Monday, January 25, 2010

1940s arm chair redo with slipcover ..

it has been awhile since i re-upholstered anything, well anything other than a footstool .. so i was nervous about starting this project .. we picked up the chair at a yard sale .. i knew when i saw it that i wanted to do a slipcover for it .. i also knew i would have to recover it before i could make the slipcover ..

and what a perfect time to join in on some worthy blog parties ..

make it for monday at cottage instincts .. thank you, cindy!

make it monday @ the persimmon perch .. thank you, jules!

making the world cuter monday @ making the world c.u.t.e.r .. thank you, tiffany!

just something i whipped up monday @ the girl creative .. thank you, girl creative!

surprisingly, the springs were still in very good condition and i would not have to rework them.. which i hate doing .. i would just need to redo the arms and then cover the whole chair .. but the fabric i wanted to use - a neutral off white .. i didn't have enough .. then i found the vintage striped mattress ticking and sherry suggested i use the two fabrics ..

now, honestly, recovering a chair is 1 part know-how and 5 parts patience (if 6 parts makes a whole) .. i just took my time removing the old and marking it in what order it was removed .. then once it was all removed, i reversed the order - pressed the pieces i had removed and used them as a pattern to cut the new .. i made some errors and while i am not 100% happy with the project .. i am pleased with the way it looks ..
now i was able to start the whole reason i purchased the chair .. the slipcover .. i already had the fabric .. a vintage cohama screen print from the mid 40s .. quilted stitching .. and i had the perfect matched fringe .. it was just a matter of fitting the fabric .. cutting it .. pinning it .. and sewing it together .. i did make myself a paper pattern first, but only because the fabric i wanted to use was limited and i didn't want to make any mistakes or chance making one ..

i started with the inside back, since that would be the area that would make the first impression .. i wanted the pattern centered in the back and seat .. i cut and trimmed the back then cut and trimmed the arms and sewed the arms to the back ..

i knew that i would be leaving the back outside of the chair for the very last ..

i also knew that i would want to have areas of the slipcover trimmed out in welting or cording .. this was the fashion with slipcovers in the golden age of slipcovers and i knew i wanted to repeat this look .. so i cut the fabric strips that would cover the cording .. i cut the strips on the bias .. i learned this will help the cording bend and curve with the lines of the slipcover more easily that cutting the strips in running lengths ..

i also decided the slipcover would be a shortie .. i liked the look and wanted to trim it with the fringe i had and didn't want the slipcover to the floor ..

i loved the way it was coming along .. if i still smoked i would have been standing back admiring the work and taking a cigarette break .. slow and easy .. i could actually see greer garson or even eve arden sitting in this chair ..

it is done .. the trim is in place and all it right .. there are some things i would have changed .. i wished i would have had more of the fabric .. i got out-voted on painting the legs to match the trim .. (democracy sucks) (kidding) ..

side view .. i noticed a slight dip on the corner right underneath the arm .. i didn't notice this when i was sewing it .. actually i worked on this lifting and lowering it from my work table .. ideally, have a work table at least the height of a childs desk or table .. it's easier to see that everything is even .. and measure .. measuring is good .. sherry is still horrified that i do NOT always pin pieces together before sewing ..

i love this chair .. so pleased with it .. new life .. kept from the landfill .. so charming .. someone will just have to have it .. if not i guess we can always use it for firewood ..


(i'm kidding about the firewood - but come see us in Canton this coming weekend - we will be in ARBOR 2, space 203 & 204A - or the chair gets it! )


  1. Hi, this is Sherry! I'm actually not horrified that Troy doesn't pin stuff, I'm in awe!!! I can't cut a sraight line without marking and pins!! Troy is so talented and has a great eye.
    He's really bad news for the straight pin manufactures!

  2. Oh My GOSH!! I SO LOVE THIS!! Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!!

    I wish I lived closer, I would be at Canton!!

    Lou Cinda :)

  3. OMFreakingGosh. Absolutely luscious. I would sooo be buying this if I lived in TX. Where did you learn to make slipcovers?

    I'm starring at two couches that need slips, and I'm terrified.

    Glad you could again Mi4M :)

  4. Great job...but you forgot one little detail with your must first have talent even before fabrick. I guess since you have so much you're assuming the rest of us do...not so my friend...not so!
    Love the fabric...I love the ticking too!

  5. I love this. It turned out gorgeous. Job well done.

  6. What a fantastic job! The chair turned out so well and the fabric is beautiful.

  7. You've impressed me yet again!
    What can you NOT re-cover in fabric??? You can seemingly do it all!

    I think I'll mail ya some candy cigarettes for just such an occasion as this! ;-)


  8. Love this - I would be snapping this up if I lived in Texas!

  9. Dang, you are good. Look out Canton, here they come! ~Mindy

  10. Man, oh man, Troy. Is there nothing you can't do?
    That newly upholstered and slipcovered chair is fabulous!

  11. That chair went from godawful to GORGEOUS! Terrific redo! If the chair could talk, I bet it would say, "Thank you for making me look so good."

  12. I love the chair. I am thinking about covering a love seat (maybe slipcover) using a canvas painters dropcloth. I haven't done this in a long time. Your work is fantastic...julie

  13. Again, one more talent to add to your resume! I will most definately come and see you in Canton. Do you think it will rain Thursday or Friday, or just snow on Friday like some of the reports I saw mentioned? And BTW, I've been begging and pleading for the BH Guys to come to Texas, but they are just super busy. Maybe one day.

  14. Awesome job!! I even like it nude!! ;o) Have fun!!


  15. What a makeover!!! This one qualifies as trash to treasure!

  16. I saw your Chair on Cindy's blog and had to stop by to say how beautiful it is. Both looks are gorgeous. I read through some of your posts and will be returning.


  17. Really beautiful! I love your fabric choice!

    Kat :)

  18. This is gorgeous. You did a fabulous job and I love the fabric and fringe.

  19. My goodness Troy!!!! HOW MUCH GOODNESS HAVE I MISSED!!!! I just realized I hadn't added you to my bloglines reader!!!! This chair and slip is goodness...I've got to read on ~ xxoo, Dawn

  20. This chair slip is just gorgeous! You have amazing skills with chairs!

  21. Great job with the slipcover! Thanks for participating in the slipcover party!

  22. This fabulous! I am amazed you got the pattern centered, no way I would have gotten that right.

  23. that was among the best I've seen serching around this evening