A Fabulous Pram Re-make Part I: ’90s Emmaljunga “Viking” Stroller/Pushchair

So, it has been a little while!  I last wrote just before giving birth to my daughter and was rushing to complete my last project.  Well, I did finish that stroller chair the day after my last post as I’d hoped.  Today’s post is to detail that process.

Unfortunately I couldn’t begin the second portion of the project before Mini’s arrival, because I didn’t have the necessary fabric and wasn’t willing to tear apart the original bassinet.  Now I do have another one to use and the required yardage, so I began the pattern for the pram today Tuesday.  It seems I can only work on things for a half hour or so at a time these days, so I’m afraid it may be a while before I write about it in favour of actually finishing the piece in order to use before she grows out of it. Hopefully.

The timing was off, but I acquired another “viking” pram and stroller set with fabric in poorer condition than the first.  I only wish I’d had it sooner, because the better hood portion was torn apart to re-cover, and the second is very faded. It’s sad, but I’ll either fix the first one somehow or find some way of making it all work to have an original red set as an option besides what I’m about to show you…

This entire project was quite unnecessary but inspired me far too much to let go.  I had some fabulous fabric in mind to make a really unique and special stroller.  Did I need another pushchair? Not at all, but I wanted to show the world (or at least whoever happens to see it) the pretty thing I could make and to have a fancy stroller for my daughter.  Babies do have a tendency to make people want adorable little things, eh?  Reactions to the linen re-make of the Hedstrom pram has been fantastic, so I can’t wait to have the “viking” done!

Here again are the fabric and the stroller seat attachment:

I don’t know about anyone else’s taste, but I love this ikat patterned velvet!  There is a black colour-way that I slightly prefer, but this grey is reasonably neutral besides being fabulously bold.  Whatever colour I’m wearing should go just fine with it, but it makes a statement for sure.  So inspiring!  

Choosing how to use the ikat and plain grey velvet was a difficult decision, and I was very uncertain for days.  I didn’t have enough of the expensive ikat to use it exclusively, and I also felt it was a tad too bold not to tone down with a solid anyway.  It was an easy decision to use the plain grey for the underside pieces of the seat cover, but the hood canopy was a tricky matter.  I was afraid that using ikat as the outer fabric would look “too much.”  I wanted a fabulous stroller and to avoid an unnecessarily busy look in favour of something well planned and eye catching.  To achieve this I began by cutting out the pieces of the seat cover carefully positioned over the portions of the design I liked best and with matching in mind.

Then I tried to settle on the hood design.  I considered using the ikat outside with the inner portion lined with the solid grey.  I thought about doing the front crescent, inner and outer, with the ikat and the lower portion and bag section in the grey.  Then I thought about scrapping the pattern from the original and using a hood design better suited to the ikat!  I could make the bag section less tailored and of one shirred piece, like my Simo stroller, or I could create shaping in my own way with darts or at least make a few changes to the pieces to better frame a large print.  However, I chose to stick with the original, and when I was sure about some of the pieces cut them out to arrange final placement by pinning them to the frame before sewing.

Eventually I settled on the interior being ikat with the grey outside.  I felt it looked more intentional and liked the surprise inside rather than have it look like I was simply saving on material with lesser fabric inside.  (Even now that it is complete I’m not entirely sure I should have gone with this placement, but I do like it most of the time.)

The original cover had a little batting to pad the wooden seat support, but I wasn’t keen on adding a layer like that.  Instead I used a scrap of memory foam (mattress topper) and stapled it under muslin to the boards.  Cushy!

Next I worked on the seat cover.  It was pretty easy except that I mistakenly pinned the flap that secures the cover over the chair frame backwards and had to rip that section out to re-sew.  Due to the velvet and there being many layers I took a lot of time to hand baste each seam before stitching on the machine.  Even so, I managed to catch the edge of one side in a seam.  Drat!  Here you can see the backwards flap and the caught edge before I ripped them out and fixed it:

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Very soon the seat was done!

I was very pleased with the results and so tackled the hood.  It involved a lot of pins and hand stitching, and I’m still not thrilled with the way I worked around the riveted bit by slashing the fabric to slide around as best I could.  (This part is making me very hesitant to commit to starting that part of the pram now!)  The shiny metal bit is a distinguishing feature of the “vikings” but it complicates re-covering terribly.  I might have drilled out the rivets, but two are also anchor points for the weather shield, and I wasn’t confident about being able to replicate a secure rivet that would endure a lot of use.  Now I have a tiny unsightly flaw around them though, and it is driving me batty.

One things remains to be done.  I made a pattern for the weather cover, but I haven’t cut the ikat or vinyl for it yet let alone basted or sewed it.  I have time before this stroller will be used, so that is on hold while I try to complete the pram before Mini grows too big for it!

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You can see how adorable the red is too and why I wanted to have the option to use it also and not ruin it?

Today yesterday Tuesday I began to pattern the bassinet hood.  It only took a few minutes of pinning muslin to it and tracing the edges, but then I had to stop for other chores and to spend time with Mini and L.  It felt pretty good to finally make even a little progress though.  Today or in the next few days I’ll continue.  I plan to make Tyvek pattern pieces from the tracings, cut pieces from the velvet, and complete the hood section before working on the body of the bassinet.  (I bought a roll of Tyvek long ago to make patterns, because it ends up being much cheaper than Swiss paper but more durable than paper.  I can’t stand the feel of paper anyway. A drawback is how opaque it is.)  The seat of the stroller uses snaps and design to be able to take it apart and even switch out the covers, but unfortunately the hood pieces do not allow for that nor does the bassinet.  Mostly it does disassemble fairly easily by removing three screws, folding away some metal spreader arm things, and it is nearly the same construction as the Hedstrom bassinet.  It will be a fiddly project but hopefully not too bad.  The biggest wild card to deal with are various rivets to replace with something as similar as possible or to adjust the design a bit.  I’ll see.  

So Many Projects!

So, I wrote almost all of this yesterday morning but didn’t end up posting until today, Saturday afternoon, because I decided to wait for more photos…

I have been drowning in my to-do list for the past month or more.  Sometimes I wanted to post here, but I find it very difficult to make the time to if I’m actually getting things done.  😉  I’ve finished a few very big things and have been steadily working on others.  At this point I’m feeling pretty good about completing the list-full, but I’m entering the third trimester in just a week(!) and also have a lot that I would like done before a party later this month.  Also, I have a feeling that actually reviewing my list whilst writing now it is going to look a bit more overwhelming?

When my mother visited the other weekend, after bringing the dresser and I home, she very kindly gave us a patio set I’d been admiring.  It came with pretty aqua cushions, but I opted for some black ones from Ikea to better match our garden theme.  I’d planned on another black umbrella too, but they were all too large.  Later I realised that the half umbrella will work, and I will need to get back to Ikea ASAP to nab one before they are gone.  The chairs swivel and are far more comfortable than the others we have.  This has become our favourite spot to relax on nice days.  🙂

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Yesterday I barely finished staining the decks before nightfall thanks to a quick rainfall just minutes before I’d been about to start brushing.  Silly weather this year!  It has been so rainy!  I was lucky to have purchased the stain (after much agonising deliberation about the colour) on Tuesday when the forecast advised me that I’d need it on hand next week…  Now it will rain all next week (until that changes last minute) and instead it was suddenly sunny and dry for a day, then a couple of days, this week.  I rushed to power wash on Wednesday, and yesterday it wasn’t dry enough to begin until 15:00.

I really like silvered wood and thought about using coastal grey on the deck, but after weeks of thinking about it, and two hours in-store pondering, L made decision to go for walnut (the second contender.)  I’d rather grey for the fence, but I doubt I’ll even get to it this year, and maybe walnut would be better for it too?  Or really the grey might be fine there with the decks in walnut?  We were in Maine this past weekend, and the gorgeous weathered shake siding there was an inspiration, but then stain doesn’t quite look the same.

This morning, even before tea or coffee, I glued another portion of the dresser for Mini.  It has been a morning ritual to do so for a couple weeks now.  It was in awful shape so that I was re-making some of the plywood with every bit delaminated and crumbling to bits.  With only a handful of clamps it has been a long process, but this morning is finally the last of it!  Next I’ll patch up the missing bits with stainable wood filler, and with some more sanding it will be ready to stain next week.  Of course I’m having a dilemma again for that colour choice too.  I’ve mostly settled on carbon grey or classic grey?  I like classic better, probably, but the darker one may be more suitable considering all the imperfections?  Or it may test too dark.  I’d started the whole thing with whitewashed/pickled oak in mind, but…  Anyway, I’ll do a separate post for the dresser.  It was so mouldy and deteriorated!  Yesterday I was able to nail on a new plywood back, and get the drawers working decently, so I’m finally confident that it will not end up in the trash.  (This was a huge concern, seriously.  It was bad.)

Besides all that I did rip apart the basement a few weeks ago, put in a new subfloor and floor, and created an office in the former storage room.  That is done aside from insulating the office and finishing touches in there.  Other little things like changing outlets and switches and hanging a new reeded glass door…  I’m not sure what else I’ve done.  The door was a disaster, because I chiselled out space for the hinges with the darned thing upside-down.  So, I had to patch those and re-cut the mortises.  It made me so upset that I had messed up this pristine and long-awaited door!  Due to the mess and annoyance of it I’ve been slow with progress and just did a little each week.  Finally I installed it, but then I didn’t shave the edge to fit enough to close until a couple of days ago.  It still needs to be painted and have the handle installed, but then it will be so lovely!  Having the extra light in the hall area makes me soooooooooooo happy!  I’d love to replace a couple more with the reeded glass too, but L is far less interested in bothering with the small kinds of improvements that I place more importance on.  We just have different kinds of priorities.  :shrug:  It will be a long time before I might get to, I think, but it would be so much nicer.

I am missing photos that I thought I took, but here is one stage of fixing my stupid mistake.  I promise that the filler ended up smooth and undetectable after a lot of work!

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and planing to fit:

planing new door to fit

So, here is the house project to-do list from my last post updated with notes and crossed out items:

Front of house
-Patch broken front steps.
-Paint foundation a more pleasing shade.
-Buy new light fixture and install with sensor bulb.
-Last bit of patching.  (I ran out of Quickcrete.)
-Last bit of painting.

Media room
-Get rid of giant speakers and console.
-Mount TV and sound bar.
-Rip out crappy laminate.
-Remove trim.
-Install DryCore.
-Lay insulating underlayment.
-Install vinyl planks.
-Reinstall trim.
-Paint touchups.  (I did re-paint a lot but need to finish since I ended up using a new gallon that doesn’t match perfectly.)
-Arrange furniture.
LATER:
-Replace coffee table.
-Paint or replace stained ceiling tile.  (or ideally change to 2×2′)

Storage room (now office)
-Remove stored items from storage/office.
-Rip out carpet and pad.
-Remove panelling.
-Patch and caulk.
-Prime.
-Brush paint.
-Roll walls.
-Paint sewer pipe with hammered finish.
-Paint ceiling.
LATER:
-Change light fixtures.
-Change outlets and cover plates.
-Frame the two cinderblock walls
-Install foam insulation panels
-Drywall or panelling…
-Prime and paint newly insulated walls

Mini’s room
-Brush final trim coat on nursery panelling.
-Remove storm windows, disassemble, and replace screens.  Reinstall.
-Remove security crap from windows. Patch.
-Paint windows.
-Change light switch and cover plate.
-Buy floor lamp.
-Buy and install shades.  Or make.
-Attach casters to crib. Make replacement hardware.
-Attach casters to walker and assemble.
-Bring dresser from Dad’s and refinish.
-Refinish crib or clear coat.
-Set up furniture.
-Fix leaky valve.

Main living areas and stuff
-Replace certain outlets, switches, and cover plates.  The master suite area can wait, but I didn’t do those yet.
-Paint dining/living windows.
-Scrape messy paint.
-Touch up caulk.
-Repaint living/dining ceiling.
-Apply sealant on entry and hearth tile/grout.
-Sew back of sofa.
-Staple cambric.
-Sew pillow covers.
-Finish sanding dining chairs.
-Stain and wax chairs.
-Paint and modge podge travel chest.
-Touch up kitchen chairs and hoosiers.
LATER:
-Reupholster recliner.
-Reaupholster little round chair.
-Finish brushing kitchen trim paint.

Exterior
-Stain east side of house.
-Stain or hire west side of house.
-Powerwash patios and chairs.
-and paint rusty table with hammered finish.
-Stain patios.
-Permanently attach umbrella to deck with bolts.
-Powerwash fence.
-Stain fence.

Unfinished part of basement
-Finish painting walls.
-Rewaterproof spot on floor.
-Touch up floor paint.

Organisation
-Organise storage area.
-Organise basement.
-Organise Garage.
-Organise attic.
-Organise kitchen.
-Organise sewing room.
-Organise baby items.
-Organise master closet.

-Have yard sale.

Dressing room and spiral stairwell
-Touch up ceiling paint.
-Shift PAX and MALM to left.
-Patch.
-Brush edges.
-Roll walls.
-Paint trim.

Master
-Caulk.
-Paint master ceiling.
-Touch up master bath vanity.
-Recoat walls.
-Poperly hang mirror.
LATER:
-Install tub trim kit and drain.
-Install shower trim kit.
-New switches, outlets, and cover plates.

Sewing room
-Remove sewing room door.
-Mark and chisel hinge mortises.
-Mark and drill door knob.
-Install knob.
-Hang door.
-Paint.

Power washing is very satisfying to me.  I just love the very visible difference in cleaned vs uncleaned areas!

The two stain options:

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See how gross the area under the weights became?  Not cool.

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Clean:

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Mid-progress difference:

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Poor, sad, neglected blog.

I have hoped to write for days now.  With the long weekend I was sure to find time and energy,…

but I did not.

Tonight I am very, very tired, so I’m not going to try and write or explain much except to say that I have been entirely overwhelmed and busy with a sudden fashion design gig in the city.  It took me by such surprise that I never even had a chance to grocery shop the workweek that it began, and I’ve been slowly adapting to the new schedule.  I do intend to begin writing regularly again (if less frequently than I might prefer simply due to a lack of energy and time to actually complete let alone write about projects.)  Don’t even ask about what I’ve been not cooking and not eating!  (Not blogging material that is for sure!)  ;D  Okay, I do have a food post or two coming up, and I have made some progress on certain projects, but I must ask for your patience.  As for tonight, here are some snapshots from my commute this evening, because what post isn’t more fun with photos?  Hey, I’m trying!  😉

Tappan Zee and replacement approaching Tappan Zee Tappan Zee commute along Hudson line Metro North hudson line view