Mandy Shaw Quilted Seat Cover

The only pretty thing in my bathroom, right now.

Regular readers will remember from this post that I’ve had the old bathroom ripped out. There’s still work to be done (as you can see, a new floor is badly wanting!) but I can finally start to love my bathroom. The work has been done to a strict and restricted budget. I didn’t have ten grand to throw at anyone! But what a revelation. Because I couldn’t just pay people to insert a spanking new gadget filled bathroom, I’ve had to think creatively about this update – and it’s turned into possibly my most stimulating piece of DIY on a house that needed an awful lot of TLC when I moved in a few years ago. So before the work has fully finished, I’m now thinking about the details. Hence this post!

Last summer I wandered past an old, rickety, mouldy wooden chair thrown out into the street. I paused, walked back, rescued it and brought it into the house. Then I sanded it down and applied a layer of paint:

This chair is still very rickety. You wouldn’t want a 13-stone man to throw himself down on it. Or even a small child. But as somewhere to drape a towel prior to a shower? It’s perfect – or nearly perfect. It needed a little decoration. Cue a return to Mandy Shaw’s ‘Quilt Yourself Gorgeous’ book, from which I have already made a sewing roll:

Every time I sew, this roll gets pulled out and it will be perfect for when I start attending my sewing course next month. So I already know Mandy’s book is really good for useful makes. I set to on my seat cover, following the instructions from this book:

The first thing to do is make a template from the chair. I didn’t have any freezer or tracing paper so I used a bit of wrapping paper left over from Christmas. The folded over sections are where I adjusted my template to the exact measurements of the chair:

You then use your template to make a crazy patchwork of pieces (instructions to be found in Mandy’s book). All of my scraps of fabric were rescued from my stash. Then you attach ribbons, braids, trims. I even went as far as a pom pom trim:

The whole section is attached to a facing fabric and then quilted onto batting. After that, I cut out a backing fabric and pinned both sections right sides together:


Can you spot the deliberate mistake?

First time round, I pinned the backing fabric the wrong way round. I only realised my mistake once I’d sewn the two pieces together, so out came the seam ripper…

Finally, I had a finished seat cover:

All I need is a new floor now.

The cover is attached to the chair via a couple of cute ribbon ties:

This make took a couple of evenings and was entirely created from materials I already had to hand. Which makes it free, doesn’t it?! This type of project is a really nice balance to clothes making. You don’t need to be quite such a stickler for precision and choosing which fabrics and trims to put together is satisfyingly creative. I recommend Mandy’s book and have a growing desire to make one of her samplers – a slightly larger project. I can just see one hanging in my hallway…

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