So Close But Yet So Far…

Slowly but surely I am making progress on my ongoing upholstery project. I am so close to the end that I can taste it, but at the same time I also realise that I still have a way to go. In fact it has taken so long to get to this point that I am considering roping of the chair to ensure people view it from a distance only. I mean, if its ok for the National Trust… in just the same way as the National Trust does in all of it’s historical buildings. My biggest problem is that I am only at college once a week and this just isn’t enough time to get it completed at any great speed. I have brought it home a couple of times to get extra done but unfortunately I get so far and then have to wait, take it back to college and get advice on where I should go next.

My chair so far

My chair so far

Looking at the front view it looks pretty much completed and I cannot wait to see it completely finished. I know it is going to look amazing once it is finished…I mean it has to because I can’t believe that you can spend this much time on a project and it not turn out great (I am a glass half full type of person). Unfortunately, when you look at the back it doesn’t look anywhere near complete.

My Not So Finished Chair Back And Outer Arm

My Not So Finished Chair Back And Outer Arm

As you can see both the back and the outer arm need to have top fabric putting on it and also the bottom (although I don’t have a photograph of that) needs platform cloth putting on to tidy it all up and hide all of the chairs insides.

Having only 9 weeks of college left, which incidentally is a total of 27 hours, it is safe to say that I am rather worried about whether I am going to get it finished. The only solution is to make sure I do much of the work needed outside college time. This worries me slightly as I cant help but think that I am going to get something key and very important wrong. Although, this worry has aided me in certain situations as it has driven me to check all measurements prior to cutting my top fabric over and over and over again…and sometimes just one or two more time to make even more certain.

Irritatingly, college is closed for the next two weeks as it’s the Easter holidays so in order to continue working on it I have brought it home in a hope that I will be able to get the arms covered in my plain blue top fabric (the same as the seat). Just bringing it home is an effort in itself. Especially if you consider the fact that I am no longer able to carry it by myself and the fact that it is wider than most door ways. This means that not only am I required to find some poor unsuspecting soul to help me move it every time I want to work on it  but every time it needs to be taken through a doorway it has to be flipped and turned in order to squeeze it though the frame. Bringing my chair home turns into an epic game of Tetris as we negotiate around various bends in the corridors, doorways and finally face the challenge of trying to fit said chair into the boot of my Vauxhall Corsa. Thankfully transport to and from the car is made much easier thanks to the fact that a very innovative and brave college tutor of the past stole an Asda shopping trolley purposely for moving such items of furniture. So I have a big THANK YOU to this person as they have saved me on many an occasion.

 

 

My Upholstery Journey To Reading Chair Heaven Update

Wow, it has been a while since my last post. In the time since posting I have gotten married, been on honeymoon and settled into married life. Even though I promised myself that I wouldn’t let wedding related stuff take over my life…I did. Those last few weeks before the wedding were crazy and I can honestly say stressful. Although I didn’t turn into the stereotypical bridezilla, there were plenty of tears, tantrums and nerves. The day itself though was amazing and after the stress of wedding planning the honeymoon was just what we needed.

We have now been married for nearly 6 weeks and are starting to think about properly setting up our home. It was pretty much impossible to even consider any kind of decoration or house renovation due to putting all spare cash towards the wedding. Now that the wedding has been and gone though, we can now start to plan the house renovations (although these will be slow due to having to replenish our much depleted savings). With this in mind I thought I would share my upholstery project!

Here is a reminder of how it looked before I began reupholstering it.

Before

Before – nasty fabric, filthy and smelly.

That was how it was in September. Since then I have been spending 1 day a week at college, where I have stripped it down to its bare wood, rebuilt it up by adding the webbing, hessian, foam, and fire resistant calico. It has taken a lot of time and energy but it is looking great.

3/4 of the way through - Before any of the top fabric went on.

3/4 of the way through – Before any of the top fabric went on.

It has a slightly different shape to before but it is lovely…and so comfortable! It’s going to make a great reading chair for my living room. In this picture you cannot see the cushion that will go on top of the seat for people to sit on (just like in the first image).

I always knew that I wanted to use two different fabrics. Originally the plan was to having a plain fabric and also one that had thin stripes on it, ideally in a light blue colour. However, this soon changed when I saw my final choice in top fabric! As soon as I saw it I fell in love and due to having a great conversation with the sales assistent (who also did upholstery) managed to get it at a great price. Its thick and hardwaring and, due to the quality, will withstand wiping.

My top fabric

My top fabric

The  buttoned back and seat will be done in the top (patterned) fabric and the piping, buttons, arms and the actual behind back will be done in the other fabric (plain). Incidentally these are the colours I plan to eventually use as the colour scheme in the living and dining room.

Today being a college day I have been able to work on my chair some more and have managed to start putting the top fabric on.

At the end of college today

At the end of college today

My deep buttoning

Deep buttoning close-up

As you can see today I have managed to get the plain blue on the bottom (which will sit beneath the seat cushion) and have started buttoning the top fabric onto the back of the seat (although this does need neatening up). I love it! I just know it is going to look stunning at the end once I have finished. Slowly but surely I am getting there.

Chair Update!

As you can see the chair is starting to take shape.

My Chair

I have managed to shaped the foam on the back. I can’t tell you have tricky it was to keep to the shape of the chair while maintaining the roundness of the foam. After about 3 college sessions I have finally finished shaping the foam and am getting ready to put the buttons into it. I cannot wait to see the finished chair back!

 

Top Ten Project List

This is a blog post I have been meaning to write for a while. I figured that I needed to be a little bit more organised so I have decided to write up a Top Ten Project List detailing the furniture projects currently on my to do list. It is something I should be able to strategically work my way through. Instead of what I am doing right now which is more bumbling my way through. So here they are:

One

My Dresser

This is the project I am currently doing. The aim is to turn this into a beautiful cream and varnished pine dresser to go into my hallway (near the kitchen) to store all of my baking ingredients. This will then give me more storage in the kitchen.

Two

The Cupboard Under The Stairs

When this house was built in the 1930’s I think this would have been a walk in pantry. At the minute it has hooks that hold coats and wonky shelves (installed by the previous owner) that can hold nothing plus I have a habit of chucking anything I dont want seen into it (e.g. the hoover, mop and bucket etc). I would love for it to be returned to being a pantry. It would allow me to buy certain kitchen items that I always use in bulk.

Three

One of the mirrors next to one of the fireplaces

I just need to get these hung up on the wall and then the fireplaces can be ‘dressed’ properly to make them into a feature rather than a ‘place to put things’. The picture only shows one of the mirrors but I also have a starburst mirror that needs putting up.

Four

My Lloyd Loom Ottoman

This is a Lloyd Loom Ottoman and it was also the first thing I ever tried to upholster (pre college course). I can’t believe I ever did anything as bad as this but alas it is true. Now I know a little bit more about upholstery I know I can upholster this to a much higher standard and turn it into something beautiful and unique. It is really handy for storing fabric in as well as becoming a seat as when the need arises.

Five

Upstairs Hallway Window

Unfortunately at the moment we can’t re-decorate that hallway due to time and money. Having spent an absolute fortune buying and moving into the house at the same time as planning and paying for a wedding we are having to take step by step and one room at a time and currently the home office/craft room is the priority. So instead I am wanting to make small changes to smarten it up a little bit. One of them being dressing the window. I want to make a nice curtain to frame it a little plus adding a vase of some sort.

Front Door

I also want to put a matching curtain downstairs in the hallway to block some of the draft from the front door. It will also add a little bit of ‘softness’ to the front door.

Six

I love the idea of having a picture display going up the stairs. I just need to get more family photos to put into frames.

Seven

Front of Side-table

Top of the Side-table

I want to clean up this oak side table and get rid of all the marks and water rings that are on the top. I am torn between painting it or stripping it down to revarnish it…decisions decisions.

Eight

Undecorated Craft Room

My home office/craft room is in need to serious re-decorating. As of yet it has not yet even been starting but if plans come together that should soon change. The aim is to make this room into a creative space that is a joy to spend time in. It will have a good sized work space with amazing storage to ensure nothing is in the way ever. I want to install shelving into the alcove and then (hopefully) fit doors to the bottam of it to ensure we have a space to hide things away in.

Nine

I think I would like to install something like this on the wall at the bottom of the stairs so that as you come into the house you can hang your coats up.

Ten

The Problem

And finally a shoe rack that makes shoes look tidier and again this is for the bottom of the stairs. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of a future shoe rack because I don’t yet know which one I want.

College Projects – Week 2

College has started and so the true housey crafting really begins. On a Tuesday I go to a soft furnishing class. At the moment I am making a sample curtain, which is a mini curtain that teaches you all the skills needed to make a curtain but on a much smaller scale. I am really liking this project because as I learn each new skill in curtain making I am imagining lovely bright red curtains with white spots for the craft room/home office. I am determined to make my own curtains for each of the rooms in the house…fingers crossed.

On a Wednesday it’s my upholstery class and so I have begun to strip down my bargain eBay chairs.

My Chair

Unfortunately this is not the most updated photo but it does give you an idea of how it is going. I now only have the top of the arm take off and a few staples to dig out of the wood. Then I will be able to begin making a template of the back to decide where to put my buttons. This may seem a little early but I need to know this before I can even consider putting my webbing on because the buttons will go in the gaps between the webbing. It makes me excited for next week though because I am sure that once I have taken the last of the arm foam off I will be able to start the fun part…rebuilding it. I will keep you updated.

All In A Days Work

This is my chair!

My chair

It sits in my conservatory and the bright stripes really brighten up the room. On first glance it just looks like an ordinary chair. But to me this is no ordinary chair. This is my best upholstery project from last year! For the past year I have spent 3 hours a week, on a Thursday morning, at college learning upholstery and with the support of the tutor I managed to completely strip down, build up and upholster this chair.

This is what the chair looked like before.

Before

Sorry about the blurry photos. They were taken on my phone and are unfortunately the only ones I have. Here are some close ups.

Before – Close-up

Before – Close-up

It was yet another eBay bargain. I was able to get this little beauty for £5! I then has to spend money on materials and fabric which cost a pretty penny but even with that it was still a bargain and way cheaper than it would have cost me to buy one brand new. It looks a million times better with its new upholstery.

Yesterday I found myself with itchy fingers and decided that my sofa (which sits in the conservatory with my chair) also needed something. So remembering how I still has some left over fabric from the chair decided to make some matching cushion covers.

Matching cushions on the sofa

Matching Cushion Close-up

I made them into envelope covers as this meant I could take them on and off to wash but I didn’t then need to buy any zips. I already had the cushion pads that needed covers so in my head that means they were…FREE! I do love that word!

Furniture Finds!

I love eBay! I particularly love eBay when I find an amazing piece of furniture at an amazing price just needing a little bit of care and attention. So on one of my regular eBay searches I came across these lovely gems for the price of £66.00 (that was for both chairs so only £33.00 each).

My New Chairs

What are they doing outside I hear you say. Well, unfortunately at this moment in time we have not made a space for them in our new house (although they will be going into the conservatory) so they are in the garage. However, I have discovered that they make the most brilliant garden chairs. They are ever so comfy and they are lovely to sit on in the warm sunshine with a good book and a glass of something cold. It makes me wonder why I never put ‘proper’ chairs in the garden before, especially because we have space in the garage to store them. Maybe this is a future project idea…

They really are lovely chairs with a beautifully ornate dark wood frame.

I love the Dark wooden frame

Close-up of the back

Close-up of the leg and arm

I brought them for my upholstery course starting in September. This  is my second year studying upholstery and I am really looking forward to learning how to do the deep buttoning on the back of the seat. I cannot wait to get to a stage where I can start choosing fabrics. However, first things first, I need to strip down the chairs to their wooden frame so that I can clean them up and building them up at college again. This won’t be done for a while yet though because I am enjoying using them as garden chairs far too much.

I love these chairs and cannot wait to see them in the conservatory all finished and being used on a daily basis.