Friday, September 6, 2013

Fixing the Ugly Chair (Finally)!

     So I've got this chair in my room. 

     Yeah, that one. It's super comfy (I like to sit there while I write up these posts), and the fact that it's a glider appeals to my inner old-lady,'s ugly. Real ugly. That huge swath of dark blue with the "dusty-spider" pattern all over it was just acting as a black hole in the middle of my nice, light, fluffy pink cloud of a room. You may remember that for a while I had it covered with my ruffly pink duvet. That worked for a temporary solution, but as the weather got hotter, I wanted that duvet to actually, you know, sleep under (it's nice for hot nights because I don't actually have a duvet in it, so it's basically sleeping under two sheets sewn together. All the monster-protection, none of the overheating!). I knew it was time to think of a better solution. 

     And that's where this comes in!

     Yep, I went a weird route on this one. I'd been keeping an eye out every time I went to the fabric store for something I'd like to cover the chair in, but I just couldn't find a fabric that spoke to me and was soft and cozy but also durable enough to sustain me dramatically flinging myself into the chair when swooning, or whatever. You never know! After I took the pink duvet off the chair, I had draped a  blanket exactly like this one over it instead, and eventually I decided I actually really liked the look of it. The quilting makes it seem plausible for furniture, but it's also plushy and soft and delightful, and it's a nice creamy neutral color. It seemed like a winner to me! But obviously I couldn't just leave the chair draped in a blanket forever. For one thing, it kept getting all bunchy and droopy and sad whenever I sat in it, and for another, I knew as soon as it started getting cold again I'd want the blanket back to sleep under and wear around the house like an oversized toddler with her blankie. So I sucked it up and bought a duplicate of the blanket I had specifically to cover the chair in. It was $30, which is probably around or cheaper than what I would have paid for several yards of upholstery fabric anyway (if I ever found some I liked). And the great thing is that since this blanket has two layers (a quilted front layer and a non-quilted back layer), I could get enough fabric out of it to make the front and back/underside of both cushions for my chair! 

     Now, I'm going to make a judgment call here and not go too in-depth about how I made the cushion covers, because I know most of you will never do this, and if you do you'll probably find a super-amazingly written tutorial for making cushion covers somewhere else on the internet anyway. Most of you just want to see a pretty before and after and go, "Oh, cool! That's less ugly!" So I'll just summarize in case you're curious: basically I took the covers off the cushions and used them as patterns for the new covers. For the top cushion, which was pretty straightforward (the front and back pieces were the same) I just flattened the old cover on top of my blanket and cut around it, then separated the layers for a front and back piece. For the bottom, which had side panels and was a little more complicated, I took a seam ripper to the old cover (it was too old and grimy and ugly to be saved, so don't worry -- sorry, I'm heartless) and used the pieces just like pattern pieces: a top piece of the quilted layer, a bottom piece of the unquilted layer, and side pieces of both layers together, because why not? Then I just sewed the pieces together the way they had been on the old covers, leaving a slot open to shove the stuffins in, then wrestled the cushions in and hand-sewed the slots shut. And now, the final result...

     Ta-da! Aahhh, so squishy and soft and inviting. I love how this turned out. Something about the fluffiness makes me feel like this chair could be in Hagrid's hut (though it'd have to be bigger, obviously). At some point down the road I'd like to paint this chair, because I really dislike this orangey color. It's all solid wood, so I could strip the varnish and stain it a rich dark brown or white-wash it. I could also paint it, but I always feel like it's kind of a shame to take lovely old wood furniture with scratches and dents and character and cover it with a solid painted finish that you can buy anywhere. But for now, I looked at all those spindles and nooks and crannies and moving parts underneath it and said "Eeeeh, I can deal with yellow wood for a while." It's daunting! In the meantime I'll just enjoy my squashy little cloud chair as-is!

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