The Wonderful World of Sock Monkeys!

Upholstery class – week #3…..and redecorating!

Well not a huge update this week, other than the fact that this was the last class and I DIDN’T FINISH MY CHAIR! I guess it’s not that big of a deal, as a couple ladies in my class were taking it for the second time and one was taking it a third time (although she was working on a pair of channel-backed chairs, which is quite difficult). So even though I hoped to finish it in three weeks, I’ll be signing up for one more round.

Adding more batting to the seat

Adding more batting to the seat

The first step was to add more batting to the seat bottom. I wanted the seat to sit up higher, and other than just making the cushion fatter, this will help beef it up. Then I had to put new batting on the arm and “reshape” it because of the snack my mom’s dogs had made of it. IMG_4120

At that point I was ready to start on the sides. My instructor did some magical calculations about how what size the piece of fabric needed to be. I really don’t understand how he came up with it, probably because too much MATH was involved, but however he did it, it was the right size. I was given this tool to push the IMG_4121fabric under the arm frame and to the back to attach it. It looked like a long, thick ruler  that was kind of beveled, and had the highly technical name of “stuffing stick.” After using it and getting everything tacked down correctly, I managed to get the other side cut out before class was over. There was a lot of extra stuffing going on for the front panels as well to get things “filled out”. I’m still amazed at how little sewing there is for upholstering – more stretching, tacking and stapling than I’d imagined. But I can see how the chair is going to look now and I’m excited!

The highly specific "stuffing stick"

The highly specific “stuffing stick” in action

I started to imagine some needed decor changes at home featuring the new chair, and if I change one thing, then a whole bunch of other stuff will need updating too, right? I’m envisioning some new paint in the living room, and I’m working a trade for an amazing 1960s “Declaration” secretary made by Drexel. Designed by Kip Stewart and Stewart MacDougall, the designers looked at creating a a clear modern aesthetic, while relating to Shaker furniture and the Shakers’ desire that the construction details of furniture be visible. This is a brilliant design, because it appeals to modernists and traditionalists, alike. And, it’s frickin’ FANTASTIC! If you are into mid-century furniture and/or design at all, you’ve gotta check out my favorite new website, retro renovation.

The great '60s secretary I'm working a trade for

The great ’60s secretary I’m working a trade for

Of course I will have to have a chair to sit on when I use the desk part, so I bought another chair to work on! I couldn’t pass it up – a beautiful mid-century Gunlocke arm/desk chair I snagged for only $5 on craigslist. It’s going to look great with the new secretary, and it should be an easier project to tackle (famous last words) as it only needs a small back and seat, and I know I can find some great coordinating fabric to go with my armchair. And I’ve got a great ’50s rattan chair that needs a little work, then I’ll need to tackle the beatiful Danish Modern sofa that’s been languishing in the garage the last three years (it was FREE – I HAD to get it!), but maybe that’s a project for a real upholsterer…..

My $5 craigslist score

My $5 craigslist score

This blog is just a little insight into the tangential way my mind works – from sock monkeys to crafts to furniture reupholstery then redecorating the house, I suppose it’s really not that big a surprise that I have so many unfinished projects and millions of ideas without the hours needed in a day to finish them. And I haven’t even gotten to COOKING yet! For that, you can check out my other blogs – COOKWITHSCOTT.COM and my blog for the Seattle P.I. newspaper. It gets a bit crazy trying to fit it all in on top of working, doesn’t it?

My chair's gonna look GREAT!

My chair’s gonna look GREAT!

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