I've been taking upholstery classes in adult education after I head south in the winter. One of the problems I have is finding pieces to work on, since I don't have anything left to recover in my Florida home. So I roam my neighborhood, looking for someone (anyone) who has a piece to work on. My neighbor, Jennifer, had this chair that her mother gave her from her grandmother. It had been sitting in her garage for a year, and her mater was starting to get peeved. Her hubby, didn't want to spend a lot to redo it (MEN!), so she let me redo it with the understanding that if I screwed up, she wouldn't yell at me.
Here's the back view.
The arm had pretty detailing, but I didn't like the finish of the wood, so I stripped it and sanded it down, and waxed it to give it an older beat up look. Then I had to find a fabric that Jen and I would both like that would work with the direction her decorating would take (with some subtle nudging from ME). I found a pretty blue stripe on the Ralph Lauren web site and had some samples sent to me for our approval.
Here it is all beat up to look more beachy. (Is there such a word as beachy? My father would say; no. But this is my blog)
Here we all are in class at the local high school, each at our own work station in the shop classroom.
This is the shop god, Ernesto, our teacher! We are all like baby birds, chirping for his attention. HE KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS UPHOLSTERY STUFF!!!!
So I stripped the chair down to its frame and redid the webbing under the springs. Then I sewed the springs back onto the webbing and tied them together. (I can't believe, after all these years, I now know how to tie springs, except I did it the hard way, and now I know you can use a continuous piece of twine to go across the whole row)
Then I covered the springs with a layer of burlap and stapled it down with my new trusty staple gun. I bought a small compressor from Home Depot for just around $100. I got the staple gun from a vendor on ebay.
Then I added a rolled edge called fox edge
I then placed a layer of foam and covered it all with Dacron, but I don't have pictures of this part, because I have lost my mind and forgot to document this part.
When I reworked the back, I liked the way the shape narrowed at the bottom, so rather than repeat the silhouette of the original upholstery, I followed the outline of the frame. I liked the way it was more wasp wasted.
The way to add buttons to the inside back is to thread them through to the outside back and staple them to the frame.
I added a contrast welt (piping) around the top of the back and then covered it with the striped fabric. For an added splash of design flair (and I wanted to see if I could do it) I outlined the back with a decorative tape applied with nail head tacks.
I made the tape out of burlap and a blue thread that I sewed on my zigzag sewing machine.
I made another decorative tape ( I am soooo creative) out of some of the blue stripe of the fabric turned inside out. Always check how the back of the fabric looks, as it can be used as a contrast fabric to the front. I applied this tape around the arm openings, rather than use a double welt traditional detail.
I used a double welt around the bottom of the arms
Here's the chair in all its glory before it got its skirt (it has no shame). That's my PT Cruiser in the back, my garage is my workroom.
I love skirts on some chairs, I feel they add a flirty fun feel, so I decided to make my life harder and add one to this chair.
To solve the problem of how to bridge the space over the legs, I worked out this button and loop detail.
Here's the back, outlined with the contrast tape and nail head trim.
So, here's the finished chair, waxed frame, new striped cover and dress-maker's details. I made my friend Jennifer really happy, and I got to do a project and then get it out of my house (since I have no more room).
I've been a designer for longer than some of you have been alive. I have now started a new page of my career, closing my firm and designing furniture, as well as writing decorating books. Some of you may be familiar with my work over the years by seeing me in magazines. I tend to think that I'm funny, so please read my postings with a grain of salt thrown in for flavor. My spelling is atrocious, so I am refusing any responsibility for spell check right here and now. I hope anyone reading this will enjoy the pictures, info and humor.