This week Lisa has continued the reupholstery of her beautiful 1930's armchair - choosing a gorgeous tweed check. Here she is fitting the fabric to the seat, using specific cuts to fit the fabric to the seat. tip: stripes and checks are always tricky - mark your centres back and front to ensure that the lines are straight - but don't forget to use your 'eye' as well as old furniture is not necessarily true and square.
Louise is continuing with her wing-back armchair in herringbone check (Moon), having machine the pieces for the arms, Louise has fitted these this week. We used the old fabric as a pattern for the arms, and took care with the cuts around the arm fronts and back where the arms join the seat back. tip: when applying piping to curves always ensure that the fabric is cut on the bias to ensure it will stretch to follow the curve - if you don't the piping with pucker on the curve: not a good look!
Jayne is undertaking the challenging but rewarding task of reconstructing a Bergere sofa. Having repainted the frame in annie sloan chalk paints, she has restarted the reconstruction process - webbing on, and the 24 springs are now sewn in place ready for tying down the springs - strong hands and patience required. tip: the springs need to be placed so that they can be sewn securely to the hessian base (ideally catch 3 times through webbing base), and so that when sewn together they are in line and so that the knot (in the spring) will not interfere with the ties. Lots to think about.
Helen joined the group to complete a Victorian ladies nursing chair - we worked together to start the reconstruction of the seat back. First we marked out the position for the collar, which was stuffed with good quality hair and fibre and tacked down before the roll was stitched to create a roll-edge. tip: the hair is twitched to aid a firm edge. It was also well regulated (worked with a regulator) to ensure the hair was evenly distributed. Keep a check on the size of the roll edge, and its height, whilst sewing to ensure a uniform roll-edge. Use the regulator often to help move the hair should you find that the roll is thin in places. An intense but rewarding stage to complete.
Lastly, Natasha has painted this footstool with annie sloan paints and is beginning to reconstruct the footstool by applying the webbing. We worked out how many runs of webbing were required and measured out their position to ensure that they were placed with even spacing - as with lots of things in upholstery, its structure and uniformity aides its strength. tip: leave the webbing on the roll and only cut-off once you have secured both ends - this way you use only what you need and limit wastage. As they say 'waste not, want not'.
More next week ....
Andrea Austin, upholsterer and tutor of Plush Upholstery