Friday, December 30, 2005

Good morning. It is cold and rainy here in the Pacific Northwest. Almost done with the new Slipcover Press for Winter 2006, should be sent your way quickly.

Above is a photo that was sent to me by Jolene Weave in VA.... Richmond. She has great ways that she finished her chairs besides stapling and velcour. How about the rest of you? Ideas to share.

In the New Slipcover Press we want more sharing to go on within our trade. Share it first here on the blog, and then we can put it in print. Currently our Slipcover Press Subscriber list is 300 and that is online......


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Slipcover Network Forum

We are back online....

The story is long, and one of many tails I could tell about dealing with the Internet.....

I am currently working on a new format for the Slipcover Press, much more contemporary....

Look for it soon....


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Slipcover Network Forum

The Slipcover is down.... We have been hi-jacked. Not sure what is going on.

Please bare with us and stay connected via this blog...


Happy Holidays to you all

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Back to work

Hi all. Is everyone back to work? Well here we are my boys and myself. Took a brief walk after our T Day eating.

Some of you should be getting an auto response about the Slipcover Press. I am not doing a Fall issue as I have been trying to figure out a program to have this up online.

Automation is the only way to keep up with the Slipcover Press. If you would like your quarterly publication mail USPS mail.... I need to know.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

taking a break from sewing, asking for feedback...

from my waay too late and not getting out the door anyway by thanksgiving slipcover project du jour..... to say don't forget to enjoy your holidays. 35 years of slipcovers later, I can tell you people forgive late sewing. Celebrate while you can !

On another note, I am using the first couple weeks of january to get together picture series for discs for the summit.

If there's something you want to see I can slip it in there now.

might as well ask here.............

Monday, November 21, 2005

looking for some feedback

what's the most you could hope to upcharge for lining a slipcover ?

express as a percent, and whether you'd add materials atop that.

what would make you offer or try to do this ? what circumstances ?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Tessy's Recent Project

Just had to share this great slipcover job that Tessy sent me....

This is sooo creative. How many of these chairs did you have to make?

Great job

Friday, November 18, 2005

Brown and the latest mad science report

are we calling it Brown, Karen ? Hybrid ? Rainbow ?

for the effort of having a muslin pattern made ahead of time ( which serves at estimate time for a closer number and allows the half deposit to be demanded at that time anyway.....)

you can have a glue basted ( think many fewer pins and no time hunting for a way to insert them while avoiding the chair ) RS out fully fitted cover, lined and even stuffed ala the Maureen Whitmore craze ( but we can skip that too ).

Measurements can be substituted for the muslin in some cases, but a good premade muslin pattern serves so many good uses, and many people make them already.

General idea : the outside body pieces are steamed, cut to size, corded and lined. They look pillow cased when done, they are separate, not joined to anything. They are overlocked at the skirt line, and are longer than needed.

The inside body pieces are steamed, lined, assembled to other inside body pieces. They are cut to size but left long to underlap the outside body pieces.

The outside body pieces are prepared with Rowley's fuseable web, 2" on the lining side, and pressed with release silicone paper. Outside body pieces are ready to fuse when positioned.

Inside body pieces are positioned ( already joined, lined, overlocked ) pinned into the chair so as to make as tight as desired and overlapped into what would be the areas covered by outside body pieces....O back, arm front panels, O arm, De fronts, DE side panels, O wings if any, O side panels if any.

The outside body pieces are applied positioned, tightened, pinned, and fused. Skirt line cord is fused at this time as well, ready to receive the skirt once stitched.

Stittching is done from the front.

Lining used can be cheap and removed ( with the fuseable ) as soon as no longer needed, or kept as part of finished product.

Weird, no ? Fun for me, I like fun. Wicked fun, I have been waiting to glue a slipcover all my life.....

Monday, November 14, 2005

not avoiding anybody

just eyebrow deep in window treatments, don't ask me why.

Gonna start banding slipcover skirts, I certainly have it down now. Banded $11,000 worth of drapes this year, more coming in the door. Jeezzzzz

Fantasizing about glue basting slipcovers. Anyone who wants to receive and help critique photos depicting BROWN the week of jan 9th as they are put on a disc with paragraphs explaining Brown, let me know.

slipcoverlady at juno dot com.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

There's a "Floors and Interiors" store in town; they added a line of window treatments a few years ago. The van of a local decorator is often parked outside, so I think she is part of the business.

I'm going to approach them *eek!* - if we work something out, is there a payment standard?

1. They refer customers to me, I pay them a commission (__%). (What IS the going rate, anyway?)

2. I bill the store, they charge customers whatever they want. They may or may not want to deal with fabric, not sure how that would work either way.

Any experience with this? Anyone?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Slipcover Network Forum

Hello Friends who Slipcover and Make Window Treatments
FYI...October Issue of Architectural Digest...we did the swags in the 6000 sq. ft. library addition...designer was John Phiffer Marrs
Page 146 has a photo of the window treatments we fabricated.

Slipcover Etc.
Dallas, Texas 75243

Take a look.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Scallop skirt- overlay- multi???

I am slipcovering a parsons chair and the woman( so called designer) wants a scallop skirt overlay( I think that's what it is called). The scallop will be around 5" deep and will have a dragonfly centered in each scallop. This is on top of a floor length ruffled skirt. Now I have never done a scallop anything. I think I know what to do but I don't know what to line the scallop with. There is not enough fabric to self line. The main fabric and scallops are done in a maroon and the ruffled skirt will be a blue check.

Question 2. How do the scallops meet in the corners? I am planning to have a scallop panel for each of the four sides.

Question 3. I have installed casters on the chair. How long do I make the skirt? Just to the top of the casters?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Slipcover Network Forum: Serging Poll

The Slipcover Network Forum: Serging Poll

2--I use my serger as the only seam on tuck-ins (5 thread). On corded seams, I serge each layer separately.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Serging Poll

1. Do you serge your seams?

a) No.
b) Always - it is built into my price.
c) As an option (with upcharge) only.

2. If you DO serge, do you:

a) Serge completed seams (requires industrial serger).
b) Serge pieces before stitching.
c) Serge as slipcover is sewn (Karen's Method)

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Slipcover Network Forum

Dear Slipcover Pros,

Over the past decade, we as a group have rallied to help some of our members with some extraordinary life events. I am asking for your help once again--this time for
Jo Ann Brezette, one of the Window Coverings Industry's most valued members. I know many of you do both window treatments and and slipcovers.

She has recently been declared legally blind and is facing increased medical expenses associated with attempts to save the little sight Jo Ann does have. Read more about Jo Ann's medical condition and how you can easily contribute.

Steve Beard, of Wesco Fabrics, Inc. sent me this information, and I am happy to pass this request along. You are welcome to forward this to any of your friends and business associates. (In fact please do !!)

I know in the past you have all opened up your hearts and have contributed so generously. I do hope you can help today.

Thank you so very much!

Dian :-)

Dian Garbarini
27281 Las Nieves
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

714-454-0705 Cell

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Dumb question regarding pricing survey:

Does the base price for a given piece of furniture INCLUDE loose and semi-attached cushions? Or are they priced separately and ADDED to the base price?

Thanks - sorry, I should know this.


The Slipcover Network Forum

HI everyone...

Donna and I are on our way to New Jersey to do a 2 day slipcover class.

Just finished up in Virginia.

Hope everyone is doing well...

Does anyone have ink cartridges to recycle?


Thursday, September 29, 2005

just bringing this back to the top

valley forge next week, anyone else going ?

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Slipcover Network Forum

Hi All...

Just wanted you to know I just sent in another shipment of recycle in cartridges and cell phones. Thanks to all who are making it possible to grow our Scholarship fund for the Summit 2006.

It's easy save your empty cartridges, and when you get 3 send them my way. I send them to the company, and they send a check to Claudia who is our treasurer.

Hope all are well

Here is a job Linda from Kansas did for one of her clients. Looks like Homespun Fabric. Don't you just love the skirt?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Karen - I was going to send you the 8 old cellphones I had but after talking to my friend who had recycled them before she said that it would not be worth it to mail them out to you. She said we would get $1 each at the most. I am going to donate them to my church instead. Sorry! I had no idea how old they were. I got them from my MIL and SIL at their garage sale.
Duh... I just discovered the "Comment" feature. I wonder what else I've been missing...

Dede (in a daze)

Terratex Interface Fabrics

"Terratex® is a registered trademark of Interface Fabrics Group and designates fabrics that are made from 100% recycled or compostable material using increasingly sustainable manufacturing practices to produce a high quality product that is recyclable at the end of its useful life."

Sustainable, minimal-impact, environmentally conscious, eco-responsibe interior fabric.

In other words... recycled (and recyclable).

Is this one of the companies Jeannie highlighted? Or did I just volunteer to write an article? :D

Saturday, September 10, 2005

New Photo

Just got this photo from Kathy Ritter in upstate NY. How would anyone handle this arm? Tricky??????

lining slipcovers...either married to the cover, independednt and between furniture and cover, or attached to furniture....

sure..............I'd like people to tell me what they tried and didn't like.

additionally, what do you say to yourself when looking at a situation that you jus' know the fabric isn't going to hide what's going on ? What's the self talk you do in planning ?
So let me know if you understand the new setup...Off to do errands
The Slipcover Network Forum: 09/01/2005 - 09/30/

Shirley we could open up the blog to all and have the discussion here online...
What do you think?
Kim it is so good to hear from you. We'd love to see photos when you get them.....
Dede ( the stain queen ) you'd help me alot if you stain it with your household stains and then treat them as you would, and report back which didn't come out ?

Karen, tell me the impressions you get from others about if the appearance is acceptable.

Karen, where can we post a discussion or a back ground article ( maybe on the Summit advertisment ? ) on lining. As you can probably tell, I am so excited about lining, this is an issue I can really run with.

Friday, September 09, 2005

What a beautiful picture, Karen! Looks like a magazine layout. You were lucky to get a room so accessible and full of light. I just finished a "slipcover by mail" My first ever by measurements alone (thank you for the wonderful instruction in St. Louis, Shirley!) - happened to be a wingback. (ugh) I had done a slipcover for this chair before and asked the owner if she would like to send me some fabric and be my guinea pig. She just emailed me that it's on the chair and looks ok...I begged her for photos, hope they come soon!

The final product. The welt cord on the red sofa and ottoman were made from the fabric that we used on the chair.
Here is the undergarment over the ottoman. Softened the tufting on the ottoman, but it was still bumpy as you will see in the final photo....

HI all...

Finished job finally... Here is the sofa, no tufting... so didn't need to do an undergarment. Will be sending some more photos
Tried posting earlier but the blog was down.

I finally got my sample Shirley. I have used something like this before. Very stretchy when sewing....

I haven't used it yet, but will take it with me on the road when I teach....

K with SA

Poly canvas... hmm... Haven't had a chance to do anything with it, yet. Is it 100% poly? What are its advantages? -besides not shrinking, I mean.

I have a lot of samples to test; I'll throw it in with them, but this won't happen until October.

I agree with the fiberglass comparison.
anyone commenting on the poly canvas ?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

who's going to Valley Forge ? Oct 5 ? Later in the week ? Got a room yet ?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

it's right off the bolt: Jeannie hit the nail on the head, I was searching for just this~ she says it looks and feels like fiberglass.
Shirley - received the sample yesterday... THANK YOU! :)

What's your impression of this fabric? Has it been washed? Do you like it?


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

not yet ( brown ) , but the extra time gave me time to think about using glue.

I am still tinkering with how to do it under pressure ( six students, three chairs, six hours ). So, glue sounds really appealing to me~

I am beginning to think I need to know the chairs prior to arriving at the summit. They can ( and should ) be three different models, but perhaps they should be Claudia's childs furniture.

most important thing to me originally was stepping beyond pinning RS out on the whole chair, fitting while incorporating cord. Those two common beginning methods I felt needed a bridge over to double on half. Yes, this is then a hybrid.

I like to think Brown ( hybrid, maybe RAINBOW ! ) has even more uses than just serving as a stepping stone between beginners methods and double on half. I never know where ideas come to me from, no doubt seen or heard and then the original source forgotten.

Any ideas on using glue more often in slipcovers ? My nagging thought has been protecting the chair, and then not glueing pins in so they don't come out ever.

As ever, still thinkin'.

Now I wish I had given you an article on lining, we can do that for winter.
The Slipcover Network Forum


Did folks get together with you this summer to try the Brown Method?

Thanks Shirley

I am waiting anxiously.........!!!!!!!!!!!

K with SA
the poly canvas should be hitting your mail boxes very soon, those who asked. If you didn't ask or didn't get it by the end of this week, email me :

Monday, September 05, 2005

The Slipcover Network Forum

As for the undergarment on the back of the chair
I used drapery interlining, to cover the inside and
outside back. I sew the back to the front and slip it on
over the back of the chair.

I prefer to use interlining as it grips the chair with
it's felt like coating, and also helps the slipcover
fabric to grip to the interlining.

No Dede, I did not line the skirt...

Most of my skirts I self face... meaning I use the same fabric and simply fold it in half so front and back of the skirt is the same fabric.

So much easier that way....
absolutely gorgeous........Karen, do you like to sew on the lining direct to the chair ? What kind of dacron did you use ?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Karen - just gorgeous. Did you line the skirt? If so, what did you use?

Do any of your videos discuss undergarments?


Hey all here is my most recent job completed. I had to use an undergarment for the inside back because of the tuffetting.

K with SA
Judit is lucky.... I am glad to learn they are okay.

Judit even has power back as of saturday, she said all they had was tree litter scattered and a tree fall on an outbuilding.

Other than gas lines and empty grocery store shelves, all is well.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Saw that Kim posted she is okay on the Drapery Pro forum.

Also I did hear from my Dad he lives in New Orleans, they made it to Birmingham, Al....

K with SA

Thursday, September 01, 2005

you know, now that you ask, I am not sure I ever knew if Kim's last name was Covington or if she lived in Covington, La. I thought her last name was Zimieskis or Zimmer, but now I am not sure of anything. Don't have an address or phone number either.

Judit knows Kim from WCAA. I didn't actually speak to Judit, I managed to get a connection, and she has changed her outgoing cell message to assure everyone she is fine if without power or a land line.

Because she's near Baton Rouge, and all the evacuation activity comes out of Baton Rouge, the cell system is just overloaded.
Thanks Shirley...

What about Kim Covington?
judit is okay.............

Monday, August 29, 2005

Kim Z. in Covington is closer to the fray, Covington is just north of Lake Ponchetrane. I am sure that's spelled wrong.

I heard from Judit late last night. They have generators, and John built the house himself, it can withstand nuclear war ( I've seen it ). Judit turned off the computer, but I will let you know if she calls.

Judit is in Walker, just east of Baton Rouge, 110 miles NWW of New Orleans.
Thanks Dede...

Has anyone heard from Judit? She is in the eye of the storm.


Friday, August 26, 2005

Karen - Your arms are so snug, and WITHOUT Velcro... *sigh* Really, really beautiful.

PS: I don't have a decent photo of myself, honest! I avoid cameras... does anyone have a better shot of me than the one in the Spring 2005 Slipcover Press? *shudder*
tell us about the fabric...........

for those of you expecting the poly canvas, it just hasn't left here yet..................

Here's a job Donna and I did in St Louis in August.

Hey Dede, we will all be looking forward in reading the article this Fall. Thanks for doing this.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

Hi, Dede--I'll be interested in hearing more about your organic fabric distributer.

I have some ideas on marketing, but I haven't pursued them yet because I can't seem to get ahead enough to take on even more work. (I think I've sung this song one too many times so I should shut up!)


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I spoke with a very lovely lady at NearSea Naturals (organic fabric distributer), and am finishing an article about the company. This is a market they had not previously considered.

As of today $25 more will be deposited into the Slipcover Summit Scholarship fund....

This money has come from collecting empty ink jet and laser ink cartridges and cell phones.

Wow.... I have to say I am impressed...


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Our first batch of empty ink cartridges went into the center to be recycled. Funds will be deposited into the Slipcover Summit Scholarship fund. So if you aren't already recycling your empty ink cartridges, start now. Save them and mail them to us at the Slipcover Network... 8118 Skipley Rd Snohomish, Wa 98290

Help someone learn new skills that will help their slipcover business be more professional.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

very pretty, and the pictures are a big help in explaining things !

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Slipcover Network Forum

The site looks Great! Keep up the good work. I have several ink cartridges save for the recycle fund raiser for the Slipcover Summit!
Does everyone know about sending Karen your printer Cartridges?

Wow! Impressive... nice new look. :-)
Thanks Shirley,
Lisa did contact me. She is really busy, and her son is off to college soon.
Thanks for helping me find her.

Hey everyone look at these lovelies, just finished by Claudia in Arizona ( They are remarkable. Way to go...... As you know there is a story behind every job! Right Claudia

Karen with SA

Friday, August 12, 2005

Thanks Shirely....

Yep this is super showing photos. This means you can take photos of that mini workshop and post it here on our blog.... Yeepie

Above is a photo of Susan Kindels work..
yay! Pictures!

I sent Lisa a PM on the in house system on the other place. It locked out direct email. I asked her to email Karen......

At the Summit Claudia will be doing the headboard class again, does anyone have an idea what they like to see in the headboard class?

Here's Donna with her slipcovered headboard.

Does anyone know how to get a hold of Lisa Knight? I have several email addresses for her.


Hey I just figured out how to post photos...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

thank you for confirming my suspicions.

the washer repair man has Gerry thinkin' the front loader is the cat's pajamas.

I would have done the laundry mat route with this months lot (200 plus yards ) except that's it's humid, air quality is in the sucky zone, and I again have bronchitis. Add to that the dust of a laundry mat and the result might be comical. Imagine me on the floor coughing now....

That will be the answer in the fall, and I will just go to the laundry mat and wash stuff I may need in advance, only when the weather is right to breathe.

Washed fabric does sell itself, in a Frankenstein kind of way. I knew from past years people will order white in july, just when they cannot possibly still get it in time for summer.
The Slipcover Network Forum

I had a front loader and right away I noticed that the washer
did not wash fabric the way I needed it too. Front loaders are
designed to used less water and water is the key to washing
the fabric that we use. It needs to be soaked in water, lots of water
and the front loader was designed for saving energy.

So... I take my fabric, when it needs to be washed to the laundry
and wash it in the big boy. These are front loaders but have much
more water. It does work. Also takes less time, and less energy
in my place.

finally got sears to come and fix washer yet again. Not to place blame, I kill it, and then kill it again and again. Sears should be suspicious and short on patience by now.

Does anyone wash this canvas ( any canvas ) in a front loader ? Does it come out right ?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Slipcover Network Forum

As for gluing.... I glue stuff all the time Shirley.
Yes, Rowley's glue is the best.
Watch out you could be breathing too much of it!!!!
Yep, you both make sense. Thanks.

I don't think my customer will be happy with picks opening up when she washes the fabric herself, so guess one advantage of prewashing with soap is finding the picks beforehand.

The Slipcover Network Forum

If you have done your testing with the fabric and you know how it will shrink then cutting pieces sounds okay.
Or you can plan for 2 or 3 pieces in each cut. So you can was cuts of fabric but know what you how many
finished seats or backs you will get our of each cu.

Do I make sense?

I do that all the time, cut the size piece I will need, plus what I expect it to shrink, plus what I may lose in fraying despite having overlocked.

the only hitch in this: holes open up in the washer on some fabrics.

See what shrinkage you can get by the washing method ( your usual ) with a small enough piece. Then, perhaps run a different test with a fresh piece to compare: soak in hot 20 minutes, then dry in hot, maybe more than once. Aggitate, just don't add soap.

Between the recoverable stretch and the shrinkage you DID get ( on the no soap test ) , and leaving them a tad bigger, you may be covered for all the allowance you'd need.

This is far preferable than discovering ( having washed with soap ) that picks open up ( holes where threads are joined in weaving ) and be short, having dedicated the positions of cuts, and nothing is then repositionable.

The CRDaniels is good for just one thing, no holes, ever. All other COM, I never use soap unless I have tons extra.
I've got to make about a dozen rectangular seat and back cushions from a plain twill fabric that I was planning to wash before I cut. However, I think, to save the customer money I've planned out the pattern too tightly to risk cutting it in 3-yard lengths. I've tested the fabric and know how much it shrinks and stretches. I could cut the required pieces the requisite larger size, serge them and then wash/dry BEFORE sewing (meaning I'd have long bands swishing around getting caught in my machine) OR make them up completely (made appropriately larger) and then wash them.

Any thoughts? The other thing I could do is identify where I could safely cut, instead of just go for 3-yard cuts.


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

daydreaming whilst I band draperies here.................who glue bastes slipcovers ? Anybody ? I like this glue stuff ( no I am not breathing it ).

The web that Rowley sells is easy to control. Makes me want to somehow work it into Brown.....

Monday, August 08, 2005

am sending out swatches of this poly canvas. I am 100% sold on this except for the leetle doubt I have about it feeling oily. It's not actually oily, it's just the fiber outer texture. I have sent to all I have asked an address of, anybody didn't get that email, tell me if you want one to review. it's white, clean, canvas texure, a tad shiny, heavy weight and a very tempting price. Maybe one day I can get it dyed beige as well. As of now, it only comes white.

maybe you can identify for me where else you have seen it, perhaps dyed already...........

Friday, August 05, 2005

oh yeah, that's the general vein. It may well take an arbitraty word or multi~ word name.

One thing, the clothing can sometimes be revealing and be desired. Slipcovers aren't revealing, they are the opposite, they hide absolutely ( when done well ).

We could call it Hysewocprknbon but we'd still be stuck explaining it. Was lookin' for something aha! kinda more self explanatory.........

another endless quest..................
Sounds like you are describing clothing that both drapes and fits well. But all I come up with is boring things like "well-tailored", " coutoured" (which could be spelled better), "custom-designed"...

what if you start from the perspective of the furniture and how a slipcover enhances its beauty while hiding its faults. (like good clothing does--???---)

I don't think this is what you are looking for for an answer, but maybe it will generate a few more creative synapes.

let me say this another way. A______________________slipcover ( fill in the blank ) does the following:

it appears to float on air. There are no reminders of the shape, color or detail of the upholstered piece beneath.

there is no struggle between the slipcover and the furniture wearing it. It's restful and relaxing to look at, there's nothing to tinker with or fix.

Fill in the blank. I'd love to have something unique or succinct. Maybe it cannot be short.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

it could be frank color smirking through, or just a hard to describe graying of the new color.

It could be the button depressions, a vague emptiness or hollow over a concave area that changes the color or surface appearance. " Innies "

It could be the cord of the upholsterers work that is rigid and leaving a bump. " Outties "

It could be the contour that the slipcover cannot adhere to, the the difference, for example, a serpentine deck front, you can just " see " it underneath.

For that matter, arm pits that scream at you that it's isn't sticking like paint.

Can we size this up in one phrase or word, the absence of all the things that a slipcover look less than sucessful ? Can we find a word that says what the most sucessful slipcover does ?

( without my usual circular uneditted encyclopeadia answers ).
The Slipcover Network Forum

Shirley when you write "When a slipcover fails to hide the furniture underneath" are you meaning that the slipcover does not cover the furniture or that the fabric color underneathe is bleeding though?

Just trying to understand what you mean..
Need a name for a phenonemon. Maybe more than one name, I am trying to call it the same effect.

When a slipcover fails to hide the furniture underneath....what do YOU call this ?

Does coverage ( as bland and non descript as that is ) say it all, or does some phrase size it up better ?

What phrase says " good coverage ". I don't know one, that's why I am asking you all. I know what I want: the slipcover floats so well, it does not look supported by anything but air.

It's easy to say what's missing when it's right. It's not wrinkled, not bumpy underneath, doesn't beg the question " what's under there ? ". Worse, it's so obvious you don't have to ask~ hey! That's blue under there !

I am trying to wrap it all in one, but if you have a system of saying it differently, spill.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Do we have this company listed anywhere?

Natural, organic fabrics (cotton, hemp, etc.) - some upholstery weight, multiple yardage/fabric discounts; wholesale pricing available on some fabrics.

Nice site.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Dede, I know you will do what you can.

The euro pro was old, and is off at a local appliance place to get a look see. I ordered new as well, they are half what they were before.

Karen, nice to hear you are up and around, to say the least. Is St. Loius hot ?

I am not sure recycling is a word I should borrow for what I do with left over cottons, but if you have any, I can put them to good use. I wash them, bleach them if I can, and make them all scrunchy and friendly. See if you can dig any out of your stash of leftovers, natural color is the best to bleach up. Email me if you have any to sacrifice. It will do good.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Slipcover Network Forum

HI All...

Donna and I are back from Tn, where we did
the American Sewing Guild Conference show.
3 days of teaching and exhibit floor. We meet
all sorts of neat ladies, who of course sew. Some
who are in business sewing home dec and they are
wanting education. Many want to know how to sew

Shirley I am sure that no one fixes your Euro Iron
are you under warrantee? HOw old is it?

okay... back to work. Need to get my quarterly taxes
in the mail.

Bye all
Karen in St Lous but wanting to be home
in the great Northwest

The Slipcover Network Forum

HI All...

Donna and I are back from Tn, where we did
the American Sewing Guild Conference show.
3 days of teaching and exhibit floor. We meet
all sorts of neat ladies, who of course sew. Some
who are in business sewing home dec and they are
wanting education. Many want to know how to sew

Shirley I am sure that no one fixes your Euro Iron
are you under warrantee? HOw old is it?

okay... back to work. Need to get my quarterly taxes
in the mail.

Bye all
Karen in St Lous but wanting to be home
in the great Northwest

Friday, July 29, 2005

Shirley, I'm not ignoring you; I'm treading water up here, trying not to drown. Involves termites, dead refrigerator, local historical society, and sick relatives.

Don't ask... And I'm driving down in August if it kills me.


Thursday, July 28, 2005

ongoing experiements.........come into my laBORatory...........

Brown : bring yourself and your worst chair. Northern Va, email me,

Stuffing slipcovers, lining, new excuses for slipcover underwear. Tell me what you do, same address as above.

Poly slipcovers. UGH. Let's swap samples.

Recreating cotton scraps, send me some swatches of what you can't get rid of, we'll talk.
does anyone have an opinion on stuffed slipcovers ? The ones with lining pockets for filling them with dacron ? any toes to step on here that I am not aware's been written about and in one case patented, but I am leaning toward the iron in Rowley stuf. Anyone ever try this as lining slash underwear ?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I bought a hundred as that's usually what it takes to force me to try it enough to get real consistent results.

It's drapeable for it's bulk, there does not seem to be anything to wash out.

It's not yet cut off bolt.

First I have 80 yards bias banding to make for drape job. Why do I do THAT ?

Speaking of which, europro iron decided to sit down on the job. Bought it used, don't know origin. Who fixes these ?

I'll send it out to you jeannie.
Hi, Shirley,
Why did you get 100 yards? I don't know anything about poly. Do you expect it not to shrink? Does it not have sizing in it? Can you think of any advantages over cotton other than the bleach and ammonia washes? If you have scissors in hand, you could send me a snip. Jeannie

3507 W. Cornwallis Rd.
Durham, NC 27705
I didn't see a country of origin on the bill, though it may be there, I'll check again. Their cottons come from India.

I am proud to have slipcovers connected to the idea of simple living and conservation, but it's relative.

Even if we do buy fabric that's from another country, we have not created quite as much trash as an upholsterer. We haven't created excess numbers of baggy covers to sit on the shelf and wait for end users. We don't create covers that must occupy space in a truck or shipping container.

Why don't I send out a smaller swatch for those who are interested ? With a 37 cents stamp ? Or is it 38 now ?
The Slipcover Network Forum

All poly canvas does work for some occasions.
I don't think that poly canvas is evil... (LOL)

Some poly products are being made from recycled
products. The thought is to look at oil and how it
is being used. So much of our industry is reliant
on oil. How can this be?

What do we know about having all of our eggs in
one basket? When something happens to the eggs
the next is empty.

Diversity is idea. Use more than one thing.

Does CRDaniels manufacture this poly canvas fabric
in the USA or does it come from China? Just checking?

Smiles to you this day

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

just got some CRDaniels all~poly canvas in, white white, heavy texture, drapeable.

anybody want to experiment with some? I will cut you off what you want. Got 100 yds here, 6.00 a yard plus shipping.

experimenting is good fun for me. Especially if it will replace the cotton stuff..............petro chemical evil though right ? is this evil ? It's better than running a quart of ammonia and a gallon of bleach ( separately, of course ) down the drain per each 4.5 yards cotton.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Welcome Rita, It is hot Slipcovering in Arizona.. Looking forward to everyone coming out to the summit in June. Lots of exciting things in the planning.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Rita! What ya sewin' over there ?
The Slipcover Network Forum Not heepie,,,,yeppie!!!!
The Slipcover Network Forum

Heepie.... glad you figured it out. Others say it is too hard.
Good to have you with us...

Hey Shirley, Rita has joined us. You remember Rita she was one of our Scholarhip Awardee
at the Summit...

Karen, got on to the blog--thanks for the call and hope to comtribute soon to the group.
Rita Loveday

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Slipcover Network Forum
So are you doing the upholstery job????
Good you are an upholster...

Regarding restaurant bench seat slipcovers--Thanks all for your feedback. I talked the customer out of slipcovers; they really needed upholstering. Jeannie

Friday, July 15, 2005

*duh* That explains why I couldn't find it... I was looking in the wrong place. ANYWAY, thank you for letting me slide for so long - I appreciate your patience AND kindness AND general good humor. :-)

Hope you are healing nicely,

The Slipcover Network Forum

Dede a year membership with the Slipcover Network is $45 all info is on the website
at on the contack page.

vote here : what would you consider to be an essential gauarantee ( your expectation ) when you see the term " high end washable ".

Okay, I won't actually use that name for marketting, just for your use here. BTW: what would you use to market that ? A name ?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Good Lord... I forgot to renew my membership. Karen, I am sooooo sorry.

Is it $40.00? $45.00? Please let me know (again) and I'll get a check in the mail Monday.


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I will help you recycle your as yet unwashed all~cottons, when they are unbleached natural in color and tightly woven. I will pay you for your postage ( only ) , and donate $3.oo a yard to Karen, if this is okay with you, Karen ? Donations to be applied to all the many PR costs associated with the website, summits, booths, flyers, transporation etc.

I will set aside a budget of $500 for this, first come first serve, dig'um out.

I need at least ten yards per type, fairly continuous yardage, enough for a chair. Maybe twelve yards minimum if in more pieces. No canvas or twills, sorry, as I am SO saturated with that already.

This may wind up in the samples made for the next show or summit, so if you were curious as to what could be done with it, now's the time to find out. I will likely wash it untill it shrivels like a prune and then bleach it high white. This is really recycling, this is a much prettier product than the raw materials.

Karen, I'll edit this is you don't want to do this............ let me know.
The Slipcover Network Forum
Help Us Raise Money
Simple Recycling

We need funds for more folks to attend the Slipcover Summit in Arizona in June of 2006. and to pay for booth expenses at the International Window Fashion Expo in Florida the end of March 2006. Instead of raising cost to be on the Slipcover Directory or to keep asking for donations, we have come up with an easy fundraising solution.

1)Do you use ink in your inkjet or laser printer? What do you do with the empty cartridges????

2)Do you have old cellphones sitting in a drawer in your house or office?

Simple Recycling is willing to pay us to recycle our ink cartridges and cells phones. All you have to do is save your recycling products and when you get 3 or 4 send them to me at 8118 Skipley Ave, Snohomish Wa 98290.

When we have enough I will turn them into the company and they will pay us for RECYCLING.
It is that easy. Please send me an email at or call 800-267-4958 to let me know you will be participating.

Monday, July 11, 2005


You're alive! Hooray!!


I want it ALL! Do I really have to CHOOSE??


I'm trying, but... I'm having trouble picturing slips for restaurant booths (well, attractive ones, anyway). Do two booths share a single back?
now is the time to tell me, while I am writing up class descriptions for summit 2006, what you would like to see included in undergarments.

I would suggest ideally ( if I had the time ):

the full range of fabrics used

how layers seams, cords, zippers are treated when you line direct

when to go separate with your " lining ", sewing VS stapling, complete VS incomplete coverage

undergarments when used to add padding, applying it, tools, materials, techniques.

That's way too much for two hours, so if you can point me in the direction you need to go, let me know here soon.

Brown will be on the saturday after this class, so we can incorporate your remaining questions in the process of covering the chair you bring for Brown. For Brown: bring the ugliest, most difficult to slipcover chair that you own, but for this first time, please bring cotton fabric. The old rote saying applies here well: light color, pattered, textured, having body and dull surface ( opposite of : dark plain smooth limp glossy ).

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Slipcover Network Forum

Yea, it could be half full. Go and see what they are wanting, and then decide. I personally don't like to make vinyl slipcovers.

We have classes for the Summit in order. Hope to get this written up
and to folks tomorrow, Monday..

K with SA
washable and commercial= flameproof, which generally = polyester...................... I have slipcovered in poly times 200 chairs for such an application. Hopefully, you will not need to endure chartreuse. Acrylic may work.

slipcover in vinyl ?
Hi, all

I've got to call someone (far away) tomorrow about slipcovering restaurant booths. I don't know anything else at this point. All I can picture is torn slippery vinyl with smears of catsup and old egg. Well, instead of this "glass half empty" ('cus beer also spilled on the booths) approach, I should instead think that maybe the booths are for some cute country diner. Anyone ever done anything like this?


Saturday, July 02, 2005

Karen? How are you doing? Update, please! :-)

Don't forget to take... it... easy... Let yourself heal - please! Because we love you!!!

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Karen, I hope you are steadily getting stronger.

I have done enough drapes this year already to be excited about the prospect of only having slipcovers to do later.

Funny, absence makes the heart... da da da da da da.

Funny, I have been trying to warm up to all these luxury fabrics. It's always been a source of pride for me that slipcovers are functional and sturdy. I don't know why I get off on that, it doesn't really seem like much to crow about. I love white beyond all logic.

I don't get into the beautiful expensive delicate fabrics idea about slipcovers. Heck, I wouldn't want someone sitting on my window treatments!

Hot here now, humid, too many excuses to play. I'll be excited about Brown when it becomes a reality. Play play play. Alicia, where are you ?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Slipcover Network Forum

Ha, stir crazy.... I can only walk or stand for so long before the stitching inside my body pulls and my muscles get tired.

My butt hurts from sitting and I look forward to the day I can lay on my stomach again. Small pleasures, but you miss them when it can't be done.

Today I get to drive my car. I am going to my office, and a few errands. Yeepie

As for the Summit content, Angie, Claudia and I are hashing things around. We should have classes soon, and know the teachers.

Thanks for asking..
K with SA
yuk, the only thing worse than stress from being too busy is stress from enforced inactivity !

want to share, Karen, any debates you are having with yourself over summit 2006 content ?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Slipcover Network Forum

Hi All, it's Sunday..............
Jeannie to have you know I am not just lying around in bed.
No I am not sewing slipcovers because the doctor said

Yeek it is hard and I am not use to being kept still.
I have overdone a couple of days, and went to bed

I do get to drive on Tuesday.
So I am taking it easy, computer stuff, contacts, planning
but my brain gets tried from overuse. Is this possible?

Working on Slipcover Press and Summit for 2006.

Oh Dee so glad to know you've been working out!!!!


Saturday, June 25, 2005

Yeah... I'm buff. Feel deeze muscles - de're really, like, ya'know... big.

The Slipcover Network Forum

As usual I start reading this in the middle of some on-going discussion. So, when I read that Dede got a bench-press you can imagine what I pictured: Dede working out on her shiny new bench press, developing muscles strong enough to lift a chair with a single hand.

Hey Karen--are you walking? Don't just sit and work on your computer. I'm a tyrant, but I want you to get feeling healthy real fast.


Friday, June 24, 2005

for Karen:

Green methods would be any method that uses the chair continuously. The chair is in the workroom ( or the sewing machine is in the home ). Cutting and sewing are done alternately. Uses chair to pin into, and real fabric spread over entire chair, face out. Sewing is done both from the face ( RS ) and from the back ( WS ).

Results of Green: Absolutely fitting, develops visually, no guessing required. Perfect for portable sewing machine use, least bulk in seams of any method here. Not at all abstract, easy to visualize for beginers.

Yellow is any method which, as above, real fabric is spread and pinned onto entire chair usually RS face out, BUT NOW: fitted entirely before any sewing is done . All fitting is done in one session, then all sewing is done later, sewn all on the WS ( more bulky ). Yellow may also be interpretted as WS out, and / or pinning in a pre sewn welt cord. Chair not needed in workroom. Only a little abstract guessing required. A must for one arm furniture, or any furniture that is manufactured as assymetrical.

That makes for four possible combinations to choose one for yourself from yellow: WS out with cord, WS out without cord while fitting. RS out with cord, RS out without cord while fitting. All may end up being sewn with cord inserted, the distinction is whether or not cord is pinned in while cutting.

Results of Yellow: They all feel very different, requiring different skills and giving different results. Each has it's own advantages and drawbacks. All are the same in that the entire chair is used to spread out real fabric, and fitting done before sewing begun. All sewing done later, off site, sewn from the back only. If cord pinned in and WS out, the sewing is easier to delegate than with Green. Very good fit, though slower to pin fit than Orange.

Orange: uses ONLY half the chair, real fabric, pinning all done, only then sewing begun, pinned ALWAYS without cording. Pinned with double layers, WS out usually, though RS out is done as well. Can be done double~double for two chairs at once. This is for on site use, chair not needed in workroom. Double checking fit with additional trip not done, as this is chosen for symetry rather than absolute fit. Sewing delegated after fitting, only to a highly skilled seamstress. More difficult to sew than Yellow or Green. More abstract.

Results of Orange: Very fast for cutter.

Red method again uses the only half the chair, real fabric, face in (WS) or out (RS), but in a SINGLE layer on the arm, double or single on the middle body areas, pin fitted completely then sewn at later time. Some cutting done on site, some cutting done in the workroom later. You are duplicating the mirror image missing arm later. Can be accurate enough to not need double checking fit, with judgement and experience. If chair available in workroom, or with second trip, gives good symmetry and perfect it, sacrificing neither. Best sewn by cutter, or permanent ( dedicated ) team. Even more abstract.

Results of Red: terrific for drop matches, chintz, unbalanced plaids, and very worn chairs.

Purple methods use MUSLIN ONLY to pin fit and cut, then uses that muslin as a pattern. Red method used to pin fit. Purple distinguished by using judgement to interpret that muslin, this is the first instance where you manipulate the fitting by deliberately cutting real fabric differently than muslin is cut, once muslin is off the chair. Off site only if you are confident. Good judgement will require practice. This one fitted muslin you have made may be used for many subsequent duplicate chairs. Fitting trip to recheck optional, as duplication is chosen purposely for averaging. Differences are acceptable, as the benefits of averaging is deemed more important than absolute fit. More and more abstract. Dedicated team best if sewing delegated.

Results of Purple: fits many occaisions and unique demands, saves time, trips, yardage. It's cautious, gives due care to expensive goods.

Blue: Covers are cut from information collected by observation, ( using TAPE measure ) . Shapes and sized then DRAFTED onto the real cloth at workroom, squaring and making grain perfect the real cloth while drafting. NO FITTING is done. Allows for manipulating sizes and shapes, allows the person cutting to bend less, and makes a distinctively attractive if slightly less fitting cover. Launders best of all methods when method is done well. Method only usable when chair ( usually sofa ) can in fact be measured, thus limited to squarish furniture. The only method where true grain is purposely chosen over true fit. Highly abstract. Actually very easy to sew once cut well.

Blue as well: using muslin again as in purple, but with few pins, and perhaps template paper and pencil as well. Avoiding using real goods untill pattern is made. Real cloth can be cut in the workroom, without bending. This yields a more approximate fit. The more pins used while fitting muslin, the better the fit. The primary use of this is ESTIMATION or a chance to think about a difficult chair, repeat visit absolutely recommended for double checking fit untill confident. Launderability can also be a goal, and grain true cutting can be a priority. More fitting than if measured only, applicable to all chairs ( sofas ). This information can also be used to employ Green method off site in one repeat trip, taking machine to sew, but overlocking can be done in the workroom prior. Getting now less abstract than measuring. Once cut well, not hard to sew.

Results of Blue: again, for unique demands, for the occasion where other methods won't work as well. Allows for a good plan for a washable cover. You think longer, in more detail, you come to grasp abstract cutting in the process. This can save time once understood.

Brown : combines, at will ( yours ) COMBINATIONS of the prior methods. My own uses measuring to accomplish the square shape information collecting, templates for the small round shapes ( such as panels ) muslin chalked or pinned for the inside body and inside and outside arms, or whatever is the least bending for the chair that presents itself. Can be an off site method, if so, then,requiring judgement and perhaps a trip to double check. Distinguished by an opportunuty to stitch in the ditch using an off site cutting method, if stitching that way is comfortable or necessary. Real fabric may be pinned to face WR or RS out, seams may face you or face inward, and all cord except for skirt line is already applied at pin fitting. Much more fitting than Green or Blue. Requires the skills learned in all other colors. Most easily learned last, though no step is difficult. This is just my own concoction, your choices may differ as needed. I suspect many of you do this now. Less abstract than blues. Sewing best done by cutter, or by dedicated team.

Results of Brown: it can take you more time, but I like to think it would yield good symmetry, good fit ( instead of having only one or the other ) and give you same advantanges of problem solving as Red or Purple. This needs more experimentation.

This group is presented as a circle, with six primary and secondary colors making wedge shapes. Brown belongs in center, circle within a circle, presented as a blending of colors. The color assignment is purposeful, in that one color shoulders skills with the next, making the order of learning natural. Green is absolutely GO, it is a starting point, though not at all unsophisticated, and not be be regarded as done once and no longer useful. Green is continuingly useful in problem solving when other methods offer no answers.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Wishes for a speedy recovery, Karen! Hope you can take it easy and be fussed over for a while!
(I'm on my 10th gallon of paint for the house....grrr....)

Oh, honey... I know you feel lousy, but surely you're due for a vacation - okay, this isn't what you had in mind, but...

You're right, it stinks. :-(

There's absolutely nothing USEFUL I can do for you, so I'll think good, healing thoughts from wa-a-a-ay over here!

Feel better soon... okay? :-)
We absolutely want you to feel better ! I will get the article out in the next 24 hours, and seriously, let me know if I can do anything else. Rest up. It takes longer than you hope it will, just try to take it easy. I know you have lots to do. Delegate if you can.
The Slipcover Network Forum

HI All...

I am still out here. After teaching a week in Chicago
I thought I'd stop by St Lou to have a little surgery.
Recovered at Donna's for a few days and then flew
home to Washington. Took me a day to recover from
the trip. Can't drive until next week, so thought I'd
get the Slipcover Press underway.

Shirley have you pulled that article together?

Does anyone have photos from the Summit to share?

Can someone make me feel better???

rushing here, too much to do in the near term. I will have a slow summer if I stop saying yes now. I am just now doing job I quoted eight weeks ago, windows, 13 of them. Rollease romans and banding. No shortage of work.

Yesterday I was reminded of some stuff ( while I was sewing a slip ) that I mentioned once or twice before.

When customers indicate too me that they want extra large ( loose ) slipcovers and show me with their fingers that they think they want two inches extra everywhere I generally do not do this.

I may leave extra in spots, like perimeter at the bottom of chair, and the inside back some tucks along the top. I create the appearance of big by purposely mis alligning seams a bit. A little twist puts it askew enough to look ill fitted without making it swim on the chair.

We'll see if she likes it. She's the same person who last month wanted half witdh rod pocket panels. It isn't wrong, it's just not what you see done everyday.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Hi, everyone! Just wondering how you (all) are doing... Kim - you still conscious? I don't envy you; I hate moving... :-(

Hoping everything is okay, and thinking happy thoughts for Kim (!) :-)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

August is fine as well, but then you can be certain you need to be inside, unless we cut outside early in the morning.
If we're talking weekdays, then after August 5 works best for me. All other dates are possible, but if you're asking about the BEST days...

I never expected to own a setting press, at least not so soon - there's sooooo much else that I REALLY need. Sooo... I was cruising the Fasnap website (the manufacturer; they also sell direct) and saw an UNBELIEVABLY low price for the very model I craved. I called them - turned out to be a computer glitch, but they said they'd honor that price so naturally, I HAD to buy it! Moments later, the glitch was fixed.

I don't have any dies, though, but I surely don't mind paying for them after such an amazing stroke of luck. So, seriously - if there's something you'd like to try, please let me know and I'll get the proper die (hardware is cheap).

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Date wise nothing looks good for me until this dogone house is sold, not even close to being ready to list this week. I'm crazy for even thinking about this...But I really, really want to come - probably one or two days.
I will overnight at my friends house - you are in the D.C. area, Shirley?
Last week of July, first or second week of August would be best for me. I can do it during the week - Wed, Thur, Fri? If I am choosing, then I say around August 3, 4, 5. What say?
Grommets and snaps? What can you use for your outdoor cushions and your motorcycle seats?
Kim - what looks good for you, date-wise? Weekdays will be trickier for me, but I'll manage if it's best for everyone else.

Seriously... hardware. Are we talking grommets? Snaps? Vents? Rivets? Grommets start at #00 (hole diameter = 5/32" [4.5 mm]) and #0 (hole diameter = 1/4" [6 mm]). I think #00 is as small as my machine will go - up to #4, possibly. Snaps and rivets are of various sizes; vents come in 1" and 3/4". I need to order the correct dies plus hardware (generally brass or nickel).

Maybe corset lacing over red (black?) faux suede, or...? I am soooooo not a designer, but I need an excuse to buy accessories for my new toy so let me know! :)
Praise...receiving it is awkward for me, and giving it as well. I need to tell Judit when we are doing this, as she wants to come, and she is flying ( it's 1300 miles for her ). Pick some dates!
Oh and Dede, if you bring your new toy I'll figure out a way to use it! I'd like to cut several covers for my chair and loveseat even if I only get one sewn. I'm serious about the faux suede. J Ennis has a new book of really cool samples that are very reasonably priced.
Dede I bet they looked great, she'll never know how you agonized over the method. I'm a praise junkie too! I was delivering a second piece to a lady and telling my 9 year old to stay in the car because she's not too nice. My daughter kept asking why isn't she nice? Is she mean? Does she torture little girls? (sigh) "Ok" I said, "to be honest, when I delivered the couch last week she would not tell me that she loved it." And she wouldn't! No matter how I tried to wheedle it out of her..."what do you think? is it what you wanted? doesn't it go nice with your carpet now? ARE YOU STILL BREATHING LADY...(grrrrrr)" I took it to mean she HATED it, but since then I've gotten 2 referrals from her. Sure glad I didn't follow my instinct to grab her by the neck and shake...
I'm leaning toward driving, not because I particularly enjoy driving... but it affords a lot more flexibility. Weekends do work better for me, but I can figure something out if it's not the best choice for everyone. July is pretty open right now. Also August.

Ah, pillows... I delivered three (she had less yardage than she realized) and will make two additional if she can find more. She was on the phone when I dropped them off, so no oohing and ahhing (I HATE that - I'm a praise junkie!). I made a straight inverted pleat at each corner - didn't see Shirley's post about the 45 degree angle until AFTER I had started them (which also looks like Chris Watts' example *sigh*).

I'm serious about the dies. I would loooooove any excuse to buy extra sizes. #00 and #0 grommets are especially tasty...
I am more interested in getting you here than caring when that is. One proviso, my husband would probably prefer it not be the weekend, as he brings the grandkids here.

I don't consider the weekends off limits, he'll just have to adjust. I am taking them four days in a row this week, I have done my doooty.

I know I said bring real work, you need to know it needs to fit down basement steps if the weather is too bad outside. I do have sun shelter, but if it's humid, you'd rather be inside.
Hey Dede, how did the pillows come out? Did you check out air fare to Va? Do you have a preference as to the date in July? Shirley?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Our in-house designer (Jessie, age 11) directed our workroom (me) to re-do cord, and it does actually look much better. Z-Tex assured our sales staff (also me) that new samples are on their way - will report upon arrival.

Man, is it HOT... Stuffing pillows and trying not to sweat all over them... *bleah*
Shirley - thanks! I did figure out a method, but there has to be a better and more efficient (and standardized) way of doing this. A reconnaissance mission to Calico Corners may be in order before I attempt this again.

The cord is giving me fits. I followed the tutorial, but the cord insists on untwisting and fraying - bad cord! Sit! Stay!

My shiny new aluminum bench press arrived yesterday (oooh... pretty...), but it looks nekkid without any dies. Seriously, if anyone here is planning to attend Shirley's Open House and wants to set some hardware, let me know 'cause I'll be ordering dies.
on hard core twisted braid, I just say no, or get out my 1/2" cord foot. Mending it never consistent for me either. I allow 3" total overlap, it never seems to do right with less.

butterfly :without saying how much to allow in the over all sizing ( because you know the fill pressure you want, how elastic the cloth is, and how much you sew in your seam allowance ) : ( though for the shape of them I will say this, I tend to cut 90 degree angles on corners, and I do not bow out sides for cresting ).

mark the stack of cushions all at once. Fold in quarters, lay atop one another, and clip where the pleat needs to begin to form. Or, measure each one.

Insert a pin on the wrong side, folding each pleat at 45 degrees, insert a pin just at where the line of seam would be.

Flatten pleat fullness with RS facing you. The two sides of the cushion will now appear to be a straight line in front of you. Place cushion top RS up under needle dividing half the pleat fullness ( neatly flat ) to either side of center, and inserting needle an inch back from where it would tack down this fullness.

Gently and evenly pull on the tongue as you stitch across seam line to tack down pleat fullness ( on RS ). It may be willing to pull a great deal, you need to decide how much force to apply, evenly on all corners. You could pull it out of shape if you tried, you just want to round it down some.

If this isn't what you mean by butterfly, then Dede, tell me what you mean. This is what I call a butterfly, and this makes it uniform for me. I do not try to pull the tongue and join both halves all at once. I two stage this process.

You cannot reverse grain on the halves with this and hope sides match. I get enough uniformity in my pleats where I do not have to wait and join the sides and then pleat the last set of corners. Not rounding the original cutting helps this match happen.

This isn't turkish to me, turkish is the same procedure, but gathering up the pleat fullness, and it takes a deep cushion to do it.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Ah... my Wise Friends... I have learned two important things these past few days:

1. There is a secret to fabricating perfect butterfly corners; and

2. I do not know this secret.

Oh... and twisted cord is the Devil's Own Invention. First join didn't look too bad, but the second looks like cr@p. Haven't decided yet if I should tear out that section and splice in another (= two joins instead of one, but hopefully will look better).

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Finished and picked up! I got pictures of the attached back cushion tub chair and the button tufted wing, but not of the channeled (sausage style, dd) couch. the couch and wing got a simple treatment of a layer of bonded dacron, the tubs got a padded undergarment so the upholstery fabric would not show through the white. Denim twill and Carr-go canvas from carr textiles. I had the couch on saw horses and when I got it down I discovered my skirt was too long in the back - minutes before the lady was due to come get them! My fingers were flying to rip out and resew, and MAN it was hot out today! (no a.c. in the garage).
I'm amazed I pulled it off without a drop of machine oil or grimey sweat smudges.
Well the rest of the week is dedicated to clearing out my house and painting all surfaces, carpet layer comes Monday and the "for sale" sign goes on the lawn. Whew!
To Dearest Jeannie:

I'm pretty sure we all have that problem (well... I know I do...); reading normally is difficult enough, let alone BACKWARDS! :)

PS - You sold white denim for $87/yd? You go, girl! :D
pretty darn good jeannie !
The Slipcover Network Forum

All this is so interesting, but if I skip a day a can't figure out what is answers and what is questions. It 's so backwards. Noone else has this problem?

I just slipcovered a deep button tufted barrel (tub) loveseat in white denim.(luckily it had a cushion---but no back tuckins at arms, of course.) Which means I got to play with lining as well. The lady didn't care about ever seeing the leaf green fabric again so I glued, stapled, sewed, and tagged on the linings.

But the cool, though greedy, thing I just did was "create the right circumstances" so that a customer just bought 10 yards of$87/yard fabric from me instead of $24/yd.

(guess I can spend the rest of the afternon blogging! not.)

" In the olden days"........when department store work was very common, and the process was "vanila for everybody", no risk outside " normal " was attempted or desired in any way, channel chairs were commonly done. The way they turned out was accepted, the channels were accomodated, and the wood left exposed. They were cut open, on the whole chair most often, face out.

Cottons were used almost exclusively in those days, and they were mid heavy weight, starchy, and at the least patterned and maybe even textured as well.

I was in my late teens at the time, I saw them leave the shop in a brown wrapper, I never saw them personally on the cahirs untill I started to cut them myself. I was happy with my own, but this will still the eighties when cotton ( great disguise cotton )was the norm.

With the popularity of luxury fabrics you do need to invent a whole new plan. I won't, I am sticking to cotton. ( I hope )

Well, for the most part. I am stuck now with upholstery weight crap to put on button tufted barrel chairs with no loose cushion. It's a receding color and has too few threads for safety. Dede, we make it up as we go along, cross your fingers, amd hope for the best.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Maybe "channel" isn't the correct term - the top of the back and arms had "puffs" (?). Like tying twine around a sausage. Sort of. Looked crappy under the slip, anyway.

And we're still friends. Don't know what she did with the Sure-Fit... haven't asked, not sure I want to...

PS: I am exceptionally fortunate that I did not inherit my mom's arthritis - her knees and back are toast.
oh my ! What we do for neighbors ?

Traditionally ( not that this matters ) the channels are left as is, and the slipcover is allowed to fall into those areas. Was it great ? Not unless it was un~sat~on. Traditionally, wood is left exposed.

Not that you can always afford to mess with neighbors, but as long as there isn't a feud harm done ?

Big one for me, is I never mess with the furniture itself unless I am assured it has zero value as is. I cannot say I have never ever patched a hole or draped muslin over a rough spot, but it's rare and it's always messy looking when I am " finished ". It still looks unfinished when I consider myself finished. I tell them the price to do that is zero, about it's value. That's me.

Channel chairs are already ( usually ) poorly symetrical, it would be very difficult to make them symetrical externally. My back hurts just picturing you leaning over this......

I did this for a neighbor, whose new Sure-Fit (ugh) didn't fit over the cushions AND draped badly in the channels and over the exposed decorative wood. The plan was to cover the channels and wood with Dacron and muslin, and try to squeeze enough fabric out of the slip to make cushions covers (with new fabric on unexposed sections). I got as far as the Dacron/muslin - as I said before, it took forever, looked sloppy around the edges (but, again - I don't know HOW it's supposed to look). The slip DID look much better over the newly covered sections, but she ended up tearing everything off because she had holiday parties to host before I could fabricate the cushions.
okay, let me dissect this a little ? Expect that I never do this except under expensive chintz, and then only if color shows through. Kim in Oregon may be a better person to ask this question of.

what were your expectations ? See if you can name them for yourself.

Slipcovers at best are clothing. They are never, and can never be skin. A skin like appearance is lucky, and still it will slip ( like cat's skin ).

Your best disguise is still a dull surface, woven pattern, a print that contains colors with vivid contrast or just enough swirling contrast that creates movement. Bulk or stiffness, and then hot or white color, but not receding colors, especially if lacking any of the other qualities.

If you padded up a piece of furniture the best way you could, which still isn't upholstery, but the most time you could possibly devote, if the fabric didn't have help from the list above, it would still not appear to be skin like. Even then, it's cats skin. It's only as nice and perfect as it was recently tucked in.

Lining at best will only help to disguise a vivid pattern on the upholstery if poking it's head through a too thin a and too light colored slipcover fabric. At best, it's a slip, think the thing you wear under the dress you don't own.

You can never disguise enough with lining and padding alone, button tuft depressions, so well that you will forget they are there. Forget is a good word here, if it bugs you, it will continue to bug you, unless you choose to forget it.

I accept pretty easy, the boogers that go with ownership of the fresh cover of my choosing that goes on the furniture I happen to own. This is key, I can choose fresh fabric, the chair or sofa is what it is. Lumpy, dumpy, and bumpy never goes away. Wholey arms and crooked cushions only get a little better with padding out.

Lining at best is white out, helping my fabric choice cover COLOR better. The chair or sofa may still be as lumpy as it ever was, if not to my eye, certainly in my memory. It will now also shift like cats skin, but worse, there's two layers to shift, if a garment was made. Staple it on for less shifting.

Now major makeovers, I leave to my upholsterer. People who consistently choose white slips or expensive chinzt should do this, reupholster in muslin. I make clothing, I don't do cosmetic surgery. That's just me. Where there's a budget for cosmetic surgery, heck, take the money, and practice.
Indications: When is underwear/padding appropriate? What problems can it solve/disguise?

Materials: What should you use?

Methodology: How do you apply the materials? Specify order, technique, etc.

Didn't know what it was supposed to look like when I was done (still not sure - examples?). I really was working blind, with 1" Dacron, quilting muslin, poly thread, and a curved needle. I did it in layers, stitching everything directly to the sofa as I went along (trying to soften channels on the IB and arms, and cover/smooth exposed decorative wood).

Also, a time frame - I know I took w-a-y too long, and I still wasn't happy with it.
slipcoverpress article topic for upcoming issue...what do you want to see ?

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Oh, and I really want to see underwear with padding ("We stuff with cotton what Nature has forgotton.") - gotta love them Victorians... Seriously, it took forever when I tried it so surely there is a better method than mine.
Kim, I honestly don't know. The Pillow Lady (under "Basics") has an example labeled "butterfly corners" but that style could have more than one name. Or they're completely different - ???

I'd better do a mock-up before cutting COM - I think I gained an inch somewhere.
Dede, do you mean turkish corners? I bet your formula worked out fine.
Rivets and buckles and snaps... oh my! Could be i-n-t-e-r-e-s-t-i-n-g in black with nickel hardware... :D
I posted yesterday but can't find it - so if this is a repeat sorry!
I'll take pictures of my progress but I don't garage is crammed with stuff (also cobwebs and such in the corners...) and it all shows on the photos.
The pieces are either tufted or channeled so I'm adding a layer of batting on each inside back, also 2 chairs have a pattern that shows through the white. Instead of lining the slip (which I've never done) I'm making the underwear the lining.
About bringing real work to Shirleys - I'm so excited! I have 2 pieces that need to be slipcovered to be put on display in my new shop. We can have fun with it about faux suede with grommets and leather straps as closures!
Hmm... don't know then - for some reason, I really thought it was you (Shirley). I'll try my improvised method* and see how they turn out. She originally wanted knife-edge, but this is more in line with the soft, casual look she wants for her living room.

Thanks, though. :)

*Even though it probably isn't the One True Way...
wasn't me, I don't think I have ever used the word butterfly pertaining to a cushion.

If you mean the bendable ones, I guess it would depend on how you made that junction. Either making them as two with a piece added to bridge, or just making one envelope, pleating it at the center edges, and stitching that down.

Friday, June 03, 2005

In response to my own post...

I think I worked out a rough formula: Top and bottom of cover = measurement from one middle of insert width to the other (i.e., middle-of-one-side of insert to middle-of-opposite-side of insert). Measure 1/2 of width of insert away from each corner. Pinch together at that point and baste. When cover pieces are stitched together, the SA will eat 2" overall = proper insert:cover ratio.

I really hope this makes sense to me in the morning...
Hey Shirley! Was it you who posted how to determine pleat depth for butterfly cushions? Can't find it - losing mind...
eyelets are a curiosity that I could have fun with.
I just bought a Fasnap bench press for setting grommets, eyelets, snaps, rivets, and vents. Yes, there are many things I need more than this, but... I got a really good price on it, and the shipping wasn't too bad. Haven't bought dies or supplies, yet - not sure what sizes I'll need. I can bring it with me to Virginia - let me know if you need anything set (sizes, specifically, so I can have them on hand).

Dede (hmm... maybe I'll do Ren Faire bodices with all these grommets...)
If you drive you can bring real work. Maybe your DH wants you to have no worries. Ask your parents, they want you to get away too.
Husband is suggesting I drive to Virginia, rather than fly. Hmm... Grandmother had another TIA ("mini-stroke") - they're technically not strokes at all, but are often precursors of the real thing, and she's had A LOT of them. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, and if I fly I can get home a lot faster if I have to.

Just thinking out loud...
Me too !
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Kim... Are you taking photos as you do the work on this padded
undergarment? Why are you doing a padded undergarment?
Would make a great article for the slipcover press, which
I am putting together now for our Summer issue.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

expensive fabric a little more scary though !

Kim, if it helps you get here, since you are driving anyway, bring real work if you like. We'll get it done.
Great for you Shirley! Fewer calls and more money, can't beat that! I've been swamped here too, upholstery and slipcovers. I'm doing a livingroom set all in white right now, with padded undergarments, whew!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

this is a peculiar time around here ( Washington D C ). People seem to not care what stuff costs. Only thing I can imagine is that the housing appreciation makes them feel rich. Calico employees say pretty much same thing.

Not greater number of calls taking place, in fact maybe fewer. Larger jobs per call, and people buying unusually expensive stuff ( for my experience at least. ) Ralph Lauren and Pierre Deux in one case.

A couple sales here does not a trend make even if it fills out a month for me.

Anyone else finding big jobs and people loosening up about what it costs ?

Monday, May 30, 2005

Shirley we must ALL be a little O. C....(that's why we love you!)
Dede, and anyone else wanting to go to Shirleys - when in (late) July can you make it? Check the airfares to see if there are any specials? I'm fairly flexible but the sooner I know a date the sooner I can get plans settled.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

I think I should probably qualify what I think Brown is going to be good for, and I am going to contrast it with double on half, simply becuz I do think that way.

I like brown because it's fitted on the whole piece, without giving up the symmetry of double on half.

Double on half is automatically symetrical whether the furniture is the same on right and left or not. The differences, if not perceptable to the eye, are genrally a non issue, provided you use cotton, no backing, the cotton has some weight and or body, and it's tweedy or it's busy. That will disguise your differences.

Brown takes over when the shortcomings of left and right sides cut the same ( though they are not ) are perceptable. Perception is key, you may be lazy like me and pretend you don't see it, or overly fearful and believe the differences are stark when nobody else would care.

Brown has pieces cut symetrically, and then fitted on the whole chair. You might choose brown ( or Karen's method, or Pat's or Janelles if RS out or Alicia's) so that the left and right are given equal due, but Brown gives you some tricks.

Brown lets you take some lazy ( my favorite ) shortcuts and chalk out, measure or trace for speed, and table cut those pieces so that you aren't bending, and then overlock and cord. Then, you get to assemble ( after pin fiitng double on half ) and overlock inside body pieces, and then the final fitting is seams facing you, so that you can hand them off to a unskilled person to sew. It's already corded, pinned in a single layer to sew, and RS out or WS out as you prefer.

Sorry, I gotta get psyched to get the creative juices flowing. Call me obsessive compulsive. THis will be what I dream about for a month.
Dede, Kim, maybe talk to one another about a good date, then just tell me, then I'll contact the others.

There are no shut out dates, we work and/or play regardless of day of week.
It's the little tips and techniques that are almost inadvertantly thrown in with the instruction that I love to pick up!
I had a chance to go to a local upholstery shop and observe them working. I came home with my head full of new twists and better ways. When I tried them out for myself some of it made sense, and some just didn't work for me. It was a great experience. Learning from another professional isn't always copying their method but tweaking it to fit your method. The summit is a great place for that!! Shirley, still looking forward to the brown session in July, let me know when you set a date!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

I had underestimated how many locals~beginers could be registered. They would probably prefer saturday. This is for the summit 2006 , not the july 2005 event at my house.

Suggesting perhaps Karen's wing chair class first day half day demo and then my Brown and then Karen's full beginner class saturday. Maybe saturday we could have more than two at once ?

That's out of order but best I can do at the moment. I'd hate to be the person playing with the possibilities to chart for vote: yuk, did I just volunteer ?

Kim, you may have had one class with me ( or more ? ) but since I actually do all eight methods, and many people do more than one, you haven't heard it all.

Brown is new. Brown is my own concoction of the other colr on the chart I did about four months ago. Mix red orange yellow green blue and purple and you get brwon. More confuzed ? WE are exploring the benefits and pitfalls of Brown at my house in july 2005.
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Your ideas for tracks is great for the Summit. Good idea to get the methods the 1st day and then to go from there, building.. progression.

We also have to remember the Summit is open to new folks just starting out and are still working other jobs. That is why the Saturday classes have been offered in the past (the only reason)

I guess we can't meet everyones needs....

Ok now you're confusing me again!! (not hard to do)
I thought we were discussing the "brown" method. I've taken instruction from all 4 of the teachers you list -
(hmmm...sorry but you lost me)
Lobbying the masses here, you know how I like to box things tidy.

I think there's three tiers to this class stuff.

Basic methods ( all eight or nine, which can be combined for fewer ).

Two, basic methods taken further, to speed and make more exact. This would include notches, overlocking, lining........but key is, you almost have to assume a method to start the least I think that way. Or have one or more teacher take you through aall the variations assuming different methods.

Three, fancy stuff, special items, special techniques, design elements, maybe linings belong here, special zippers like separating zippers.

Lobbying here so that I can direct this to who's coming !!!'s so hard to limit the classes, and then so hard to choose.

Suggestion...... " tracks"

Karen ~Shirley, in that order, that first day all students go from one then the next, as Brown and Karen's flow one into the other well.

Maureen ~Bernice first day, students go from one to the next, those are similar and flow.

That's day one, basic method addressed, so that students on day two and day three can ask questions of teachers taking methods further, to get pointed questions about " how does this apply to my method of choice". All the speed and exactness come with context, you have to start by assuming, we should have nailed down a method by then ( context ). Second day cushions, zippers, accesories, headboards, whatever flows.

Third day, lings, design elements, special zippers, high end stuff, business stuff.

Think pyramid, the basics are the bottom, I think we need to track people, or have them pick a track. Either is good. Then, the speed and accuracy elements, then the design and business at the top.

Never more than two choices at a time, and making embelisments compete with embelishments, methods with methods.

Problematic is second day where we'd pair the track with the speed and accuracy class with a person who can address " tracks ". This if just one class offering, and that might be great, would have to be taught by more than one person.

Friday, May 27, 2005

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we have so much to keep learning and teaching.... I love that about what we do
Dede we are all forever in training..............
I'm with Kim: notching system!. Has anyone ever used a "pattern notcher" to notch fabric? I think it's meant for paper; don't know if it's capable of chomping through layers and layers of 10+ oz fabric.

Maybe for 2007 - more lining and underwear how-tos.

Dede (forever in training...)
Speed, accuracy, symetry, along with playfulness and aesthetics. Durability and practicality (am I starting to sound like Shirley? :)
THAT's what I'm after. Time is money right?
I don't have any fears about double on half...I know where all the pieces go but sometimes can't figure out up or down, right or left. That's why I pin and unpin to serge. I definitely need a notch system.
Shirley, later July would be better for me, on a weekend- hopefully I'll be set up in my shop by then. But I'll try to make it whenever.
Hey Jeanie, I finally checked out your website, really nice!
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not find, fine....

I should have checked my spelling..... oops :(
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You did find Jeannie.... html gargace is the title of the blog. If you post after that
things do get posted...

Yep Shirley we could do a month with her ideas...

K with SA
I don't think the blog likes me: it gave me HTML garbage once and then I don't think it printed my recent post. (My fault, I'm sure). Why do people like this blog thing--it always seems backwards to me? I'm usually pretty good with computers but not this!

I'm trying again:
Thanks for all your ideas to add to the list of classes. Kim you have so many great suggestions. Dede, thanks for your ideas about closures. Shirley--we could do a week with just your ideas. I've got them all (more or less) in a form that I'm sending off to the "planning committtee for furthur comment.

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drivel.... never drivel Shirley. You are right regarding the big guys wanting to streamline cutting and sewing slipcovers.
Not that we shouldn't do this ourselves to make it all faster
that is why understanding these different techniques is so

Thanks so much
k with sa
while we are discussing double on half, let me remind those who try to read my drivel ( and cannot dig through it ...) that double on half IS the method of choice of large scale custom slipcover production shops.

It has drawbacks, and many sensible people have pointed them out. Pat. R. doesn't trust the symetry, Dede points out the overlock problem, and many people cannot envision taking the pins out ever. They are all correct, and if we didn't seek out better answers, we wouldn't be acheiving anything new.

There are better answers, and as individual people running shops where we do not have to dumb down the sewing, we can have it both ways. We can have the speed and apply problem solving to minimize the drawbacks. These are good summit classes, which can only survive if they are attended....

those who come to Brown method can tell me all their fears and resistance to double on half. July a good month ? anyone have dates to suggest from Brown ?
there IS a pool here if you prefer to use bathing suit THERE.......

64 and 66 is at least a quiet ride, better than 70 and 76.

Angie came twice, once to learn measuring and then to polish that up some more. Judit's been here a dozen times. We can get Denise O. and maybe Susan K. too to come to this one. They ask good questions.

My head is like a stew of ideas, I can think purposely trying to meet a deadline ( like a summit ) and later when there's no deadline get a much better idea. Brown just popped out one day, it's better than any other I have had, including measuring.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

You guys crack me up! Sharing the shower in our bathing suits are we? Reminds me of the time I picked up my daughter from high school basketball practice, walked in on them as they were showering - they were in their underwear and bras for gawd's sakes! (When I was in school we had to file past the gym teacher naked and wet so she could check off that we had, in fact, showered-oh the trauma!)
I'd sure like to drive out, it would only take me about 10 hours. I have a friend in DC I'd like to see too! Keep me posted.
better than naked, hey ? BWI and Reagan often have lower fares, any of the three work well enough.
Bathing suits? BATHING SUITS??!! You're mad, woman - MAD, I say!!

Hmm.. wonder what fares are like these days... My neighbor owes me some serious babysitting time.
ha ha yes, one at a time. I actually have two working showers, but you can still only use one at a time due to water heater. Ha ha. We do have fun, and I could sleep three or four easy. Not literal, we all sleep separately. I get to poke fun at your bathing suit if you poke fun at mine.
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when Shirley says you have to share the shower at her place, she means one at a time. Also the accomadations are very comfortable if she lets you use her couches... they make into a bed pit.

If you get the opportunity to take her up on the offer, you should go, you will learn a lot.
K with SA
I am near Dulles airport, in Northern Viginia. Session wasn't limited to a day, it's exploring what's useful and discovering what's not, so I wouldn't limit it.

I have primitive guest arrangements, we will have fun, but we'll have to share the shower.
Where are you Shirley? What do you mean by a "session" - a day?
we will have a session ( free ) for exploring brown method here in Jly, I still don't have date for you.

Anyone interested or know someone who would be, contact them and let's agree to meet here.

Sorry for the obsession about not bending, it really preoccupies my every waking moment. But, it does give me a perspective and drive to find a way to cut a slipcover that avoids overuse of knees and back. It may not seem that important to you personally, hopefully, it will never be.

I promise you fun as well. Let me know if you want to participate. slipcoverlady at juno dot com