I bought this chair back in 2010 from a woman at work for $20. I was planning to take an upholstery class at Calhoun Community College and I needed an inexpensive piece of furniture to work on.
I found this fabric at a HUGE, amazing fabric store in Fayetteville, TN called Sir's Fabric. I don't remember how much this fabric cost, but it wasn't very expensive. I bought 6 yards. The upholstery class that I signed up for got cancelled because not enough people signed up for the class. I waited for the next year, signed up again, and this time the class actually happened.
There seem to be people all over the Internet who taught them themselves how to upholster and then claim "It's so easy!". Well, I am not one of those people. I thought this was REALLY HARD! After taking this class, it makes perfect sense to me why upholstery costs so much. It's sweaty, tiring work!
So the first thing you do is obviously take off the old fabric. As soon as you take off one piece of fabric, you want to LABEL IT!!! Don't wait until you have a pile of fabric to start labeling. Label each piece as you go. The more information, the better. I labeled each piece "Front" "Back" "Left" "Right" and put arrows.
That's my instructor in the red shirt
Just think about it: this is an old piece of furniture that has been used and sat on a lot, so it needs to be re-stuff and re-padded. We used Dacron, but this doesn't seem to be readily available to the public, so I have since used quilt batting from Joanns.
After the whole piece of furniture was covered in Dacron, I started cutting out the new fabric. This is why you need to label your old fabric. I used chalk to trace out my new fabric, using the old fabric as a guide. I cut out about 2" longer on each side than the template fabric.
Before you cut ANYTHING, you need to pick a center point for your pattern (obviously if you're using a solid fabric, this doesn't matter). I picked the red flower/branch/leaf thing in my fabric as my center point (circled in the photo below). It's very important for your pattern to line up, because otherwise the furniture just looks unprofessional. I think a lot of people really miss the mark on this step.
And then I started sewing the pieces together (notice how the red flower is in the center of the chair).
Sewing these curves was HARD! I had to redo it several times! I got very comfortable with the seam ripper.
The arms were so difficult, and I did the first one three times before getting it right. I ended up not taking any photos of that process because I was so focused on trying to get it right. I think this tutorial is really great about explaining the arms.
The rest of the chair was really easy because all the sewing parts were done! Here's the finished project:
Here's the chair in my first apartment (a tour of my first apartment will be posted tomorrow):
And here it is in my current apartment (click here for our apartment tour):
The before and after:
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