Sunday, December 11, 2011

Redoing rattan chairs, cont.!!! (Or, how I did the backs!!!)

Hiya!! I was wrong. I did take pictures of how I did the corners of these seats.


















This is one of the back corners.


 I tucked the side under the back fabric and stapled it down. Then I trimmed off the excess fabric.



 This is a picture of the front corner...........

It's gathered. Carefully gather the fabric at the corner by holding it tightly gathered several inches inside of where you are going to staple it. Then staple it down close to the edge of the chair. This is a trick that I learned in my upholstery class that creates a uniformly gathered corner.

NOW I WILL SHARE WITH YOU GUYS HOW I DID THE BACKS!!! (and my false starts and confusion, before I persevered and conquered the beasts!)
I wanted to have a padded back so the chairs would be comfy, but I didn't want a big blocky cushion like the ones these chairs came with. (Oy, I ended the sentence in a preposition, well, I can't be bothered to rework it.)
This is the way they came.....
This is a side view of the back cushion....

They have a real 1950's vibe to them. These chairs are from some time back then, not sure when, the company that made them is no more.
So I wanted to do an interesting updated look that was padded, only I was having trouble working out the engineering of how to do it.
I first tried to do a slipcovered effect with a knife edge side and a padded front. I was using an old sheet to work on the prototypes.


The only real accomplishment that I achieved with this look was a complete and total feeling of confusion.
This was the back of this effort............I have no shame and am willing to show some of my not so brilliant efforts.

I couldn't figure out the pattern, so that it wouldn't be pulling and looking like amateur time. I calmly said to myself "Self!!! Get it together, and figure this @#$& out!!! We gots to sell these babies and get them out of my basement. You is drowning in stuff!!!)
SO I FIGURED IT OUT (brilliantly, if I do say so myself)
But first I tried another unsuccessful way to do it. So here are more embarrassing pictures!!!

I tried a flat cushion held on by straps.
Here's the way the back looked................


Kris (my bidness partner) told me it looked like a sports bra. Boy, everyone's a critic.
So, while she was out of town, I went back to the drawing board, put my shoulder to the wheel, pulled up my pants, had a stiff upper lip and told myself, there is nothing to fear but fear itself. And I solved the problem with a solution that was so obvious it's embarrassing. I just needed to make a boxed side to the slip cover. Sometimes if you are too close to a project, you can't see the easy solution.
Here's the finished front of the back............................

Here's the back of the back......................

I will now show you how I did it.
I made a pattern of the shape of the back by drawing the shape onto tracing paper. Don't forget to add 1/2" all the way around for the seam allowance.
Then I measured how big I wanted the boxed sides to be, and cut out the strips for the sides. (Don't forget the 1/2")
Then I cut out the strips for the flat flange trim that I used instead of welting.
Then I made the buttons at Drape It; my friends workroom. I have a button machine in Florida, but Joe at Drape It lets me use theirs when I am up north. Don't use the button kits at Joanne's, they fall apart, and then you are up the creek.

Here's the fabric all cut and laid out!!!!!


I realized that the stripes had a right and left side (one side was darker than the other), so to make sure they all were the same, I put blue painters tape on the front side of each piece, so I wouldn't screw it up!!!!!!
The back of the back was in two pieces, because it was buttoned together. If there is a way to add more work on these suckers, I was finding it.
Soooooooooooo..........
Then I sewed each side of the back of the back.....
I gave it a men's shirt detail at the buttons......
Here's a shot as I am sewing the button holes.....

I folded the fabric under twice, and then stitched four lines of blue thread down the sides of the button holes, to give it that men's shirt look. I used pins to mark where I would start the button holes.
Here's a close up!!!!!!

I then pieced the two sides together and joined them with a seam down the middle of the button holes that is hidden in the blue stripe. This way, they won't come apart, but will look like two pieces. I AM A BIG FAKER. It's all illusion in my little world.

Next, I sewed the flange trim onto the strips that would become the sides of the slipcover...............

Don't forget!!!!!
Right side to right side.............................

The difficult part of figuring out how to engineer these, was how to make the front padded. I made a pocket by sewing two pieces of fabric together, with the outside piece being several inches longer that the inside piece. The top pieces in this picture are longer than the bottom pieces.

 Once I sewed them together, I treated them as the front side of the boxed slipcover.
Then I sewed the combined front and the button holed back to the sides that had the flange trim attached...........

The sides looked like this........................

Then I cut two layers of Dacron the same size as the template for the front and glued them together with spray adhesive. I then stuffed them between the layers I had created in the front piece.......

THEN..................I sewed the buttons through the front panels and tied them off with button twin. The ties are hidden inside the slipcover.
HERE'S A CLOSE UP!!!!!!

THEN....(this is taking a hell of a long time, isn't it?)
I hand sewed the pillow pocket closed, making sure that I stuck myself and bled some more on this project.
Here they are getting finished....................

How about a close up?????

The finished back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then..................I beat the finish up a little, so that anyone using these chairs, wouldn't have to worry about hurting the paint job.

And now they are for sale at the Boston Design Center at Studio 534. I finished them before I left for Florida. I AM THE BOMB!!!!!
Here are two of them in the showroom, just waiting for a new owner to take them home.

That's more of our stuff for sale in the cabinet. Kris and I are bidness women!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

partying at:
The DIY Show Off




8 comments:

JoAnn said...

You are most certainly a "bomb" more than that you are "AWESOME!"....LOVE what you do here....

JoAnn

janet said...

Bidness women...you crack me up!

Janet xox

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

Wow that was a crapload of work!! They must be very $$$$ chairs now!! Question: you skipped right over the details of adding the flange trim on the uppers. Did you make a strip folded in half (like an empty welting case) for the flange? and why did you decide to do a flange trim on the top and not welting as you did on the bottom? They look great, and you are the queen of execution!

Karen said...

OK - with ALL of this work, these chairs better be family heirlooms, passed down through the ages. I can barely sew on a button . . . these chairs are simply exquisite!

Connie @ Connie Nikiforoff Designs said...

Wow! That is a lot of work. But then the finished project exhibits that. And like you, some of my finished things are all about "show" too...I mean, I majored in music and theatre before I got into interior decorator...It's all a big play sometimes. Haha!

Love the chairs by the way!

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

those chairs are awesome! i agree with amy that they were a "crapload" of work, but totally worth it- they look stunning!

Kathy@ Gone North said...

Totally awesome!! Very impressed with your thought process on this this project.... : )
Thanks for sharing the how-to....
(stopping by from BNOTP)

Chubby N Chieque said...

Wow! that's a lot of job and it really works and worth it trying.

If I am nearby, I would grab them with no second thoughts. I love rattan and wrought iron, so this chairs will follow me home.

SUX...

TY for sharing and happy mid-week.
/chie

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