Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sew good: upholstery is awesome

I can now add amateur upholstress to my repertoire. 

Starting this year off being productive and crafty I signed up for this ah-mazing class. Upholstery Coutour with Martina Voss at 1000 Parker Street. The intro class is making an ottoman- which gives you all the basics of upholstery and might sound small, but we used every last second to finish our pieces in this 6 week (18 hours total) class. Martina's background was originally fashion, and it shows. 

Here are the basic steps through photos:
We started out with a recycled frame- this one has a touch of local flair having come from the Westin Bayshore. 

We first had to attach our jute webbing with tacks and hammer
There are so many layers underneath, you have no idea
Then we had to attach this bumper to help structure our foam
And then sculpt some corners
The glue is crazy tacky and messy and needless to say I missed some pictures of that process. On to sculpting into the shape and level of pouf you want...
At this point you might already be pretty satisfied and happy. Hey, it looks like something I could sit on! It has corners! Restoration Hardware sells some stuff that looks like this! 

But don't stop. Now you get to choose the fabric. However...this is where things got hard for me. (Or I made them hard, it was a toss up) I love fabric. I went shopping no less than 7 times. I have dozens of swatches. The problem was the fabric I wanted was not upholstery fabric. In the end I added some expense and lots of time but it was pretty worth it in the end. The compromise was that I could use my fabric if I made it thicker. Cue the quilter in me. I actually made my fabric into a quilt before I turned around and cut it up to sew it again. 

Quilting diversion:
Pinning my fabric. It's maramekko 
Trusty machine

Then, a lot of math. Measure 18 million times, cut once. 
The plan:
I also had to make all my own piping. First time on an industrial machine. If my sewing machine is like driving on a bumpy country road, industrial is like being in the Indy 500. Fast.  
Slipping it on for fit. I had to take apart one side and tighten it up
Attaching it to it's frame. For most everything else staple guns were used. 
Attaching my bottom piping and cardboard strips to clean up the edge. 
(Secret love note to myself)
We then attached a dust cover on the bottom to hide the inside/underneath. No one will ever really see this, but I loved the toad stool fabric for my toad stool!
TA DA! Done. Well, nearly done I still have  some hand sewing to do which will finish it up but I can do that in house. 
It was an amazing class. I don't think I've ever felt this exhilarated after going to school. 

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