Tuesday, November 22, 2016

diy oversized chair - part 2

Full disclosure .... I plan to expose all the mistakes I made during the making of the chair. There really isn't a lot of information available on making your own upholstered chair, so there's gonna be mistakes. Quite a few actually. I'm not apposed to meeting a challenge head on - making adjustments as needed and learning as I go.

So my original plan was flawed in several ways. The deck was too high, so we actually broke the poplar out and cut it in half - then we put it back together. I also needed to add boards about an inch above the deck all the way around the chair as the red lines indicate. You'll need those for stapling the foam and fabric.

I had a Robotics meeting at the high school so I had to take off and leave Burke to having the fun of cutting springs and taking pictures. So excuse the messy pictures.

You can buy these springs precut, but in our case - the chair was over sized and pre-
cut springs weren't an option. So I bought a whole roll and cut the pieces ourselves using wire cutters. It worked just fine.

I did research on what type of springs to use and I went with these. They are call sinuous springs or zig zag springs. It was these or coil springs and I went with these for ease of use. They don't need to be tied down.

You get these clips, nail them in.

We spaced them about 3 inches apart.

We used this tool to stretch the spring to each clip.

We cut the springs about an 1 - 1 1/2 inches shorter than the span of the chair.

Make sure you nail everything down really well and file down any rough edges on the springs so they don't cut your fabric.

It really only took a couple of hours and no tying! 

To have the springs all move together when you're up or down, we used these long pieces of wrapped wire and attached them to the springs.

Next we took webbing and added them to the arms to provide reinforcement for the foam padding.

Someone I work with gave me burlap that was left over from his wedding, so I used it to reinforce the deck and outside arms.

Let's breakout the cost so far.

For the springs and webbing, including tools to put these on. $180.00. I have enough now for multiple chairs and the tools I need to put them on.

Mistakes I've made so far:
- miscalculated the height of the chair, so we had to take apart the kick board.
- not installed wood side ways for ease of upholstery.
- spending more on tools I didn't have or having to buy something in bulk because most people don't do this. :)

Total cost so far: $300

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

pillow covers

I've been busy lately making slipcovers and curtains plus working on the new over sized chair for the living room. I wanted alot of throw pillows for the furniture pieces and found these down and goose feather pillow forms. I love them. I bought them off Amazon for roughly $15/piece. I also went out to Fabric.com and found some contrasting french country fabrics.

I made about 8 pillows covers. They have a zipper so that I can change them up whenever I get sick of the fabric or simple want a change of pace.

The best thing I ever bought was this piping foot. I spent $10.00 and it has made a world of difference. I've made a lot of piping lately with the slip covers and with my new foot, they always turn out beautifully. You can find the foot here. My Brother machine requires a high shank, so I purchased accordingly.

The side view of the piping foot. It has the groove where the piping fits as you sew along.

So, let's start with the how to make the piping. This picture is the piping I made for a slipcover, but I did the same for the pillow covers. Cut some strips 1 and 5/8th inch wide and cut enough to go around the pillow.

Sew the binding strips together using this method. With right sides together, sew diagonally.

Then cut off the little triangles so it looks like this.

Using the piping (or welting), fold the fabric over the piping.

You can also use your zipper foot to make your piping.

Measure your pillow and cut the top fabric the same dimensions. Once you sew everything together, it'll be about an half inch smaller than your pillow, which will make the pillow nice and full.

Now for the back.... Add another 1 1/2 inch to the width to allow for the zipper.  Fold it in half and cut it so you have two equal size pieces.. Fold down one side about 1/2 inch and iron it. Fold the other side about an inch and iron down. 

Choose a zipper that is roughly the same width and color as your fabric. Using your zipper foot sew down the 1/2 side. Then butt the one inch side together so it covers the zipper and sew down the other side.

I usually take both top and bottom and put them together and make sure they are exactly the same dimensions. Make some adjustments if not. Then I sew the piping around the outer edge of the top piece. Make little cuts in the corners of either the piping or fabric pieces to relieve any tension while making your turn. When you get to the end, cut some of the piping and folder over the fabric.

Slip the one side of the piping down inside the folder over fabric like this.

With right sides together, sew the top and bottom pieces together. Tip: make certain the zipper is open before sewing completely closed. It's a real pain to try and open the zipper after it's been sewn together.

Cut the corners to take out the bulk when you turn it right side out.

Turn right side out and put your pillow inside.

Giving the pillow the extra wide lip really hides the zipper.

You can barely see it and the extra wide lip keeps the zipper from snagging or catching on other items.

I bought the pillows for about $15.00 each at Amazon. You can find the pillows here, made in the USA. You can find some really great fabrics for around $10.00 a yard, so for $25.00 you can have some high quality throw pillows. I saw the same high quality pillows at Pottery Barn for $50.00 and they didn't have the zipper. I really love the down/feather versus a form insert too. Definitely worth the buy and effort.