Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My 1950's Chair ~ A Makeover Story

The cool little chair that sat in my Gram's bedroom for decades, finally got a makeover! This is the Before picture...
I agonized for several days about which fabric to reupholster her in...a fun vintage 50's barkcloth?...a pretty 1940's floral?...a tropical?...a patchwork of vintage cutter tablecloths?...or maybe the awesome Anna Maria Horner fabric I just got? You see my dilemma. So, I decided it would be best to use a plain unbleached canvas for the upholstery and make slipcover's to suit my current whim. :-)
Let me just say, that the upholstery part went MUCH faster than the slipcover part! It went something like this...First the old dry rotted fabric came off and the individual pieces were labeled with a sharpie.
Then I traced each piece onto muslin, and cut out enough to mark a 5/8 inch seam allowance.
After I had all my pattern pieces cut out and marked, I turned my attention to the base of my chair and added a bit to the existing padding by covering with several layers of cotton batting. Once I had finished fiddling with the pattern pieces and tested the fit, I was ready to cut out my canvas and staple it to the frame.

And then finished it off with the arm caps.


Altering the pattern pieces into a slip cover proved to be quite a challenge. There was a lot of wimpering and a near fatal incident with my evil serger that almost made me scrap the entire project. But I muddled through, and I have to say, I think she looks very sassy in her new dress. For the first slipcover I decided to use a bold teal and blue dress fabric from the 1950-60's and trim it out with piping made from a Garden Party fabric by Anna Maria Horner.
The back closes with simple ties.All in all it was a fun project. :-)
This DIY is also part of the link party over on A soft Place to Land.
And a big Thank You! to LuAnn for sharing this project on her Back Home Again blog! :-)

22 comments:

sewing the seeds of love said...

She looks beautiful!
Thanks for sharing the process. I love that you can change the look with the seasons with a new slipcover.
x PJ x

Stephanie said...

Just love the slip cover idea. She's beautiful in her new dress. My mom has my grandmothers old curved handle rocker (like the gooseneck but plain-er). I've already put "dibs" on it.

Sugar Bear said...

I love this! I wish I could manage a slipcover.
Karla

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Love what you did with your chair!

My Casa Bella said...

Wow, that looks like it was quite a project, and lots of patience was probably needed. Great job!

Mrs.Kwitty said...

It looks wonderful! Kudos to you...I've also attempted a couple of tricky slipcover projects and they are not for the faint of heart! lol Your's turned out so beautiful, you should be proud (and I'm sure your Grandmother would be too!)
Smiles, Karen

Valerie said...

Wow! Great job! I love the way your chair turned out!!
You inspire me too, because I got 7 yards of palm tree barkcloth for next to nothing and I want to use it to slip cover something--I don't know what, just yet, but I'm excited to find a project soon and work some magic-just like you did:)
Valerie

Mary said...

Veddy nice! I found your blog via Brown Gingham Creations. I love your Grandma's old chair. You did an excellent job reupholstering it. And that blue/green splashy fabric is what caught my eye in the thumbnail on Brown Gingham's blog. Love. it. Will you come do some reupholstering for me? :))

Anonymous said...

The chair looks beautiful! Very professionally done!
I'm scared to death to just do chair cushions for my kitchen. lol!
I think seeing what you have done has giving me the oomf I need to get my project done. Thanks for inspiring me!

Kay in Kansas

GeorgiaPeachez said...

Just fabulous! Slipcovers are like childbirth. During the pain you swear, never again! But then when it is all over and you have this beautiful new creation, you can't wait to make another one :->
xo, suzy

CraftySmiles said...

WOW !!!! That is job well done. Now i will keep an eye on some chairs I could give a make over : )
By the way thanks for your comment and THE note book cover- idea comes from your blog SO thank you very much : )

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Fantastic. Vintage, retro, lovely. Amazing. I want to find a chair like that!

goldenbird said...

The slipcovers look beautiful. You did a great job! That process does sound painful, but that must make it all the more satisfying when it turns out so gorgeous.

Melody said...

Wow! She looks great!
My Aunt just gave me her serger. I can't wait to learn how to use it, but when you say...evil...ya make me worry. It's still sitting on my shelf, but I swear when I remove the cover...it growls.

Leah said...

Amazing remake. I would be to scared to pull apart the orginal like you did. I have a chair that I just got and am needing to do a bit od the smae thing as the foam under the seat rotted. Thanks for sharing. Leah

backhomeagain said...

Oh wow, what a great job you've done! You must be so proud of yourself. I absolutely love the detail on the slip cover. Great job (I know I said that all ready but I had to say it again)...

Shabbyfufu said...

Brave, brave girl! You did a great job and I have done slipcovering.....it is NOT easy! xo, Janet

Bird-in-Hand, Laurie said...

You did an awesome job! Not quite sure I have the patience but thank you for the inspiration! (I think I can, I think I can).

{kimmymade} said...

Very impressive, Kim!! And gorgeous :-)

Jenny said...

I love that blue fabric. You did an amazing job!

Lien said...

This is so well done great work, love it!

KitschKrafts said...

You did an incredible job. Love that blue fabric!