DIY: Sewing Table Makeover

I was the lucky girl to stumble upon my sewing machine and table a couple of years ago in a flea market (1960s Viking Husqvarna and a super cool old sewing table that folds out to give you more room), and I was even luckier that my mom bought it for me for Christmas and had the sewing machine repaired. It’s been a great machine, and I’ve sewed some fun projects on it!

But the table needed a little love, for sure. While it’s very sturdy and well-made (they just don’t make furniture like they used to, am I right?), there was a pretty big water stain on the top of the desk. I’d been brainstorming different ideas for how I wanted to fix up the table, and I originally thought I might paint the drawers a fun color or pattern. But the table is so classic, so pretty and old and well-made, I ultimately decided to stain the top of the desk (where the damage was concentrated) and keep the rest of the piece in its original state.

Sewing Table Makeover via Imperfect Chevron

With the help of my dad, I sanded down the top of the table with a sander. Pretty sure I found my true calling, sanding with that machine was so fun! I wish I had a picture of me sanding the table, with the work glasses and gloves on! But you’ll just have to imagine it. Lucky for me, only the top of the table was damaged, so I didn’t have to sand down any of the rest of the table.

Next, I applied a few coats of a stain that I thought was going to be pretty close to the original stain color and a top coat. You guys, the stain color is the exact same as the original. Ok, I’m sure it’s not exactly the same, but you couldn’t tell the difference if you looked at it with a magnifying glass. It looks amazing!

 

Sewing Table Makeover via Imperfect Chevron

I didn’t want to ruin the classic 60s vibe of the table, but I did want to have a little fun and a little happy pop of color somehow, so I picked out some pretty blue floral contact paper at the store and applied it to the inside of the drawers! It’s a subtle statement that I think is really fun, and nobody except me will ever see it, but I love seeing the happy print every time I open the drawers.

Sewing Table Makeover via Imperfect Chevron

Sewing Table Makeover via Imperfect Chevron

 

Sewing Table Makeover via Imperfect Chevron

I’ve been dreaming of finishing this project for a while, and it felt so good to tackle it and have it turn out really great. It just feels nice to check stuff off your to-do list, you know?

xo

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My Sewing Machine Story

It’s no secret that I love to sew. Of course, I haven’t been sewing much the last 2 years, as I’ve been out of state attending grad school, but we won’t focus on that *wink*

A few years back, I decided that I wanted to learn how to sew. I’d never taken home ec in school, so I had absolutely no idea how to use a sewing machine. My amazing and patient mom taught me some sewing basics and let me practice on her machine. I made some pretty rough projects, but I enjoyed learning and started to get better at it over time. A few weeks before Christmas, my mom and I were wandering around our favorite flea market when we spotted a vintage machine with a sewing table and all of the accessories included. It looked to be in great shape, and after contacting the owners to see if the machine worked, my mom bought it for me for Christmas.

 

My Sewing Machine Story via Imperfect Chevron

a (very old) picture of me practicing with my Husqvarna

Why I’m Glad I Bought Vintage

I think we purchased all of it for about $40, which was an amazing deal, and after doing some research I found out the machine (a Viking Husqvarna) was from the 1960s, which gives me all the feels. Now, truthfully, the machine needed repairs after we bought it, which ended up costing $100 — I probably could have bought a good quality, brand new machine for that. But I really feel that my machine is the perfect one for me at this time in my life. It runs smoothly and makes the most neat little stitches I’ve ever seen, and I know that I’ll have it for years to come. It’s first owner took really good care of it, and I plan to do the same!

My Tips for Buying a Vintage Sewing Machine

Just because I got really lucky doesn’t mean that every sewing machine you see at a flea market or thrift store will be a good purchase. My mom and I carefully inspected my machine to make sure it was in good shape. We contacted the seller and asked about it’s condition. Plus, it came with a great sewing table and lots of accessories. If you’re considering buying vintage, I would recommend a few things:

  1. Figure out how much you’re willing to invest in a machine. If the machine ends up needing costly repairs, it may make more sense to buy a new machine instead.
  2. Check to see the condition. Contact the seller or ask to test the machine to check that it works, and make sure you look it over really thoroughly. My machine was in near pristine condition, and I could tell it had been taken care of.
  3. Look for a complete set. You’ll want the manual for sure, and a lot of the vintage machines have specific “tool-kits” that you might need to be able to adjust or fix it. I loved that my Husqvarna also came with several bobbin spools that fit it specifically (because not all bobbins fit!) and oil to keep the machine running smoothly.

Those are some of my tips. I know that I’ve been lucky with my sewing machine, and if you’re considering purchasing vintage I hope that you will, too! Good luck hunting for treasure.

xo

Gifting: 5 Amazing Sewing Gifts

If you’re anything like me, you think about gift ideas year round (for birthdays, holidays, etc.). Sometimes you just get this crazy good idea for a gift for a specific person, and it’s really fun to make it happen! My problem is that I get so excited, that I have a really hard time keeping the gift a secret–I just want to give it to the person so badly! As a kid, I remember talking to my dad and blurting out (accidentally, of course) what we’d gotten him at the store for Christmas. My mom was so mad! In the end, it all worked out–my dad pretended that I hadn’t ruined the secret, and my mom still reminds me every year not to tell. Even though I’m 22, I still get really excited and I have to be really conscious about what I’m saying around the holidays.

I’m starting this little mini-series called “Gifting” to round up some of my favorite ideas for giving gifts. I’ll try to do as many as I can before the holidays (no promises, this time of year is pretty busy with school!).

Today’s “Gifting” theme is gifts that you can sew for people. I personally love sewing Christmas gifts, and I’m sad that I won’t be able to do that for my friends this year since my sewing machine is a few states away. In the past, I’ve sewn some cute little drawstring bags for my friends, some pretty decorative pillows, and a paintbrush scroll, and I’ve loved creating a unique gift for each person. Here are some ideas I think would make great gifts this season (or anytime!):

1. Animal Tote Bag – this one is from ASOS, but would be easy to replicate with any animal you choose!

Lazy Cat Bag

2. These dog silhouette pillows would be fun to personalize, and they would make a really special gift!

Dog Sillouette Pillows

3. I made some reusable produce bags last year and absolutely love them, so I think they’d make great gifts. Plus, they’re easy to make a lot of them at once!

Reusable produce bags

4. These little cosmetic bags would make great gifts for your girlfriends (or pencil bags for anybody!).

DIY cosmetic bag

5. How adorable are these little bear bags? I think they’d make a fun gift for any age, but it would be fun to make them for kiddos that you know!

bear bags

Those are some of my favorite ideas for sewing gifts – I hope to share some more fun gift ideas soon! Are you making any DIY gifts for the holidays this year? I’d love to hear about them.

xo.

Paintbrush Scroll

I have a little confession to make…

I love sewing!
You thought it was going to be something wild and crazy, didn’t you? Well, it’s not. Or maybe it is. I guess that’s up to you to decide. Anyway, sewing is one of my favorite hobbies. I decided I wanted to learn how to sew a couple of years ago, and I fell head over heels for it! I love picking a project, choosing the perfect fabric (OMG, fabric stores are my favorite places!), and creating something. Plus, you can make some really fabulous gifts for people (and make them realize how cool and talented you are, because a lot of people don’t know how to sew!). Bonus.

I made this great paintbrush scroll (I slightly adapted the instructions from this book) to hold all of my paintbrushes. I loved it so much that I made one for my mom’s birthday!

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If you don’t paint, you could definitely make this work for other items. Just make sure you measure how big of pockets you’ll need for said items before you sew them!

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It’s perfect for protecting my paintbrushes and keeping them all in the same place, plus it’s portable! Once folded up, I could easily slip this in a tote bag and take it with me.

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Picks from Pinterest: Summer School

If you’ve been following along this little blog, you probably remember that I’m in summer school right now. I graduated from college mid-may, and started graduate school about 2 weeks later (which required a move cross-country!). School is pretty tough, but it’s keeping me busy–a definite plus since I’m pretty sure I’d be homesick if I had time to think about it! Here are some of my recent Pinterest Picks.

1. This adorable DIY citrus wedge coin purse

Citrus Wedge Coin Purse - Delia Creates

2. 7 Non-toxic plants that are safe for kids and pets

7 non-toxic plants that are safe for kids and pets!

3. How-To “Faux Calligraphy” from Cupcakes & Cashmere

Faux Calligraphy - Cupcakes and Cashmere

4. This men’s shorts guide could prove to be very helpful this summer!

Yessss. Men's shorts guide.

5. This pine tree garland would make a fun and festive decoration for any season

Hanging trees

I’m obviously dreaming of sewing, crafting, and creating. If only I’d been able to bring my sewing machine to Pennsylvania with me! It’s probably for the best, since I’d procrastinate studying for anatomy by sewing up a storm. *Sigh*

xo.

DIY Felt Garland

I am absolutely in love with garland and buntings. I guess it’s just one of those things, but every time I see a bunting my crafting heart is bursting. One day this fall I was in my favorite thrift shop and one of the vendors had a beautiful circle felt garland in her booth. I gushed over it, and couldn’t stop thinking about it! So recently, I decided to create my own felt garland. But instead of just doing felt circles, I wanted to use felt animal shapes! And it turned out amazing! I ended up crafting 3 different garlands. Here’s how I did it.

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DIY Felt Animal Garland

What You’ll Need:
1. Felt. I bought a package of assorted colors in the 8×11 size, but you can buy felt by the yard, too!
2. Cookie cutters. I used a circle shape, as well as animals–I used a bear, a hippo, a rhino, a kangaroo, a cat and dog, and an elephant. If you’re really artsy, you don’t been need cookie cutters: just draw your own shape! I wanted all of my animals to be the same, so I opted for cookie cutters.
3. A sewing machine. To string all of your shapes together, of course!

Let’s Get Started:
1. Pick a pattern of colors and shapes that you want to use. For my cats and dogs garland, I used 5 colors. My shape order was: circle, dog, circle, cat, circle, etc.

2. Trace and cut out your felt shapes, one by one. I used pen, because I couldn’t see the shape well enough with pencil. I used fabric scissors to cut out the shapes one by one.

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As you trace and cut each shape, start stacking them in order. When you start sewing, it’ll be very helpful to have your garland organized the way you want it!

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Cut out enough shapes to make the garland long enough to hang. My cats and dogs garland has 30 cut outs and is about 4-5 feet long.

3. Sew! I didn’t pin my garland together because it gets out of control pretty fast. So basically, I fed one piece through the machine, lined up the next shape, and then sewed it on. I would recommend backstitching each new piece, to keep your garland from ripping.
And, there you go! Your garland should look something like this:

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So pretty, right? You can hang these on the wall, on your mantle, or anywhere else! Here’s where I hung my garlands:

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I hope these felt garlands make it onto your crafting list; they’re easy to do and so beautiful to look at. They can really spruce up a room! Happy sewing!