Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I did it!!

I sewed on my new machine!! I even tried some of the "fancy" stiches! As some of you may recall, I was terrified to use it!

I tackled it a few weeks ago, then finished my first little project last Saturday. Woohooo! I feel so ALIVE! Bwah-ha-ha...

So here's my first victim~ A black wicker(?) rocker that my friend got out of the trash for me! (Thanks KIM!) I don't know what it's made of. It's not wicker, or rattan. It's a rope-like material. Seems to be pretty old. Naturally it has issues. Coming apart from the top and has no seat. I don't care, it's shabby and free and I love it!

Click to see the large version~ if anyone knows what this is made of, let me know!

(don't let my toes distract you, lol)

I asked Kevin to cut a new seat. The chair had once been green and then painted black and I love the patina. I don't want to paint over it. I knew if I painted the new seat black that it would be a "fresh" black and I wouldn't like it. So, I dug in my fabric pile and found some old yellow duck cloth. Perfect! Put some batting over the seat and covered it.

Now for a cushion! I had an extra hydgrangea pad from the front porch set.

Below is my fabric for the new cover~ I've had this for over 10 years! I bought it as a remnant for probably $2, with no idea what to do with it, I just loved it. It's a strong brushed cotton. And what do you know, *JUST* enough for this project! *Squeeeeee!*

Click to see the detail~ The black teapot fabric you see is actually curtains that I made about 10 years ago too... they were for my back porch on my other house. I just loved my porch then, (wish I had pics) and am glad I can do it all over again. It's a rather Mary Engelbreit"y" I think.

Now I won't tell you it all went smoothly. I jammed the machine two or three times. Hmm... probably because I was using upholstry thread on top and regular thread in the bobbin. It's all I had and I wasn't going to the store, ya know?

I did't use a pattern and I'm quite proud of my corners, even tho my stripes don't *quite* match up in front. I had to alter the pic because the flash was so bright on it!

Wanna see the finished look? I can't wait to put it in it's place on my "new" back porch!


~Becca~Bluebird Rose said...

BIG Congrats!! I bet you are proud as punch!
It looks sooooooooo nice and welcoming.
My momma is giving me her sewing machine since she doesn't sew anymore. I'll be nervous with it at first too!

Justine said...

You go girl!!!!!!!!!! Isn't wicker and rattan made of the same material?

Justine :o )

Lettered Cottage said...


Way to go. I wish I could sew that well!

The Lettered Cottage

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

It looks great! Girl, you done good!!!

Keep practicing on that machine, you'll have it mastered and singing in no time!


Life on the Edge said...

Beautiful! This all came together really well! Glad you finally got brave enough to tackle the new sewing machine!


Tricia said...


Traci @ The Bakery said...

I am sooooo impressed!!! Now, you do have sewing skills, right? You were just afraid of the sewing machine....if I remember correctly...right? Because if not....I am REALLLLLLLY impressed.

Nikki via The Scarlett Rose Garden said...

LOL~ Thanks everyone...
Traci I have *sewn* for years, but never from a pattern. I really don't know what the heck I'm doing. I want to learn the *real* way so I can do more.

Harbor Hon said...

You did a great job on something that was thought of as trash. Congratulations! Keep it up, you're doing beautifully. xxoo

paintergal said...

Great trash to treasure find! And hey, your sewing skills look mighty fine to me.
I took a Clothing Construction class the last semester of my college education. I wanted to learn how to sew, as well. It was a great course, took it Pass/Fail so it wouldn't mess up my grade point average! :) But I learned the basics.

Susan said...

Congrats on starting up the fancy machine. I also have a "Star Wars" machine that has features that I have yet to use, after 6 years. You just may have motivated me. Thanks. It looks great, by the way.

One Shabby Old House said...

Infinity huh? You crack me up with your humor!
I hope I will get to sit in a rocker on my porch and enjoy at least one finished project just like you are doing with your fabulous black rocker.

Rue said...

Hi Nikki :)

You are a better woman than I! I shall crown you queen of the sewing machine ;)

Seriously, you did a great job and it looks really cute!!

The porch you redid looks great too! I kinda like the orange and red :)


ThisleRose said...

YAY! YOU DID IT!!!!! And your first project looks awesome! My machine is still collecting dust, I'm working up the courage day by day. :-)

The Old Painted Cottage said...

I will say, you have more courage than me...I stay far, far away from sewing machines & always keep my hot glue gun within arms reach.


Scooterblu's Whimsy~Rhonda said...

Nikki, Just stopping in to see what you have been up to! LOVE your wicker rocker and you did a great job on the cushion. I was impressed with you corners! I need to make one for a chair and am so intimidated. For now, the fabric is just tucked under the original fabric. I may get the courage one day! LOL!

Love your vintage hats below! They are so pretty and dainty! ~Rhonda :)

Anonymous said...

Great job, Nikki! It looks beautiful.

Lori said...

Nikki, I sure wish I could help you, I've seen that material before in chairs and am not sure. As for the completed project...WOHOO!! I've sewn since I was about ten and have the same machine since then a Brothers, can't make alot I wish I could on it. Have a nice weekend and when your done at your house mines waiting! LOL Lori

Jaede said...

Big congratulations on your first project, there will be stopping you know. Looks great !!!

Lallee said...

Good for you! Your chair redo looks great for the effort. I still haven't made my office curtains. I'll hate my fabric by the time I get around to it. LOL

Unknown said...

I knew you could do it! VERY NICE!

linda t said...

Wow!! I am SOOO impressed!
Good for you! You did it!!
And very well, I might add!

Now, skies the limit!

Christie said...

Hey Nikki! I just love this post! That's my kinda fun did a wonderful job on this beautiful trash to treasure. Wow, isn't it amazing what some people will just throw out? Bet you wish they could see this gem now! Have a great weekend!

Glennis said...

Congrats on the chair. It's gorgeous.

You were wondering what it was made of - in the 1920s a company called Lloyd Loom started making "wicker" furniture made of twisted paper fibres reinforced with steel wires. Maybe that's what your chair is.

its a beautiful chair - even before you worked on it its lines are so graceful.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nikki,

Like all the others that left comments, let me add that you did a great job on that cushion. And congrats on getting the wicker chair for nothing, Wow!

What you have there is an Art Deco style paper fibre wicker chair that was made in the late 1920s-1930s. It has a hardwood steam-bent framework also.

The flat springs that radiate out like bicycle spokes, would have been covered with muslin or some such material. Then a thick cushion, possibly with inner springs (springs actually inside the cushion), and with welting trim around it would have been placed on top of the muslin.

The spokes or vertical strands most likely were made with a wire core for strength and support. Then the weavers or horizontal strands were made without the wire core.

As you can see, the design of this particular style of chair has some flaws because of the way the vertical strands were just nailed to the arm and back frame. Since there is so much pressure from the body of the person sitting in the chair, those strands break easily and are rather difficult to repair and replace.

However, if you want to tackle the project yourself, please take a look at the various pages of my website for hints, suggestions and recommended instruction books to get your hands on. Be sure to read the Articles, Wicker FAQ, and Wicker Repair pages especially.

Then if you want a professional to do the work for you, contact anyone on the Wicker section or the Seatweaving section of my Furniture Repair Directory at

Although I haven't updated and added content for a while, you might enjoy reading my blog, too.

Good luck on your new project and all the best to you. If you'd like you can also see my answers to many questions I'm asked about wicker furniture on in the General Antique Furniture section.

Thanks, The Wicker Woman-Cathryn Peters-Angora, MN

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Wonderful!!! Good job! It looks perfect!!


Anonymous said...

I just read about this too on this site:
it actually is paper wicker which was used in the early 1900's. You got yourself a find!