Monday, December 3, 2018

Must Have Tools for the Newish Upholsterer

Hello! I thought I'd pop in with a post about some of my favorite upholstery tools. I'm a self taught Upholsterer and I know a lot of you that follow me are as well. When you are self taught you pick up tips here there and everywhere. Hopefully one of these is new for you. They all would make great additions to your toolbox.

note: These are not affiliate links, I chose them because you don’t need a special trade account to order them. 

First up 

The Regulator.

This little tool has so many uses. Here's a few. 
-Its great for tucking extra fabric when tufting or pleating. 
-Manipulate Dacron or Batting around to smooth out lumps. 
-Get that perfect crease after you attach double cord welting. 
-Use it to tuck fabric into Plygrip
Before I had one I used a butter knife or screw driver. Hey, they worked but this works better.

Next up  

The Plier Stapler

I wrote a blog post quite some time ago about using staples instead of pins when sewing. It is amazing how much it can help with keeping things lined up. For more details check out the post Here. Back then I was using a regular old office stapler. It worked but the plier stapler works a lot better. I have gotten much better at sewing over the years but sometimes with certain fabrics like slippery velvet its the best way to keep it from puckering and sliding all over the place. It's great for matching up patterns and most important you won't poke yourself with 1000 pins.


Seam Guide.

This little gadget is quite handy when sewing up cushions or pillows that don't have piping. Magnets on the bottom hold it in place. (as long as our machine is metal) It creates a nice edge to run your fabric against to help you achieve consistent seams. I just slide it over to the side and it stays on my machine out of the way til I need it again.

Staple Puller

This one is my favorite tools for stripping furniture. I have several kinds for different issues but this is the one I find myself grabbing the most. It has two pointy tips that really get under those staple. I like the handle shape. I started out using a tack puller for just about everything and when I found this tool it made it a lot easier.

Spruce Upholstery & Design Book

This book is a must have for upholsters. It gives excellent step by step instructions on several different types of projects using modern techniques. It's done in a clear, not to wordy, great photographs kind of way. I have several books and this is my favorite. Its a pretty book with great projects.

And since it's almost Christmas why not just go for it.

Juki 1541S with servo motor. 

I know it's a little pricier then the rest but if you are in the market it's one to consider. I bought this machine a couple years ago and I love it. I bought new because I am not mechanical and I didn't want to have to figure our how to use something that probably wouldn't have a manual or might need some work done. If something does go wrong with my machine I can you tube it and there are tons of videos. I don't have a link but I bought mine on EBAY so you can start there.

Well there you have it. A few of my favorite things I have in my tool box. Hopefully you found something useful. 


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Monday, September 10, 2018

Upcoming Changes

I have an announcement to make. At the end of November I will be closing my current studio location in Shelton. I'm definitely not closing my business. I'll still be in Shelton I'm just moving back into my Studio at my home. I will continue to do custom work for clients and occasional projects that I design to sell but I will no longer have a retail area. I will be open by appointment. I worked out of my home studio for several years before opening my shop in town. It is in our detached garage. It seems a waste to pay rent when I have this space to use. As you can imagine this was a huge decision for me and I thought long and hard about it. Three years ago I wanted nothing more then to get away from my house and get out into the world again. It was just what I needed then but Seasons change, I'm looking forward to the flexibility of working from home again.
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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Re Styled Settee

I finally got around to upholstering a piece for myself. I have been re-decorating my home office for months now. I cant believe how long it's taking me and at the same time I'm enjoying the process. I have completely let our home go over the last few years. My business has taking over my creative energy. Lately I've been feeling the home improvements.
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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Black, White, Wool and Tweed Chair

I think this little cutie is my new favorite.  I designed it to sell in my showroom. This is another frame I've had for almost two years and just never got to it.  That's seems to be a theme with me lately. It must be the new year. I feel a renewed creative energy and have been tackling projects I've long neglected.
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Friday, January 19, 2018

Navy Blue Settee

This pretty little number was a recent client piece. It has such a great shape and size. It's just about five feet wide.

My client chose this traditional diamond and dot pattern. Its a gorgeous blue.

The dots were a bit of a challenge on a larger piece especially on the back with that curve at the top. 

This piece needed a total redo. The support webbing was replaced and new coil springs were tied for the seat. I upholstered with modern techniques using foam instead of the hay and cotton batting it had previously. It's very cushy now. 

For fun I played around with staging using some modern patterned pillows that I have in the shop. It's the perfect depth to allow for pillows and still be quite comfortable to sit on. 

Dots for days. French Natural nail heads finished it off.

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Black & Gray Tweed Chair

I have a fun piece to share that I recently upholstered. Once in awhile I get to (need to) design a piece for my showroom.  It's a great way to be creative with the freedom to do whatever I want. Most importantly it's to show my customers samples of my work. I've had this chair for almost two years. Its got great bones but I just never got around to it. 

I loved the arm detail with the piping on either side. Previously it was done in an orange floral fabric. I decided to change it up with two different fabrics. It really makes that detail the star. I was going for a preppy Ralph Lauren vibe. 

I used the black fabric for the double cord welting to contrast the gray tweed. It's a petite chair so I kept the cushion low profile. All materials were replaced down to the frame.

I really liked that the finish on the arms was worn. This is not always a good thing but it was working for me on this chair. I lightly sanded to clean it up and applied wipe on poly to give it a little depth and sheen. The legs I touched up with walnut gel stain and poly.

This piece has sold but will be in the shop a while longer until the clients are ready to take it. That worked out for me because it will be a bit before I will have time to get another showroom piece done. For some reason I have pink on the brain but we'll see what I come up with.

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