Monday, 9 September 2013

Made: Runched Pillow

Are you sick of my new apartment posts yet?  This might be the last one for a while, I'm hoping to post some thoughtful pose up here soon.  I made some throw pillows for the living and bedroom lately.  I was having a really hard time finding pillows in the colors I wanted.  So, in true DIY fashion, I went to the fabric store, and found some great fabrics (on sale!) and set out to make them with my new sewing machine.  I thought I would show you a "Pinterest-almost-success-project" pillow.

I don't usually try the things that I see on Pinterest.  I usually look for my projects through books or other blogs-- there are some talented bloggers out there to learn from!  But I really liked the look of a runched pillow.  And I thought one would look so nice on my bed.  I saw a great tutorial (on Pinterest) and thought I would try it.  I'm not going to go through the steps; if you want to make one use the tutorial.  It is super-detailed.  I will however give you some tips based on making this pillow:
  • You need almost 2 times the width of fabric for your pillow.  If you want a 24" wide pillow,   your fabric needs to be at least 40".  The runching shrinks the size significantly.
  • Draw your lines on your pillow.  Otherwise you will have crooked seams like me.
  • Measure the distances between runchings.  Again, or it will look weird.  Like mine.
  • Even though the tutorial says to fold over your edge, I didn't.  It made the pillow hard to sew into, well a pillow.  Just gather the material 1/2" from the edge, and make your seam close to the first gathered seam.  
  • Use the same color fabric and thread.  You can really see the thread in this project, so its better if it blends.
  • Don't cut the backing piece of the pillow until you finished the front part.  Then measure for the back piece.  That way it will match perfectly.
  • Go slow when gathering, or you will break the thread.  Ask me how I know.
  • I found it easier to do 3 seams for each line.  I gather the top, the middle then the bottom.  This way I didn't break the thread.  

This is what the pillow looks like in my new bedroom:

I wanted the pillow to match the paintings hanging above our bed.  I think it does!  Our bedroom is calming, and bright-- pretty much my favorite room in the house!

Monday, 2 September 2013

New home: Antiques Tour

I think I'm becoming house proud.  I really like finding little unique things about our place.  For the most part, we have a lot of Ikea furniture.  Which I think is great because: a) we live in a small place and Ikea has great solutions for living in tiny homes; b) its affordable, especially for someone like me that likes to change her mind about furniture and decoration; c) its utilitarian, which I love, but still interesting in design. 

ANYWAYS, this is not a post defending Ikea (which is awesome.)  This is about the cool vintage things that I have at home.  We love the few things we have.  Most were handed down, but a couple we bought at different places; my favorite place being the Aberfoyle Antique Market near Guelph, ON.

In the office, we have a few old wooden crates that hold some of my craft stuff.  It makes is easily accessible, and looks cute.  I got these a long time ago for 4 bucks each.  I went to the market lately, and now they are at least 20/ea.  Which is crazy.  I guess they are popular now.  Beside the box is an antique cabinet that my Mom gave me.  She painted it white, which I like.  It was her toy cupboard as a little girl.  She used it for me and my brother, and gave it to me when I moved out.  It serves as our pantry and sewing cupboard.  It is a handy piece of furniture to own.

I bought a mid-century record cabinet at the antique market; my Mom saw that someone had a matching hutch, and asked if I could have it.  So she got it and brought it over to me.  I actually love this more than the record cabinet I was using, so I put that cabinet in storage, and use this hutch in the dining room.  Inside I store some pretty but useful vintage stuff: my Pyrex, some old enamel coffee pots, and a vintage beer stein.  I love the idea of a bar cart, but don't have the space for it, so we put our liquor on top on a tray.

The tray is also an antique from the same period.  I'm really into the 50s and 60s.  I have been for a long time.

My recipe box was a lucky find.  I got it for 95 cents!  And I love the cheerful flowers on it. Also, I love that I have a shelf to display it on.

I don't have a lot of antiques in the living room.  I wanted an antique sofa, but Hamilton has a big problem with bedbugs; so I don't trust upholstered antiques anymore.  So for now, I just have some vintage baskets and crates in the living room.  This one is on our coffee table as a corral for remote controls, glasses, and tissue.  Its handy, and keeps everything in place without looking like a mess.  I put a plant in there, because, hey; I like plants.  (The table runner isn't antique, its from ten thousand villages.  One thing I like more than antiques is fair trade.)

So there you have it!  A few vintage-y things that are in our apartment.  I hate clutter, so I'm super picky about the vintage stuff I bring home.  I think what we have suits our place well.

What kind of vintage or antique items do you have around the house?  Did you find them, or were they gifts?