Ah, mastery... what a profoundly satisfying feeling when one finally gets on top of a new set of skills... and then sees the light under the new door those skills can open, even as another door is closing.
~ Gail Sheehy ~
Well, we finally got the settee reupholstered that I mentioned in a previous post. Reupholstering is one of those skills that has saved us thousand of dollars over the years. I always say that if you can wrap a complicated shaped gift box, you can reupholster. There are lots of books out there on the subject, but to learn, you really just need to keenly observe how it was done in the first place. I wouldn't start out with a deeply tufted Victorian davenport, but eventually you could work your way up to it. Dining room chairs are a good place to start. Then maybe a simple chair that doesn't have a separate cushion. If you ask me, reupholstering is a lot easier and takes a lot less skill than making slipcovers that so many of you wonderful seamstresses make.
And the money you'll save! This cute little loveseat started out as a rather staid fussy thing with a formal powder blue brocade cover. By switching the fabric to this serene blue-green vintage Waverly print, it went from uninviting to comfy English cottage. The settee cost $35 and the fabric was about $30 from an Ebay auction. And additional $5 for staples and that brings the total cost to $70. By the by, don't you love the names of those vintage fabrics, Quaker Lady, Sturbridge Stencil, Wedgewood Trellis? They seem so romantically New England-y farmhouse-y dear. Auctions, estate sales, and garage sales are chock full of nice well made furniture just waiting to be revived and that can be purchased for a song (well maybe not a song if I'm singing!). And usually it's better made than the newer stuff since most have hardwood frames and tendoned joints. Plus the scale is right for smaller homes. New furniture seems to be made for the Taj Mahal or something.
The bottom line is this; don't let the fear of failure keep you from trying something new, be it gardening, canning, playing piano or whatever your heart desires to learn. The libraries and book stores have volumes of how-to books. Schools offer classes on all sort of things. Study up and take the plunge. You might discover a new skill that gives you joy. If not,it will be an oy vay! moment and you can move on knowing you tried at least. This winter when I have more time, I'll be studying photography. As you can see by the above picture, that's one skill that needs some honing! I think that the battery needs recharging, that might help it look a bit sharper. Lighting wasn't good either. Even I know that much!