Sarah Halford

Architecture and Ceramics

take a pew

My friends took me to Sam Burns’ Yard last weekend, it’s a clearance yard with … STUFF everywhere, a total free for all. Glassware and plastic things, doors etc are left outside in the elements, and it had just finished raining so all the glasses were filled with clean water. When I was at art college all the Fine Art lot used to go out there, foraging for the oldest, saddest looking items to make still-life compositions.

I spotted this small bucket seat, only £5! Luckily it fitted in the back seat, and I could see how the upholstery was put together just by looking at it; just a slip cover with ribbon ties and metal clamps holding it to the metal frame.

Once I stripped off the brown crushed velvet cover (!) I found the rather sad foam interior.

The seat pad has disintegrated, so I took a template to the Foam Centre, and they cut me a new piece… for four times the cost of the chair!

The rest of the foam wasn’t in too good nick either, so I worked quickly, cut the cover into pieces along the seam lines and used them to make a newspaper template to take to Ikea. They had that fab fabric super cheap, and I was able to lay out the template in the shop to make sure I had enough to fussy cut the pieces. [I hate the term ‘fussy cut’, but that’s what it’s called!]

The thing about doing things yourself is that you can match colours to things you already have. I’ve heard this called ‘really tying the room together’ 🙂 which always makes me thing that you’re preparing for a flood by tying the furniture down, or the Gump in Return to Oz.

Well I added piping cord to the long seam, to match the walls in our living room. Making your own piping cord is easy, if you have a zipper foot for your sewing machine. You could, I suppose, really tie your room together with it if you so wished.

It was worth ‘fussy cutting’ the pieces!

Covered buttons! My fave. Unfortunately while I was working on the ties underneath, I leant on the back leg at an odd angle and cracked it :-/ so Ferd is fixing it with wood glue and string. He’s really tying the chair together.

This is the first time I have;

  • upholstered with a fabric with no stretch
  • made a cover for a foam cushion
  • got foam cut to my template
  • ‘fussy cut’
  • made a template from a slip cover
  • gone to Ikea during half term holidays. And the last.

This was a pretty easy project, and I was forced to work quickly because the foam isn’t in the best nick and I don’t fancy that foam dust all over the flat, so getting it covered quickly was the only option. Making a template was easy, there weren’t many pieces and the original cover was easy to remove. I cut the template without a seam allowance and cut a generous seam allowance from the fabric, which was fine as it gives extra slack to tie at the bottom. The arms are slightly baggy, but I prefer that to too small.

Another triumph to Learning From A Boook.

eta; Ferdia finished fixing the leg, so it’s finished now. One of our household is enjoying his new chair a lot.

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This entry was posted on October 21, 2012 by in edinburgh, various makey things.
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