My third week at Tresithick – Day 5

We’ve had that proper ‘last day of the holiday’ feeling today brought on by having such an enjoyable week that seems to have flown by. Darren has been out hiking, cycling, kayaking and eating his own body weight in ice cream, while I have had another brilliant week of expert tuition and learning at Tresithick.

Let’s cut to the chase though, everyone loves a good ‘before and after’ shot, so here’s my little chair transformed……

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A little different don’t you think, and to my mind a far more suitable fabric for a chair of this shape. I’m really delighted with the end result and will be taking it home tonight feeling proud of what I’ve accomplished. Time wasn’t quite on my side and there is a little finishing off to do when I get back into my workshop – the back panel needs stitching on one side and it will need a bottom cloth too. I did manage to spend time today with Richard looking at the best way to make a box cushion cover, something I’ve been looking to improve for a while, so time very well spent.

So what have I learned this week? Well firstly, measuring and cutting accurately means that you can spend less time pinning and sewing. If you’re sewing two panels together, make sure the allowances for the seams are exactly the same depth, that way you can simply match up the edges and sew away – no need for pinning! I’ve learned how to deal with curves, and making sure you pull fabric to tension in the right places so that you don’t lose the lovely curved shapes. I’ve learned that foam is really versatile and that you can archive almost and shape and feel by choosing the right foam and cutting it in the right way, and finally I’ve learned a really neat little trick for joining up piping ‘invisibly’. Oh, and I’ve learned that there are only so many days on the trot that I can have a pasty for lunch.

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So there we have it, an amazing week, some more skills in my toolkit and an even stronger desire to keep going and building my experience. Richard, Nadine and Sonja have, as ever, worked incredibly hard to make sure we all get the most from our time with them. The group this week have been great too, a really supportive environment and a genuine interest in each other’s projects which helps us all learn a little bit more. I just wanted to share with you a photo of Dawn’s chair – one that’s been particularly interesting for me this week as it’s identical to my own Parker Knoll project but also because of the great fabric! Clearly Dawn’s enjoying her work.

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Right, off to enjoy our last night in the cottage before making our way back up the M5. I’m planning my return visit already.

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