Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Comedy of Errors- The Second Chance Lamp

Not all of my tutorials go well. Some are complete failures. This post is about two such projects and how I fixed them.

A while back, I decided that I needed a lamp for my bedroom, and none of my old ones fit my new decor, So I decided to look for a new one. I saw on at the DI when I was donating stuff, but it wasn't for sale yet, and that made me sad because I fell in love with it.
        I pined for it for awhile, and looked for something similar,but ended up  giving up (partially because I'm lazy and partially because those lamps are around $60+) and instead finding  a beautiful little lamp at Walmart.
                When I say beautiful, I mean the BASE was beautiful. The shade, however, was an entirely different story. It was ugly, and I really wanted something chandelier-ish. So, I decided to make it. So I picked the seam at the top out

 and removed the fabric from the frame, leaving just the "bare bones"
after that, I began to string beads, much like I did for my chandelier tutorial, but using pearls instead. I hated it. I only got like 6-8 strings attached, but it proved to be a ton of work, and the result looked kind of
cheap, which I wasn't a fan of. I also realized I didn't have
enough beads, and I ended up getting frustrated and hiding the whole thing away in the closet.

-Story 2-

I was shopping at one of my favorite stores, Rue 21 and I found this awesome top, but it was too big for me by a long shot (The shirt was an XL, and I'm a small. In these pictures, I had the back pinned so it looked tighter.) Well, I decided that I would do a quick t-shirt re-construct and use a no sew method to make the shirt fit better. The night that I finally got around to doing this, I was really upset at one of my friends who had cancelled out plans on me last minute. Since I suddenly had nothing to do, I decided to work on some of my "To-Do" projects.  I measured how much I needed to take it in and cut a strip down the middle, removing what I had marked as "excess material".
after that, I cut slits in either side, and began to tie the strips together, binding the back back up

 It was all going really well, until I got about mid-back, at which point I realized the material was double thick, leaving me with some ties that were too long and others that were way too short. I thought it would be ok, and so I continued to tie them together. It looked ok, but when I tried it on, it was way too tight and wouldn't even go oer my head. I tried to loosen it, but there was no real hope. I realized that I was going to have to put a new back on it, which really frustrated me. I was so upset, I wadded the shirt up and threw it into my closet and let it just chill on the floor (Moral of the story, don't work on technical things while angry).

-Happy Ending-

So now I was stuck with two utter failures. -.- but while I was shopping at Rue just a few weeks ago, I found that same shirt, but in a small. So I bought it and decided to use the ruined XL one for something else that needed some glitz. Yesterday I was fiddling around with the fabric, and wondered what it would look like with my lamp. A few minutes later, I pulled the lamp shade form out of my closet for the first time in months. 
        First, I took some fabric scissors and cut the back and liner off of the shirt so that I was left with a piece of fabric like this.                            
Then I draped it over the frame. I decided to g this route because sewing is not my strong suite, and I was worried I'd screw it up if I tried to make this into a form fitting lampshade. Plus, I think it looks pretty cool this way, and I'm all about dramatic and unique things. Once I had it arranged in a way I liked, I cut an X in the top, making four flaps. I folded the flaps down into the opening of the lamp shade form, like so.
Then I took some fishing line and a needle and sowed all the way around it, sewing the flaps down, and to the rest of the fabric. This was for three main reasons. 1. It was more aesthetically pleasing 2. The fabric wouldn't be able to slip or fall and 3. so that none of the fabric could touch the light bulb and cause the lamp to over heat or start a fire.
The final project ended up looking like this (Though it looks better in person honestly)

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