Show & Tell Summer 2003, page 3 - Odds 'n Ends


My thrift-store and garage sale rummages produced some treasures, and a bunch of beyond-repair dolls.   Super-glue, modeling paste, and paint turned some of these into mannequins . . .



Building dioramas has become a fascinating distraction from sewing.  Here's some of our play.

Ken's Chair


This Ken arrived with no clothes - and was told that until there was a chair, no one in the studio could do any sewing!

So he gathered some stuff together, and set to work . . .


Lessons learned:  the plastic has to be rigid enough to hold its shape.  Use a template to cut the chair shape, so both sides will be more or less the same (reminder: donít bleed on the project).  Leave a ridge around the front of the chair seat to hold the cushion in place.  Donít spill the glue.  Test the glue on the cut-away bit from the chair Ė not every glue will work on both plastic & fabric.  I found two that worked well; a thick tacky white craft glue, and Loctiteís fabric glue in a tube.

I glued 2 layers of Thermolam, which is a very dense batting, to the chair surfaces; a bonded poly or cotton batting would have given a softer look to the chair.

Instead of making a pattern, I just held the fabric against the chair and drew the shape to the wrong side of the fabric.  I used a scrap of Yukon fleece, which is stretchy enough to eliminate the need for darts to shape the cover and doesnít fray at the edges. The outside cover is, of course, larger than the inside shape, but the fabric stretched nicely to shape; cover should fit quite snugly. Sew the side seams, pull it on the chair frame, and tack underneath.  A bit of glue around the circumference of the chair seat was enough to keep the cover in place on the inside curve.   Cut a circle the size of the cushion, and sew a strip around the edge, then fold and stitch together under the cushion. 

Try the chair for size before joining the seat & base; I had to readjust both the thickness of the cushion and the height of the base, I think because the fleece is so thick. I didnít trust the glue to hold firmly, so I drilled a pilot hole through the chair seat and the base, and used a screw as well as glue to secure them together.   


Lawn chairs

These chairs are easy to make, and they fold flat for storing.

I used 3/16" thick basswood for the frame uprights and the slats, which were cut 3/8" wide and 2 3/4" long (6" long for the bench).  The slats can just be glued to the side frames, but I found the chair easier to assemble if I cut half-lap joints at the ends of the slats.  I used 12 slats for each chair. Do a test chair, to check the height of the seat - depends on the doll!

The table is 3 drawer handles glued together, with a candle-saucer from the Dollar Store glued on top.