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General Upholstery Questions and Comments => General Discussion => Topic started by: 65Buick on May 01, 2018, 06:18:00 PM

Title: Excitement
Post by: 65Buick on May 01, 2018, 06:18:00 PM
Really starting to feel like maybe I know a thing or two about upholstery.
Finally starting to get a handle on how fabrics and materials stretch. There's no doubt in my mind that it is an art. You can't just expect to grab fabric and cover whatever with no skill.
It is very satisfying to be able to do a job with only just a few hiccups and end with something beautiful.

And please everyone share with me your most satisfying project or a time when you felt confident.

Title: Re: Excitement
Post by: kodydog on May 01, 2018, 08:39:28 PM
I will tell you a time I did not feel confident and it was just last year. It was a theater job we did in-house. Dinette style built-in that required back channels almost all the way to the ceiling. This was a project like I have never done before. I called it roll and tuck. It was done for a decorator who contracted a cabinet maker to build the frame. Nobody bothered to ask me about the construction. We worked up the estimate from a CAD diagram. This was a 6 month long project from the time they contacted us until the time I began. This gave me plenty of time to fret about weather or not I knew what I was doing. It was very fortunate the decorator picked the best fabric possible.

A few sleepless nights but it came out just like I envisioned it. And I broke even in the deal. 

I do not know if there will ever be a time when you stop learning.

And I forgot to mention, there were two of these, one in each back corner of the room. It took two weeks to build them.
Title: Re: Excitement
Post by: MinUph on May 01, 2018, 09:09:48 PM
  Ya know 65, feeling confident in this business is a rarity. When standard furniture comes in we feel perfectly confident in our abilities but the non standard things take us back. Even after many years of it. I remember a big restaurant job I did probably 35 years ago. It was all new and done from blueprints I had to actually buy the prints just to bid the job. I got it and had 30 days to complete for the grand opening. It was many many booths, and cushions for benches, and chair cushions. A big place in a mall back in Syracuse. Malarkeys was the name. I took the drawings to my live on boat and spent the weekend figuring it. I was completely confident all through the process and the build. We completed the project the day before opening and it was an accomplishment I will never forget. We had finished work stored in a garage floor to ceiling LOL.
  I've felt confident since then many times but some jobs still pull my strings until the are done, delivered and used for a few days. It is just the way I am.

  It's good to hear your confidence is building. You are doing good work. You seem to really care and that is a quality that is rare also. Keep it up and you will do well. Before you know it you won't think twice on how YOU want to do each job. That time is close.
Title: Re: Excitement
Post by: Virgs Sew n Sew on May 02, 2018, 05:59:33 AM
My most satisfying project was a boat I did 3 years ago, I can remember exactly when it was because it was right after my MIL passed.  Customer is THE ULTIMATE Cornhuskers fan and wanted seats done in Huskers colors.  He went to Lincoln, to the UNL Book Store and purchased a bunch of Huskers patches for me to sew on each seat.  Seats turned out gorgeous.  I was beyond pleased and that doesn't happen too often as I'm always like "I could have done better on such and such."  So the day arrived when they brought the boat by so we could install the seats in the boat.  Guy got the biggest sh*t eating grin I've ever seen and his significant other actually started crying, she was so happy.  Hubby was outside with me when they came (we had all the finished pieces stored in our garage) so he got to witness first-hand their reactions.  After my very happy customers left, hub turned to me and said "I see why you like doing this so much.  We never got feedback from our customers like that when we worked in the Network Control Center."

The boat pictures are down quite a few pages ago but they were put on here after I finished the job.  Still my favorite job probably because this project was a labor of love for me.  It's been hard to cheer for the Cornhuskers since Tom Osborne retired  but I still am a fan.  Now that Scott Frost is at the helm, we hope sunnier days are just ahead!  He certainly worked miracles at UCF.
Title: Re: Excitement
Post by: SteveA on May 02, 2018, 10:00:00 AM
Satisfying & Confident.  Doing what I like to do and earning a living at it is very satisfying.  Confidence took time because like you I am mostly self taught.  I worked part time in a shop for 5 years out of high school but when I left the shop I really didn't have enough experience to say every job was going to be an easy one.  Lots of mistakes and many times lost money but what a ride.  I wouldn't trade that life experience ! 
Title: Re: Excitement
Post by: gene on May 02, 2018, 05:48:02 PM
I'm at the place where, when I make a mistake, I can figure out what I did to screw it up.

I still occasionally get things in that take much longer than I expected.

Title: Re: Excitement
Post by: Mojo on May 07, 2018, 06:55:15 AM
I think my biggest accomplishment was a boat interior I did. Seats, Gun Wales, padding, engine cover, etc. It was a big job. It was the first one I did, the first time using all sport vinyl with dissimilar vinyls and mixing a lot of different colors together into patterns. I lacked a lot of confidence when doing the project but felt good afterwards as the job came out well. My wife encouraged me all along as did the members here.

One other project was a golf cart canopy I did that had to slip over a frame and then become extremely taught. That projet taught me how to use bias to my advantage. I wanted my seams hidden under and behind the rail and with the stretch that had to be made when slipped over the frame it was a test in patience. I lacked a lot of confidence in that job but it turned out well afterwards. I also did this job very early in my career and with the help of some of the " Old Guys " got er dun.

I should mention this forum has been awesome. A lot of the old timers here, Big Mike, Ricat, Ed, Gene, Sofa Doc, Darrel, Russ, June and a few who are no longer here provided so much moral support as well as showed me different techniques. I started my career years ago and became a member here right away so I essentially apprenticed under all of these people. :)

I forgot what year I joined but it was in the mid to late 2000's or somewhere around then. I suffer from CRS so do not know which year it was. Does anyone know when this forum started ?

Title: Re: Excitement
Post by: Darren Henry on May 07, 2018, 09:46:49 AM
My most gratifying moment came as an apprentice shoe maker. The master had just stepped out to get his lunch when a very frail and elderly lady came in to pick up her shoes. She was hunched over  both canes and  shuffled slowly as I lead her to a seat. By  the time I got her seated and retrieved her shoes Walter was back with his lunch and took over. I hung around the doorway to the back shop to watch as it was a pair that I had made. She put the shoes on and stood up to the hunched position she had come in in and stopped dead. She took one pace forward and then stood fully erect and a tear came to her eye. She then proceeded to walk the length (ten feet) of the show room and back with her canes hooked over her arm, looking 20 years healthier than when she shuffled in. Being the class gentleman that he was, once she quit hugging him and sopping, my mater pointed out that I had made her shoes. She hugged him again. I guess she knew where the talent had come from LOL. 
Title: Re: Excitement
Post by: 65Buick on May 07, 2018, 03:11:04 PM
Thank you everyone that replied here. I enjoy reading about your experiences.
And, of course, let us have more confidence in the future.

Title: Re: Excitement
Post by: gene on May 07, 2018, 07:49:01 PM
I've realized that I am at a place where I can always figure out what I did to make a mistake. Last week I put an 80" piece of foam inside my 80 boxed cushion. Unfortunately the boxed cushion was 100 inches, not 80". After I seamed to make the top and bottom panels, I forgot to cut them to 81" (includes my seam allowance).

I figure in 15 more years I'll be like the old timers on this forum who no longer make mistakes. Actually, the only depressing thing on this forum is when you old timers talk about making mistakes. I keep hoping I can get good enough to be perfect. :-)