LEARNING TO UPHOLSTER: I Really Needed a Chair!
We received many gifts from friends and family as we settled into our house in Berlin, but one of the things we still needed was a comfy chair. The kind of chair you can curl up in with a good book and stay there for hours. Being my usual self, I couldn’t justify the cost of buying a new chair. I was a little nervous about buying second hand because I am really allergic to cats and didn’t want to end up with a chair that used to be an old cat’s favorite spot to rest! What was a girl to do?
Well, I do love trash picking and I do love learning new skills…..maybe it was time to try my hand at upholstering a chair. It just so happened that I was out for a walk and someone had a chair that looked interesting in his yard. Looked to me like he was getting ready to toss the chair in the trash. Only one way to find out for sure, so I knocked on the door and asked. It was my lucky day! Not only did I score a chair, I met another neighbor and he carried the chair home for me. Thanks Franz, you’re a great guy!
The chair had a broken back, but I figured if I pulled off all the existing fabric, I could see if Brad and his magic hands would fix it for me and I could also check out the condition of the springs.
If it was in really bad shape inside, I could just take the chair to the dump and look for a different chair. I had nothing to lose and I was really curious to learn how an upholstered chair is put together!
Since I had no idea how to re-upholster a chair, I decided that I would take it a part VERY slowly and take pictures at every step of the way so I knew how to put it back together. As I ripped the chair apart I took careful notes on all of the materials I would need to buy, which turned out to be not much other than some cording, some fabric, some foam and some foam adhesive. I was very careful to keep all of the pieces of fabric and foam as intact as possible, so that I could use them as pattern pieces.
It turned out that they way this chair was covered was a combination of upholstery and slip cover techniques, so I brushed off my sewing machine and refreshed myself on some basic sewing skills. I used to sew more often in college and the basics came back pretty quickly.
While I took many boring photos of the dis-assembly of the chair, I took no pics of the re-assembly process. At that time, I was not even thinking about starting a blog and sharing any of my projects! I also learned an important lesson doing this project: Check for You Tube videos before attempting to teach yourself a new skill! I didn’t bother to look for any video instruction until I got myself into a couple of pickles. Apparently I made this job much harder than it needed to be. Lesson learned.
Here is the finished chair. I love sitting in the chair to read or to write a blog post!