R&B De­signs use pegs, cal­ico and dye to trans­form a faded old chair into a stylish shibori cen­tre­piece.

Simply Sewing - - CONTENTS -


Cal­ico: medium weight, 6m (6½yds)

Vel­cro: see in­struc­tions for de­tails Cot­ton tape: see in­struc­tions for de­tails

Dy­lon hand dye: ocean blue


Clothes pegs

Ba­sic sewing kit


Step one Be­fore you be­gin, pre-wash your fab­ric on a hot wash and then tumble dry it on a hot set­ting. This way it will shrink as much as it is ever go­ing to.

Step two Press it well so you have flat fab­ric to work with.


Step one To make the pat­tern pieces, cut out a piece of cal­ico for each sec­tion of the chair. Cut them large so there’s enough spare fab­ric for fit­ting. The lower edge of the chair will need more than you think nec­es­sary to al­low for mak­ing a tape cas­ing, so be gen­er­ous. Step two Pin each sec­tion onto the chair and then re­move them but keep the pins in place. Add a seam al­lowance all the way around out­side the pin marks then cut out.

Step three Sew the cal­ico cover to­gether, leav­ing one of the side seams half open.

Step four Fit the cover onto the chair, pin the side seam closed and ad­just the fit­ting, tak­ing it in to give a closer fit if nec­es­sary.

Step five Re­move the cal­ico cover from the chair, mark the sewn seams with felt pen.

Step six Un­pick the cal­ico cover so you have your pat­tern pieces. We had six for our chair.


Step one Press each of your pat­tern pieces so they lie flat then pin each one onto some more cal­ico to use for the chair fab­ric.

Step two Cut out the fab­ric pieces and press.


Step one Con­certina each pat­tern piece of cal­ico into pleats then press flat with a steam iron to hold them firmly in place.

Step two Peg the pleated pieces at even in­ter­vals down the length of the pleats through all the lay­ers of fab­ric. Place the pegs al­ter­nately on each side of the fab­ric.

Step three Wet the pegged fab­rics thor­oughly.


Step one Mix the hand dye ac­cord­ing to the man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions and then im­merse the pegged fab­ric pieces in it. Fol­low the in­struc­tions on your dye packet for more in­struc­tions and dye­ing time.

Step two Once the dye has taken, re­move the pegs, open up the fab­ric and put the pieces un­der run­ning wa­ter un­til the wa­ter runs clear. Step three Wash and dry the dyed fab­ric ac­cord­ing to man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions.


Step one Sew all the fab­ric pieces to­gether as you did for the orig­i­nal cal­ico pat­tern, leav­ing one of the side seams half open.

Step two Try the cover on the chair in­side out and use pins to make any ad­just­ments.

Step three The raw edges around the bot­tom of the chair need to be cut 4cm (1"⁄#in) longer than the chair all the way around the chair for the cas­ing.

Step four Re­move the cover and stitch any ad­just­ments needed.


Step one Cut a 3cm (1¼in) width bias strip from cal­ico to bind the curved raw edges around the chair legs.

Step two You’ll need to put the cover back on the chair to mark ex­actly where the legs meet the cover then snip up to them. Now re­move the cover again.

Step three Turn the raw edges of the leg sec­tions un­der so they reach the top of the chair legs. Trim just these sec­tions to 5mm (¼in) out­side this, leav­ing the rest of the raw edge longer to make the cas­ing.

Step four Fold the long edges of your bind­ing strip to the WS so that they meet in the centre then pin this on top of the turned-un­der edge of the chair leg sec­tion on the WS and stitch into place.

Step five Sew vel­cro onto both sides of the seam open­ing, with the hooks on one side and the loops on the other.


Step one Turn the lower edges of the chair cover be­side the hemmed leg sec­tions un­der by 1cm (%⁄#in) then by 3cm (1¼in) to the WS. Step two Stitch the cas­ing in place close to the edge on each sec­tion.

Step three Cut a length of cot­ton tape that will fit through the cas­ing with ex­tra to tie.

Step four Put the cover on the chair, close the Vel­cro then thread the tape through the cas­ings with a safety pin and pull so that the cover fits snugly on the un­der­side of the chair. Now tie the ends tightly to­gether to fin­ish and po­si­tion your new chair in pride of place.

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