June 28, 2009

Cover Up!

As it may be becoming clear, I am sometimes reluctant to spend money on furniture. Especially if I'm not convinced that I like something, I tend to look for the cheapest solution. Sometimes, I'm stuck in a state of limbo since I assume I'll upgrade in the future; I just don't want to upgrade right now.

This week, it's yet another piece of IKEA furniture that I'm trying to cover up. This time, it's really a cover up. Literally.

I have a television in my bedroom that I would love to get rid of. It's insanely heavy (Sony likes to make 'em solid) and kind of unsightly compared to sleek new LCDs and plasmas. The only problem? It still works great, it's bulky, and it needs something to sit on. Enter the IKEA side table as TV stand:

Blech. Double blech to all the crap that is on the shelves underneath the TV. Crappy DVD player, essential but ugly DVR, old N64 for MarioKart entertainment, and sewing basket for all my stupid odds and ends. Messy, no?

Since all the other wooden furniture in the bedroom is black, I thought covering it up in black fabric might be a good way to make it blend a little better. (Yes, the image above already has the fabric covering on it. The TV was too heavy just to move for the picture.)

I measured the table and bought a length of black duck cloth that covered the entire circumference of the unit plus a little extra for the top. From past experience, I made myself a little diagram to ensure that I didn't screw up the measurements too much:

Then, I marked the cloth with a dressmaker's pencil and cut the cloth along the lines I had marked using a good sharp pair of sewing scissors.

Now comes the hard part for those of us who weren't raised to make clothes for ourselves. I hemmed the bottom and side edges of the cloth with a 3/4" hem by finishing the edge with a zigzag stitch and then hemming a straight stitch hem. Then, I sewed the top cover piece to the side covering leaving one end open. A key move here was basting the fabric. The four images below all show the top fabric basted to the side fabric.

Lastly, I sewed on snaps to fasten the front flap to the overhang I left. I am bad with snaps. See my key lessons below for more on that topic.

The end result doesn't look fantastic, but it looks better than having all my crap exposed:

Plus, there was a huge bonus feature! I built in the snaps because I assumed that I would have to unsnap the cover every time I wanted to use the satellite box/DVR. It turns out that the duck cloth is a loose enough weave that I don't need to unfasten the fabric to use the equipment. Woo!

A few lessons learned on this particular project:
  • Always give yourself a little extra room when working with fabric. It tends to scoot around on you.
  • Basting fabric (pinning two pieces together where you want to sew them) prior to committing needle to fabric is critical. If I hadn't done that, I would have had one very uneven cover since I would have run out of fabric before everything was covered.
  • Snaps are easy to screw up, even though they look simple. Make sure you match up what goes where before you start sewing, because there are a multitude of ways to screw up the orientation. I didn't do this and literally had to resew snaps 6 times. (Quite a feat considering I only had 4 snaps to sew.)
  • Account for the fact that there will be gaps in the fabric unless you plan to cover them up somehow. That's why all shirts are designed with overlap where fabrics connect. I don't why, but I assumed that if every fabric seam was straight, there wouldn't be any wood peeking through. Oops.
Materials used for this project:
  • Tape Measure
  • Black duck cloth: 2 yards
  • Dressmaker's pencil
  • Sewing Scissors (sharp ones)
  • Sewing Machine
  • Black Thread
  • Needle
  • Snaps

No comments:

Post a Comment