please seat yourself.

i remember watching mtv’s “house of style” when i was a teen. yes mtv, at one point in time, used to have good programming and actually play music videos. cindy crawford hosted the series for 6 years and other supermodels turned hostesses followed suit. my favorite segment of that show was “todd time” featuring todd oldham. for those of you who don’t know, todd oldham was a popular fashion designer in new york in the early 90’s and he is recently accredited with hosting bravo’s top design. on “house of style” he used to do fun projects and hang out with supermodels. “todd time” was, for the most part, a segment where todd refreshed old things to make them new and fun. essentially a shabby chic kind of thing. he would tape, glue and staple new fabrics and trims onto thrifted items or existing pieces or even junk he just found lying around and breathe new life into them. i was always fascinated by how he would take a gross old ottoman, work his magic and voila…a colorful and stylish graphic printed footrest with fuzzy ball trim for your eclectic home. i later met him at an event and told him he had big feet and then i delivered the “you know what they say about big feet” line. crickets. yes, im an idiot.

a week or so ago i did a launch party with my friends at spool for the release of my new line of fabric HABITAT, and in preparation for the event, we both came up with a bevy of really beautiful items to showcase the different ways the line could be utilized. there were 3 fabulous quilts, an array of apparel worn by the lovely ladies who work there, a bowl of change purses my sister janet made and some home decor in the form of pillows and chairs courtesy of yours truly.

earlier that week i decided i was going to reupholster a chair ala ” todd time”. so i went to this pretty skanky thrift shop in north philadelphia with my dear friend amber and i found a chair that would work for this endeavor. it was 7 bucks, which to some might seem like a steal but i am used to the amazing thrift shops and estate sales of northeastern pennsylvania where i could have easily got that chair for like 91 cents. i think the chair turned out super cool so i wanted to share the process of how i made it.

(please note that i am still familiarizing myself with the intricacies of this blog so i don’t quite know how to insert captions yet. i will tap in to the resources of my blogging friends and add them later. in the meantime, use your imaginations! ps: that handsome boy in the second picture is my cat “woody”. he really wasn’t into the idea of me playing todd oldham for the afternoon.)


23 thoughts on “please seat yourself.

  1. I really like where you are going with this Jay. Question are all your fabric lines available at spool? I have been looking at them on the site for Free Spirit and would like to see them in person for scale. I have started quilting and would like to use your fabric to make my next project.

    • spool has all of the HABITAT prints in stock and a few of my past line prints available i think. you should definitely check them out and see how they feel to you in person. welcome to the quilting world! you have alot of fabric collecting ahead of you. 🙂

  2. Zoe and I really like how the chair turned out. Zoe’s only criticism is that you did not add a picture of the finished chair with your cat Woody sitting on it. She also says you should have another cat and name it Buzz.

  3. I too watched “Tod Time” (and I was a little older then a teen). I covered a couch with a bolt of fabric from South Street and a glue gun….your chair turned out better!

  4. Pingback: True Up | All Fabric, All the Time » Blog Archive » Interview: Jay McCarroll (Part 1)

  5. I haven’t gotten to see it in person yet, but I am *really* digging this line! My favorite thing, I think, is that the different prints seem like they could have been handpicked from different lines altogether. It doesn’t have any of that way-too-matchy feel that a lot of my favorite designers can have. I love the surprises that can happen from putting together prints that seem not to go but do, and this line looks to me like it’s chock full of that kind of fun.

  6. Todd Time is the reason I bought Todd Oldham’s book “Handmade Modern” and then he was all “now get out your jigsaw and cut this wood” and I realized the book was way out of my apartment-dwelling skill level. Someday.

    I love how the chair turned out and it’s pretty sad I think $7 is a lot for a used chair too! Excessive thrifting will do that to you!

  7. Yep, I’ve been a big fan of Todd’s for a long time too. I remember vividly him showing guys how to give themselves a “messy” haircut by just cutting any hairs above their fingers (hand flat on head) and I’ve been giving it to boys (and myself occasionally) ever since.

    I’ve been a huge fan of yours too, Jay since PR1 and sell your fabrics in my store in chicago. It’s one of the few lines I bought every piece of and I fell off my chair when I saw drop cloth. We sold the yellow one out in a week!

    Come visit us if you’re ever in Chicago!!

    • the yellow/green dropcloth seems to be quite the popular print. no one can keep it on the shelves. which is awe-some!!! so funny you mention chicago because just the other day i was telling my boyfriend that we need to take a weekend trip. he said florida. i said chicago. i adore chicago! if im ever there, i would love to stop by the shop…do a class or something! thanks again for carrying HABITAT and enjoy!!!!

  8. Todd Time taught me how to cut boys hair, and also my own hair, when I had boy hair. I think it was maybe the most last-minute Todd Time ever, but he pretty much said, run your fingers through your hair, cut off anything long enough to come up between your fingers. Having cut various boyfriends and now my husband’s hair for 10 years or so, I guess I should say, Thanks, Todd. You’re right.

    Also, chair is awesome. And, you on TV introduced me to the rotary cutter, so thanks for that!

    • I used a staple gun to staple the edges of the fabric down and then I simply covered the edges with duct tape. I find that it works very well!

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