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

The Slipcover Network Forum

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!
The Slipcover Network Forum

not find, fine....

I should have checked my spelling..... oops :(
The Slipcover Network Forum

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.

The Slipcover Network Forum

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

There will be sewing machines at the Summit in Arizona, but if need be and if you would like depending on what class you take, you may bring your portable.

Great ideas Shirley and Dede and Kim... You could be the committee.

K with SA
I am not saying they won't be there ( sewing machines ) I am saying that I cannot know at this time. Dede, we can make the skirt without an additonal trip, there are choices to be made and judgements, but there are default decisions available. It isn't as much a risk when you make some choices, and record some additional data.

One thing I am asking ( if it's not obvious ) is this is the time to get less generic, more tailored to you. Tailor it for us, and then register early so we know who and what to plan for.

I still want to do brown, I think it's a seconadry need to advanced double on half, but it's got my attention, and I'll be researching it this year for you.
"I cannot say how many sewing machines can be available."

We could use our own portable domestics if the fabric is thin enough - cheap muslin? (hmm... need a case for the machine...). Just a thought, but it would solve the availability issue.
sent Jeannie a new idea this morning that incorporates a bunch of stuff into a day long class. To be taken after you take the double on half class:

advanced sewing of a double on half cutting, marking for speed, disassembling safely, two ways of overlocking the sucka, creating a liner from a double on half cutting, adding a fast skirt, zippers fast and dirty. This is the most important thing I could pass on, how to trust a double on half cutting so that doubt that delays you goes away.

the cutting and marking can be hands on, I cannot say how many sewing machines can be available.

I think it ranks up there with supreme duh moments how important good specific and individual trimming out in your own developing style will be for success at double on half.

Anyone need an additional aspect of double on half ? The method of cutting itself deserves a full day, this would be an additional full day.

At the end of class, we will disassemble our cuttings, throw the pieces up in the air, and then reassemble them. You will be confident. This, I can package.

reading down further I see some stuff to add, marking and sewing in an armpit tape, or excising seam allowance for tighter armpits. While we are trimming, we can do alot of adjustments. Make a list.

Monday, May 23, 2005

You mean Shirley, Dede, and I aren't the committee? :)
Yeah it's fun to think out loud! I'm sure you guys will come up with a bang up program!
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It is so exciting to have all this discussion about classes at the Summit.

Shirley is right it does need to be put into a presentation by someone, so supported handouts can be created.

From here on out all classes are picked by the board committe, knowing the history of past Summit classes. We always need the begining classes plus advanced classes..........journey person fits in that category.

For those who have been in the business for sometime, need to be specific about their needs too. We all need to learn and grow. In doing this we are creative, and stay fresh at what we do.

I love all the ideas presented on this blog for the Summit 2006. The ideas are hot. All will be written up and presented to the board committee. We have 3 days and can do 4 classes a day, that makes 12 classes total. There can be formal discussions during lunch each day also.

K with SA

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Oh, and closures. I've seen some adorable methods in magazines for kitchen and dining room chairs, for example. Plus the old stand-by: zippers (for example, more alternatives to my default 1" placket - maybe concentrate on invisible zipper insertion, and the best ways to utilize invisible zippers (where best to put them, for example). Zippers with welt, zippers disguised with buttons, etc., hidden zippers (not necessarily invisible, just cleverly hidden) could be a separate class, or part of another class.

I don't mean to pick on zippers (poor zippers...), but zippers are a much larger topic than I originally imagined, and invisible zippers are almost a topic unto themselves. Plus, buttons, snaps, ties, gussets, Velcro, laces - it's too big for one class (at least for my clogged brain to absorb in one sitting).
Thought of something else... it might mesh neatly with Shirley's Brown Method, so let me know if that's the case:

1. Fitting/pinning/marking skirts along with the body of the slipcover. In other words, how do you fit/pin/mark the skirt without an extra visit, with the otherwise completed slipcover back on the furniture so you can measure & mark?

2. Nice smooth fitting under the arm - tips and techniques?


3. Presentation... how to neatly fold the completed slip (Shirley did a quick presentation in CO, using a laundry basket - do it again?), how to utilize a steamer on-site, if necessary. What should be left with client: tucking tool?*, something to stuff in tuck-in areas (like 1" foam pipe insulation)?.

*Anyone ever use a windshield scraper for this? I just realized it's something that could be personalized with business name. Hmm...

My needs are somewhere between Beginner and Advanced, more like Journeyman...
I do like the brown method the way you describe...I posted on the other forum, I'm pdsam. For some reason when I joined that board I used another name, on my upholstery board I'm kimel.
Shirley, I put my furniture on tressels and then if I need to,I step up (on a wooden box about the height of a stair step) rather than bend down. Although in the customer's home you're right, i'ts a lot of bending. People in the midwest seem to like the tight tailored look and pretend it's upholstery, hence, the comparison shopping. (oy!)
As far as an all day class with limited number of students, yes I am interested. It would be great to create along with your instruction. If I drive my van out maybe I could bring a few extra pieces for others to work on, doubt if I could fit 8 chairs unless they were stackable/spoonable. Maybe the hotel would have some chairs to practice on? Thinking out loud here...
I could definitely bring my planning notebooks to show others how I planned out this move to a new shop, decision to hire a helper, by looking at what my overhead is and how many "billable" hours a year I work.
buzzing is good........where's mine ??

truth be known Shirley ( notice the third person here ) gets a little overwhelmed at these things, too much stimulation. I identify strongly with people who need to calculate how much they can take in at once. What we present is hopefully paced well for everyone.

we can only get teachers not associated with........ the other people.

we are all uniquely qualified to break down problems, we are mostly all mothers and or wives. Same skills, different applications. Kim, can you research your most urgent questions and teach us?

simple is sometimes best. Frenzy is fun to a point, think retreat , touch index fingers to thumbs and go OHM.............. let's have frenzy for lunch.......

I heard that one person who self indentified being merely disatisfied was in fact prone to panic, I feel for them. We are small, caring and supportive of one another I hope never to miss those cues again. Heck, that's me ! It is a plane trip and tiring, and for some a trip from home that's for some ( ME ! ) not altogther comfortable. Retreat is the best we can aim for, maybe small but realy suportive.

to teach anything soundly, we must be able to do it in a sort of neat package. I can package certain things and hand them off to you neatly. It's really well defined long before I get on that plane. Doin' my OHMS....

Kim, I can package the method Janelle uses, but it's contrary to my beliefs. Brown method ( if you read it somewhere below ) hybridizes the various methods and creates a new option for you. If you want, and if enough people concur, I can do brown. It's a day long class if done. Eight people would need to concur?

I must be able to send home a kit with you and a handout, and accomplish this in a given time period without talking too fast. Maybe that's a little limited and specific, but I like to be prepared. I always leave time at the end to accomodate questions.

a telephone tree is a list of questions to quiz callers so that they can better describe the slipcover job to you.

The method that is open wrong side out, cord inserted while pin fitting and raw seams facing you ( Janelle's way ) is in fact the most easy to delegate if cutter is handing off sewing, in it's entirety, to a person at a later time and place. Brown assumes 1/3 of needed sewing already done at time of hand off.

Janelle's way is simply too much bending for me, and I must assume all of you will reach a point perhaps that bending is an issue. I hope you never get to where I am regarding back and knees. Watch me walk, you'll see my concern .
What's the telephone tree?
I have a breaktime topic suggestion. Bring photos or examples of "show" pieces. What goodies would you incorporate in one slipcover to show what you can do? I just bought a darling, petite, old wingback with claw feet, and a little curveback loveseat that I'm going to upholster, put in the front of my shop and then the plan is to make a couple of slipcovers with "pizazz" (hmmm, what will that be?) Also a story board with samples of different styles of skirts, different closure methods. I guess this would fall under the heading of "marketing".
Of course "marketing" is always a good topic for general discussion too!
The customers I get that are deciding between upholstery and slipcovers ask, "is it cheaper to slipcover?" That opens up a discussion on how they are 2 completely different treatments for different needs. What is the customer after? I don't allow the comparison. How do others handle this?
Karen do you have your teachers lined up? Maybe there is something specific to them that would come to us. I still would love a "fit like a glove" class from Jeanelle.
Anything related to the actual workshop experience: time management, phone estimates vrs. in person estimates, fabric selection (how to set it up for the customer's convenience and so you don't have to babysit) Samples of purchase orders, work orders in clearly stated terms. Angie's class in Co was wonderful. In a shop with more than one person, how to delegate work from answering the phone to cutting and sewing.
I also understand the need to present some of the same classes each time, but if you could offer something completely fresh (or an advanced version) for those who have come once or twice to the summit, that would be great. Although... I would come just for the inbetween class discussions. I learned more from hanging out and chatting with the creative, dynamic women that come, and I went home buzzed...ready to take on the world!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Dede, I can handle that...specifically, that. Jeannie, that's another hour fifteen minute suggestion. How many did I give you, does that make four ?

We can combine like two and two fairly unrelated topics, and make them regular length classes.

Hmm, what were they now....

separating zippers, telephone tree, serging from double on half, and and and there was one more ? What did I say just a couple days ago, Jeannie ?
Okay, then - here's my suggestion:

Serging techniques, using both domestic and industrial sergers. For example: How to serge individual double-on-half pieces without losing your mind. How to get close enough when serging several layers with industrial serger. (Modified feet? Lemme' see em'! Give me a photo so I can PROVE to the mechanic that IT IS POSSIBLE!)Which is preferable at what times: 3-thread? 3/4-thread? 5-thread?

Basically, anything involving a serger as it relates to fabrication. I'm using a tired domestic Babylock right now, but looking to the future (which hopefully includes an industrial).
Hi from Portland....

I am doing a 2 day hands on workshop here. 4 ladies with their sewing machines, and chairs. I wonder what they will bring?

Thanks Kim for sending in your ideas for the Summit in Arizona in June 2006. Any others? Deadline is the 25th. The Slipcover Summit committee will review the ideas and then make a decision.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

ditto that
Keeping my fingers crossed for next summer...

Oh, and Karen - have you ever heard that old Mother's Curse? "May you have a child just like you." I had two of 'em.
Wow Karen, that sounds great! I appreciate you trying to keep the cost lower, and the research for the classes. I'm planning to go, for sure - and I'll throw my name into the hat for a room mate. I've got a few other business related ideas I'll email to Jeanie.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

It is official, the Next Slipcover Summit in 2006 will be in Phoenix, AZ
June 21-24...

3 days living, eating and breathing Slipcovers. If you have ideas for classes let us know more... Do appreciate previous insight and it is most definitely noted.Jeannie is in charge of collecting information about workshops ideas. e-mail her at

Room rates will be $50 per night and there will be 2 queen beds in each room, so if you want to have a roommate that means only $25 per night.

We are hoping to keep class fees including lunch (we don't want you to starve) between $35 and $45. Airline flies into Phoenix, and Southwest has great flights. Super Shuttle from the airport to the hotel.

Oh Dede are your kids really that bad?

k with SA
My dear... you underestimate the ability of my daughters to be Really Really Annoying...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

we can keep them busy here......
Well... Dearest Hubby is currently employed by a Brand New Software Start-Up = he's never home. So... I shall be accompanied by two charming, well-behaved Young Ladies of Breeding (yeah, right...) who adore the Fine Art of slipcover fabrication (*gag*) and who are soooo looking forward to a fascinating methodological discussion (Lord, they hate this stuff...).

Perhaps a long-distance Grillin' (of burgers), Chillin' (of adult beverages), and Spillin' (of info) is in order?

Fire up the propane! Who has the beer?!
What can brown method do for you ? We can mine the answers to that question at my house at date of your choice. They more the merrier, up to three, let's use indoor space. More than three possible, but we might need the driveway to work. Let me know. Pool, grill, silliness and maybe some useful answers.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Hey Shirley... it ain't you, babe. My brain is too full right now (very limited capacity) to absorb too much. I do like the overlap of The Brown Method, though ("What can Brown do for YOU?" - yeah, caffeine deprivation...)

So... some threads mysteriously disappeared from the "Other Place"? Also, my gorgeous ANIMATED gif of Sherlock Holmes smoking a pipe evaporated (but I think that was actually my fault... didn't pay the user fee for the image).

What was the purpose of this post? Um... can't remember, but...

1. Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol* gets out: ink, pine sap, poison ivy (urushiol) oil. [*common ingredient in most hairspray]
2. Ammonia gets out: chocolate, cooking oil.
3. Hydrogen peroxide gets out: blood.
4. Lestoil gets outs: grease.

And when all else fails... soap scum remover/bathroom cleaner will remove crayon [crayon = oil + wax / soap scum = oil + wax], but may bleach surface - TEST FIRST.

All the above personally tested and approved by moi. I have a very dirty family...

Sunday, May 15, 2005

aha! silence...... I didn't get any feedback over THERE either on the Brown stuff ......then I hardly ever do anyway.

This is a timely post, in anyone wants this at the next summit, you will have to say so shortly while the topics for teaching next year are being chosen now.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

brown method: briefly, its as follows.....

the outside back is chalked out, cut and cord sewn prior to fitting.

the outside arm is measured, cut, and the cord sewn to the top of it prior to fitting.

the front arm panel, front deck panel or side deck panel, and side arm panel or wing if present is chalked, traced or measured, cut and corded before fitting.

All outside body pieces are measured, traced or chalked before hand, cut and then corded as they would normally be. None are yet joined to one another, that is done after the next step, in pin fitting.

Then center body pieces are cut, shaped by double on half or single on half, inside out or right side out as preferred, cut normally ( for you ) and perhaps even joined to one another was well, before pin fitting to outside body pieces. The one big exception to normal is that the seam allowances where the inside meets the outside are large, say two inches.

Once all this is done, it can be pinned to tighten and finesse, seams FACING you, raw side out, but fabric being RS out or WS out as preferred.

At this point, it's very delegatable sewing. Brown method allows for a sewing cutting team that need not include a sewer who is yet fully skilled, as sewer makes no crucial decisions.

You know I just like it because it combines all the ideas in the different methods.
Tell me more Shirley. I want to know all about the Brown Method
anybody wanna hear about the brown method ? It's all the colors mixed ha ha. Not kidding, it's looking promising to me ( the amusement of it all ).

Monday, May 09, 2005

I remember using lots of hairspray to clean crayon off the walls when the kids were little!

We talked about the oil subject at the Summit....

Someone said that hairspray works for oil, ink, crayon?

Which was it girls...????
There is no wholesale phone number. Just call Deanna, her add is in the Slipcover Press. Call her phone number and let her know you are in business and would like to by fabric wholesale. Tell her you are with the Slipcover Network.

She is going through a lot of changes with her product.

Hope this helps...

K with SA
Deanna answers either one, if there's more than one. It's on the sample book......did some one there tell you this ?
Sorry - I need to change the subject...

Does anyone have the WHOLESALE telephone/contact person for Homespun in California?

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog. Carry on... :)
Ok Shirley I guess I'll keep door #1 (MY kids) and leave you with curtain #2(yours). :)
I tried goo gone on the oil stain, did a pretty good job.
Now I'm going to buy that kind of oil that is supposed to be stain - less!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Kim, you send your three, I'll send my one, and I'll get the better end of the deal!

Seriously, the oil....someone said hairspray ? It's the solvent in it. Test by putting machine oil on a scrap first, I may have heard this out of context.

Controlled growth is all any of us can tolerate. Eat that whale of an opportunity and it might sit on you.
Well put Shirley! I do agree, especially about relaxing! (Sure you don't want the kids for a visit? A few months or so? :)
One reason I love to do slipcovers is (for me) there is a certain amount of freedom and playfulness. However, I feel my sewing skills could use improvement. Why should I try to reinvent the wheel when I know that there are those of you who know all the tricks and could simply show me! :)

I just got a drop of sewing machine oil on a cotton duck cover darn it!! Before I go messing with it, does anyone know a product to get it out?


Saturday, May 07, 2005

oh dear, Kim, OH DEAR !!!

we can solve some of this stuff, you keep the kids........

Sounds like you are a weee bit overwhelmed, so let me just suggest, we aren't in posession of any mystical answers pertaining to organization either.

I think maybe we could all relax about what is a professional slipcover........

For a few laughs, I can tell you my idea of what it isn't..... it doesn't look way different on the right and left. Unless it is way different of course.

It's sturdy enough for reasonable use by humans. Cannot count on dogs to follow written directions.

It's of the fabric the customer chooses unless we really really really can't stand to do it.

It's the best we can do with the furniture presented without reinventing the furniture presented ( unless paid to reinvent it ). Solutions within our usual particular scope of practice are fine, but we get to choose that scope of practice. Personally I don't patch cigarette holes deeper than three inches and wider than the ice cream bowl I am holding.

It's made by humans ( I think.... ) and it's a crafted item, made one at a time, for the first time each time. There's a couple flaws.

They zip up the back without pulling with a crane. There's copious tuck in, think rivers. The people in the printed pattern are right side up. Ditto for the dogs.

It's tight enough to be custom and loose enough to get cleaned later. We tell'em how to clean it......

They are clean, cheerful, what was asked for, delivered on time, sewed well enough to serve and protect, and they get better each one we make.
I'm doing as well as that chicken right before Sunday dinner...bawk! (Oh they can't screech with no head can they...)
A very interesting situation was dumped in my lap. Out of the blue I found out that the oldest upholstery shop in town decided to close their doors on April 30. They had employeed 3 full time upholsterers, 3 other workers (cutter, seamstresses). And now the void is to be filled by the "other" oldest shop
The month of April I spent a lot of time at the closing shop watching how they do things, looking at the shop arrangement, storage, etc. Got to be really good friends with all of them very quickly! They started sending all their business to me and now I'm in the process of renting a real shop (moving out of my garage) and trying to hire at least one of their upholsterers.
I only wish they could have hung on one more month, as I'm trying to move out of my house this month and put it up for sale. It's in shambles and needs quite a bit of handy work! My 3 teen agers are sick of school, sick of life, self destructing all at once. Oy!
I've been getting more and more slipcover jobs (yay!). A lady about 2 hours away found me on my website and is renting a uhaul to bring her living room set to me to cover.

What I would like to see at the next summit? (wish I'd gone to this year's!):
1) Professional slipcovers start to finish. Not pinning technique - how to manufacture...serging, where to put closures, how to put them in and finish them out ( like the top and bottom of the zipper) How to line or hem - you know to make it a really nicely made sturdy cover that does not look homemade on the inside. Does that make sense?
2)Portfolio, website, advertising help. I've seen poloroids tacked to the wall and binders of photos on the counter - any other ideas to guide the customer to pick from the styles you want to make?
3)Workshop organization- more! I want more!
4)Useful forms and how and when to use them. Estimate, Purchase order,inventory, calendars etc.
5)A million pictures of slipcovers
6)A hands on class. One I would like is making decks on several types of chairs. The crotch areas leading to the tuck in areas are what I struggle with on every piece - and they are all different!
7)A survey of how labor time. I don't know if you've done this already but my upholsterers board has it all broken down in time increments from removing the dust cover to replacing burlap to putting on the skirt. It's a great guide when trying to bid a job.
8)A "fits like a glove" slipcover class. I missed Janelles and would really like to see how she does it. Especially her tips: for example putting velcro on the bottom of the chair to snug and attach the unskirted slipcover.

Ok that's my wish list so far! Aren't you glad you asked? :)
Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Friday, May 06, 2005

The Slipcover Network Forum

Kim I am so glad you have joined us. So how are you?
If I had three wishes for things to learn at the Slipcover Summit in Phoenix 2006.....?????

1)I want ideas for embellishing slipcovers

2)I want to find new ways to market my business,so I will make lots of money

3) I want to learn how to sew slipcovers fast but with quality.

K with SA


Thursday, May 05, 2005

pretend that you are absolutely certain you are coming to the next Summit ( june 2006 ) that you KNOW for sure that the Summit is designed for you personally, and that you have your genie offering you three wishes.

what do you most want ?
Yes, but... who are you REALLY??!! :D

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I'm in!!!! Woohoo!!! Thank you Karen!
Kimel aka Kim,
The Slipcover Network Forum