Bumblebee is really making this chair look so much better! But in all seriousness, why do all my animals insist on testing out the finished chairs before I even get to sit in them? I just put the chair in the corner, left for a couple seconds to grab my phone and came back to this. Oh Bumblebee…
This chair did not look anything like that when I first saw it. Someone was giving it away for free and I was just starting to toy around with the idea of re-upholstery. I really wanted to try my hand in something slightly more challenging and this chair was free, so… why not?
Before I finally gathered the courage to tackle the chair, it was very sad looking – old, oily and torn. I pulled it all apart, every single piece of fabric, right down to the bones. It was dusty! And dirty! And there were a lot of staples! And I even found $1.25! I love it when I find money in random places.
I carefully labeled all the pieces of upholstery as I was taking them off and wrote down the sequence of how I took it all apart. This way when I would be putting it back together I would just need to use the old pieces as pattern and work up my list from the bottom!
I have to say, once the chair was all bare bones I definitely had “oh shit what have I done!?” moment…
I knew that once the chair was taken apart I couldn’t take a few days break. I needed to start on putting it together right away before my fear would get to me and convince me that I couldn’t do it. So I tackled the very first step – the “under the cushion part” right away. I am sure there is a technical term for it, but I am going with “under the cushion part”.
I used a piece of flowery cotton I had in my stash for the “under the cushion part”. The colors matched the fabric I picked for the chair beautifully and brought a bit of a fun factor into otherwise very elegant and proper chair.
I have to say that the choice of the cotton was not the best but for my first project it will do. I would prefer a thicker canvas type cloth that can handle lots of weight, but I do think that this cotton works in the end. I’m just not sure if I trust it if someone removes the pillow and steps right onto the chair… but no one would do that, right?…
Once the bottom part was done I knew I can tackle the rest of the chair. I worked slowly on it over the next few days. I took it a stage at a time and it’s amazing how quickly it came together.
I sanded down the legs and painted them using high gloss gray paint I had in my stash and they turned out beautifully and matched the rest of the chair.
The fabric for the chair came from my local FabricLand. I was looking for something without a pattern as I didn’t want to deal with pattern matching on my first big project. One thing I didn’t realize is how much fabric you need for a chair! I ended up buying 5.5 meters and using them all! One would need even more fabric if it has pattern and pattern matching is involved. Such fabric requirements definitely limit choices to bolts that still have a lot of fabric on them, that unfortunately leaves out many sale and clearance options. It’s not fun when you spend an hour looking for the perfect fabric only to find out that there are only 4 meters of it left when you need 5.5…
I went for thick and durable upholstery fabric since I wanted to make sure my chair can withstand all wear and tear me or another owner will put it through.The fabric itself is very soft and has a nice texture and feel to it. It almost feels like suede but it is not.
In the end the chair turned out very nicely and I am extremely happy with it. I made a pillow for the chair out of random upholstery zebra print fabric I picked up for no reason (cause… pretty…) and I think it looks very good with it.
Originally I planned to make this chair and then try to sell it, but I decided to keep it in my sewing room for now. It fit perfectly in the space in between my bookcase and next to my table and I was just not ready to let it go yet. I wanted to enjoy the hard work and see the beauty of the chair. I do all my hand sewing in the chair and when I am not using it one of my animals is likely taking a nap in it!