i go to the goodwill a lot. like, a LOT. weekend errands to anywhere somehow end up at the goodwill. leave work early? goodwill. shouldn’t spend any money? goodwill. indigestion? goodwill. well… almost.*


for the living room un-depressing-fication i mentioned in my last post i gave myself a $100 budget, half of which i blew on new curtain rods and hardware and omgz yes i did break my resolution! i know. i know. but i was buying new tires, too, so it was already too late for my good intentions, though i’m still going to stick to it from here on out for non-car related items and YES i could have DIY’d curtain rods but honestly i have been DIYing my ass off and curtain rods were just something i was not terribly interested in tackling. i mean.. what, i’m supposed to thrift rods and brackets? find old brooms and spray paint them? look through craglist endlessly hoping i find them nearby at a non-rapist-murderer home? why am i suddenly getting defensive? hahaaa! just guilt, i guess.

ok so back to my point, which is, i went to goodwill again today on “accident” after stocking up on jackson’s meal worms. he’s a amputurtle, i’ll talk more about him later. i scored this urban Outfitters wall art for $7, and a wire basket for the table. also included in this photo are two pairs of shoes i bought even though i own like two dozen pairs of shoes, because i have a burgeoning shoe problem and apparently take after my grandmother. this is joyous news as grandma had really bad taste and painted AND carpeted her entire house pink including the ceilings, RIP. there but for the grace of god go i…

also in the pic is my mushroom footstool which i just recovered, and for which i took my first stab at pattern making. i used to watch my mom do this all the time; she made seat covers for the cars, and basically was and continues to be a wizard. of course i picked the most rounded, ridiculously wavy piece of furniture this side of waterslides for my first pattern, but i think i could have done worse!

this is not a tutorial, but i’ll describe how i did this. i used fabric from my stash which *thank god* is now about depleted in the upholstery/thick fabric department – and by the way, i’m not in love with the look, but it’s way better than it was.

first, i flipped over the mushroom and traced the top onto brown paper from an amazon order that i ironed flat. i folded it in half and then half again, and used my sewing mat to mark the 60 degree marks and divide the circle into six even wedges. i then placed the mushroom onto the brown paper upside down again, lined up with the circle i’d made, and folded the paper up over the curves, measuring the diameter of the mushroom at several points. i divided the each diameter measurement by six and added one inch for 1/2″ seam allowance on each side. these numbers were the width of the pattern piece at each point i’d marked. Image

i then cut the wedge out of the circle with 1/2″ seam allowance and cut two pieces out out fabric and sewed them together, to discover i had a gap between the pieces in the gills. you know, where the mushroom gills would be. Image

i added some space and cut out another piece, this worked much better though there was too much fabric if i sewed two wide pieces together, so i opted for a balance of one wide/one skinny piece (x3) to do the circle. i didn’t just tweak the pattern to find a happy medium because i’d already run out of the light blue fabric and i couldn’t re-cut them wider. live and learn. i thought about doing a muslin trial first, but to be honest i didn’t  have any muslin and just decided i would tweak it later, which i did.

OK so… once i got the six pieces sewn together i put it on the mushroom and hand sewed the sixth circle spoke on top to the edge. there was some unfortunate gaping going on at the ends of the spokes where the fabric folds under to gills, so i took it off the mushroom, flipped it inside out, and did some nip/tucking. it’s still not perfect, but i was using sightly stained fabric, some of it with snaps still embedded in it, so i wasn’t going to get too crazy with the perfectionism, which is always a good exercise for me.

i then sewed down the side, stapled the fabric to the base and under the gills, hot glued a piece of fabric to the base to cover the staples, and blanket stitched an identical piece to the top with sock yarn to cover the imperfect nexus of spokes**. and voila! as folksy and homemade as you could possibly want. perhaps moreso.

*if the goodwill could cure indigestion i could eat tractors. not that i would, just sayin’.

**”nexus of spokes” is my new favorite phrase today.


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