Friday, January 11, 2013

The Perfect Fabric

It seems like a while since I've written.
December seemed to fly by, between work, and making pj pants for the boys, which could only be worked on during school hours, pj pants for Jeff that could only be worked on after his lunch, and regular housework, some last minute Christmas baking, time seemed to rush by. But that didn't stop me from starting a project.
 Last summer, well, June to be specific, I was in our local thrift shop when I spied a chair that I really wanted.  I had to leave it there, as I didn't have the cash at that moment.  I kept hoping that it would stay for a while.  Later that week,  the boys and I went back and sure enough, it was still there. So, I purchased it.  Getting it home was quite the challenge - I thought I could fit it into the trunk enough that we could drive slowly.  That didn't work.  So I tried to wedge it into the back seat, I almost got it stuck. That didn't work either. (Obviously!)   So, I finally got it unstuck, and stood there, wondering how on earth I was going to get this home.  From behind me, I heard someone ask if I needed help. It was an older man, wondering if he could bring my chair home to me.  He had a truck, and it would fit in the back. I very willingly accepted his help, and he followed me home. Once I had it home, I knew it would go in my living room. However, there was a problem... the colour of the chair itself.  It was a faded lime green velvet fabric, and didn't match my living room at all.  I also didn't really like the tufts - it sure aged it.  
It was also a little banged up, but that didn't matter to me, I knew it what the final outcome would be like, and banged up and dented fit. 
 The chair sat for quite a while in the living room, while I searched high and low at the fabric shop for the right fabric. I checked back every few weeks and nothing, absolutely nothing jumped out and said, "This is the right fabric!" 
Until December.  I was in Fabricland with my Mother in law, and Sister in law and there it was - the perfect fabric. It was exactly what I was looking for. And so, I took it home. 

Despite feeling busy and overwhelmed with all the stuff going on in December, I decided to start on my chair.  Took off the seat and then started on the back. I tell you - there were lots of staples in that back. I think I pulled out over 300 staples. (And in the process, I stabbed myself a few times)

 I saved the foam pieces to reuse, and the old fabric pieces to use as a pattern.
 I don't mind natural wood, but this chair was begging for paint.  And I had just the right colour too! All those little grooves were hard to paint, but using a small artists brush allowed me to get into all the grooves.

 After the paint was dry, I scuffed it up a bit. I love the distressed/aged/chippy look, but I find it hard to get it "right".  This time it just seemed to work exactly right.
 Covering the seat - this piece was probably the easiest piece. 
 Seat in place - a good shot of the fabric. It's brown, with teal polka dots, and then darker brown polka dots following the same pattern.
 The back fabric piece in place.
My nemisis... I hate zippers. I've only ever sewn in one zipper and that was back in High School Home Economics class.  And so, the chair stayed unfinished till I could figure out how to finish the last cushion. I finally figured out, that I could ditch the zipper altogether, and just leave an opening to hand stitch shut after the foam was inside the new cover.
 Lots of pins to hold it in place.
 All finished.  As you can see - the back did not get tufted.  I left it smooth. And really love how it looks.  The foam for the back did get replaced.  The original piece was 1.5" thick, the new piece is 2".  It's a little thicker, but I think it will be ok.  The 1" thick foam was too thin, and so you make do with what you have.
 To finish the edge around the back, I hot glued of brown twist in between the fabric and the chair edge.  You can see all the little staple holes from the original upholstery job.

And there it is, my new chair, with the perfect fabric. :)  It was a fun project, and I really enjoyed doing this one.  I'm getting better with the upholstering - which is good because I have one chair left to do, and it has me stumped. 

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