Worth Quoting

Sometimes the Lord calms the storm, sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Slipcover Makeovers

It's a new year. New Years resolutions almost always include cleaning up, de-cluttering and sprucing up your life. I couldn't help but think about my recent adventures with my mom on recovering my furniture. Reduce-Reuse-Recycle!

Growing up in my mom's upholstery business, I extracted a bit of sewing and furniture knowledge, but never really embraced it all. She's always helped me find great deals on quality furniture and then we pick out fabric and redo it. Or I should say that she redoes it. I do sometimes "tear it down" - meaning I remove all the old fabric and it was always fun as kids to find all the treasures inside people's furniture.

For several years my mom has been telling me it was PAST time for a furniture update. I just couldn't find the exact look I wanted. Since it had been almost 11 years from my last redo, I new I had to just go for it. So, my wonderful mother came to my house and brought her super sewing machine, serger and all pertinent sewing items. I kept telling her that I REALLY wanted to learn how to do it so that she could pass her knowledge down. This was mostly true!

Loveseat Before
We started with my love seat. Here's the love seat's history. It was purchased new by Brad's mom in Montgomery, AL. She ordered it and had it covered in a light blue chintz type fabric. When she redid her house, she offered it to me. It is a great quality piece and worthy of hanging onto. In 2000, we redid this love seat in a green chenille. I loved the softness of the fabric and it was great until the children got older. The weaves of the chenille are loose and the children often pulled out the weaves in the fabric. There weren't gaping holes, but it was definitely looking worn.
Loveseat in Progress

We decided on a slipcover so that everything could come off and could be washed - necessary for a home with children! The decking - underneath the seat cushions was laid out first. Then we did the arms, back and skirt. The cushions were all completely redone. It was about 10 hours of labor. I am happy to admit that I did a good deal of the cutting out of the fabric and even some of the sewing. It was quite difficult trying to figure out how everything would go - since we were making our pattern as we went.

Here's the Loveseat After:

Sherrill Sofa Before
After the loveseat was finished, we were ready to move on to the sofa. Here's the sofa history. When I was growing up, my parents had the best sofa of all my friends' houses. It was made of down feathers and was huge. There were so many times that me and several of my friends slept on it - comfortably. I had always wanted a similar couch. After I got married, my mom found a similar style, just a bit smaller. We stripped it down to the frame and covered it in a green almost animal print fabric. The fabric has been amazing - almost indestructible. It looks as good 12 years later as it did the day it was recovered. However, the fabric is so tough that it's not that comfortable and the cushions don't sit as good as I wanted them. So, we decided to see if we could find an alternative for the sofa. My mom got on craigslist and we found a Sherrill sofa (retail $1200 new) for $50. I'm a bit particular about who's furniture I use. So, the first question I asked was if she was the original owner and if she had pets - answers were satisfactory (sorry, I'm not a pet lover). Mom and I loaded it up and brought it home. Mom actually hurt her shoulder during the load..sorry mom!

After another 10 or 12 hours of labor, here's the sofa finished. The cushions look kinda scrunched in the photo, but they are truly fabulous looking.

The absolutely wonderful part of all is that the slipcovers can all come off and can be washed. I'm not sure I can tackle an entire sofa and make a slipcover..actually I'm pretty sure that I couldn't, but I could probably do a chair. I do now have an extra sofa that I need to sell, but right now it is still hanging out in our house, since the kids are almost threatened with getting the new ones dirty!

More than anything, I feel like a bit more of my mother's knowledge has been passed down. Mom, thanks for beautifying my home and taking time to teach your daughter.