Saturday, November 19, 2011

Upholstered: Thrift Store Trash to Palace Grade

Way back at the beginning of July, we found some arm chairs from D.I. (Deseret Industries - a thrift store) for $10 a piece. The fabric was pretty badly stained, but they were still in pretty good shape structurally:

I have been wanting to learn from my master seamstress mom how to recover furniture. I thought these cheap chairs would be the perfect opportunity.

So, after months of shopping for just the right fabrics, I was ready to tackle the project with my mom. We sewed all day yesterday until 3:00am, and all day today (yes, in our pj's) and we conquered the beast of a project! This post is documentation of the whirlwind.

On Friday morning, Gran and I seam-ripped the fabric off two of the cushions so we would have some fabric to copy as a pattern for the new cushions.
 Lincoln enjoyed discovering the texture of piping cord for the first time. 
Aunt Riley kept Lincoln wonderful company:
 Using the seam-ripped fabric as a pattern:
Throughout the sewing process, there were - as is customary with everything that is sewn - mishaps that had to be resolved with lots of seam ripping and a generous helping of feelings of anger and frustration. There were also some gut wrenching laughs to be had in the late hours of the night and a long long day.
Granny trying unsuccessfully to stuff the foam into the new cushion.

 Below is a picture I snapped of Gran and I laughing at my mom who was a bit on one:

The other side of granny's and my laughter - my mom's face when I said I would try to write a real quick blog post  yesterday:
  I did manage to capture the happier side of that outburst. She looks a bit, um, well . . . 
But, really - inebriated-looking or not - can you believe this lady is my mom? 
More like my gorgeous older sister!
 Below - finally some progress! One of the old cushions, next to a newly recovered one:
 Granny, Mom and I were all busy bees - especially after we got the look . . . 
  After a long night of sewing until 3, Mom and I went to bed. 
The next morning around 8am, were were all back at it again:
Gran's nimble fingers at work.
  Squire even fiddled around on the sewing machine a bit:
  The next two pictures about sum up our day today:
Excitment, exhaustion, and desperation.
Sewing, sewing, sewing, sewing, sewing, sewing . . .
  Riley, giving the half-finished slip-covers a test run:
 Dimple cheek boy hiding behind the arm chair:
Squire back at the sewing again - but this time to hand-stitch a few final touches:
And finally the moment I (and you) have all been waiting for - the finished chairs!:
These chairs are absolutely stunning. I'll try to post some more pictures when the lighting is better. For now these will just have to suffice.

I love my talented mom. I learned so much today, and together we all created slip covers that will warm our home for many many years to come. :)

What do you think?!


  1. so cool!! I'd love to learn how to sew so I could have party like yours. =)

  2. Not my favorite fabrics (or colors I guess) but I wouldn't call those "slip covers." Those are more like "snug covers." You covered those chairs with such precision with all the piping and details. That's what simply amazing about them! Great job guys!

  3. Those are gorgeous! What a great job, send your mom down to Florida next please!

  4. LOVE love LOVE the fabrics!!! Esp the floral! Looks like fun!



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