Saturday, 18 October 2014

sofa cover....

In my last post I talked about how we needed new sofa's, but unfortunately this is not in my budget at the moment! So in an attempt to still make a visual change with our current sofa's for our new look living room, I have DIY'ed a sofa cover for this old and dated sofa:

So today I am sharing how I did it!
Now, this is not going to be the usual, nostalgiecat DIY step by step tutorial for several reasons:
Firstly, sewing is NOT my fact sewing, together with hoovering, is one of those things that arises an unrational anger in me, and if you could've heard the stream of profanities coming out of me whilst doing this project, you would've been appalled!
So , as I am not a sewing expert, and this is my first attempt at making a sofa cover,I don't think its fair for me to tell you how to do this: Instead I am going to refer you to This u-tube tutorial, that I found very useful! In this video Paul shows you how to make a slip cover for a sofa using an easy pattern method , and he explains it a lot better than I ever could .
So if you want to make your own sofa cover, I highly recommend that you spend 1/2 n'hour  watching this tutorial, to give yourself a better understanding of how to best go about making one!!
So, using the same method as Paul so expertly explains in this video, I have adapted it a little to make my loose fitting sofa cover...and I will try my best to explain how!!!

Let me tell you: If I could do this, so could you!

So, firstly, You will need: Enough fabric to cover your sofa, pins (lots of pins...), scissors, a sewing machine and thread...
Lets talk about the fabric: If you want to make a sofa cover, I would recommend that you choose a heavy weight fabric, whether that be heavy cotton, linen or, like I used, canvas!
When working out how much fabric you need, measure the dimensions of your sofa, then add a few extra meters, just to make sure you have enough!

You basically need one piece of fabric that will cover the back of the sofa, one large piece that will cover the seating area, and two pieces that will cover the arm rests...
Roughly cut these pieces to size! Then I would recommend that you wash and iron the fabric before making a start!
As instructed by Paul, in the video, start by covering the back of the sofa:
Pin a piece of fabric to cover the back of the sofa, by using what Paul refers to as "anchor pins", pushing them directly into the sofa to hold the fabric in place..
Start at the top edge of the sofa, and pin it in a straight line all along the back, making sure you leave an inch or two of excess fabric hanging down from the point of where the seam will go...
Follow any seams in the original upholstery if there are any...
Next up, you'll want to take your large piece of fabric, that's going to be covering the entire front seating area: Drape it over the sofa, and use anchor pins to pin it in place all along the top, with some excess hanging over the excess from where your back piece is pinned..
Next up, you'll want to pin the two pieces of fabric together...
....all along the back of the sofa! If your sofa, like mine, have curved edges along the top ends, stop where the curve begins for now and just make sure you have enough fabric hanging over this area...
The next step is to anchor this big piece of fabric to the shape of the front of the sofa:
Simply pin the fabric in place, directly into the sofa, following the curves of the sofa...
Then, making sure you leave a couple of extra inches all along the edges, cut away any excess fabric around the armrests...
Next up is the armrests: Drape your pieces of fabric over, making sure it overlaps the seating piece and the back piece...and at the front. Anchor in place with pins.
Then pin the pieces of fabric together, following the shape of the sofa. Leave an inch or two of excess fabric from the point of your pins, but do trim away any excess fabric to make it easier for yourself...
This will be the trickiest part: Pinning the fabric together following the shape of the inside of the armrest: Take your time, and gently pull the pieces together, whilst pushing the fabric into the shape...Again: Paul's video tutorial explains this a lot better than I can!
Trim away any excess...but DO TAKE CARE NOT TO CUT AWAY TOO MUCH!!
Pin the pieces of fabric together...
Next up is the front of your armrests: Chances are you have an off cut that will fit this piece perfectly by now! Anchor in place, then pint the pieces of fabric together!
Repeat on the other armrest!
I had to attach an extra piece all along the front of the sofa, as my big piece for the seating, didn't quite reach the ground (because I miscalculated the measurement a little), but if you have calculated your measurements better, you shouldn't need to, and you have now finished pinning the fabric together...
The last step, before removing all your anchor pins, and sewing it all together on your sewing machine, is to mark with a pencil where the two pieces of fabric meets...basically you are marking where the seam will go! Do this all over the sofa at every "seam"... Make sure you mark this on both sides!
When sewing the fabric together use these lines as a guide, but in order to make sure the cover is loose enough to slide on and off your sofa, place your seam on the outside of the line...
I'm not going to talk you through the trauma I experienced when sewing this up on the sewing machine: Que profanities!!
But that's basically it!!
I also made some cushions in the same fabric to finish off my new look sofa!

It's not perfect, I will admit....but for someone that has an irrational hatred for sewing, and as a first attempt at both pattern making and making a sofa cover...not bad!!
What do you think??

And it has fulfilled the purpose of the project: Changing the look of the sofa!
And with those squidgy cushions, it has actually turned into a comfy space to curl up on, come those cold autumn nights!

AAAAAnd, so I am ready to show you the full reveal of my new look living my next post!
There are still a couple of DIY's I've done in here I want to share with you...that big , abstract artwork on the wall being one....but as I am actually blogging from Norway at the moment, where I am having an impromptu break, I am taking a little blogging holiday after the reveal....

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


...a journey of indecisiveness!!
\So, I've now got to that point in my living room makeover that I'm thinking about furniture!
In particular I am thinking about sofa's!
Our old sofa's are in desperate need for replacing...One I've had for more than 10 years, and is as far from my interior tastes as it could be...the other one isn't quite as old, or quite as appalling to my design sensibilities, but the springs have gone in the seating cushions (Probably from Little Miss Moo's gymnastic sofa use!!)! The other reason I would love to get a new sofa, is that the current layout of the living room is far from ideal: and practically speaking, I have no chance of changing the lay out with the current sofa situation...
In fact, this is the lay-out I've had planned for our living room since earlier this year:
Notice there are NOT two sofa's, but One corner sofa, separating the room, making the area between the hallway and the bathroom more easy to maneuver, and creating a more cosy feel as the family snuggles up to watch a film....ideal!!
I  even had my ideal sofa picked out: 
This squishy number from Loaf...
But , unfortunately I have not got the funds to invest in a new sofa like that!
At one point I was well on my way to saving up for a cheaper alternative....something with a bit more of a mid century feel to it...
It was between this one from Tesco:
and this one from modern:

Both very affordable and stylish options!
Even if it did mean that the two-sofa layout would have to stay!

But, we had another financial set back.....such is life: the washing machine broke, so my sofa fund had to go towards a new washing machine!!

Just goes to show....even with the best of intentions, the real life of a blogger is NOT always pinterest-perfect!!

So, determined to at least try to make a visual change to our new living room, my last option now is a DIY!! 

Of course I cant just DIY a new sofa.....but a sofa cover is doable...right??
I did look into the ready made sofa covers available out there, but was unpleasantly surprised to find how expensive they are!!
So a DIY it is then....
So I've been trawling the net to find some inspiration for the sofa-cover:

I love the "ghost" from gervasoni, and when I saw that one of my favorite instagrammers, Diana Ousdal, had made her own DIY version, in the form of a sofa cover, I knew....this is the way to go...
It is something I am working on now, so watch this space as I will be revealing my DIY sofa covers in my next post...
Quite a journey hey, but such is life!!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Magazine rack/ sidetable...


Today I'm sharing this easy DIY side table/ magazine rack on castors...
When you live in a small home, space is very important!
So any space saving , double duty "furniture" has to be good!!

This is such an easy DIY as well:
All you need is  two pieces of plywood, cut to the size of a magazine, I glossed the top of one of mine....some castors, screws and a leather belt:
Screw the castor wheels to the bottom of one of the pieces of plywood, stack your magazine collection on, top with the other piece of plywood, wrap the belt around....voila:

Perfect for a bedside table, in the office or even in your living room...
If you have loads of magazines, get an extra large belt!

Keep your reading material organized and somewhere to keep your drink!

Thursday, 9 October 2014


Finally, I am ready to show you our new look bedroom....
....this post has been a long time coming, for sure!

In fact, I started this makeover back in March this year, when the bedroom looked like this:
It was pretty much how it was when we first moved in: No storage, yellowing pine floor and that geerish minty green colour on the walls!
It was messy and desperate need for a makeover!!

Painting over those walls was such a relief...but there has gone a lot of work into transforming it into what it looks like today (WARNING! this is a picture heavy post!!):
After painting the walls in my favourite colour: Farrow and Ball Blackened white, I also Painted the floorboards white, and that completely changed the look and feel of the room!

I spent a lot of time researching what soft furnishingslight fittings and artwork I wanted in the room...
Such as these two, downloadable prints from Melinda Wood:

I had a very specific idea of how I wanted the room to look: I wanted to bring that cool and calm Scandinavian feel to the bedroom.... and once I got started the transformation process was actually quite quick....

In fact the bedroom has been more or less finished for months!
The hold up with this reveal was mainly the installation of the fitted wardrobes, that I designed to look as though they'd been here since the house was first built.... A friend of ours made them for us quite cheaply, and I am really pleased with how they turned out!

When I worked in the film industry, we used to say: 

"You can get things made quick and cheap, but it'll be rubbish....or you can get things done quick and good, but it'll cost you...I guess this was a case of: You can get good things done cheaply, but it will take time!!"

The wardrobe and chest of drawers was finally installed last week!!
Whilst I was waiting (and waiting, and waiting....) for the wardrobes to be made, I busied myself with some other DIY's for the room...
Like the MCM style starburst ceiling rose....the perfect accompagnement to the Origami lightshade from Snowpuppe...
...and the Abstract artwork, just seen on the floor in the picture above...
The old cast iron fireplace got some much needed TLC, when I removed the rust and refinished it.
The fireplace and the bed, both being black, was the basis of the look I was going for, and
I decided on supplementing  the predominent white and grey color scheme with subtle touches of mint, inspired by the Snowpuppe lampshade, and flashes of copper!!
I adore this colour combination...especially in this room as it changes in the light at night, and turns into a very cosy space!
The mirror is from Dunelm mills, but I spray-painted it black to fit in with my decor... and The folk art stars is another DIY...
I also made these copper wire cagelights to go on either side of the bed, as night lights...

...and they give such a nice warm glow with the retro industrial Edison-style bulbs..

I also mounted a copper wire basket onto the wall beside the bed to keep books and my phone in at night, as there was limited space for a bedside cabinet since we cut back the wall behind the bed to make more space for the chest of drawers

The little magazine rack/sidetable is a recent make that I will share with you all in my next post

Cutting back this wall has made the space in the corner more accessible and lovely:

I mounted some IKEA honefoss mirrors on the wall, as I loved how they not just tapped into the geometric style that I love, but also the copper!

Here's another late addition to the room, a piece of driftwood mounted on the wall for hanging necklaces from...

I love the little nook next to the bed!!

The artwork above the bed is the "batcat" from Lovedales studio and a limited edition Plakat from Sirlig....and I adore them both!!

We put up wood panelling on the wall behind the bed, to get that Scandinavian feel I long for!

I also have to mention the Linen bedding from H&M, a luxurious but inexpensive treat!! And it matches my Linen curtains, also from H&M....both the perfect color match for my gray walls!!

The geometric sheer voiles and the lightchain are both from Ellos, and unfortunately not yet available here in the UK (thanks mum!!)

As is the bedcover....
The Big artwork on the wall is another DIY, using just blackboardpaint and chalk

So, I finally got my bedroom all sorted, and can now fully concentrate on my living room update...I am nearly there...just a few more finishing touches and projects to do!!

And I can't believe it: that actually means that I have done everything on my list of home improvements that I had planned at the beginning of the year....and then some!!
I am feeling rather pleased with myself!!