Friday, January 29, 2010

upholstery part 2: putting it together

**Disclaimer: I am not a professional. This is the first time I've upholstered a chair so forgive me for my mistakes.

Cut the new fabric

Cut the new fabric using the old pieces as the pattern. Cut a few inches larger all around so you have room to pull the fabric when you staple it to the chair. You can cut the excess off later. I used about 5 yards of fabric for my chair.

For the seat deck, I used a large piece of seat deck denim and sewed a piece of the regular fabric onto it for the part that you can see by your legs. This saved some yardage (i.e. money - $1.50 a yard for the seat deck denim vs. $ a yard for the upholstery fabric) on the upholstery fabric. The deck denim also seems like a tighter woven fabric that must hold up to wear a little better but I really don't know for sure. That's just my guess.

Attach new upholstery

Step 1: Seat

I left the original material over the springs because it was in good condition. Staple the edge roll on the front of the chair. Cut bonded Dacron - I did 2 layers just cause one layer felt a little flimsy.

Center the fabric on the chair, smooth it out, pull taught and staple. I stapled the front, back then the sides. I worked from the center towards the edges to make sure there weren't any gaps or wrinkles in the fabric.

Step 2: Inside sides

I used a layer of bamboo batting and two layers of Dacron.

I stapled the Dacron in a few spots to help hold it while I was laying out the fabric.

I really struggled with laying the arm fabric out and getting it folded, stretched evenly and stapled down. I could have used a couple extra hands.

I need to stitch that vertical flap of fabric down.

Here is a side view of things to this point.

Step 3: Inside back

Staple burlap to the back as a protective layer between the springs and the rest of the upholstery.

I wanted my back cushion to be part of the chair. I didn't take many pictures of this step but I'll explain what I did. I took a piece of muslin and put it over the burlap, stapling a couple times at the bottom only. I stuffed it with polyester pillow stuffing to the approximate thickness of the old cushion. I put one staple in the top of the muslin to the back of the chair so I could use both hands and adjust the stuffing. I added more, moved it around and flattened it until it looked nice and was comfortable for sitting. I put the seat cushion on at this point to make sure the back wasn't so full that the seat didn't fit. Once everything was perfect, I finished stapling the muslin.

I put a layer of Dacron over the back to give a little extra softness. The yellow part in this picture is the muslin filled with poly fiber. I pulled the Dacron down to get a picture.

The Dacron smoothed out with the seat cushion in place to make sure everything would fit nicely.

I attached the back fabric and stapled everything down. I'm hoping the seat cushion smooths out for a better fit with the chair as I use it. I think it's all so plump right now that it's puffing up.

Supplies needed:

I bought everything from except as noted below.
  • Upholstery fabric. If you're in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, I highly recommend S.R. Harris. They have more fabric than you could ever imagine and it's all half off. I got really nice 100% wool fabric for $10 a yard.
  • Thread
  • Seat deck denim
  • Edge roll
  • Stapler and staples. I used a hand powered stapler and wow, my hand is sore.
  • Dacron (from Rochford Supply in Minneapolis)
  • Batting - I used bamboo because it was cheaper and more eco-friendly than cotton (from Hancock fabrics)
  • Burlap
  • Muslin (I used this to make my back cushion)
  • Ply Grip/Curve Ease
  • Cardboard tack strip
  • Metal tack strip
  • Filling for the back cushion (I got a 20" x 20" pillow from S.R. Harris pulled the filling out)
  • Foam for the seat (from Rochford Supply in Minneapolis)
I found the videos on DIY Upholstery Supply incredibly helpful. I also checked a few books out of the library but none of them were exceedingly helpful. The best one was Singer Upholstery Basics Plus by Steve Cone.

1 comment:

  1. it looks great for your first time! i dont think i have the guts to tear a chair apart and redo it!


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