Tuesday, May 6, 2014

How To Upholster An Ottoman, chapter 2

I've been hearing from several readers that they haven't been
 getting their feedburner e-mails alerting them to new posts on my blog.
I will see if I can figure out what's going on.
If anyone has an answer please let me know.
It seems to be a pervasive problem.

back to my efforts at transforming my niece Miriam's two ottomans to look similar.
Below is the finished product in my very professional upholstery workroom.
AKA, the upstairs of my house.
In my last blog post, I had left off at this point......
I had built up the frame of the shorter one and rewebbed the taller one, and added 2" medium density foam to each.
Now it was time for applying the Dacron batting.
Cut the batting so that there are a few extra inches on all sides, so you have something to grip.
Tack it with staples in the middle of each side, on the side of the frame,  pulling it taught as you go.
Then, starting in the middle of each side, work your way out, stapling a few inches on each side as you go, pulling the Dacron down and slightly out from the center.
When you get to the corners, depending on the thickness of the Dacron, scrunch the fiber down, and staple in place.
If the Dacron is of the thick kind, which I used on the second ottoman, cut out some of the excess from the corner, and staple the remaining fibers in place.
Trim the Dacron at the edge of the wooden frame.
I have some honking big upholstery shears that I use to trim the excess Dacron, but anything will work.
I ran out of Dacron, so I ordered another roll, this time I chose a 30" wide roll, so it would be easier to store.
I am an idiot.
I am an idiot.
I am an idiot.
It wasn't wide enough to cover these little pieces of furniture, so it certainly wouldn't work for anything larger.
I am giving this to the guys at Drape It, as payment for putting up with me all these years.
While I waited for another roll of Dacron, this time in the right size.....
I started working on the trim that would go around the bottom of each footstool.
Since these were going in front of the pair of white slipcovered chairs I made last summer....
I decided to use the white fabric for the trim, that would make the footstools relate somewhat to the chairs.
I cut the fabric on the bias as if I were making welting....
sewed the strips together, ironing the seams....
 and than folded a side over and stitched it with a blue green thread that went with the fabric on the ottomans.
The line came out really wavy, so I had to sew another one.....
This time I was really careful, and chose a spot on the pressure foot, and kept the stitch line as close to it as I could.
Then I sewed the other side, and I had my tape!!!!!
To be really obsessive and compulsive.....
I ironed them to make them flatter.
Then I played around with my nailhead trim to see which ones I wanted to use.
I had these pretty daisy ones, that I thought Miriam would like.
Now it was time to cut the fabric for the covers.
I was very careful to have the center of the repeats be in the center of each footstool, even though they were slightly different in size.
Then I made the welting to outline the tops of each ottoman and I sewed the welting to the top piece.
I cut a strip for the sides, and sewed it together to make a long enough piece to go all the way around the ottoman.
Then I pinned it to the top piece and sewed it all together..........
leaving one side open, with the fabric folded back on the top side, and the under piece extending beyond the opening.
I turned it right side out an fit it over the footstool.
There seemed to be some excess space in the corners.
This is where my upholstery teacher showed me a great trick.
Shred some Dacron into soft pieces like what is shown below. then stuff them into the spaces in the corners, this fills them out and makes everything look great!!!!!
Just make sure to smooth out any bumps.
Then I pulled the fabric down, nice and tight and stapled it in place.
I cut it away at the corners, using a razor blade.

Then it was time to sew the side closed.
I used my trusty curved upholstery needle. You have to have these, they make your life easier!!!!!
I also have upholstery weight thread, so the opening wouldn't rip open, and my family laugh at me.
I started at the top, and allowed the sewing to pull the opening closed.
I trimmed the fabric under the stool.
Now it was ready for the trim on the bottom edge!!!!!
I used a nail to start each hole, since I am lousy at hammering nailhead trim straight into the wood,
Here's a close up.
The blue fabric was still hanging down a little because I hadn't finished the bottom yet with the cambric dust cover.
I can't type any more.
I will finish this next time.
I need to find a place to type that actually works ergonomically.
I need a designer to help me.
On that note,
Latah, Gatah


Teresa@magazineyourhome said...

Beautifully done!

cheapdiva said...

So happy to get a step by step tutorial!

bmayer said...

Gorgeous....as usual! Thanks for the tutorial, and all the accompanying photos. Would you be offended if I made one teeny-tiny suggestion? When sewing the lengths of white trim fabric together, if the ends of the fabric are cut on the diagonal (a 45 degree angle) before sewing them together, the bulk of the seam allowance would be distributed on two opposing angles. Same when you make welting (couldnt tell from the photos if you did that on the welting). I've made miles and miles of quilt binding both on straight of grain and bias and it really makes a difference with the joined-lengths seam allowance bulk. Question, did you use a zipper foot, or a piping foot when making the welting? Would you recommend one over the other?

Decdreams said...

Seriously! this ottoman stuff is fascinating and gives me courage, I love it. I have three slipcovers made for my ottomen? to change with the seasons and slipcovers on my sofa. One is tailored with just fat piping on the bottom and one has a 3" ruffle. They just slip on, a snug fit and look terrific. I have never seen this done and so much easier than the entire re do.
I know I would have cut the longer legs down and made a mess of it...................your solution was brilliant!!!

Patricia said...

Hi Betsy!
I have been following your blog since day 1 and have been a fan since your magazine days. Recently, I noticed I haven't been receiving your posts on email. I've searched around blog land and have found that this is affecting many other bloggers. I googled you now to see if you've been posting and it turns out I've missed almost a month's worth of your posts!
Hope this gets resolved soon!

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