So I have these two awesome yard sale find chairs. They are gross by useable standards but the bones are amazing! One is a tufted curved back and the other is a traditional wingback. Total price for both chairs – $12. Great price but only if I could reupholster them.
I figured I could reupholster them – actually I was pretty confident. I’m a research girl and, well, blogs are an unending resource. However, after my husband’s less than resounding vote of confidence (read between the lines here), I was more than determined than ever. So when our local tri-community continuing education course catalog came in the mail and had an upholstery class, I jumped at it. These were going to be the coolest looking chairs ever!
What comes next is my 8 week adventure in upholstery. I’ll share as I go through this journey, including all the amazing tips I learn on upholstering – rather reupholstering.
First tip, if you think you know how to sew and you sit before an industrial sewing machine, think again.
I will admit, I don’t like sewing but I do know how. We were tasked with making an apron so we could learn all the techniques on the industrial machine from the basics of threading to actually running the machine, top stitching, 1/2 inch seams, and so on.
Sat down. Threading the machine – no problem. Threading the bobbin – a little stumble but easy in the end. I set my fabric for a 1/2 inch seam, dropped the needle and gently pressed down on the presser foot. My fabric swatch was half way to China and taking quite a curved and convoluted path before I had even realized it had started to go. No folks I am not exaggerating. It is the Indy 500 race car of sewing machines. Think Porsche not Geo Metro.
I spent my entire first class trying to regulate my heavy foot…unsuccessfully. Even my mother, who on a whim decided to take the class with me and is one of the best custom clothing and alterations seamstresses I know, had an, let’s say, interesting time with the machine. Actually, by the time she was done with her apron, she said and I quote, “I am so ashamed of this I’m not showing it to anyone.”
I, on the other hand, proudly show off my apron as a testament of sheer determination to get the blasted thing done! Oh, and it looks, well, less than stellar.
My tip, unless you are sewing high pile or thick leathers, avoid the industrial machine. Sew on a great quality home machine like a Pfaff.
Two classes down and at least in class three I will get to start my chair. Stay tuned for more adventures in upholstering.