else have knowledge about what I am rambling on about?

Off to Arizona tomorrow to work with Claudia at a Pet Show. Critter covers for pets is our purpose, and also will sew some slipcovers there.

Will be checking the blog...
Would love response
K with SA
Yes you can go back and edit further. I have my blog to go back 100 posts. I think that might be the beginning of time.

When you get into the blog check the top of your screen. You will see a place that says show, you most likely have 5 in that number. If you click on the arrow it will give you other options. Hopefully when it edits that post it will bring it up to the top of the postings.

Try it and see. Otherwise let me know what you'd like to edit and I will try to bring it up.


is it possible to edit posts that are farther back than the last five posts ? They are not offered on the edit screen, I wondered how to access.........

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Just to prove I can do something twice:


I don't really have a lot to say except my serger won't let me serge a seam after it has been corded unless I have nearly 3/4 inch seams. (I've gotton good at seeing notches through the serging stitch!)

This ( I think ) is the last post in the series of double on half procedures. For those not registered having questions to post, contact Karen for blogger invitation.

Where I left off, I had ( let's say ) three groups of people, some having not unpinned the fitting ( method one ) some having unpinned and repinned in a single layer ( method two ) and some having unpinned the outside body parts and corded them ( method three ).

No one group has saved time, the time you use on the first try will be understanding what you are looking at. There are no wrong answers, you can do something other than what I am describing as long as you understand it.

The standards to hit here are:

cord applied to outside body pieces does not cause outside body pieces to become smaller. Nothing puckers or twists. Baste only, using largest stitch that does not cause to pucker.

Inside body pieces blend ( get sewn ) into the outside body piece to which it goes, by easing it in. You may have planned darts, sew them securely. There will be excess to blend, a little or a lot. Baste joining seam at first only. Once certain, resew. You may have areas that need to be stretched as well. If notches demand it, then stretch.

The cord you use outlines certain shapes in a purposeful way. I will end this post with a list that will tell you where you'd normally apply it .

Intersections are secure, yet flexible. This will be your biggest challenge. If and when you sew over top of a previously corded seam, it must naturally meet the seam you are currently sewing at a 90 degree angle, or you must not sew over top the seam allowance of the formerly made seam. Alternately, as in quilting, you may sew up to a point and stop, approaching it from all directions. You need not sew over the middle or over seam allowances. Backtack all. Pull 1/2" of cording out of any seam you are crossing or approaching with the alternate suggestion.

Your uncorded seams ( the seams which dive into the deck area ) all almost always flat and smooth. When there's excess ( bunchiness ) to one side, ease, or if previously noted and planned, dart. With more confident cutting, bunchiness will occurless often. At minimum overlock these uncorded seams to strengthen them. You may top stitch as well.

All notches must match. If they are off to a greater extent than 1/4" at one spot, or 1/8" in a series, you must rip and restart. You need not sew a long seam from start to finish. Match ( sew ) notches first and then close between them. You may sew cord on half ( the outside most half ) and then sew the inside body piece to it. Your notches get sewn first and then the rest. Untill you get experience, do this piece meal.

Whatever you do to the right side you must do to the left. This statement applies to good sewing as well as bad. Assume the cutting was not as easy to understand as you now would like it to be. Close the seam in such a way that the notches match, the slipcover is not made smaller ( bunched ) and the intersections are flexible. You think it looks funny ? It may well look funny and be correct. It may well be that it was cut as well as it ever could have been. It may simply look new~funny to you now, it will look normal later.

You have made compromises to make the seams come together, notches matching, intersections flexible and still there's bunching at that intersection, so ease it in. Do same right and left, press well over a ham, and you are done. This is highly characteristic of sewing slipcovers for the first time on the wrong side, it's only as smooth and self evident as it was cut, and you will soon improve.

The list :

Front arm panels get a cord around both side and the top, not skirt line.

Outside wings get corded on the front and top.

Outside backs get corded on sides and top, not skirt line.

Outside arms get corded on the top only, unless there's no front panel, and then they get a cord on the front as well.

Above is the norm. It does not cover all contingencies. It is not meant to curtain creativity. It's a place to start if you don't know anything and want your first cover to look " normal ".

When you have bias seams ( barrel backs ) strengthen them with cord or sew flat and overlock.

When you have contrast cord, your creativity may dictate other answers, you choose.

I will answer all questions asked, general or specific. Post here please, so all may benefit.

I have delibetately omitted order of joining above. I will generalize, but please don't allow this to confuse or redirect you. What's above will give you enough information to see your individual answers. If this list contradicts, the list does not apply.

Seaming order :

deck to inside back ( unless a barrel chair ) from center out to ends.

inside arm to inside back, from top of chair or sofa arm, into the deck. ( if wing, see ( *a ) )

From front arm panel, sew inside arm to deck. Start ( alternately ) from a center out notch and close what you can if the front near arm panel is not yet self evident to you.

If there are short corded seams close them now. These may occur to join front or top panels, or top arm panels.

( * A ) If there's a wing, there is a horizontal uncorded seam to the inside body. Close.

Cord and close up top arm, inside arm to outside arm, join as much as you can. If wing, sew wing to outside arm, leave wing arm intersection to last.

Front arm panel once corded can be joined to the arms. Leave intersections untill last.

Outside back once corded can be joined to all.

Cord skirt line next, and then add skirt cuts. Zipper if needed ( I zip everything ) .

Intersections: if all notches match, and you have sewn ( approached ) up to these areas, you may now see a logical self evident path to closing them. There are now two considerations new to this explanation. The second will follow in next paragraph. Which direction do you lay the cord over if you choose to cross the seam allowance and force it to lie down.? If for now, you sew up to it and not cross, then you need not choose. Later, you will be surer of the aesthetic choices.

Second, and very very impoprtant: it's here you will sew securely areas you have slashed deeply( to shape while cutting ) and perhaps cut on a bias angle. You must deal with this the best you can, it's nature is to be imperfect, regardless of cutting experience.

Sew as many lines of stitching as you feel will secure it untill it weakens the cloth to puncture it more. It will always be ugly to look at. If you can prevent bunching, perhaps by taking less seam allowance on the intersecting seams, do so. Take a little more seam allowance than planned and in the fewest spots you can, but you certainly may. It's compromise, it must be secure, and it must be flexible. It will be ugly. I recommend serging these areas after sewn, not before.

The last issue, as I have left it out but for brief mention in all the rest of sewing details. When do you overlock ?

It may be controversial to say, but overlocking is not as important as understanding your pin fitting right now. The allignment of the puzzle shapes in there proper place is far more important than the looks of the seam on the side. For this reason, overlock only when you can, only where you have sure knowlege of where your puzzle pieces line up. For the sake of success at your first double on half pin fitting, you may overlock last and where able. It's not a priority today. Tomorrow you may overlock as you better understand your own cutting. Be content, with perhaps zig zagging the closed seams today.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Jeannie H? Hooray! :)
I've had trouble with Picture Trail. Also, I don't how how to make images smaller: what you see is what you get.

When you use this method to transfer an image, you're actually linking directly to the original source. Usually this is not a problem, BUT... sometimes the original source doesn't want you to do this, and will cause a nasty image to appear instead of the image you THOUGHT you were getting.


And... Always (ALWAYS) be aware of copyright issues.

Everything I know (and I am NO expert, by any stretch of the imagination) I learned from CHFI Forum's "little yellow box", located on the bottom left corner of every Forum page.

Shirley, with your software system: right click your mouse on an image, choose "Properties" then highlight the "Address" and right click "Copy" (or "Cut", I think - not sure about "Cut"). Next, go to where you want the image, right click "Paste" and type [img] in front of address and [/img] after address. And PREVIEW, always PREVIEW!

My husband replaced our Microsoft operating system with Linux, so I'm working from memory here...
so, you could take it from my picture trail ? From anyone's website? are there limits ?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I know how to cut 'n paste pictures that are already on the internet: copy image location, paste in new location, type [img] before and [/img] after.

Anything else, and I'm hopeless.

Dede - Queen of Cut 'N Paste
Nice to see you got online with us. It does take a little bit of time to figure it out, and some practice.

I have not been around much. On the road for 4 weeks and then have been moving for the past week. Finally out of the old place and now trying to settle into the new.

Glad to see that Shirley is keeping everyone up to date on this method.

I know there is a way to post photos also. Has anyone figured that out?

K with SA
pictures would sure make explainin' simpler.

Dede, you know how to do do you post a picture ?

Glad to see you back Karen, I was certain you were doing something productive......
there's life on this here planet ! Yay !
Hi everybody. I'm just trying to see if I can make this blog thing work in the out-going direction.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

sewing this THING that is now folded in half with the seams trimmed to exactly half inch, and hopefully notched and recognizable as labelled can be done in several ways:

One: from the position it's in, not partly or wholly disassembled at the table, but only unpinned as sewing.

Two: methodically unpinned and repinned to be in an open unfolded position. At no time have you unpinned more than one seam before repinning in an unfolded position.

Three : Unpin and cord the outside body pieces before unpinning any of the inside body pieces. I will tackle this first.

Four: and I don't suggest this, unpinning wholly, so as to overlock before hand. Yes, I do this. Yes, even I get lost. (For the sake of overlocking in a single layer, I suggest you do this only after mastering method one. )

All the outside body pieces I have ever pin fit ( say 15,000 ) have yielded a flat puzzle piece, free of folds or darts. If this is not true for you, and you do not have a very unusual piece of furniture, I want to to recheck to see that the seam location you chose is as far to the outside of the arm or back roll as possible.

You want these pieces to be flat. Why ? When I say you can cord them easily, this should be true, that you can sew~feed cord onto the single layer, with skill of course, and not distort the good fit that you cut. Outside body pieces that get cord at this time are the outside back, arm front panel if present, the outside arm, and if present, the wing. If you have a separate panel that defines your deck front, do not cord this at this time.

Though this looks awkward in explanation, to keep the writing brief, I will now tell you how to open pin the double pin fitting ( option two ). You would procede to open pin the inside body pieces if you first corded the outside body pieces in option three.

Let me say this again: if you are doing option three, we are going to unpin and repin the remaining uncorded slipcover pieces. If you are following option two, you are going to do it the same way.

Notches are critical here, so if you see a need to add a few, or write in instructions or take notes now, do so. Unpin one line of pins only. You will see four layers now hanging free. Take the two closest to you ( facing you in their entirety ) and repin at the notches you have made. If you find none, make them now.

Once you have repinned the two layers closest to you, turn the pin fitting over to the side that has no pins showing. You will see two edges hanging free needing pins replaced, and having the same notches you just connected. Hint: you can use many straight pins or fewer safety pins. You should place them where they were before, at the seam allowance you decided on.

Once secure and still recognizable as a seam, you may move on to another line of pins. I don't see why you would not be able to do this in any order. The long straight seams are the easiest to recognize, and the tight or short seams the hardest to get at, and can be left for last for convenience sake.

At this point I am going to assume you are ready to hear option one, as the explanation for one is the same as the explanation for picking up where I have left off for two and three. It looks awkward and makes you jump around, but it makes the point that you need not have done the extra steps for two and three, one is the shortest route.

Option one: if you were sitting at the machine, cord prepared, ready to sew for several hours without distraction, you could unpin and cord all in one short sequence, avoiding some possible confusion and extra steps. Not to contradict myself, but if you tried two and three first you'd be guessing less at this point. You'd have a better visual picture in your mind of what the task is, and be ready to do it more efficiently.

Looking at a double on half folded pin fitting is difficult, if you are trying to see what to sew. You must eliminate the few things that you can sew without cord first, the tuck ins. I hope you have notched mid seam on all the tuck seams you have cut. At minimum you have inside arm and deck to join, perhaps inside back and deck, and then certainly the inside arm where it meets the inside back. Sewing wing, if present, at it's tuck in, is also appropriate at this time.

It is proper to insert in the explantion here that any uncorded seam can be started and stopped at any point and can be sewn in more than one segment. You need not sew from A to Z. You may sew, and may benefit from sewing, M to S, F to M and then leave S to Z and A to F open for now. Those letters are aribrary and not assigned meaning in any previous paragraphs. Just to say, sew what you can know now, leave the rest for later when it becomes more obvious.

I am going to leave off here for today, with you closing your inside seams where no cord is required, and leave you with the task of examining and memorizing the THING you are looking at.

Visual memory is a skill, and it needs to be developed and trusted.

When you close those inside seams, I am suggesting you do so either from the front ( end nearest to the outside body pieces ) or from the centers of those seams toward either end. Center out for now is adequate, front to inside most~end is simply more effcient and will be used when your understanding increases.

Please know that all this torture is very profitable. In the shops which employ piece rate seamstresses assembling slipcovers, a chair can be completely sewn in two hours or less. The experience of the sewer can yield a quality cover using this procedure, it does not cut corners or result in poor product.

I have not said anything about where the cords GO, or where they stop ans start. I will generalize about this next time, but you need to have decided upon some aesthetic points prior to cutting, and your cord order, stop and start points will be a reflection of those seam location choices.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Shirley, speaking for myself... I'm just absorbing it all without comment. This is wonderful for reference. I don't have enough experience to comment, or even ask for clarification on specific points, though.

I'm enjoying it all enormously. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Sewing from double on half is next. I haven't seen anyone post since I started this. If this is too much, let me know, I'll save it for a while.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Making certain you will recognize what you are trying to sew once you have removed any pins is crucial to your success.

Do not remove any pins yet, and when it is time to do so, know that you will not remove more than one line of pins at a time. That line of pins can be sewn, or you can open up the pin fitting so as not to be double, but it must be closed in some manner before removing another line of pins.

Working at the table, you may benefit from a pencil, small ruler, and smaller scissors.

Examine your pin fitting for any spots which need to be trimmed to 1/2" seam allowance, and do so, measure if you feel you need to. Use the pencil to mark any pin lines where you accidently cut away more seam allowance than you need to have. Use scissors ( long ones ) to smooth seam cut line, to give you a guide to sewing smoothly, if the seam is in fact long and straightish. End seams squarely, do not round off ( seam allowance should not taper ).

You will notch this pin fitting, at a depth of 1/4". These wil be cut into the seam allowance, not the " outty " notches you see on dress patterns. Your notches must be not more than 8" apart on straight seams, and should occur within the first three inches of any intersection. They may occur more frequently on curved areas, or complex intersections.

They must not be equal distances apart, they must vary in distance between them. Why ? Each point of allignment must be distinctive, if it were not, you will misallign. There is no chance you could misallign any part and wind up with an okay fit. In fact, you would not be able to complete the sewing if you misallign any one notch.

Similarly, notches cannot be so frequent that they become meaningless. You may use triple double or single notches in sets, this does not contradict previous sentence.

You may cut away areas of pinned excess that are intended as darts. Leave adequate seam for dart. You may notch between darts if they are far apart. You may mark with pencil ( as opposed to cutting away ) if you intend to fold over excess, or if you intend to dart and not cut .

This did not address fabric that ravels so much notches do not survive. Your seam allowances my not survive either if this is the case, and you would need to have noted that at the beginning, and made choices that would not have perhaps included using doulbe on half method.

We are not unpinning anything yet. Familiarize yourself with this pin fitting, write on it or pin notes as you need to. Later you can skip the notes, but if this is your first, you need to know what your puzzle pieces are: inside back, outside back, inside arm, outside arm, front arm panel, deck, side arm panel if there is one, wing, ect.
okay, you are ready to clean up your pin fitting, make it safe to take off the chair, and have all the seams be recognizeable.

All the areas of the chair should be covered with your fabric, except the skirt area.

You can trim seams down on the chair if you wish, I think there's advanatage in doing that. You really get your nose in there and notice how the chair is shaped. You may err and cut too closely yes, but you have already clipped ( pivot cut or slash ) closely, and you have to seal with that anyway, so I'd say the risk is worth the learning.

While trimming, inspect the pins for straight lines of seams. Reinsert those that would give a false impression to the intended cut direction of seam. Fill in pins where the joined area is too flimsy to withstand being removed from chair intact. Remove anchor pins.

The deck has not yet been addressed. The deck piece ( or pieces ) must have a smooth appearance where it covers the chair front ( if it DOES ). If you plan a deck height skirt, this does not apply.

Attempt to depress the edge of the chair deck ( deck is where cushion sits ). I say attempt, it may be a hard board, and not move at all. If it moves as if there's a spring, you must fashion some of the inside arm or the deck piece ( or a blend of both ) to dive into this crevice. You may add a strip if the inside arm lacks the excess to do this. It is much easier to ask the inside arm ( and it's new strip ) to fill this crevice than to ask the deck piece to do so.

If you can manage the inside arm to dive into and back out of the crevice to the deck, then there's no darting needed. If you ask the deck piece to do this, a dart will show at the crevice front.

Eyes moving toward the back of the deck, the seat can be sewn to the insdie arms and the inside back. They need not be if you hem them and have tight tuck in spaces. I suggest you DO join them if the tuck in space is loose, and if the area in the tuck is big.

Depress the deck at all it's edges where it meets the inside back and arm. Are there any areas you cannot cram excess into ? Take note. Otherwise, and I trust you to do this as best you can, leave a four or five inch border around the deck space. It can be more, less. You should have excess at the inside back ( at bottom ) and inside arm ( at bottom ) to join to this border. Pin so as to have sewing instructions for yourself. Maybe it won't be as smooth as the rest of the pin fitting. It's not seen.

There may or may not be a vertical tuck seam where arm joins inside back. If you waited to close this area untill now ( or even if you inadvertently closed it with pins and trimmed it ) stick hand in there to see if tuck space is available. If so, and you choose to use this area for additional tucking, leave the same border as we did on the deck ( or add it back in a strip if you cut it off ).

Mark for intended skirt length. Make marks with pencil at a uniform distance from floor to the body where it will attach. Note that the mark needs to be 1/2" shy of the intended finshed length, to allow a seam. Skirt can start no higher up than the deck, that's a constraint. Skirt should not start below an existing skirt ( there would be a bump ). Skirt should not start below the upholstered body of a nonskirted upholstered piece. Skirt finished length need not hit the floor, but hold the ruler there anyway to make the marks, then do the note and the math as needed. Slipcover skirts must all be the same length, not shorter in back as soom upholstered pieces are. If you intend no skirt, rub the upholstery line with chalk, and cut away excess, leave a full inch seam there.

Next post will be preparation to unpin. The pin fitted cover should lift off the chair safely now. Pull it off. If needed pins fall out, replace them properly, quickly.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

time to anchor: get your bank pins out, or your very long T pins.

Anchoring is done to prevent slippage, to position on grain and pattern, and to keep the fabric in the parameters of the space that piece is intented to cover. You anchor deeply, and well away from the seam lines ( inside them ). The doubled sections are self aligned, they should be atop one another in a matching way. You will see this happening, even though they are mirror image wrong side out.

As with any pins in fitting, you want to bury the point if you can. In anchoring, you may need to push them in and then out again. At the very least, point the points that do emerge toward the deck of chair.

The arm sections and front panel can be anchored first, then the excess brushed back over itself so that you can see all the inside and outside back. These pieces are cut big, there should be excess to brush out of your way. Pull taut on grain, but smooth is still the object, so do not pull on bias.

Your middle body sections get anchored onto the chair next. You stuck in pins previously to designate half way points. I am now going to tell you you may not use exactly that spot for your middle body fold placements. Why ?

Pull your fabric from side to side ( widthwise, warpwise, fillwise, whatever terms you use ). Do a test with 27". If you get more stretch than you are comfortable with, or familiar with, or no stretch at all, you may substitute your judgement for where the center fold belongs.

My comfort zone is 1/2" over the 27". If it pulls out about that much, I use the center point pins to designate where my folds are placed. If twice that ( one inch over 27" ) , I'll place my fold short of the half way pin by 1/8 of an inch ( or more ). Let me use different words to say the same thing. I will fold my outside back in half wrong side out, and place that fold short of my marker pins (to mark the half way) by an 1/8" on the side I am pin fitting . Why ?

It makes the cover smaller, it pulls out the excess stretch. 1/8" short is actually 1/4" removed. You can tolerate more than 1/8", but you should experiment in increments, smallest first. This applies to all three middle body pieces, the inside and outside back, and the deck.

If I had no stretch, I may steam goods to get some. If I still got no stretch having done that, I may place the fold OVER the half way point by 1/8" inch. That would make it 1/4" larger. Why am I doing all this ?

When you pin fit using other methods, you are pulling out excess elasticity, or allowing extra for ease, always. You just didn't mentally decide, you are manipulating with your hands, and it happens. Double on half is double, and you are pulling against a fold, and can only do so somewhat more meekly.

I have put fold 1/2" short or 1/2" over, but you need experience to make this adjustment this severe. If adding for inelastic fabric, you have no way to remove it once done, except to trim away at seam allowance on the outside back vertical seam. Even then, it's not shaped as perfectly had you not left this excess. If you placed the fold short of the half way point, then it's too small if you then needed more outside back and inside back. Err with deliberation, use a small number to begin with for this slipcover. Make more severe adjustments in the next slipcovers.

Anchor all before the next steps. All should overlap liberally. The next steps are slashing cuts to enable pivoting of fabric where it must turn, and closing seams. You will need to consider how to best make fabric turn the corner, as you may only have one chance to slash this.

You will close your seams in a hop skip and jump manner with the long pins on straight aways, and the shorter pins on curves. The seams belong right on the hard corners, and where ever excess comes together naturally and with ease, and to your eye, with style. Do not brush excess that is on one half of the seam only on down the line of pins, leave it where it occurs. Pin for darting or to leave as ease later. Do pin as if to dart. You need not dart this, you are just designating it " taken care of and noted ".

I work my entire chair when I hop skip and jump. I go from OB to FAP to DE to IB and Wing in no set order. I close first what is self evident, I postpone deciding what needs further clipping to shape untill I have closed up all else. I allow fabric to lie with ease where anchored, while pulling seams as tight as still looks at ease.

If you slash wrong, replace piece. You won't see this untill you SEE it, on your chair. Trim away if you are certain of seam position and the excess is in your sight line. Trim if and when you are familiar with consistent seam allowance. We will talk about trimming seam allowances next time. Leave your tuck areas alone for now, we will discuss this next as well.

Friday, October 08, 2004

of course you can always simply come see this done at the 2005 really is easier than the written description makes it sound.
this is the fourth in the series: exclusion A : we aren't considering drop matches in this explanation.

once you have cut your allocated inside back and outside back cuts, lie them over the area and pin into it to hold it on the body site. Move on now to cut the arms.

A note about the deck, it is not covered with the inside back piece ( block cut ) as if extended. I will have you piece ( sew together ) the deck with scrap as the chance arrises. The wastefrom previous cuts go here.

We need to consider motif here. An all over pattern, non directional, not napped, or if being solid, will not be discussed specifically. I am going to tell you about pattern with direction and or nap, as that is harder and more specific.

Your inside arm will have a size ( width, arm front to inside back ) , measure to see IF the cut size including tuck (width, above ) that you will need is less than or more than half a width ( half of 54" ) of the cloth . Check the outside arm as well, though rarely can you cover an outside arm with half a width ( half of 54" ).

Yes, I used the word piece with two meanings, and the word width with two meanings in the previous paragraphs. Don't get stuck on this, visualize as you go.

Now, locate ( given your pattern motif, if one ) where you need to center a motif. Couple tricks here. You can never see both outside arms at once. If need be, they could get away with not being the same. We'll try and make them the same here. On the outside arm, the center for the motif can be just about anywhere you choose, including sharing it's picture with the skirt. Take some time and decide. And, then cut big blocks anyway so you still have even more choices.

The picture ( motif ) on my inside arms, if that picture is small, is high and forward. The picture may be big, and the arm big, giving you other choices. The picture may be big, and the arm small. In that case, a secondary ( small ) picture may be better, if available.

This is just to describe the handling of the cuts and the cutting of them. Say I needed the full width for both inside and outside arms. Say my repeat is 24". Say my draping the cloth from deck to skirt line takes two repeats with cloth to spare to enable a nice big block cut. If I had one chair, and two arms, and needed two repeats per arm, I'd need four repeats. That's four repeats having cut off ( wasted ) any half cut off picttures. Four repeats, complete and not having any tails from the last reapeat.

You'd count off four complete repeats, clip, turn the fabric back on itself evenly like before, form that fold, and whack off all four repeats in one cut. Then trim away the tails of any repeat that was on the beggining of the cut. You have a sheet of four complete repeats ( assume the center is the picture for picture framing).

It needs to be folded in half same selvage to same selvage and cut in two, with the fold back on itself and slitting method. Cut four repeat sheet in half to yeild two pieces, two repeats each, full width. One two repeat sheet may do either two inside arms and two outside arms or one inside arm and one outside arm each. The simplest universal procedure is to assume the best use is to have each piece be one inside arm and one outside arm. I'll explain.

You have two cut pieces, two repeats long. Hold them both right sides together and rightside up with the raw edges together at top . If you have done this, the motifs will fall on top of one another ( note exclusion A at top paragraph ). They should be the same length and width, and should be willing ( right sides ) to adhere to one another a bit. Drape the bottom cut edge over the inside arm. Either arm, bottom cut edge, the motif should be going in the proper direction. Yes, it's 48 by 54 and a little awkward. Center the pattern ( yes it's inside out ) as you wish. Drape enough into the deck for tuck and over the arm roll for excess on your cut. If your pattern on the remaining fabric ( now draping upside down over to the outside arm ) will not be harmed by whacking this off now, do so. If the previous was true, you should be able to turn the remaining cloth ( for outside arm ) upright ( turn clockwise half an hour ) and have sufficient covererage for the outside arm, and have the picture fall within the frame.

This sounds very tedious. The explanation is, the action is not. The entire action is streamlined and can take place inside of several minutes. Luckily, you need not sit thru many tedious explanations to get an inside or outside arm under circumstances different per larger repeat or narrower arm. Once you get this, with a normal size chair and a 24" repeat, the modifications will come to you. Exclusion A is for me, a reason to cut in a single layer only. A drop match will not place your pictures where you want them, using this procedure. For me, I'd do single on half. You may prefer to shop pattern and take more time to arrange these drop match pictures and then cut double on half.

These four posts have been long and tedious and so far you only have four areas block cut. I have told you the major cutting strategies that are peculiar to cutting fast standing up with no table.

The block cuts remaining, the arm front, the wings if any, the deck may be had from scraps from the previous cutting of blocks or may need to be taken from bolt. No special peculiar ways to do this are needed, it's fussy and a personal choice.

Finish allotting your block cuts to all areas of the body, save for skirts. The next task will be anchoring. Double check that you have pinned for the sake of saving the information, the block to the area that it is to cover.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Once you have placed your pins ( four of them ) for your half way points, and deturmined where seams are likely to go, it's time to cut and anchor block cuts. Assume this is a chair. Assume we are NOT railroading. Assume you have plain weave cotton, the proper weight.

This is my procedure. I learned from tall men with strength. I am not petite, so this works for me as well. Hope you can do it.

Taking off the longest cuts first: hold the bolt cut end , four yards pulled off ( but not cut ) up to the outside back. It does not matter if it's a print or solid, or if it's rolled on the bolt upside down. Hold it up there, from top back to skirt length, add six inches or so, and clip the selvage. That's a mark to refer back to.

Next fold the yardage in half to see how wide half is ( and to see if half covers the back with some to spare. ) If half works, check to see if the motif falls where you want it. If you need the whole cut to use motif properly, fine. If you need more inches on the cut to move motif to a better location, fine. Time to whack a cut.

At the clip in selvage ( or further down if you need more for motif ) fold goods over onto itself on bolt, selvages meeting at the top. Smooth and flat, with a fold, this usually means right side in, but that's not consequential. Once smooth grasp the fold top with left hand, insert good sharp sheers into the fold with right. I am a righty, leftys figure what you need to. My bolt is on my left, on the floor, several feet away from the hank I am whacking off.

Slide the shears, 1/2 open, fabric touching about the back of center of the blade, while pulling upward with left hand. Using my right leg I am supporting the fold so I can see it all, and so that it remains straight. At 5'3" I can do it without repositioning. I am tall enough. It's all one motion. If not, assume scissors need to be upgraded, not that you are too short ( unless you are in fact much shorter ). I can do this with 54" goods at 5'3" tall. Some of it is on the floor at first, granted.

Okay: if the cut you have removed can be split lengthwise and fit ( halves ) the inside back and outside back, great. If the cut is only wide enough on half to barely cover the back, noting what I have said about the purpose of excess size of cuts, decide if you want to use the whole thing.

Spilt and dedicate to inside back as well, or cut another cut for inside back using same procedure.

Note: I use a concept I call picture framing. That simply means to me that I choose where on the body part my best center occurs. Happens that ( not coincidentally ) my motifs ride high on my inside back and outside back. That means the halves of my one cut when split to be used on both inside and outside back are most often situated the same, automatically. Note if a half drop, use the lower framed motif on the back if need be.

Practice this much ( or do it mentally ). Tell me what's uncomfortable about it.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Hi Shirley

I also did not know you were waiting for a response. Sorry, here we were just waiting for the next lesson.
I really need to speed up my slipcovering skills. I can tell I am getting a little bit faster. I know I measure and refit way too many times. I am currently using Karen's method and I always have the piece of furniture in front of me. I would really love to not have to bring the furniture home and I am just not ready to sew in customers home yet. So please proceed I will be waiting for the next lesson.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Sounds good to me - I'm gonna print it all out when you're done.
oh yeah, report back, right here. Tell me what I left out of the explanation too.
So, so sorry, Shirley - I didn't realize you were waiting for a response. Here I'VE been, wondering why you hadn't started...

Yes, I am an idiot. Please, please proceed.

Monday, October 04, 2004

okay, no takers, but we will procede like we are useful.

The next step is to visualize where you'd predict or like the seams to be. The seams must be placed where you want the cords to appear. Seams must also join areas where grain direction or pattern direction would ideally change.

Additionally, seams protect areas of stress or shaping that would tear if only one piece of fabric was asked to make severe turns. Seams shape, seams atract attention, seams hold zippers.

Seams ( cords ) create a new sillohuette ( sp?? ) . Seams need not, and in many cases cannot, fall where the upholsterer placed the cords or joins. We have no nails, no glue. Simple gravity and tension are at work, we manipulate but not force.

The first cuts of fabric ( all body parts ) must then have a margin of error allowed for adjusting the placement. I like cuts three inches over my hoped for seam placement, so that I may change the plan as I see a better answer ( or a neccessary answer even if I don't like it ).

How does a beginer answer this question for the first time ( where seams go ? ). Look at existing slipcovers. Magazines yes, but in the home in use as well.

Second suggestion, place your hands on the furniture as you look at it. Interlace your fingers and form right angles with fingers. Hold hands so that the fingers and palms form north south east west positions. Find corners on the rounded surfaces of the furniture. Some corners are obvious, and probably needed seam location. There may be more seams needed, on these more rounded surfaces. Hard corners are required seams: rounded corners are possible seams. A seam may be a choice, or perhaps a more practical answer than making one piece of fabric bend around a corner.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

I am going to post a series of steps for people who have not yet tried double on half. They will be a week apart, to give you time to do the home work.

First week : choose a chair. You can do this with more than one, but roundish is harder than squarish.

Take the cushions off, set it in the middle of the room and observe the topography. With big pins ( so you can see from distance ) and not more than four of them, mark by eyeballing only ( no tape measures ) half way points.

Anyone needing clarification here : double on half is pin fitting method folding cloth at midway point to fit half the chair.

Strategies for finding half way points will vary with the person teaching you, my way is to emphasize eyeballing. Four pins only : top outside back at new slipcover seam , top front deck at curve, bottom outside back at new skirt line and bottom inside back.

The homework is to do this and report back how quickly you were comfortable making a final choice without a tape measure.

You may double check with tape only after you feel you are sure you have the right answer. Importante, use tape in the following manner to double check: measure half, and then the other half. What you are avoiding is trying to divide fractions of inches.

Trusting your eyes, or more exactly, learning for the first time to use and trust your eyes about pin fitting ( learning to separate fresh observations from preconceived notions ) is vital to taking this leap.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Wow Dede... what a thing that has been going with the foam...

This would make a great article for other to learn buy. Would you consider doing this for our Winter issue?


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

who knows, maybe HE needs some cheesecake too.

I'll have to figure out how to flavor my diet drinks cheesecake.
Shirley, I never offered foam before so I never really thought about foam. Then the EZ-Dri guy (not a rep, more of a researcher) scared the ____ out of me, stressing that outdoor foam doesn't meet California fire code, is not rated for interior use, is especially flammable because of the open air cells, etc., etc. I was perfectly happy when I picked up the phone to order, confident I was offering the most appropriate foam to the customer - I was practically shaking when I got off.

As far as I know, only California has fire regs for residential foam. And since all untreated foam is flammable, I'm not really sure why the guy felt the need to scare the pants off me. A quick call to the Fire Marshall straighted everything out: it's not illegal to use outdoor foam inside a private home and I am not liable for its flammability.


I think I need cheesecake...

AS far as the foam guy goes, you gotta figure you cannot predict why people say what they say at any given moment. Who knows ?

I do keep calm by asking myself what would they get if they shopped somewhere else. That takes care of cheap, fast, and perfect. Scratch them off the list. Flameproof without having asked for it and without shopping specifically for the stuff that makes it flameproof is another.

Many of us come from another job background where perfect was more important. Here, we do the best we can do with the info, the materials, the budget, and with what we know today. Tomorrow we might do it better, but sometimes it gets delivered today.

Dede, I know you will do your best to do what you can, and it will be as well done as it can be.

Thirty some years of this, and not one thing leaving my house is perfect. It's darn good for the price, it's not perfect. I give them value, choices. I give them pleasant association, a trusting relationship, and service that they won't get at a store. It's not flawless it, it's just better.

Look at what you are making now as better then the last thing you made, that's progress, and it's realistic. Good that you think flameproof, think safety, absolutely. We don't create danger where it's avoidable. Good that you asked. I hope you can let go of the visual image, and the dread here. We do what we can with what we are given and the skills we have accumulated thus far.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I just did what I should have done two days ago - I called the Massachusetts State Fire Marshall, Office of Code Compliance.

There are NO fire retardancy requirements for foam used in private residential applications in Massachusetts. None.

The VITA/Crest Foam guy was using scary words like "go up like a blow torch" and "liability" - evidently, he was covering their respective butts because EZ-Dri does not currently meet California Fire Code 117 requirements "for open flame and cigarette resistant materials used in residential upholstered furniture construction."

Moral of the story: don't panic; learn the facts. Now, if only I could remember this...
I've got a call in to the local Fire Inspector; the reg in question is California Fire Code 117, which apparently is used as a national standard. VITA/Crest may just be covering their butts (a noble endeavor...). I'll find out if Massachusetts has fire retardancy requirements for foam used in RESIDENTIAL applications, and let you know - your state may vary...

Monday, September 13, 2004

Dede, considering regular household foam is also not flame retardant, I am asking myself why that would spoil the sale.

Is flame retardant mandatory where you are ? I never heard of residential requirements, but I am in the soggy very green state of Virginia.

Commercial work demands it, certainly. You can get California rated flame resistant regular foam.

Mildew, if it's a problem for her, certainly does not originate in her foam. Think of mildew like fleas. They multiply and spread, but the responsibility is to find the point of origin and remove the breeding entities. Mildew is the same, it is breeding some place other than the foam. It isn't organic. The foam can be a resting place but not a source of food.

It's nice you want her to have the best, and have it all. But, if you can't have all you wanted, indoor foam is what she'd get from someone else. Unless it's required, and then you get the rated indoor stuff, and you still don't need to lose a sale.
MELTDOWN... On the phone to order foam... EZ-Dri is NOT flame retardant! It's not rated for interior use! VITA/Crest Foam is working on it, though - they have a few ideas (I had a long and interesting chat with a researcher).

Don't know what to do - I recommended this foam because it really is an ideal product for this application (as long as you ignore those pesky fire regulations...).

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Yes Dede, way to go.... You will learn a lot with this one. In fact you already have. Yes it sounds like a good article for Nov/Dec issue. The new Press is all done I just need to get it printed.
yay! yay! yay! Yay! yay! yay! yay! yay!
Eeeeeeek!!!! I had to tell someone... I have my first REAL JOB! Not a neighbor/friend/relative - a REAL CLIENT! Window seat cushion from scratch, COM. I vastly undercharged her (limited fabric: if I charge too much I WILL make a mistake - yeah, my brain isn't screwed on too tight...), and I told her I wouldn't charge for cutting the foam if she provided a pattern.

I'm using Dri-Fast reticulated (outdoor) foam - she has a very old house (1820) with mildew problems, and this stuff is anti-fungal, promotes good air flow, and discourages dust mites. I love this foam AND it can be purchased directly from the manufacturer with NO piece minimum at MUCH lower cost than from a wholesale distributer. (Hmmm... Karen, would this be a good article topic for a later edition?)

Dede, still floating :D

Friday, September 03, 2004

Cindi Smith who has a great business in California, she attended the Summit in Fort Collins with many of this Summer had this good news to share. Way to go Cindi>>>>>>

Go to Click on the Fall 2004 issue of
the "Abode" Magazine. Go to page 32, the article "Hidden Treasures". All
the pictures in the article are of my work. The article itself is about
slipcovers. They even spelled my name right, yeah!. I also advertised in
the magazine. Check it out! I am happy about how it turned out. I
already got a request for information and prices on slipcovers from a woman,
that said she read the article this Sunday morning. Cool!
Cindi Smith who has a great business in California, she attended the Summit in Fort Collins with many of this Summer had this good news to share. Way to go Cindi>>>>>>

Go to Click on the Fall 2004 issue of
the "Abode" Magazine. Go to page 32, the article "Hidden Treasures". All
the pictures in the article are of my work. The article itself is about
slipcovers. They even spelled my name right, yeah!. I also advertised in
the magazine. Check it out! I am happy about how it turned out. I
already got a request for information and prices on slipcovers from a woman,
that said she read the article this Sunday morning. Cool!

Monday, August 30, 2004

Dede... Seems we never were down. If anyone has any trouble on the site let me know. I am finalizing the new Slipcover Press, a lot of work for this new quarterly publication. Hope to be done this week and start mail over the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

refresher on scissor use , try outs for double on fast victims. Philly conference , Denise and I are going. See you there, I'll be around or email me or tell the world here.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Monday, August 16, 2004

Slipcover Network may be down for a couple of days, we are changing webservers. Just to let all know what is going on.......... Hang in there. Slipcover Press will be coming out soon, but looking for a Slipcover Business to spotlight. Any ideas?
Thanks for the lesson.... Wow
Well, Shirley... I obviously need a refresher course. I'll be right there! (I wish...) :(
Dede, if you remember, you saw me do this before. You pull some cloth off the bolt, which ( for me ) lies on my left side, on the floor, flat. I have maybe two yds off the bolt. I am holding with my right hand a fold created by having flipped the free end of the cloth over itself on the remainder of the cloth.

This fold is straight, as I fold it selvage to selvage. The cloth tends not to move anywhere while I cut as the drag forces on one fabric surface hold the cloth still against the other layer of fabric.

The 1225 Wiss sheers ( for me ) are sharp enough to slide through this fold to get a very straight cut without a table, and without bending or crawling on the floor.

Trick is, it's as much pulling the cloth ( with the left hand ) as it is sliding the sheers ( with my right ) . They have to be fairly new to do this well. Once they are too dull, then those new sheers get rotated to the cutting table at home to do duty there for a while.

I have habits left over from the rush rush days. I still have the habit of not sharpening scissors. New ones cut fabric like butter and sharpened ones never will. I have bought Wolf's ( you can buy them from Karen ) and they are terrific at the machine ( for me ). The softer handle and shorter length gives my wrists a break.

The 1225's are lighter than the Wiss 20's, though, they are only right handed ( 20's are left or right designated ) and the 1225's are maybe five bucks more. I maybe buy 3 pair a year now, once they lasted barely a month.

It's true once you have trimmed over a pin, they have a permanent knick, regardless what they cost in the first place.

Once I just gobbled as much ibuprofen as it took to ignore my hurting wrists. You can only do that for a decade without hurting your stomach, and maybe less, it's a lousy strategy.

Now, I use the wrists as they allow, and buy the equipment it takes to work in that frame of non abuse. I can now even knit and quilt so evidently the equipment has been well worth the cost for me.

I have a circular standing saw ( 3" ) that I use for stack cutting, and more can be stack cut than you think. I slide scissors where I can ( not squeeze ). I ALWAYS have the botton half of the sheers I am using touch the table if I must squeeze. Never squeeze in the air. And, I have experiemented untill I found the right scissor for each task, and they have gotten smaller and more technically modern ( for the most part ).

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Shirley, *sigh* tell us more... I am drooling... Details?

Thursday, August 12, 2004

anyone near me have a drapery table long enough to make a drape 140 " long ? Stuck here.

Bought six pair #1225 sheers to get a six dollar discount on each. Will pass along to whoever uses them at cost. Makes most sense if you are near me, postage would wipe out savings.

#1225 's are best for cutting bolt goods while standing. Cut thru fold on a draped back cut. This is an essential skill for in house-cutting. Come learn. Call me 703-883-3885.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Slipcover Press online has a few photos of Baltimore that were not in the hard copy. Remember you can catch up on slipcover press reading online. If anyone would prefer to have a hard copy sent to them please let me know. You can read the Slipcover Press at All articles are in, only need to pick a business to Spotlight. Any suggestions on who to spotlight for the Fall issue?

Monday, August 09, 2004

Thank you Claudia. I should have said so, I do have a second person already. Where are you staying ? I can certainly reserve a room there too.

I for one am now sorry I was so overwhelmed at the summit that I didn't take the time to look at your fabric samples.

Iam very overwhelmed here with grandchildren issues, and tend not to seek out every fabric selling opportunity I have. I could certainly sell more fabric. More importantly, I can stop losing sales because I try to sell them white and they don't want white. At present, I only carry white.

Would you email me privately ( or share here ) whether a purchaseable sample set is available from you, with or without binding, so that I may have these when these chances arrise ?

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Shirley, we will be flying in on Wed and will be staying untill Monday. If you need a room let me know. We are sharing rooms but they could bring in a hideabed. Your welcome to stay with the group from AZ.
Claudia ,

Friday, August 06, 2004

Been here buried, not too much to say that's exciting. Tons of work, of the same old same old variety.

Have to plan to insert some excitement into this steam of monotony. Not to promote the event, but to say I would love to see somebody, anyone I know sept 28 ? Right date ? The friday night before the saturday which is the open floor of vendors in Philly. I will room with someone ? I only intend to drive up friday previous, and spend the day.

Can I bring anyone with me from the D.C.area ?

Thursday, August 05, 2004

So far have had a good response to those wanting the new pricing survey. Thank Shirley I know everyone can us this. Who else on this forum would like an email copy. Do let me know.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Number of questions was not a problem.  All folks had to do was fill in their prices.  Yes I agree polling is not something most people are willing want to do.  But in the long run it is the end result that counts, and it helps everyone in our industry.  So thanks to all who responded, and those who put this together.  Now to get the word out that it is avaialable.                                                                                                                                                                                        I know Denise sweated alot for her part. Did the results highlight any possible simplification for the number of questions ? I feared that would be an obstacle. Good for us to have all those answers, but I know how people hate being polled. ( it must be a presidential election year ).

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Thanks to our 2 volunteers from the, Tessy with Cozy_Cottage in Ohio and Denise with Pizzazz in Maryland, they put together our survey and collected information about slipcover pricing across North America from those who make slipcovers for a living, to complete our 3rd pricelist summary in 6 years. The results are in… Tallied in 3 regions West, Central and East, plus there is a North America tally.  The Slipcover Pricelist Summary is available to all who do slipcovering in their business.
We can email you a copy of the summary via an e-mail attachment. Write include your business information, name of your business, phone, address plus zip code, and how long have you been in business.      If you’d like a hardcopy mailed request with your business info with a check for $5 to The Slipcover Network            31525 383rd Ave NE, Arlington, Wa. 98223.    Questions you may call 800-267-4958.

So what kind of classes do folks want to see at the next Summit?
Dede...  Send your article to  She and Curtis her hubby are great at editing articles for us.  Thanks so much... K
Dearest Shirley, tell us more of these "Las Vegas buffets"... Inquiring thighs, er, minds want to know! :D

(signed) Dede, who could use a good buffet right about now... (*drooooool*)

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Shirley you had some idea for your article this time. I am not sure what it was.... We can do regular questions as before but I thought you actually had a subject you wanted to write about. Fabric?????                                                                                                                                                                      Hi, my brain's been out to lunch for a week at Las Vegas buffets. Remind me what I need to write ( clarify what you need ) and I will zip it to you today.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Article's done - is anyone up to proofreading? I don't trust my brain...

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Shirely  how are you coming with your article...  Jeannie did an article about Yoga, Angie is doing here thing about organizing the workroom, Claudia is doing the vendor spotlight, Dee is writing about the lighting issue................    Who should we spotlight as a business?  Anyone????

Hey is anybody out there?  I can't get into the other forum and the Slipcover Pricelist Summary is ready to go out to those who are interested.  So who can make the announcement over there?  I will happily type up what I know about how they can get the Pricelist Summary...      Off to Santa Cruz to do a workshop this weekend.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Karen - sorry for the delay, but yes, I can submit an article. When do you need it?

Wednesday, July 07, 2004


What about an article about lighting including your information about if the new type of tubes you were referring to will work in the old fixtures.

Would you submit this to me at


Yes a boo hoo article for your colum would be great, and the thing about fabrics wonderful. I do need something for August that will be mailed out at the end of August beginning of September. So send me something and we can edit.


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Karen, I'd love to do a fabric column. My favorite tests and how it washes, thread counts, elasticity ( measure of it's.......... ). It's a language I use all the time, but I wonder whether people really grasp the comparisons when they don't read the posts regularly ( or I don't write regularly ? )

Also an occaisional boo hoo column in which I describe my latest failed attempt to do something or other. Many of those creatures pop up.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Hi all.

Just to announce we will start a new format for the Slipcover Press in August.

Does anyone want to help with the spotlight, or vendor column? I do need help please....


Sunday, July 04, 2004

Just so you know, the older I get sometimes I actually get smarter. This was the first class I ever taught that got finished on time, all the points covered that were outlined, everyone bobbing their head smiling. It's not the lack of material, it was the hands on aspect of it that allowed me to cover what needed to be covered and made it clear enough to move on and tackle the next until it was done.

A far as I am concerned all my future classes will be hands on, the class seems to teach itself when it's planned that way.

Toward this end, anyone and everyone who can send me really bad fabric in the coming year, we can have alot of fun and good information from this. Really bad slipcover fabric, whatever the reason you found it to be such a nuisance. Not dirty or moldy please, just ridiculous. That will be a fun class for Tampa next April.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Double on Fast.... whoopie I can't Wait...

Thanks Dede will get this info out to all in the Slipcover Press in August too.

Thanks to all who attended and taught. It was a fantastic effort.

already scheming to twist your brain ( and your shorts ) for next year! These classes are the thought processes of people who do not work in the same state, and who learned alone as well. We will and must continue to bridge the explanations, and there's no limit to how many ways it can be said. At least one of them will hit the mark.

I am tinkering with " double on fast " . A set limit on the number of pins I let you use, a limit on tools available ( think Survivor )and yes, you and a team mate cut a slipcover in the class period ( with me watching the clock ). Slipcover Survivor T shirts anyone ? No tape measures, no rulers no tables, just fabric, scissors, chalk and pins.

You can always learn to take more time and more tools to do it. What will surprise you is how few you can get by with. Of course, we would practice of fabric with no value.
Hope everyone has recovered from Summit 2004!

Regarding the question of full-spectrum lighting for the workroom: advises anyone interested in replacing old fluorescent tubes with full-spectrum tubes to check the old tube for a number ["on the end, probably starts with 'F'"].

You may call them directly with this information: 1-888-990-9933. I have found them to be extremely helpful and prompt, and recommend them highly.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Wanted to thank everyone who came, it was our most comfortable conference yet ( for me ). Given the material is so much the product of the individual mind explaining it, familiarity and comfort really help.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Just wanted to thank everyone and especially Karen for the great time and opportunity to meet all of you. I'm looking forward to attending the next slipcover summit in Florida, thanks Angie. We all have so much knowledge to offer each other. Claudia

Monday, June 07, 2004


Sent email to nike regarding the Summit........

Numbers could change,as more folks will sign up in the next couple of week.

Karen, send email to my work...
I haven't been able to get into the other email. Am ready for Summit and can't wait to get there. Just need to know numbers. Am arriving on the 23rd, evening. With cheesecake.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Many big hotels who do a lot of conferences have these types of equipment, but usually charge extra. We have a very tight budget and as far as we know right now, these are not included in the cost of the rooms we are to use.

Alicia needs to double check with hotel about this type of equipment. Alicia are you out there????


Does the hotel have projection screens available? It's possible, especially if they're used to hosting conferences and such.

Friday, June 04, 2004

It's just a regular slide projector. Got it on ebay. My first ebay buy. It arrived today. I'll be getting my slides printed sometime next week. Now need to get a screen. Think I saw one last week at a thrift store.Let me know if you guys want to use it.

I have been sending you emails about classes etc.

I have the numbers and will send e-mail to all teacher.

No we do not have an overhead projector. So passing around photos is the best that can happen.

I would like to send you email, are you able to get email?

Please let me know.

Great on the slide projector... does anyone know if there will be an overhead projector? I've got all my pics on transparencies to show overhead if it's available... if not, we can just pass the originals.

And does anyone have a head count yet?

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Great to learn this Angie. Where did you get it? Are you talking about a regular slide projector or any LCD to do a power point presentation?

I hear you and Shirley are rooming together...

K in AZ at Claudia's working and taking care of her dogs while she is in CA teaching a workshop.....

Hi everyone. Putting the final touches on my plans for the summit. Just wanted to let the other instructors know that I recently purchased a slide projector to use in my class. If anyone wants to borrow it and use it for their class, more than welcome. It should arrive tomorrow and I will give it a test run. Any questions, let me know.


everyone is busy out there, just wanted to remind that the Slipcover Summit, the one and ONLY event of it's kind is SOON.

What makes it unique ? Well, it's national, it's sponsored by the slipcover network. We all contribute, all who choose to pass along our skills, people who emerged alone and honed individual ways of making slipcovers that are each in their own way useful and time saving.

We share graciously, and with the hope the art and craft does survives us, and hoping that home based business supplies slipcovers of the future.

Meet the people who chat here, enjoy Fort Collins, learn more about what makes slipcovering an exciting career. It's an investment you won't regret.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

that's my lady bug fabric ! Cute, but stiff and unyeilding.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Kim, KIM, Kim...

Searching for you???? Have not received art for the t-shirts, nor your info for the Survey....

Please, please,please....

Contact me
K with SA

Monday, May 24, 2004

Shirley, if your "ladybug" fabric also has dragonflies on a light green (or light gold) background, it's "Fly Away" from Waverly's Sun-N-Shade collection:

I've seen some gorgeous new Sunbrella fabrics in several different (Sunbrella) magazine ads, but Sunbrella can't even tell me where to find them! The sales rep could only give me the names of a couple of jobbers who only carry the old stuff!


Sunday, May 23, 2004

our remarks about cheesecake and tamales appear on the yahoo search engine ( number one on the list ) when I type in shirley and slipcovers. hmm.....

Friday, May 21, 2004

working with two new outdoor fabrics today. One, a lady bug pattern, looks to be poly, cute, thin enough to sew easy but for the extreme crispness. I never thought I'd say something had too firm a hand, but this is a challenge.

The other is this adorable dotted swiss outdoor cloth, firm, yes, but this is so thick I cannot use cord. The base cloth is open weave and the dots are fuzzy squares.

It's remarkable how many new sunbrella fabrics are out there, and Calico is promoting them for indoor use as well. The prices are way above the cotton equivalents, and the hand while improved is still not cotton. If they are fade resistant, then that's key to the choice.

Meanwhile, I am challenged, and it's a bizzare kind of fun.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

figgered out a way to advertise us on ebay. Not that I can say it's useful, just possible. We'll see. If you have an account, do an about me page. If you can't hear us, we'll yell a little louder.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Karen - try this link instead:
I am sooooo excited.

All of you with picturetrail.

I decided to add this to my listing on the directory page too, as I have done for Shirley, Tessy and anyone else who has picturetrail.

It is so much fun and looks so good and I don't have to involve my webmasters to add photos.

check it out, it still needs fine tuning, but all of you should do it

K on Sunday

Saturday, May 15, 2004

did just send, est 9:50 am. Let me know. I didn't reduce file size.
I have one, I will send

Friday, May 14, 2004

Judit do you have a photos from Baltimore. I am putting the article together for the Slipcover Press, and need some photos.

Shirley do you have any photos on your camera of us all at your house?

Does anyone have any photo? Alicia????


Thursday, May 13, 2004

Karen I would love to have my picturetrail address listed at the Slipcover Network.

Thank you

Shirley - you can get the fade by using the fade option on your landing page. You can have up to four pictures fading on any landing page of an album. The fading does take a long time to load and I don't think anyone waits that long to see it.

Thanks Dee, and Tessy for posting the link to picture trail. Forum Friends is it.

Tess your picturetrail is super, love seeing everyones work.
Alicia says is on picutretrail, and Shirley too.
Who else has there own picture trail?
Should I put these on the directory listing on your sites on the Slipcover Network?


I was suspicious about the 16 thing too ! Dang.

Tessy, what't the name of that melting picture thing ? The cowboy one. Gotta have some myself.
Thanks Dede

Thanks for all your kind words especially the "16".

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Tessy - try this link:

WOW! Tessy, your work is stunning, your home is gorgeous, and girl - you are beautiful! What are you, about 16?
I have recently signed up for a picturetrail account. Most of the pictures you have probably already seen in the forum friends albums. You can check it out at

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

hope to share my new slipcover books at the summit. Not new, some are old, and I'd love some feedback on what you prefer about the older books. Hope to see everyone there.
If it's the same PictureTrail...

The Member Name is "forumfriends"

The Password is "share" (this may no longer be necessary)

Try this direct link to the Slipcover Album:

I have picture trail connected to the blogger, it is from the original forum froh CHF, but when I tried to get into the site to view slipcovers, I couldn't.

Do you or anyone else know what the password might be?

Also how about anyone who is on picture trail, we'd love to see your pictures. How do we view your photos?


Monday, May 10, 2004

125 for one year. At the time, they didn't offer an option that I remember. $#@*&^%!! I remember may be the key word here.
When I was in WCAA I paid $125 for the year, plus whatever the local chapter dues was. Maybe that is why the fee is different.

The group is mostly support from within the industry. You need to network to grow. Just networking within your industry will not help you reach out to others. If you are not doing window treatments, then the meetings could be boring sometimes.

It did help me network with others in the industry in other lines of work. But you could network in your chamber of commerece, or other network groups.

When you are with others who are in business, you treat your business like a business. If you belong to a group you should make it a point to attend, so you will get something out of it. Our group you use to refer one another, and pass on referrals.

HOpe that helps

Shirley, 2-year membership (WCAA national dues) is $185. Maybe that's what you paid for?
missing yet another WCAA meeting today, have a loud wet frequent cough like a bark. Yes, my WCAA too half and half. It meets during the day. I'd never ever get to an evening one. I wonder why my national is so much more than yours ?

Dede, be picky. I can make all needed changes at once that way. Not just with spelling ( how'dI dodat ? ) but tell me what it tell you I am offering, so others won't be thinking something I didn't mean.

Just tried to find slipcovering cohorts at to tell them about the summit.
I have a question for people who primarily do slipcovers:

It's time for my yearly membership dues to Window Coverings Association of America (WCAA) - $85 for national (I think local is $40). I've been a member for exactly one year; I've attended ONE meeting (and that was as a guest, before I even joined) and ONE event (New England Table-Top Show, last summer). My membership guesstimate, based on that one meeting, is half workroom, half designer. Meetings are monthly: dinner at a restaurant, followed by old business/new business, then a presentation of some kind.

My question is... is it worth it? Do I really need to be a member to gain market exposure? (my schedule hasn't changed, so I don't expect to be attending too many meetings again).

I would really appreciate any opinions. I'm leaning toward not renewing the membership - can anyone convince me otherwise?

Thanks so much.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Shirley - still looking through website. First impression is very good. How picky should I be? Fast-n-dirty? Where's-the-microscope?


Saturday, May 08, 2004

there's a tickle my brain brief summary of what the muslin class will tell you over there ~ over there ~ over there ~ listed as " class to be offered if interest is shown ". The class is a summit class, and it's the only class I am officially scheduled to teach.

The errollment will deturmine if my plane ticket is affordable.

Not to load on guilt, but we'd be choosing in the dark if this isn't a known quantity.

If it isn't an interesting enough topic, write your "must be answered" questions down and sign up, we will honor that as content.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

I know it is next week and I still don't have the photo's posted. I am sooo sorry.

The Slipcover Press was where I would post them first and our graphics guy's computer is down. Can anything else happen????

Tamales.... who has tamales??? Do you think Alicia will have Tamales at the Summit?
Thanks Dee for letting us know this.

So does anyone want to share the color you wanted to get? What color was it?

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Please be advised: Design Source NO LONGER offers Z-Tex cut yardage, only full bolts (which are available directly from Z-Tex).

Friday, April 30, 2004


1. Do you still have the name of the Z-Tex jobber in Tennessee you mentioned?

2. Do you plan to post the photos you took at Baltimore? I'd love to see them!

Thanks! :-)

Design Source
Jackson, Mississippi 39047

Tell her you are in the trade and will be selling this fabric to a customer. Let her know I sent you. Hopefully she will give you a good price.

I hope to post photos of Baltimore.... I only got back on Monday after being gone 2 weeks and am teaching a class tomorrow. A girl does need her beauty sleep. Hope to post photos next week.

Thanks Dee for asking...