Monday, July 22, 2013

Reupholstery: Final Reconstruction!

On the previous reupholstery post, I had finished sewing the new cover. Now I needed to attach the cover to the frame.

The first step was attaching some padding around the rim of the chair. If you remember from the beginning posts, I removed padding that had been stapled around the metal ring:

So I went out and bought a cheap, second hand quilt to use as the new padding.

I pulled the stuffing out of the quilt and stapled this around the metal ring.

Voila! Next, I added another layer of the old quilt to the seat of the chair and put padding over that last part of the metal you see in the front.

Then I started attaching the cover to the frame. First, I needed to cut some holes in the back of the burlap seat for the ties to reach through. This anchored the whole seat cover into place. Then I tied and stapled the rest of the ties in place.

After that, I had a friend help me to stretch the fabric over the padding and secured the seat cover in place with my staple gun.

Then I slowly went around the rim of the chair and lined the edge of the cover with staples.

I actually removed the first round of staples and replaced them with a neater row because I needed the space behind them to attach the last piece of the cover.

After the cover was in place I added the last backing piece.

Now only the staples from attaching this piece were visible. Then I put the legs back on, and the chair was finished!!!



Up next, I will be making a wedding dress for a friend - it's a Halloween wedding and they will be dressing as Beetlejuice and Lydia!!! Stay tuned!


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Curtain Update and Other Projects

I found some gold tie backs for the drapes and I also added a sheer backdrop for each window so that the light could come through and not blind anyone and so you can't see the glass.

I'm so happy with how these turned out!

I always have lots of denim to repair for friends: here are some old cutoffs that I patched up. I will often cut out a new panel that reaches up to the top of the pockets and down to the crotch seam. This covers any holes and also reinforces the worn surrounding denim. I always use an overlock machine to finish the edges so nothing frays.

These are the standard shape I use. Sometimes I need to custom shape a new panel if the pants are an unusual design, but these two usually work fine. I always check the shape against the pants first before I cut patches and if these shapes aren't perfect, I can account for the change.

This is what the new panels look like on the inside.

And the outside! You can easily make these patches blend in or stand out depending on thread color. At first this kind of patch can feel bulky if the pants are a tighter fit, but after a. Few wears and washes they feel back to normal. I always advise my customers to cut any loose threads short and never pull on them since that will make the patch less sturdy.

In addition to patchwork, I had the opportunity to make some costume robes for a music video by Needle Points!

I made the middle three. I had limited time and fabric so the construction was pretty poor quality but I was able to take a few measurements like arm lengths and then construct some flowing sleeves and droopy hoods. I kept this very simple, and the whole length of the robes and the side panels were one piece.

Check out their music and video!


Reupholstery: Assembling New Cover

The two panels each consisted of one layer of vinyl, one layer of foam, one layer of burlap and a thin layer of material that should have been stretchy, jersey fabric but I used a sheet. The sheet fabric didn't really serve its purpose since it had no stretch and I won't be using that material for the back covering.

Sewing this material was tricky because it wouldn't slide under the presser foot smoothly so in order to sew I had to use tissue paper and put that between the top layer of vinyl and the presser foot. I actually started with paper towel because that was all I had, but for the second panel I used old gift wrapping tissue paper which was so much easier to remove from the stitches later.

Here you can see the paper towel stuck in the stitches. I grabbed a small cup of water to dip my fingers in and once the paper towel became a bit wet, it was much easier to remove. My mother suggested using oil when sewing with this material so that the presser foot would slide easier across the vinyl but I wouldn't suggest that method unless the project was for an outdoor slipcover or something that would see weather. I didn't want to use that method for an indoor chair like this one.

Here is the second panel. You can see the layers and the sewing lines I drew across the top. This was necessary to keep the lines straight since theses panels were pretty thick.

There are the two finished panels. I sewed across the edges as well so that I had lines to follow when I sandwiched the pieces together and sewed up the side seams. This ensured that there would be no gaps in the vinyl.

I sewed the bottom seam first and reinforced that seam a few times after I added the ties to the back. As I mentioned in some past posts, I am using a 99k Singer machine. These machines are very strong and will sew through most anything you can fit under the presser foot. The right needle is also important - I am using a larger sized denim needle and heavy duty upholstery thread. I didn't break any needles, I am thoroughly impressed with my luck.

Here you can see the old ties and how those were assembled. It was much easier to sew through the two layers because the burlap was against the presser foot and the feed dog.

These ties are actually tied around the base of the structure to anchor the seat cover.

Here you see the burlap seat is stapled in place. I have to rip holes in the back of this piece to wrap the ties through and I might add a second layer to this seat piece to add strength.

Here is the finished cover before it will be tied and stapled to the chair frame. Yay it's done!!

The next step is to secure padding around the circular rim before the cover goes in place. Updates on other projects to follow and then the final assembly!