Thursday, August 15, 2013

Upholstering the Inside Back of a Chair: Chapter 4

Someone go get a gun and just shoot me.....
I'm kidding.....
I'm actually having a good time.
I spend a lot of time helping my parents, who live next door to me,
 so this is wonderful therapy.
Doing projects is better than drinking.....
unless the project drives you to drink.....

But, first I would like to tell you.....
I've noticed that I have a spot on my camera lens.
I thought that the spot was on the fabric.
It freaked me out when I was looking at the pictures.
Then I noticed that it was on a lot of my pictures in different places.
So, now I need to get this fixed......
At least the fabric isn't ruined......

Now, back to the chair.....
let me show you how far I've gotten.
I put the buttons on the back.
I started with this.....

Now I will show how I used the template Gilles helped make for me to cut the fabric, sew it and attach it to the back.
We left off here.....
Gilles finished the pattern for the back.
I took it back to my condo workroom, and laid it out to cut.
See how easy it is to see the center, since we ironed it in half?????
I laid the pattern on the linen fabric, and cut out the back and arms.
I was able to reuse the fabric from my first attempt.
I cut it and realized I made a mess of the whole deal?????
The picture below was my first attempt gone horribly wrong.
So I had to run to Gilles to help me?????
I was really, really, really lucky that the fabric was usable.
The arm pieces were just a little small, but Gilles told me that I could piece the front, and the seat cushion would hide the patch.
Here they are, repaired and ready to go.
The irony is.....
I screwed this part up, and the added fabric wasn't even needed.
I made some welting out of the white stripe of the fabric.
It was going to be sewed into the seam where the arm meets the back.
I pinned the welting onto the back piece first, 
Sewed it on, and then pinned the back to the arms.
Sewed them together....
 Then, I did something I've never done before!!!!!!!
 I sewed a welt around the bottom edge where the seat meets the back and arms.
 I made sure that there were tails left of the side welts that were long enough to use to pull the fabric into place once it was attached to the chair.
Then I sewed lining fabric to the bottom welt, gathering it as I went.
This was the amazing lesson Gilles taught me.
Because the fabric was gathered, 
when I pulled it down between the seat and the back, the gathering would work to ease around the curve.
I have no idea why I took the picture below.
If you know why I did, please leave a comment.
Then I laid the fabric on the chair and preceded to once again freak out......
I had several options at this point......
  1. I could start drinking......
  2. I could open the windows and do some primal screaming.
  3. I could call Kris and have her help me bring the chair back to Gilles for more help.
  4. Orrrrr.....I could pull up my big girl pants, take a deep breath, and figure the damn thing out for myself.

I referred to the notes that Gilles had me write down.
The man ain't dumb, I tell ya, he knew I would need some direction.
  1. Stitch welt to inside arm, leave tail in back for pulling. (check)
  2. Stitch inside arm to back. (check)
  3. Stitch base welt around back of seat, leave four inch tail at both sides for pulling into place. (check)
  4. Sew gathered fabric to back and arms at bottom. (check)
  5. At this point he should have said "don't freak out", because the inside back is now ready to be attached to the chair..... but the next step is...Tack top center.
  6. Tack bottom center to lock stripe into place
  7. Tack both arm welts to back of chair at bottom
  8. Take other end (top) of arm welt and pin to top of arm
  9. Then go to upper back corners and pin fabric, checking that stripe is straight, then relief cut sides to help fabric lie flat.

So, that's what I did!!!!!
Then, I worked from the center to the corners, pulling the fabric into place and stapling to the frame.

I cut the gathered fabric to work around the legs and pulled it down to tighten the fabric on the inside back.
Then I screwed up and cut the fabric too close.....
on the bottom of the arms, where they meet the legs and frame.
On both sides!!!!!
Both sides......
I have some issues when cutting the fabric to go around legs.
Then I trimmed the fabric, and decided that there must be a way to fix this without having to start from scratch.
"Cuz everything else was looking good.

Because I'm so friggin' clever.....
I used some of the white welting and created my own little detail.
It was going to be covered by the cushion anyway.
Kris loves me, and the labor is free.
I figured out how much welt I needed.
Then I made my very complicated pattern of a triangle.
I cut out the triangle in some of the white of the stripe, sewed it to the welt, and stapled it to the chair frame.
Both sides!!!!!
I think I am one smahrt cookie, for such a dumb broad.
The cushion completely covers it, which is sort of a shame, since I am so pleased with myself for coming up with this solution.....
So, here's the progress collage for your enjoyment!!!!!
Next post, I'll show how I attached the buttons.
I know I said that I would do that today, but this has been one long mother of a blog post,
on that note,
Latah, Gatah


Vikki said...

Okay, so when I get to the part where you cut the sides to close ... I got a sinking feeling and I begin to pray that God gives you direction and you will know how to fix the boo boo. Guess what ~ God does not disappoint and neither does Betsy. What a team! Who is surprised that this chair looks great? Not me, I never doubted your talent. I also love that you are not so proud to share that you went to the Upholstery Guru for help. Vikki in VA.

Rhonda said...

The chair is gorgeous already, and it's not even finished! One thing I've learned from this series: never attempt to upholster a chair!

Kay said...

Hey, Betsy. I really enjoy your posts! Your chair is looking beautiful and I can't wait to see it in that wonderful room. Best wishes to your parents. It's so great that you can be close and help them.

Anonymous said...

Just saying, if you need a drinking buddy, when you are upset and screaming...give me a call, I'll come with the booze.....and we can talk about it..(I know nothing" but I can pretend....Bonnie in WI

Anonymous said...

I love seeing the progress. I also love the good feeling of finding a clever solution to fix a mistake. Good work!

Anonymous said...

Betsy i so love your blog, you are so dang funny.
i've enjoyed following this post about the chair, i think the chair is fantastic, but but, i just wonder ... would the tufting have been okay? it seems so 'in' now, and i think it lent something to the chair. beautiful now, but i do think it woul have been beautiful the other way.

Betsy Speert said...

I feel that the tufting had a more dated look and that the buttons are more stylish.
PLUS! Kris hated the tufting!
PLUS! I don't know how to do tufting!
Some day I will learn how, but the simpler buttoned back had a slightly French feel and will work beautifully in Kris's guest room.

Amy Chalmers said...

Amazing!! I am in awe of this chair post. You are one tenacious and funny lady. Its fabulous!

fixitfaerie said...

It is really looking good. Your 'save' on those 2 pieces makes it look like it is supposed to be there. I so love that fabric. I probably have taken it and thrown it over the fence. (that wouldn't make the HOA happy, we are on the 6th hole) Anyways you are a really good friend. Paula

fixitfaerie said...

I probably would have (I used to live at the top of a canyon and dadadada, I did the above. I' m much calmer now.

Anonymous said...

You have me laughing again! It's all over my head. Don't know how you did it, but you did a great job! Gail

Anonymous said...

I think you were right on omitting the tufting, Betsy. The chair looks heaps better and more contemporary than it did with with tufting; plus,tufting a striped fabric would cause you more grief, I think?
And no tufting means less places for dust to settle, believe me I know- I had to vacuum out my Chesterfield sofa’s tufting yesterday because it looked gross. I blame the dogs..

Di said...

This chair is wonderful and all the laughs from you are priceless. Thanks Betsy!

Drucye said...

Betsy, I am impressed! You are so brave! I am in the middle of an upholstery project now (my first) and I've had to walk away from my chair for days at a time. Your chair will be a throne. I wouldn't let anyone sit in it. The closeups show what a beautiful fabric it is. Kris is one lucky lady.

Divine Theatre said...

So, I'm like, "Look! It's a post by Betsy!"
Then I was reading the post with all those directions and words and THOUSANDS of letters total...and my brain just wouldn't absorb it. I read it again. Nothin'. Like protons bouncing off the nuclei of an atom...boing!
Where was I?
Besty, that looks an awful lot like work and WORSE, I believe it IS work. Why are you working so hard in the Summer time?


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