Mexican Dress Chair Makeover!


(A guest post by my adorable pal, Shirin!)

Hi there!  It's Shirin here, designer and maker of clothing label Shirin, Handmade. Because I work from home, I'm always looking for ways to brighten up and and add a little inspiration to my "studio" (aka living room).  This little project was fun, inexpensive, and easy, and since it's literally covered in vintage loveliness, I thought I'd share it here! It's a neat way to showcase pretty vintage details without having to pretend you didn't notice the less pretty vintage stains, rips, etc.

-sewing machine (and basic sewing skills)
-fabric to make the seat covers (I needed about 1.5 meters)
-vintage Mexican dress (or any item with embroidery or detailing you'd like to save)
-chair that you like


once upon a time, in a land far, far away (Canada… OK not THAT far away..):
I found this Mexican dress at a flea market, and despite it having yellow marks, and holes around the sleeves and hemline, I fell in love with the colorful and intricate peacock embroidery. Thinking I could find some way to use the pretty design without having to wear a tattered dress, I brought it home and cut off the sleeves and hem.


The chair was found sitting in the alley behind our apartment building, understandably neglected due to its less than minty condition.  I liked its retro shape, so brought it inside, did a quickie mending job with some duct tape (since that part wouldn't be visible) and then gave it a little smiley face… just 'cause.



Next, I cut around the embroidery of the dress and sewed it onto some plain white broadcloth.  From the broadcloth I made covers for the back and seat of the chair, adding some ribbon to tie up to hold the seat cover in place.  Ta-daaa! An easy way to add some color to a room.

A tip to make sewing this project extra simple :
Instead of messing around with calculations and measuring tape, you can simply sandwich the seat between the two pieces of broadcloth you plan to make the back cover with ("right" sides – or the side with the embroidery – facing the chair), and pin around them.  Then sew a seam following the pins, trim, finish, and flip inside out. Similarly, to make the seat cover you can cut out a square a little larger than the surface of the seat and made a band a little wider than the thickness of the seat.  Then pin them together, inside out, on the chair, and sew a seam where the pins are. No measuring required!





note from elsie: hi, i've had a crazy and surreal day! i can't wait to share details with you soon!! if you're waiting on an e-mail from me i am about 1/2 done so far and will send the rest out this evening!

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