Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Before And After: Retro Upholstered Chair

Hello and welcome to my blog, I'm Courts and I've been AWOL for a while. 

I have no excuse.

But I've missed you! So I've set myself a goal to post once a week.

One teeny, tiny blog post every seven days. Totally doable!!

I have a brand new Mac (Mac newbie right here), I have a gazillion projects to share (with a gazillion photos to match;-), plus plenty on this always buzzing mind of mine to share.

Yay! So why not start with my most recent project to date...

Its a beauty, right?

Completely unique, one-of-a-kind and it is going into a baby's nursery of a beautiful family who are expecting their first child! (Along with a couple other of my 'extroverted' pieces;-)

I cannot wait to see the whole room put together!

So this chair is the most challenging one I've ever done and I'm so happy with how it turned out.

I've learnt how to use ply grip (thanks you tube!) which is amazing stuff and so easy to use once you know how.  FYI, ply grip is metal strip that has two edges. One edge you staple and the other has teeth that grips the fabric which you tuck under then bang it down with a mallet. It gives the appearance of a neat sewn edge. It's how the back piece is attached and the little semi-circles on the front sides there. You can make it into any shape you need and looks so professional that people will say 'Wow!! How did you do that? That's amazing!! You're amazing!! Can I marry you?!'
Ok, maybe you won't get too many of the last question thrown at you, but I'm just putting it out there. Ply grip results may get you a marriage proposal people. Just keeping your options wide open for you ;-) And no, I haven't received any marriage proposals from my awesome ply grip work, but that doesn't mean you won't. Ok?

But seriously now...

I think when a project challenges you, once you get your head around the steps you'll need to take and be prepared to make mistakes - I had the whole main body of this chair almost done, buttons and all, when I realised I had cut the fabric too narrow - and you are open to learning new things and commit to seeing it through...well it's amazing how easy it becomes and everything just kinda falls into place!

You wonder why you were so worried in the first place!

Mind you, had this chair needed me to sew something I may have had trouble following that advice ;-)

Here's the before and after -

And some other terribly important details -:

- We were going for a linen look and so of course the fabric is a painters drop cloth. Kinda looks like linen, but is thicker and so is perfect for upholstery. It has a nice texture to it in my book ;-) It also leaves a fair whack of cash in your pocket when you compare linen which is around $100 per metre (I used about 4) to the 5 metre drop cloth I got for $30. 
Don't like the colour for your project? No problems! you can dye it or even paint on a design. I have successfully done both :-)

- I left the timber work as is. I love the colour of the timber and also the wear and tear marks adds to the character, but the main reason I kept the timber as is, is because the arms are such a big part of this particular chair's design. Keeping them darker makes them a focal point (or points) for the chair. I think if I went lighter with them, which I tend to do a lot of, they would have gotten lost. Blended into the fabric a bit. It needed the contrast, in my book.

- I self-covered buttons with a lightweight cotton. I've tried covering buttons with a thicker fabric before and it just didn't work for me. Did I mention there were 23 buttons? No? Oh well there were 23 buttons that had to be covered. To attach those I just followed what had been done previously, using a loooooong needle.

And that is it my friends!

Another projie ticked off my list. Yay!!

So lets meet back here in say...one week? Yes? Awesome, I will see you then! You bring the coffee, I'll bring the herbal tea. I can't drink coffee for another 4 point 5 weeks. I'm on a six week detox to heal my leaky gut situation I've just found out about. Its all good, just wish I could borrow Adam Sandler's remote to fast forward to the end!

Take care,

Courts xx

PS. If you do happen to receive a ply grip related marriage proposal (PGRMP) It would be really bad form to NOT ask me to be a bridesmaid. I would actually prefer to be matron of honour, truth be told.  I'd get to do so much more for you, that way. Especially if you live in a country other than Australia. Europe perhaps. OOOH the Greek Islands! Please plan your wedding for Greece. Or anywhere on the mediterranean would work for me, really. ;-) 
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