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Topics - Virgs Sew n Sew

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General Discussion / Dining Room Chairs Progressing Nicely
« on: December 11, 2018, 07:32:58 AM »
Will be very glad to get this project finished.  I'm way out of shape as far as stretching vinyl goes.  Haven't done any real upholstery work since I finished the last restaurant the first of May.

Took the first seat over yesterday and reattached to the base.  Wanted to get approval before I progressed any further because customer increased foam from 2 to 5 inches.  I would have increased to no more than 3 inches but whatever the customer wants.

Cutting through 5 inch foam is not my idea of a good time.  Then there is a need for a slight bit of sanding to even things out where needed.  Stretching vinyl over 5 inch foam is an absolute joy.  I pretty much throw myself over the seat so I can compress the foam on the sides and get the vinyl tight enough.  The least of my worries is redoing the webbing - I can do that in my sleep.

She was over the moon with how the chair looked and felt when she sat on it.  So 9 more to go.  Yes, I am definitely counting these babies down.  Iffy being finished by Christmas.  May have 1 or 2 left but they only use 8 at their table unless company comes over. 

Anytime I get frustrated, I remind myself that this makes an additional payment on my sinfully expensive new dedicated quilting machine.  That helps to ease my discomfort level.  I probably wouldn't mind it so much but now that I take nothing stronger than Alieve, I'm being very careful how much I do in a day as I am definitely stretching the bar here.  I'll survive though.

General Discussion / Question on Dining Room Chair Webbing
« on: December 04, 2018, 04:54:10 PM »
Hi All!

I just cannot seem to stay away from upholstery, I guess.  I swore I was done with upholstery when I went into semi-retirement mode.  Then I bought a sinfully pricey dedicated quilting machine.  So, I'm pretty much taking any and all jobs until I get this sucker paid off.  Good news is that I have 2 quilting projects for paying customers that will make a nice dent in the purchase price.  No interest for 4 years kind of deal. Love the new machine and love that I'm getting quilting jobs.  Much easier on my fused back than throwing 6 foot restaurant bench seats around.  LOL!

Question is this.  I am putting new foam and a gorgeous vinyl that looks like leather on 10 dining room chairs for a customer.  I stripped the first one this afternoon and, much to my surprise, the webbing is not taught but is sagging.  They bought these chairs within the last three years.  Shortly after they purchased their house.  I cannot believe that the webbing is sagging.  I am correct that it should be taut??? It is an Ashley product and I am NOT an Ashley fan.  This goes back to when I was the office manager for the furniture store I worked at.  Worst repairs we had were always Ashley and they were a bear to get reimbursed from.

I did turn down a crap job.  Lady's son bought a sectional and threw the pieces in the back of his pick-up, without tethering down.  One piece flipped out on I-80 while he was going 90 or whatever the speed limit is on I-80 in Nebraska.  Ripped the doo doo out of the pleather.  I originally was going to take the job and recover the piece.  I had requested a sample of the pleather my vendor had in stock to make sure it was a good match and for reasons I don't understand it, the sample never arrived. She actually called me at 9 PM on a Saturday night.  Fortunately we were not home or I would have gone off on her.  Then called about 8:30 the next morning,which I ignored. I called her the next day and told her that I was going to decline the job.

Also have a nice little patio furniture project. Fun and easy to whip out.  Between the quilts and these two jobs, I'm hopping.  Also have a bride who hired me to design and create her wedding day apparel.  That's not until closer to spring though she is coming over tonight so I can get her measured and start ordering patterns.  I'm combining 3 patterns to get the look she wants.  Challenging but yet very fun (I hope).

Looking forward to getting my new machine paid off so I can hide downstairs and churn out quilts all day long.  LOL!!!

Hope things are going well for everyone and definitely appreciate an answer on my webbing questions!



General Discussion / OMG I need Help
« on: April 26, 2018, 11:29:49 AM »
Geez do I need help!  I'll post a picture later.  When last I posted, I told y'all that I had scored doing two restaurants.  One here in GI and one in Hastings.  Finished GI with no issues other than the owner didn't provide the tear out crew he promised so labor wasn't bid correctly and I kind of lost my behind on it.  Just as I was about to finish GI, I tried to do a favor for a neighbor and his boxer bit my left "bird" finger.  13 stitches later and 6 weeks off work but I healed with no residual issues.

Winter made some difficulties in getting to Hastings but finally did.  73 chairs and I got those done with no problems.  There are 4 booths.  All booths have the base meeting in 90 degree angle.  Seats and backs were originally done in fabric.  Owners wanted the backs in fabric and the seats in vinyl.  I've done two of the bases and backs.  Backs are done with no problems.  The first seat has major wrinkles but I figured it was because I needed to cut slightly less vinyl than I would have for fabric.  Did that with the second one shorter and we stretched this morning.  When we flipped it and put it on the base, it looked great.  Vinyl was as tight as a drum with not a wrinkle to be seen.  The guys stepped on it when they put the backs in place, got done off of it and it's just a mass of wrinkles.

As I said, I'll post pictures of the original probably tonight.  There's a bridesmaid dress down stairs that goes out tomorrow so I have to finish the hem on it tonight so I can steam it tomorrow morning.  Once I'm done with the dress, I'll dig out my photo shop password and get that picture uploaded.

I'm wondering if we should have stayed with fabric.  I also remember in the recesses of my mind, that I did a boat seat that was similarly configured.  I sewed cord on the back of the center seam and we tightened with that (to keep wrinkles down).  Never got any complaints from the customer so I don't know if there were any residual issues or not.

Hoping y'all can give me some advice!!!

General Discussion / Checking In
« on: March 24, 2017, 07:56:32 AM »
The days seem to go by in a whirlwind these days.

Still working on the bimini project; and, at the same time, I'm cutting and sewing on the oversize recliners for my BIL & SIL.  Prom season and my Bernina has been in the shop for over a month now so I've had to fall back on my 1993 purchased Singer.  It is still a fine machine and sews a nice stitch but just slower and I love a lot of the extras that came with my Bernina.

Bimini is coming along nicely.  It's a 2 piece bimini and the smaller section is complete, except for sewing the binding on raw edges.  You guys are right about the Tempotest.  I've found it a dream to work with.  My only complaint is with my work area.  Just a little cramped when handling a large amount of fabric but that's on my, not the Tempotest.  Section completed fits the bows nicely so crossing my fingers that the other half of the project goes as well.  If I keep on schedule, I'll finish up around the middle of April.  I've found, that for me, this goes best if I knock out one thing at a time (cut a large piece, sew one of the zippers that runs the length of the fabric, etc.).  Customer wants it by Memorial Day so is thrilled about my timeline. 

Recliners are also coming along nicely.  Even with BIL's Son-in-Law tearing the sections apart, I was still amazed at how much tear out was left.  I uncover a piece of fabric, only to find another piece with a zillion staples.  Basically done tearing out and have been cutting and cutting and cutting.  Made sense to me to cut for both chairs at the same time.  So once I get into the swing of sewing, things should go quickly.  Started sewing welting yesterday.  I was thrilled, during the tear out, when I discovered that the gathers on the arm pieces are elastic sewn around the fabric. 

I was kind of hoping for a breather after these two project but last week, I received a phone call from a local restaurant asking about reupholstering their booths.  I went over Friday for a look-see.  They have 2 two-toppers, 11 four-toppers and 6 eight-toppers, as well as four pieces in their waiting/overflow area.  I made by bid on Tuesday and it has been verbally accepted.  They have gone to the owners of the property asking them for some assistance -- in return, the restaurant owner will sign a 5-year lease.  Seems like a pretty good deal for both to me.  This is one of those deals that I will have all pieces sewn and ready to install and will charge in on the day the restaurant is closed and do a complete tear-out and install that day.  I asked if they were providing tear out help or if I needed to hire a crew and the manager and several of the wait staff will be there with bells on that day.  It will be a long day but do-able.  Darren will be proud of me though as this is the first restaurant that I charged a good price for.   May not be up where the guys doing this for 30 years are at but substantially more than I've ever charged for anything.  I'm very confident in the finished product that I will be giving the customer (thanks to the feedback I received from my Upper Deck project), so I knew I needed to charge an amount that let them know that.  Manager has been to The Upper Deck and restaurant owner was thrilled that I'm restaurant experienced.  His only issue was starting time.  He's itching to start this "right now".  First of all, not many upholsterers are just sitting around waiting for a project and I know some of my competitors locally have wait times from 6 months to a year out.  I explained that I'm in the middle of 2 projects that have to be out of my shop before I can start anything new and told them 2 months before I can start.  I'm hoping that it will be 6 weeks or less but thought it best to give myself some fudge-factor.

Other than that, life goes on.  Missy and Joe are maturing.  Joe's middle section is thickening as he turns into a mature dog.  Missy's may be as well but only because she loves her food.  She's still crazy energetic.  I figure another year at least for her to start chilling.

Bob and I are both doing well.  We have both added a few pounds and some more gray hairs but that's how the game goes.  Hope everyone else is well and keeping busy.


General Discussion / Another New Project (Oversize Recliners)
« on: January 23, 2017, 08:30:32 AM »
When it rains it pours!

Last year, I finished up one chair, did a set of chairs for a barbershop and a set of outdoor furniture cushions and that was about it for upholstery.  Working on taxes and it was by far my worst year, bottom line.  Of course the fact that I was flat on my back for a full 3 months didn't help.

So, here we are early late-January and I have landed the bimini, plus 2 oversize recliners for my BIL and need to work up a bid on a set of outdoor furniture seats.  Could be a wild year!

I will find out the real name of these recliners but as memory serves me, they are like a chair and a half.  You could definitely have a party in these chairs.  I'm recovering one only so it will match the other.  The other chair is the problem.  BIL and his wife adopted a cat and the cat, much like our two cats not adapting to joe, never adapted to its new environment.  This cat decided that one of the chairs should be its litter box.  BIL's wife said she used all the commercial crap that is supposed to take out cat odors but they don't.  Cat was humanely put down and they are left with a stained, nasty smelling chair.  They don't want to dispose of the chair because it is only about 18 months old and is also part of a set (2 chairs and a couch).

I tried to bow out of this project as BIL's wife is extremely picky and so I'm reluctant to tackle this project.  I've hemmed pants and replaced zippers without problems but ....  So, I used the excuse of the chair being too large to get into Sew & Sew.  Wife decided that BIL could recover it for her.  Poor guy.  First of all, it's just not recovering.  Stuffing needs to be replaced and there is a lot of stitching on the fabric.  Thinking I had outsmarted them, I said that if they could tear it apart and put it back together, I would do the actual upholstery work.  SIL called yesterday morning, oh so excited to let me know that their son in law had gotten the back off and she is just sure that they will be able to get the pieces down the stairs and into Sew & Sew.

I don't think it will be real bad.  Just know that I need to bring my A++++ game.  LOL.  Obviously, I replacing everything except the frame and hope that there is not a residual odor in the frame. 

Serious question, is this a lost cause due to the odor?  Or will replacing the stuffing and covering do the trick?

Thanks, as always!


General Discussion / Bimini Help
« on: November 20, 2016, 02:34:39 PM »
Directed towards Mike or anyone else doing marine work.

I have a double bimini to work on.  Customer would prefer to only replace the side torn.  I think that's a mistake as matching vinyl, just even due to aging, will be a challenge.  Plus I figure that if one side rotted and tore, the other side is likely to in the near future.

However, I'll do as the customer wishes.  Right now I'm having issues matching color, not to mention selecting the correct vinyl type.  So, do you generally use Sunbrella?  If so, do I just go to the Sunbrella that says is for bimini or is there a particular Sunbrella fabric I should use.  If not Sunbrella, what is the name and do you have a vendor you would recommend?



General Discussion / Quick Hello
« on: October 02, 2016, 05:11:52 PM »
Haven't been on here at all for probably several months.  Finally was able to start walking the dogs again and it kicked my butt for quite some time.  Plus, I have been reasonably busy.  Just about have finished a set of patio cushions for a customer.  Very straightforward and an enjoyable project I must say.  Besides that, the usual alterations, weddings, etc.   I definitely keep busy.

If I can keep on schedule this week, I can have most of my projects finished and back to the customers.  That is a mighty big if though as I was less than a block from home with Joe yesterday and stepped in a pot hole.  It was covered with leaves (that time of year) so I couldn't see it until it was too late.  I'm walking on it, albeit very gingerly, and do have a nice knot on the outer ankle.  So, I put an Ace wrap on it and drug out my crutches to use again.  :sigh:

Hope all are well and busy!


General Discussion / Last Construction Update (WHO HOO)!!!
« on: July 06, 2016, 05:24:22 PM »
Our plumber spent the last 2 weeks at 29 Psalms for his MC Reserves annual commitment and returned late Saturday.  He came over mid afternoon yesterday and got started on tub installation.  He was back bright and early this morning and finished completely a little before 11 AM.  It took both contractors to help him get the tub in the base but they did it without pinching any of the cables.  Contractor also arrived bright and early this morning to start working on their punch list. 

By the end of the day, everything had been completed except for my vinyl storage system, a couple of shelves for some bride dolls that I'm displaying in the new room and reinstalling the handrail.  Everything looks fabulous and, despite all of the hassles and headaches with the original contractor, it is well worth the wait.  New room is just incredible.  I was struck by how huge the room is.  It's seemed pretty small with the tub in the entry way but now that it has been installed, it's just an incredibly huge room. 

Will take some pictures as soon as they are out of here tomorrow.  It will be a few weeks to get Sew & Sew tidied up but will take new pictures in there as well after it looks more habitable.

So glad this long strange trip is over (or close enough for my purposes.


General Discussion / Product at Ace Hardware
« on: June 25, 2016, 09:51:31 AM »
I made my zillionth trip to Ace yesterday, buying trim paint for areas downstairs that are part of "The Project".  While waiting for the paint to be mixed, I noticed some gorgeous wood pieces under a display titled "Amy Howard at Home" -- it's supposed to be a "one step paint for restoring/redecorating old wood.  Can also be used on fabric as the paint saleswoman showed me some throw pillows they had used this stuff on. 

It intrigues me as I made a trip to Ft Collins CO (from Grand Island NE) to pick up a treadle sewing machine I bought on eBay about 5 years ago.  The machine is operational, which is why I bought it.  I knew from the get-go that at some point I would do something to the cabinet as it was repainted in the 80's and this is what was "in" then.  I hate how they destroyed the cabinet.  Anyway, I've been reading the brochures and am really toying with giving it a shot on this cabinet.  The thought of getting all the paint off, sanding, staining, etc. doesn't appeal to me right now.  But I'm not sure that one step paint is accurate.  There are a lot of steps that say "Sand with 400 grit paint" -- I think it's really more like 8 or 9 steps so will just mull on it for now.

Anyway, wondered if anyone else has seen the displays and what those of you who work with woods and refinishing think about it.



General Discussion / Weather Conditions in Tornado Alley
« on: May 26, 2016, 02:44:11 PM »
Weather Channel shows torn con 4 or 5 for everyone in Tornado Alley (TX, OK, KS, NE).  I just went out to make sure that the drain pipe extensions are still in place (Joe loves to run around the yard with them ; ( -- dirt bag anyway) and the atmosphere is just eerie.  Very similar to 1980 when Grand Island had 7 tornadoes in one evening.  There have been tornadoes every evening since Monday I believe.  Tx and Ok Mon & Tues and Ks had several last evening.  Bob just said that the watch just barely excludes Grand Island but that he expects that to change.

I was out weeding early this morning and the sky was gorgeous.  Not menancing yet but not real friendly either.  Know sofadoc is in TX (think).  Hope that he and everyone else in the path of these storm systems stays safe.  I told Bob to bring the dogs down whenever he thinks they need to (that's always exciting to have Joe & Missy down here at the same time).  LOL


General Discussion / Quick Construction Update
« on: May 23, 2016, 02:55:44 PM »
I've been pretty quiet on the construction front lately.  Simply because not much to report on.  Thankfully that is about to change.

Our regular plumber moved the washer/dryer and got the washer connections taken care of.  A week or so later, they were back and set the toilet and installed the vanity sink.  I was more than pleased to have a sink/toilet downstairs as that cuts down on the number of up and down trips I make every day and it still seams like a lot of trips.  I heard a lot of fussing from the plumber about the idiot plumber that the idiot contractor hired.  Still very confusing.  Plumber also worked on the Royal Indian Cuisine job and work was fabulous.  Also, he has a master plumber's license for Grand Island.  But as Eric said, that just means he passed a test.

A week or so ago, Bob & I spent the morning at Home Depot ordering the tub and all the necessary stuff (pump, heater) as well as the light fixtures that disappeared, towel bars and everything else I could think of that we needed to purchase.  Heater arrived via USPS today and tub and pump arrived at our local HD last Saturday (or at least that is when we got the call that they were in). 

Electrician will be here on the 1st of June to install lights, hard wire the UGS connection (we are using an extension cord right now), and rough in the heater and pump for the tub.

Contractor Tim is going to come by this week just to go over again everything that needs to be fixed/finished and we should see him within a week or two to get this project finished at long last.  I'm hoping to get everything done before we hit the 6 month mark but at this point, not a big deal if we don't.

I had to laugh when the heater arrived in today's mail as when Bob ordered it, the computer told him that it would ship July 19th.  I'm thinking that they meant May 19th but their algorithm was screwed up.  So, I chuckled with great relief when it arrived in plenty of time.


General Discussion / Pontoon Topper Project???
« on: May 19, 2016, 11:16:58 AM »
I just got back from looking at a 16' pontoon. 

Customer wants the top replaced as well the mini-topper.  Pontoon topper measures 12.5' x 6' and the mini-topper is 6' x 6'.  Topper has three openings and of course is snapped into place.  Mini-topper is zippered into place and it looks like the zippers can be carefully taken off and reused.

My question is pricing.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  My only other experience with pontoon toppers was a few years ago when I altered the topper that didn't fit (had tons of fun getting the owner of the boat store to pay me but they finally did).  This is for a customer so being paid won't be a problem.



General Discussion / Last Ortho Appointment Today
« on: April 29, 2016, 12:04:43 PM »
Saw my ortho early this morning.  I was pretty sure it was going to be good news after I saw the x-ray.  Last visit I could see the break, smaller than the first x-ray but still apparent even to my untrained eyes.  Today's x-ray, I could not even tell for certain where the break had been so I was pretty hopeful.

Doc came in and looked at x-ray and told me that it had healed to his satisfaction.  Still have a list of don't do's.  No running, jumping, leaping, carrying heavy objects, etc.  But he said I don't have to wear the brace unless my leg starts bothering me.  Basically wear it when I need it, if I don't need it don't wear it kind of deal.  He's had me adjusting the bend of the knee and then doing leg lifts to help alleviate the muscle atrophy and I've been doing those bad boys until I'm sick of them.  Even if I'm dog tired, last thing before bed I've done reps of them.  So, to see if I need PT, he had me bend as far as I could which is pretty significant.  I had the brace on a 90 degree and was pushing back as hard as I could.  He also checked moving it to the sides (not an exercise I could work on) but I can do that to his satisfaction as well.  He said that he wasn't going to "order" PT but that if I don't like my progress to call him and he'll give me orders for it.

I walked out with my brace in hand.  As we walked out into the parking lot, a teenage boy was struggling with crutches and knee brace.  We stopped to chat and told him that it does get better.  His mom told us that she was so glad we had happened out as they were walking in as he's been really struggling with the lack of mobility and limited activities.  Then she whispered "He's been very crabby."  I bust out laughing and told her that I thought Bob would probably have said the same thing at that point in my recovery.  Then we booked off in the car and ran a couple of errands.  I left the brace in the hatchback of the car as kind of a positive vibe kind of thing that I won't need it.  If I do, I'll whine and send Bob out for it.

Now, back to work.  WHO HOO!


General Discussion / Question on Barber Shop Chair Backs
« on: April 24, 2016, 03:03:02 PM »
LOL on me!  I was just sure that I wouldn't run into anything that I hadn't seen before on these chairs.  Seats are waterfall design and as expected.  Chair backs are throwing me for a loop.  Most of the seamed area is hidden by the frame of the chair.  Held in place by 2 screws at either end.  Top of the seat back has about 1/2" flexible cardboard type material under the fold (don't know the name of the stuff but I have a roll so no problem).  The top has a soft curve into the side and that is where the problem comes in.  I don't know what the stuff is called even that holds the curves into place.  Has "teeth" that sinks into the back side of the upholstery and the opposing side has small holes that you staple into the frame.  I was pretty careful when I removed this stuff so that I think I can reuse.  I'd try and buy a roll of it if I knew what the heck it is called even.  My question though is how do I install this stuff?  Do I staple it into the frame and then go back and catch the teeth into the fabric and fold it over?  Feeling like an idiot on this one.  I'm sure it is simple enough if you know what the correct procedure is supposed to be.

Thanks for anyone who can answer my addle brained question!


General Discussion / New Milestone WHO HOO
« on: April 17, 2016, 03:26:27 PM »
I had a gentleman call 2 weeks ago with a boat tarp that the stitching had split on.  Of course, he wanted to come over and wait while I stitched it (on a Friday evening no less).  I, as patiently as possible, explained about the broken knee, contractor issues and that I was committed to 4 prom dresses and 2 weddings so I couldn't possibly get it done then.  Dude was persistent and even wanted to come and "maneuver the fabric" for me if that would help.  I stressed again about the broken RIGHT knee and offered to in 2 or 3 weeks.  He was concerned, of course, about rain on his boat interior but I had no choice but to hold firm to my position.

I figured he had found someone else but Friday early afternoon, he called again, wanting to bring the tarp by for pick-up Sunday afternoon.  When he dropped it off, he opined that it would start pouring Saturday afternoon.  Which it did.  I think he was hoping to shame me into an on the spot repair but I needed to oil my machine and move some clutter on the top of it, etc., so I told him I would call him once it was fixed.

After he left, I wondered to Bob if I would be able to.  I tried a few left foot practice runs and my coordination was just not going to let that happen so today I sat as far back from the machine as I needed to keep my right foot straight and much to my amazement I could.  I tried my pressure foot on my Bernina maybe 10 days ago and it wasn't intense pain but just wasn't comfortable and I didn't get that sensation at all today. 

Called customer when I was finished and, of course, he isn't going to pick up until tomorrow now.  I told Bob before I called that was my prediction.  People are so funny!

Anyway, I was just elated that I've healed enough to start upholster type sewing with my "bad" leg.  Especially since I should get the vinyl for the barber's chairs tomorrow and hope to start sewing welting Tuesday some time.


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