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These chairs were a time capsule. Not only is their style something straight out of Mad Men, but they had their manufacture date stamped on the inside frame (July 30, 1968, to be exact). They also had some badly degraded foam inside, so I think this was the first time they had ever been reupholstered.
The client had me replace the old corduroy with a twill in jet black.
Without the crushed pile in the old fabric, the lines of the chair and its spare, three button tufting, the chair once again looked sleak and “mod”.
As I said earlier, the foam was completely degraded. Forty years will do that to any foam, especially if it has been left in sunlight, in heated areas, or has had a lot of use. Many people don’t know what “degraded” means…here’s an example:
That rusty mauve powder is what was left of the foam. Underneath the foam was a mustard lining, so that powder was the only thing giving the chairs any kind of padding before I replaced all of the foam. But to do that, first I had to strip the chair to its burlap.
Finally, here’s proof that the chairs are from 1968:
Another job I forgot to document during the hectic travel of February-March, 2011. This pair was once covered in peach fabric with tiny polka dots. The client chose a rich pink linen to bring these chairs out of the 1980s.
I love doing two identical chairs, since then I can out a “before” and “after” chair together for a photo.
I loved doing the tufting on this. I also loved how easy it was to work with the linen since it had a great stretch on the bias.
Back in February (and March…and April…) I did a lot of traveling thanks to some cheap airline tickets. It was great, but the downside is that I did not have any time to post about my finished upholstery.
This is a channel back barrel chair that I reupholstered in fabric from Pottery Barn called French Stripe. It was a very interesting choice by the client and we’re both really pleased with the results.
As you can see, the fabric wasn’t the only change to this chair. I added fabric on the front of the arms to cover the painted wood. Also, I added a long skirt, making it almost look like a slipcover.
The chair has two pleats on the front, as well as two pleats in the back to allow for the curved legs.
Matching the stripes on the inside back and seat was a bit of a challenge. At least it was a little easier since the cushion was attached, not loose like many armchairs.
A while ago I did some dining room chairs for two clients. Here they are!
The client wanted to replace her white dining room chairs (six in all) with this very elegant jacquard woven fabric, with a red and green vine pattern.
She also asked me to fussy-cut the welt so that the little diamonds ran along it.
I really wish my camera could have captured the chairs better in the sunlight!
Another set of chairs was brought to me around the same time by a client who had bought nice, brand new chairs. Even though she liked the price she paid for them, she didn’t like the fabric choices. So she had me change them to a nice chenille fabric that went more with her décor. Also, she got rid of the white, which can be nearly impossible to keep up in a dining room or anywhere with food.
I just finished a set of cushion covers for a screen porch wicker set. The client had some beautiful but faded fabric from Thailand that needed an update. She chose a P/Kaufman Lifestyles outdoor fabric in a dramatic black and white damask. Here is the finished product!
Click on the pictures to see larger images.
Here is a side-by-side of the new black and white fabric next to the old fabric:
I’m very pleased with the pattern and how it matched. It looks very regal while at the same time fun and welcoming.
Eventually, the client will get some hot pink throw pillows to add a punch of color. I can’t wait to see that!
I have moved to Philadelphia! A really great opportunity for workshop space has opened up and I decided to jump at it. I want to thank all of my DC area clients for their support over the last two years. It is because of their patronage that I can take this new step.
I’ve been lax with my blog posts lately, and one reason is the passing of my cat, Misty. She was my constant companion, around the house and during work. It’s been difficult to adjust to her being gone. But I’d like to do something positive with my grief, namely to use it as a way to create awareness for cat adoption and possibly donations to shelters.
So please visit her memorial page on the Washington Humane Society’s website and make a donation if you can. Any amount is great, whether it’s $1 or $100!
Alternatively, you can make a donation to the Humane Society of Greater Miami, the town where Misty was born.
Thank you in advance!
I’ve had a little sewing chair for about a year, which I bought in a lovely thrift shop in Royersford, PA, run by Open Door Ministry. It was in decent shape, although its vinyl upholstery was a little stale, but the best part was: it was only $5!
Today I took it apart, stripped off the old vinyl, and recovered it with new fabric with which I have been in love since I met it. I picked it up at a little fabric warehouse in Lincolnton, NC: Ledford Upholstery and Fabrics (google map link). The fabric, a vibrant tapestry with satin thread accents, was a 4 yard remnant at $3 a yard. Here is the new look:
The foam was flattened down, so I replaced it with 4-inch foam on the seat and 2 inch foam on the back. This will make my sewing much more comfortable!
The seat is actually a lid for the storage space under the cushion, lined on the bottom with…more vinyl! It’s really handy for thread, scissors, and sharp tools that can’t be left out on the table. Here it is before and after:
After, with new liner vinyl
I love the Jacobean style pomegranates in the pattern of the fabric. Pomegranates are one of my favorite food, although I can only get them a few months a year, and this sewing chair will remind me of them every day!
Oh, and here is what the chair looked like stripped and taken apart:
Quite a little pile!
Yesterday marked the finish of a long stretch of back to back upholstery jobs. It started just before the December holidays and kept on going through yesterday! Now I have a chance to post all the pictures of the pieces, so without further ado…
The Red Velvet Chairs
The Finished Pair
When the clients contacted me about reupholstering these chairs, they described the chairs as “retro-fabulous” and I couldn’t agree more. The shape is really unique and bold with just a touch of old style tufting to make it somewhat traditional. But the old fabric had its day long ago and needed replacement badly.
Also, the couple who owned the chairs had a great idea about an update to the look. Since they were keeping faithful to the original red velvet, they asked me to punch up the welt on the front and the cushion by making it out of black velvet. It’s just a subtle addition, but it makes quite a difference.
Yes, the chairs have casters on the front. One more fantastic retro touch!
Above are the two velvets next to each other for comparison. The new upholstery is in the forefront. After the jump, I’ll go into the process of stripping and recovering this lush pair!
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