Saturday, 15 June 2013

Upholstery - part three

One I'd finished the animal print sofa I mentioned to my father that I was looking for another project, and ended up with two. He would donate an Edwardian sofa bench he happened to have lying around if I would re-upholster a prie-dieu of his. Deal done. As he wanted to do some work on his item before letting me loose on it, I got to do the sofa first.

Starting to strip

The frame was sound but the wood needed to be cleaned and re-stained and some of the stringing replaced. Fortunately it had never been re-covered so there was only one set of tack holes to deal with.

Rusty tacks

Stripped & ready for staining

Because it had an old shellac finish I used methylated spirits to remove this and then an oak stain to even the colour out, followed by a quick French polish. Once this was done I was able to start webbing and building up the layers. Some of the webbing was quite tricky to do as the vertical struts were in the way plus the wood is curved.

Webbed, stained & polished
Ready for the fabric

Choosing the fabric for this piece was quite easy as I knew exactly the look I wanted and had fallen for this design. It's not my usual thing as it's quite feminine but perfect for the sofa.

Fabric choice
The downside was I had to make more double piping! I've only myself to blame as I find a lot of the ready made trims too shiny or if not extortionate prices. But after much battling with the sewing machine I'd finished. The sofa is now in our temporary bedroom and will be the focal point when the room is eventually decorated.



  1. So impressed. Really really impressed. Such patience. Such skill. When are you going to take on commissions outside the family?

  2. So I notice that this comment was posted at 20.00 on a Sunday - may I suggest that one too many apéros have passed your lips? I'm flattered Margaret but honestly it's not that difficult, just a steady hand with a staple gun.

  3. Well, I'm just starting my second cup of tea on a Monday morning, and I'm happy to let loose with a string of compliments. This piece is gorgeous! And upholstery is hard and frustrating and occasionally painful and always accompanied by profanity (in my experience). So go ahead and take a bow!

  4. Thank you Sue, I do agree about the painful bit - doing some of the stitching can be really tough. Mind you the worse was my shins hitting the tow bar every time I lifted the Parker Knolls in & out, I can issue profanities too!

  5. I love your sofa! I'm looking forward to the course, although don't think Ralph is- as soon as he gets rid of the KLC projects scattered around the house, he acquires bits of furniture in varying degrees of completion!

  6. Glad you like it - but honestly Anthea - it is addictive! Good luck though and I look forward to reading about your projects.