Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dining Room Embellishment

A pair of white monogrammed slipcovers for its captain's chairs is exactly what a dining room needs! Covering the two end chairs in a dining room setting can add a bit of uniqueness, glamour, and personal flair. A nearby Signal Mountain design shop (Design Style) had us create these slipcovers in a fresh white linen and set it all off with a perky raspberry welt cord trim.
The initial was embroidered at a precious little shop here in the Riverview community of Chattanooga called Charlotte's Webb. We trust and recommend them often to our customers who want something stunning. We usually cut the blank for the embroidered panels and send the customers there in person to pick out exactly what they want. When the stitching is complete, we cut it to the pattern and insert it in the slipcover.

In this case, we never saw the second chair. We made a duplicate of the first and the designer placed the slipcover on the chair that had never left the home. We were told the customer was estatic. Lori's eye for detail in shaping the covers to perfection is the stuff legends are made of! The oversized contrasting buttons are a fun touch. The decorator, Janice Roberts, went the extra mile to track down buttons that were exactly the right size for the look she wanted.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Slipcover for 2 cushion Club Chair in Linen

Actually, there seems to be some cotton in this fabric. When cotton is added to a linen, it can add a lot of positive features. You still get the linen look, which is beautiful ...but you also get less wrinkling and less "stretchiness." Most of us know how it is when wearing a linen suit; you have to be careful how you buckle your safety belt in the car so as not to have that big mass of crinkling at your waist.

Adding cotton to a fabric also makes ironing and pressing easier. We washed this fabric before creating the slipcover and there wasn't a wrinkle in site! In fact, this hasn't been pressed at all.

On a side note: The chair is sitting on a device we think is very handy. It is a rolling pneumatic lift that has a plywood platform mounted to the top (you can see the silver handle on the far side.) We can raise and lower a chair to the appropriate height to prevent back strain. What a handy dandy thing this has turned out to be for us! We always love the creative part of what we do, but want to make the actual manufacturing process as smooth and painfree as possible.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Window Treatments Chattanooga

Doesn't this make you want to grab a novel and your favorite bath salts?

This is a job we finished right before Thanksgiving. It is a home in a beautiful historic area near the University of Tennessee just blocks from downtown Chattanooga. The home was built in 1920 and is just incredibly beautiful. The master bath curtain panels are shown above. They are created in a washed herringbone stripe cotton and are hung from a track on the ceiling. They glide open and closed using long white wands. WASHED is the key word here. The homeowner can take these down (I hope she has a tall ladder) and throw them in the home wash, so there is never a bit of fretting over trying to keep them as clean and bright as they are here.

This talented and pacesetting family began work on this home in the Spring and have met all the challenges of bringing a fine, yet neglected home up to standards for modern use. ...This all while balancing attendance to 2 young children and opening a second, instantly popular Chattanooga restaurant!

One of 3 Master Bedroom Roman Shades

We matched the fabric used in the bath to the master bedroom window treatments. There are 3 large, unlined Roman shades ...and while diffusing the Southern light to a soft glow, they allow privacy from the bustling street side of the house. These are also washable and give a light, airy, spa-like feeing to the room! Later, after the basics are covered in the window covering needs of the house, the couple can add tall drapery panels on iron rods to add a layer of warmth and elegance.

*note: I love the casual "crunch" of the cotton as the shade is drawn up!

Monday, December 7, 2009

More Scallops

Here's another picture of a scalloped skirt detail. These belong to one of the customers in Alabama I spoke about in one of the last posts. She was gracious enough to send this picture to me of the chairs put in place. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again, "I love wing chairs!" Just look at these guys. They look so fresh in their washed white slipcovers and sitting side-by-side. If you will notice, the corners are gathered. This makes the math of scalloped skirted slipcovers SO much easier. The slipcover on the wing chair we have at our showroom on Chattanooga's Southside is one of those math marvels that Lori can come up with! It is a totally straight, skirtless style with no gathers at the corners. The scallops had to be dead on perfect mathmatically. A chair is rarely as deep as it is wide, so it is a challenge to come up with scallops that are the appropriate width and number to work out correctly.

Friday, December 4, 2009

We've Moved!

Well, the dust has finally settled and we are in new digs! Whew! The move was a real feat of strength and endurance but SO worth it. Since we are out with customers as often as we are, it was not working to have our large workroom, office and showroom in the downtown location. Now, we only have the showroom in that area... just around the corner from our old upstairs place. It is inside the Galleries at Southside at 1404 Cowart Street. Being part of this collection of retail stores, the showroom can be open and attended by the staff there....even during the times we are buried under a ton of work, stitching on a hot project, or we are out at a customer's home for consultation or installation.

Its working wonderfully to meet customers at "The Galleries" to receive fabric and/or to chat about a project. I am there and available quite often during the week and customers can phone ahead to set a time to meet ...or to just catch me while they are browsing through some of the great kiosks located at this shopping destination. Also, there is a new lunch spot connected to the Galleries that is turning out to be a HUGE hit called Virginia's Southside Cafe. The regular menu is amazing and there is always something new and delicious on the daily specials.

Furniture to be slipcovered is mostly going to our Red Bank workroom, but occasionally we are receiving pieces at our E.Brainerd shop. But as always, anything that will fit in my little Subaru can travel with me from the downtown area. Our out-of-town customers can call to get directions directly to our workroom with their sofas and large chairs!
Above is a picture of my office door ...which is the entrance to the ORIGINAL Brick Path Studio! (If you every wondered how we got our name....!)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Scalloped Slipcover for Rocker

This chair is just adorable. It is like it is wearing a tailored summer dress. This belongs to a customer that drives from Alabama to Chattanooga to get her slipcovers done. The fabric is a slightly off-white denim that is fairly heavy in weight. It makes the skirt hang nicely and the buttoned tabs lay so neatly.

She brought us the chair, we consulted on the design, I gave her fabric yardages, and she went shopping locally for the linen. She found it in a great old shop on Dodds Avenue called Associated Fabrics. They have been in business since the dawn of time! It is always an experience to visit….with the creaky old wooden floors and an overwhelming amount of fabric in stock. You can also sit and browse through stacks and stacks of fabric sample books to custom order that special fabric in just the right color. The staff is very knowledgeable and can help you find most anything you need.

When this customer brought the fabric back to us later in the day, we rolled it out, cut it into manageable sized pieces and washed it. It began very smooth and flat, but came out of the dryer all plumped up and slightly rumpled….beautiful! I was so pleased with the comfortable washed look. The customer now has the option of ironing it with a hot iron to get a smoother, pressed look…or to use it the way it is (my favorite!) We give our customers the opportunity to wash their own fabric or to have us wash it. Either way, we like to serge the raw edges of the fabric prior to washing to prevent those THOUSANDS of strings and the raveling that occurs. In fact, the completed slipcover is completely serged on the inside as it is sewn to make it longer lasting.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Boxed Pillows with Pearls!

These pillows have boxed down-filled forms and are done in an incredible taupe silk that had seed pearls all over it in a random pattern. They were incredibly time consuming to create because the pearls had to be picked out of the seam allowances one at a time before being sewn! As you see, the triplets sit almost like glamorous starfish on this canopied bed.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Silk and Down Custom Bench Cushion Creation

We created this bench cushion with 25/75 down/feather fill and covered it in this fabulous silk stripe.
If you ever wonder how a project like this happens, here's the basics:
The customer (in this case the interior decorator) called us to make a custom cushion for this bench that sits in the homeowner's entrance hallway. As you can see, the bench is a beautiful thing...just by itself. But this hallway was rather "cold" looking and needed softgoods to give it some warmth. I started by going to the customer's home with a large sheet of butcher paper and traced a pattern that fit the contours of the piece. I also brought with me a couple of pillow forms in different sizes. While I was there, the decorator and I played with the pillow forms to see which ones were suitable to the porportions of the furniture. At the same time, we made the decision as to how thick the bottom cushion was to be. We call this the "boxing height" as this is a boxed cushion style. We also do knife edge cushions for similar chairs and benches (which is just the top & bottom pieces sewn together at the edges) but in this case we added the boxing that we made about 4" or so. When the pattern piece/sketch got back to our shop, Lori altered it to create a "crest" ....this is what makes it "pouf" up on the top and bottom and takes out the flat, boxy look. This crested cushion look doesn't happen because of the type of fill on the inside alone. The pattern pieces are cut to create that luxurious plump appearance.
We immediately got busy sewing the cushion & pillow covers while sending the pattern to our custom down supplier. There they created the cushion "insides" following our pattern & instructions. By the time this down form arrived at our shop, we had all the covers completed! We zippered-on the beautiful silk cover, loaded it in the car with the completed pillows and popped them in place in the entrance to this wonderful home. The whole process took 2-3 weeks!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Monogrammed Slipcover

This is an incredible project we recently did for a customer moving into a new home. She brought in this fabulous old sacking type fabric. I have no idea where she found such a treasure, but it lookded really old, but in great shape. Also, it was fat, kinda rough, and amazingly textured. She found a co-ordinating fabric in a khaki color to create the outside pattern pieces and the welt cording. We cut the inside back piece and sent it with her to the monogrammer's. This wonderful design is what she came back with. We promptly sewed the slipcover together and sent it to it's new home. Can you believe it...this was actually one of a PAIR. I didn't get a chance to see them in their new home, but I'd love to. They went with a great old Chippendale sofa and the whole design package had that elegant/rough/casual look that is so wonderful.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Old Fashioned Casserole Covers

This casserole cover is patterned after an original I purchased at Ketner's Mill craft show in Powell's Cross Roads, Tennessee more than 30 years ago! I have loved it over the years and wanted to create a few to sell in the studio, at The Brick Path Mercantile, and on our Etsy site. Lori faithfully duplicated the design and created several in our high-saturation colored twills. You have to see these things to really appreciate the amount of careful and meticulous sewing/assembly that is involved in each one of these gems! No cheap, assembly-line look here! Your grandkids will be using them years from now!
Here is a picture of one with a small casserole dish inside and one laying flat. You can use a variety of dishes with them as you can gather it to suit the shape and size. Notice how the handles kinda "pop" when it's ready to go. Your favoite recipe will arrive piping hot or deliciously chilled to the next covered dish event. Basics like these never go out of style....and of course quality isn't a fad either.
We are selling these for $30 and will be offering them for a limited time (we're not sure HOW long... we're playing it by ear!) They can be charged by phone and mailed if you like.

PS: They're washable 100% cotton and available in a variety of colors!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Pillows for Spring Shopping!

We're excited to have available a new pillow style at our Brick Path Mercantile! We call it the Bette-Bo (long "E" and long "O") & it has an oversized fabric bow on the face. They are over-the-top and make a show stopping statement on a bed or a special chair. Several colors are's a couple!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Its in the Details!

Sometimes we actually do upholstery! The reason we don't do upholstery on a regular basis is that it can really be hard on one's hands. But we LOVE to do pieces like these. It is really all about the details ...and pieces like these twin French benches/stools. The material is an insanely beautiful (and expensive) petit point fabric in a orange tone and black animal design. With the guidance of the owner/designer, we carefully placed the design and then added the perfect antiqued brass nails. A job like this takes more finesse than muscle, so it is right down our alley....very different from "the den sofa" type of upholstery. Other pieces we do include French chairs..those are great with nailhead trim or double welt. Lori has designed a method of creating a very fine and beautiful double welt cording. It needs to have a fairly lightweight, non-bulky fabric. So, sometimes we use a different fabric for this trim from the main fabric on the chair. Lori also is amazing at applying this welt to the chair....she just has a perfect eye and hand for such detail.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


This is a quick picture from our Brick Path Mercantile located around the corner from our studio in the Galleries at Southside. You can see the fluffy white, washable, flanged pillows we call our "spa" pillows. They are incredible to touch and make you say "Ahhhhhh" to snuggle up with. This fabric starts off the roll as a smooth and flat material. When we wash it, it plumps up and becomes very textured with a pretty basketweave design. It makes-up into a pillow that reminds you of clean, crisp & soft spa linens.

To the sides, you can see a pair of black pillows we accented with a grommeted bands.