Alina Sewing and Design

Linda’s Cottage Cane Chairs

Good morning, friends!

If you’ve ever worked with me or gotten an upholstery quote from me, you know how I do things: you e-mail/message/text me a picture or two of your furniture, I ask my questions (i.e. do you want it re-tufted, do you want the cushion to have a zipper, etc.), and then I give you a quote.

A few months back, Linda, of Embellished Rabbit (she is a vendor inside of The Cottage Collective!), started a conversation with me about upholstery and redoing some pieces she wanted to sell. That conversation has grown to include multiple pieces of furniture and continues to be ongoing. She’s SO great to work with–she has a vision that she can communicate clearly and is so, so nice. She even warned me to protect my eyes when she sent me the below “before” pictures. 🙂

Let me stop here to tell you how talented this woman is…if you’re local to Wichita, you NEED to get to The Cottage ASAP to see her room. She never ceases to blow me away with how beautifully she styles her room. And she does it all–furniture, accent pieces, signs, antique and vintage knick-knacks, handmade items, then styling it in such a way that you feel you need to either take it all home or not buy anything so as not to disturb the beauty (but of course you buy whatever it is that caught your eye because you can’t possibly go home without it). Seriously…talent. And I don’t say that lightly. My mom and I LOVE her room.

OK, back to the matter at hand: her chairs. She sent me the below “before” pictures of two cane chairs she had picked up. Before she brought them to me, she actually stripped them back and painted/distressed the frames. (see? talent.)


I didn’t get a good picture of what they looked like when she brought them to me, but you can see them below in one of my Instagram photos!


And after a day with them, I had them back in clothes. 🙂 They’re upholstered in drop cloth, which gives you a beautiful linen look that will be very durable. The end result was completely a team effort between Linda and I and I LOVE how they turned out.

LindaChairsAfter1LindaChairsAfter3 LindaChairsAfter2LindaChairsAfter4

There are two available and she’s going to be selling them in The Cottage Collective–make sure to contact her!

Old Door & New Design (Opinions Needed!)

Hello, friends!
Do you remember The Red Barn Outdoor Market I kept talking about back in April? Well, the Fall edition was last weekend! I got the honor of taking some pictures of the day and you can see all of the photos here.
I also came home with some goodies, one of which being an antique door. I swooned when I saw it, but I nearly died when the vendor told me he was only asking $10. I might have run across the grounds to find my husband, who held our spending money for the day.
He (Cowboy), of course, was great and also hauled it home for me. 
So here she leans against my dining room wall and I want to know: what would you do to her? 
  1. Paint her up and distress her down.
  2. Ehh…maybe not so harsh…a whitewash at the most.
  3. Leave her just like she is, beautiful and simple.
  4. None of the above, I would ______________ (fill in the blank).

 In all seriousness, it was the hardware that stole my heart.

On another note, she currently showcases an ampersand poster that I designed and printed. Because, well, I love ampersands as much as my sister loves anchors.

And it’s hanging from a vintage hanger that I scored a few months back at another local vintage shop.

It’s the little things that make this home a place that I love and a place that is me.

So, go on…tell me what you’d do to that door!

Dining Room Update

Happy Tuesday! Today, we’re taking a short and sweet break from the wedding posts for a house update!

Remember when I gave you a tour of our current house? If so, do you remember the dining room looking like this?

And do you remember when this happened to my antique dining table and chairs?
Well, last week, a little of this happened…

 And today, the dining room looks like this:

 *cue happy Alina dance*

I’ve wanted to strip our table since I moved into this house back in October! Alas, I finally crossed it off of the ever-growing to-do list. The chairs went white (there was NO way I was stripping the 10+ layers of paint, poly and who knows what else off of those beautiful turned legs and the details carved into the backs of the chairs!) and the cushions were given a facelift with a fresh navy and white striped fabric. I found a large poster map at the DAV a couple of months back and Cowboy and I built the giant frame that now houses it. We hung some “high and wide” curtains (drop cloth curtains hung from rope!), which was the perfect touch to our nautical-esque room and makes it feel ginormous (<– official word) and tall. The best part was that, while all of these projects have been going on over the past couple of weeks, we got to put the room back together last night, which is my favorite part. I am loving the dining room! It’s not “done” per se, but we’re a few steps closer to having it feel like a more decorated room.

P.S. Do you see that red dresser? You’ve already seen it if you follow along on our facebook page, but that sweet little thing will be getting a lined-drawer treatment, and then she’ll be ready for sale at The Red Barn Outdoor Market, where MYU will have a booth! Make sure you come see us, as this is our debut as an official shop! 🙂

Finally, and unrelated, look at the treasures I found this weekend at a local antique mall! My steal of the day was the vintage folding chair…it was marked for $6 (each…which, sadly, makes me believe there were others that were already gone), but the entire mall was on sale, so I walked out with that bad boy for $5.10! Oh, happy day.

How was your weekend? Any great finds or progress on your to-do list?

The Big Screen

When I lived with my mom in high school, I had the coolest room. We were renting an older home (with LOTS of character…sigh!) and my room was at the end of the house, spanning almost one whole side (think long and skinny). Our super-sweet landlord let me paint my room a robin’s egg blue (similar to the swatch below), which is still one of my favorite colors to see a room in even today. Even then, I was thrifting and DIY-ing. I DIY-ed a desk out of a piece of wood and two sets of drawers (the plastic kind from Wal-Mart…klassy, I know). By the time we were moving out, I had achieved a cool, beachy, fun room that I was sad to leave behind. I tried to find a picture, but no such luck!
One day back then, I was antique shopping with a friend and I saw this antique screen. It was a really gross puke green color, so I gave it a fresh coat of white. It looked AWESOME against my robin-egg blue walls. Fast forward to my white box of an apartment in Kansas City and it completely disappeared against the walls. (Sorry for the primitive pictures…these were taken two years ago.) 🙂

So I gave it a coat of primer and several coats of black (at the same time I was doing this project…which is why the chair is white below).

Here is a more recent picture (of the side of it!) since both my apartment and the things in it have changed a lot over the last two years.

Have you guys ever painted the same item multiple times to get it to work in different spaces?

A Love-at-First-Sight Story, Part 2

Goodwill has done it again.
If you’re a regular reader, you’ll remember my experience finding Victoria the chair. If not, it basically went like this: girl walks into Goodwill on the search for something, girl get distracted when she sees something possibly magnificent in the corner of her eye, girls runs over to said possible magnificence, girl confirms magnificence, girl immediately runs to register with magnificence. 
And it happened again. I don’t know how I got so lucky because this handsome guy (we’ll call him Edmund) had been there for three whole days. Three! whole! days! Oh my lucky stars. And he was marked for $25. Allow me to preface this by saying that that is, and probably always will be, the most I will ever be willing to pay for Goodwill furniture. [You understand.] But let me explain; I spun the chair around, looked it up and down, examined every square inch, tried it out (sitting + spinning + rolling) and tried to understand why someone would drop this beautiful chair off at Goodwill. There had to be something wrong with it…right?? Wrong. Absolutely nothing wrong with him. So I power-walked quickly walked up to the front and asked a cashier to put it on hold for me up front while I continued looking for mason jars (what I went there for in the first place). When I went to pay, he said, “wow, that must be some special chair to be marked that high…” (which, let’s be honest, immediately made me regret I didn’t try to bargain the price a little). But I knew I’d found a treasure, so I was OK with paying the “full” price. 

I noticed this metal tag on the back of the chair while giving it my examination in the store. When I got home, I started searching for “manhattan desk company of new york” but haven’t been able to find anything. (Does anyone know anything about this company?)

However, I also started searching for the prices of similar chairs.

Target: $130 (new)
Home Decorators: $199 (new)
Bed, Bath & Beyond: $150 (new)

I even found this one on Ebay for $1,900!! (true antique)

Yeah, $25. Thanks, Goodwill. And thanks to whomever decided it was easier to donate it rather than sell it. I so appreciate it!

On a side note, in a recent effort to introduce more color into my life, I picked these babies up at Off Broadway Shoes on clearance for $15. Happy MONDAY to me! (and you!)

P.P.S. My Yellow Umbrella blew right past 100 followers this weekend! THANK YOU for your support–I am humbled and so appreciative!

[East]er to [West]port

Happy Easter weekend, y’all! (And also a little shout-out to my mom…happy birthday, Mom!)
I’ve had such a great weekend. I’m seriously beyond blessed! Cowboy’s dad has been in town since Friday morning (he took the train into KC…fun!) and we went to a Good Friday service at Redeemer Fellowship in Westport with family and friends. Good Friday has such powerful significance. Never before have I felt the full weight of the day for what it was. I actually walked out of the service thinking, “OK! The count is on…only a day and a half until we can rejoice his resurrection!” Crazy mix of complete sadness and utter excitement/anticipation. I know the crucifixion was a necessary evil (and part of God’s plan), but golly gee…I still can’t believe he did that for me.
Oh, how undeserving I am (and ever will be).
We parked just down the street from the church. When we got out of the car, I noticed a bunch of glassware and kitchenware in the windows of the building next to me. It reminded me of the windows of Blackwell’s (still need to go there!). I quickly asked Cowboy if we could come back the next day and check it out. He quickly said, “of course!” Love him.
So, Saturday started at Pryde’s Old Westport. I will let the pictures speak for themselves, but HOLY MOLY! How have I not known that this place existed before?!

The plaque under the picture says, “This building was built in 1922 for the Helen Thomas School of Dance.”

You can’t see her very well, but the lady behind the counter in the pink (with her back to the camera) is the owner. As we were checking out, Cowboy asked how long they’d been in business. The lady helping us said, “We’ve been here for 43 years,” and pointed to the owner saying, “She’s been in here since she was 8 years old!” Now that’s history, people.

Another important detail to note is the kill-me-before-I’m-able-to-eat-my-weight-in-those-cookies bakery downstairs. Those cookies…the giant monster ones that size of my hand? Those are banana nut with burnt sugar frosting. Holy.Sugar.Monster. They were amazing. After trying a sample, there was no way we were walking out of there without one of those babies.

I also saw this section of cool trivets. I saw this leaf carved out of wood and I asked Cowboy if he could please learn how to carve wood. 🙂
I DID walk out with a pretty sweet find. They were having a 60% off patio sale. I found this metal umbrella (technically a cover for a bird feeder) for $8-something (after taxes) and promptly decided it would be spray-painted yellow (duh!).
There’s a little hook underneath as well. I haven’t decided what exactly I’ll use this for. Any ideas?

After Pryde’s, we headed around the corner and stumbled across Westport on Broadway Antiques. Nope…didn’t know that one was there either. Oh, Google, how you’ve failed me.

We went in expecting to find your average gaudy 1960s furniture and bad art. We definitely found it.

They also have an entire section of vinyl records, which can be really fun to look at.

I also spied this section of old windows. Things like this always make me swoon a little, so if you’re looking for any, they have several in stock!

But then…then, I spied the top of an elusive blue jar. I literally stopped dead in my tracks. I said, “hey…wait…what is that blue jar back there?!” and ran around the gaudy 60s art to pick it up. I quickly squealed with glee. It wasn’t marked, so I asked the eclectic lady behind the counter if she could give me a price.
I had no idea what a gem she was, but she complimented me on my “beautiful” eyes, “pretty” necklace and “cute” boyfriend all within the first few minutes. Then she started running all over the store looking for other jars. As soon as she found a couple, we started running around the store pulling them out of booths. Before I knew it, I had a collection of 10 different blue jars…and she had marked most of them down by 50% when I saw my ticket “just because she wanted to help out a fellow collector.” Seriously…I didn’t even bargain with her. I didn’t even ask! Just $3 off here, $4 off here, 20% off here…”the booth owners will understand!” she said.
As soon as we got these babies home, we started dating them. As far as we can tell, each jar is completely genuine and all of them date back to before 1933. JACKPOT!
This one is the oldest and dates back to some time before 191o. You can tell because of the lettering and because of how the lid seals all the way down to the shoulder. After 1910, Ball started making beaded seals (that small glass lip that modern jars seal down to…see the lip at the top of the jar in the picture above?).

I haven’t been able to find a single one of these in Kansas City…and found ten in all different shapes, sizes and styles in one little antique shop. What luck!

After that, we made our way north to the Crown Center and went to the most exciting restaurant in the world….Fritz’s! They deliver your food by train on the system you see above the booths…then they lower it to your table. Best flattest grilled ham and cheese I’ve ever had.

OK, so it’s a restaurant intended for kids, but I saw mostly adults in there…just for the record.

Sigh…just one more shot of the beauties.

OK, all together now.


Happy Easter, everyone!


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