Sunday, May 13, 2012

About Damn Time

I didn't feel like going to the studio today, so instead I started changing some colors and things on my blog, and then changed them back. Then I thought I really ought to post about something.

Since one of my most recent posts was about the sofa that Mikey and I reupholstered, I thought I'd give you a little update about that. In the last post, I was so very close to being done. In these next photos you'll see we changed the back cushion from stuffing to foam, and we added the buttons, and that's it. Just those two little things made this sofa look a million times better.

We still need to shorten the legs by about 2 inches, and we are going to add some bolsters. Both of those will have to wait though, because the place I got the fabric is currently out of the blue, and we haven't found the right set of legs.

I was going to do a tutorial about the whole thing, but once we started making it, it was so annoying to stop and take pictures for every step.  I am not even sure if I did everything the right way, and therefore don't feel like I have the authority to say this is how it is done.

I will however give you a brief summary of how I went about reupholstering this beast. And maybe it will inspire you to reupholster something yourself or maybe you'll learn from me and realize it might just be worth the money to have a professional do it, because I don't think I'll ever do this again.

So firstly, I had Mikey to help me. There is no way I could have done this all on my own. Then I had to figure out how much fabric was needed. For this sofa, which is about 7 feet long, I used 13 yards of fabric. That's a lot. Obviously, that will be different with every re-upholstery project because furniture comes in all different shapes and sizes. To figure out the amount of yards I needed, I drew a bunch of diagrams, and checked and rechecked the math a million times.

Then I pulled out all of the existing staples, and removed the old fabric making a note of what piece when on first and how it went on. Once again, I drew a some diagrams for myself. Taking photos after each piece comes off might also help.

Then I added labels to every piece I took off. These will be used as pattern pieces. I used whatever labels to help me remember what the piece actually was and how it was oriented on the sofa. Examples:

Then I laid them all out onto my fabric:

Notice that all the pieces are pretty much rectangular with a few corners cut out or some weird slash in them. I did not cut the corners out yet, or cut the slashes, I did all of that as needed when I started stapling the pieces to the sofa.

I cut out the pieces where I have drawn the lines.

Then I put the pieces on and stapled them onto the wood of the furniture just as they were with the old fabric. (Look at your diagrams or pictures to see how the pieces were stapled on.) The last piece of old fabric that came off the furniture was the first new piece to put on, and so on.

And that is where the process photos stopped, because this was terribly frustrating to do, and once we started we just wanted to get the stupid thing done. But, overall that is pretty much how it works, or at least how it worked for me.

Post any questions in the comments section and I'll answer them there.


Doddae said...

How did you do the buttons?

Did you sew buttons on both sides or just sew front button to the foam filling?

Also was the yellow piping added after you finished the seams or sewn into the seams?

I'm inspired to try an armchair. On a smaller scale it may be less heinous. Fingers crossed.

Doddae said...

How did you sew the buttons on? Did you sew right through to the other side or just attach to the inner foam?

Also was the yellow piping added after the seams were finished or sewn into the seams?

Inspired to try this on a smaller arm chair at home.