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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Metal Chair: Part 2

Alright, I gotta be honest. It's been a while since this project, and I'm not sure I can describe it as well as I did for the first post. But I'm going to try my best! 

Where I left off on the last post, I had just finished bending the metal for the back and seat.

I bent the tops of the sides to make the corners and welded them together at the center. 

And then I cut and mitered a piece for the back of the seat. 

That got welded together too, but I don't think I have a photo. 

These half-circles are cut into the ends of the bars for the back of the chair. They fit around the back of the base of the chair, like so: 

That welding is a little janky, probably should have spent a little more time on it. 

A chair with a completely open back doesn't make a whole lot of sense, so next up was cutting and molding wood. 

So we got this weird foam thing. Can't remember what it's called, but here's what we did: 
1. Glue it all together to make one big block
2. Trace the outline of the back of the chair onto the block
3. Cut the block along that line using the bandsaw

And then we put several sheets of this bendy wood in between the two pieces of foam and clamped it. This sat overnight, and when the clamps came off, the wood was the exact contour as the metal for the back of the chair. 

Like that! 

Then I used some scrap plywood to cut out the shape for the bottom.

I didn't want the wood to be visible in the final chair, so I bent sheet metal to cover the back: 

And cut out sheet metal and welded it onto the bottom of the base. 

And remember the last picture in the last post? Here's what it turned into: 

Probably the best finished piece out of the whole project. Too bad it's one of the least visible pieces. Oh well!

That circle is for the top of the new base design. Unfortunately, I can't find a picture of the sketch I made, so I'm gonna tell you about it with real pictures: 

I started out by laser cutting a pattern, using the same curves as the back of the chair. 

And then I bent four pieces of metal to be the legs. 

I used the same curves as the back of the chair. 

Not all the legs were completely straight, so I cut, rotated and welded back together a few of them. This ended up working in my favor - it gave the metal a nice texture when I painted it. 

I cut them all down to the same length and cut half-circles into the top. These half-circles fit around the circle I made for the top of the base. 

Like this: 

You can see how the base was attached to an adjustable-height thingy (I think it's called piano bench hardware?)...but that's a story for the next post! We're also gonna talk about the upholstering and more structural stuff I put into the base. 

See you in two weeks! 
-Taft WK

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Yellow Gingham Top + Skirt Set

I saw this fabric at Fabric Outlet at least a year ago and even though I didn't know what to make with it, I still got it. I'm sure it was on sale too. 

I got some inspiration when I needed an outfit for my senior photos in May. I'd been seeing so many cute two-piece outfits in matching fabrics both online and around the city, and I wanted one for myself! It felt like a great way to have one super cute outfit that could also be split up and worn different ways. 

The yellow in the gingham is perfect - just the right shade and very subtle. And the white balances it out nicely. 

The fabric also has a good texture to it, which made it easy to sew. 

For the pattern, I patterned my own circle skirt and used the bodice from my black Winter Formal dress for the crop top. 

However, instead of an invisible zipper, I extended the side seam on the right so I could have a button placket. 

The inside is lined with leftover muslin. You can also see the skirt's invisible zipper, and the matching button I used for the waistband. 

I topstitched around the neckline, armholes and bottom hem so the fabric would lie flat. 

The buttonholes were done on the machine (the machine was in a good mood that day!) and the buttons stitched on by hand. 

The skirt was lined with leftover muslin as well. 

Gotta be honest: I was ironing the zipper on the skirt while I was wearing it when our friends showed up to take my senior photos. Yay for second semester senior year time management!

And here's a couple of the really awesome photos we took that day: 

Photo credits to Vincent Louis Carrella. To read more about his and Michelle Turner's ODE project (which these photos are from): http://www.ode.life/. 

I'm going to keep up with posting every other week for as long as I have projects...hopefully I can find a little bit of time here and there to keep sewing in my dorm!
-Taft WK