With the seat covered and stuffed in muslin, it’s time to move to the next most important cushy part, which has got to be the arms. My tush needs a soft but firm place to rest. The right height, the right knee placement, and the right wiggle – you know the right amount of wiggle to settle in comfy without sinking to the springs wiggle. But if the arms are too low or too high, it ruins the perfect seat.
First, I had to get the foundation of cushy on the arms. The last thing you want is to feel the wood frame and the way to accomplish that is with 1 inch tuff. Just like I did with the seat, I split the tuff and stapled the bottom layer to the arm to prevent dimples.
Next, bring on the cotton (and the allergies…ugh). It was a matter of taking a sheet of cotton and wrapping it under the arm, over the side and tucked under the plumber’s tape. It became a matter of layering cotton, in some areas heavier than others such as at the base of the arm. End then end, I got the firm, majorly stuffed, and comfy arms I wanted. Once I finished stuffing all the layers of cotton, it came to adding the muslin cover…
Remember how I said I hate plumber’s tape…it’s about to move into despise. Just like with the seat, I needed to pull top and bottom. One challenge…plumber’s tape doesn’t really allow for tacking and pulling. So it got sewed on (temporarily) to the burlap. Ultimately it would be stapled down to the seat area but if I did it now, I wouldn’t be able to pull the finished fabrics through. However, this made pulling the muslin extremely difficult. Every time I pulled, the cotton moved, which meant I had to stuff it in. Doing that left lumps, major lumps. I despise plumber’s tape.
To finish, I made small cuts into the muslin at the back and front pull areas. These small cuts allow the fabric to lay flat. If not, I would have some nice not so little ripples and folds where I didn’t want them. Back to pulling. Again, hate plumber’s tape. I took a little longer as a result of my not so friendly plumber’s tape but it got to where it needed to be and I got to staple it in place. How I love stapling. It means that step is finished.
However, that didn’t mean the arms were done. If you look straight onto an arm of a chair that has a curved arm, you might notice it has pleats. This takes some finagling but the finished look is worth it. In the case of my chair, this started by removing the excess edge roll on the outside edge. Like with everything on the chair, hard edges are not desired. So bring on the cotton and the allergies again. It’s a process of smoothing out cotton over the edge roll, creating a smooth curve. Tact in place and staple it.
Then the pleats. This takes math. Ideally, it’s suppose to be an even number, evenly spaced and duplicated on the other arm. So measure on the horizontal from the inside to the outside on one arm. Then divide by the number sections, not pleats, to get how far they are apart. The main focus was to make sure it was a pleat and not just a fold. Basically, could I stick my regulator under each pleat.
Most challenging part of pleating was getting it to match on both sides and making sure the inset fits. Once I knew they did, I got to staple it in place. To finish off the arm, I pulled the fabric tight toward the back, making sure all the creases were gone. The best part about this, it meant I got to cut off the excess muslin from the seat and the arms!
Next, on to finish fabric! But that is for the next post!