On Sunday — as a nasty blizzard raged outside, dumping 10 or so inches of snow on the Retro Ranch — I was stuck in the house for the entire day, so I decided to give it my all and see if I could put the finishing touches on my second vintage sofa.
Most of the sofa came together quite easily, since a lot of the sewing was very similar to what I did for the first couch, but then there was that darn arm. Sure, I love the look of the arm — but it was such a pain to upholster! Sewing the piece of fabric to cover the arm was difficult enough, but attaching it — along with all those pesky little details like the small panel that covers the front of the arm were right — would be even tougher.
Case in point: attaching the fabric to the underside of the arm without the staples or tacks showing. Problem number one, I had just enough tack strip to attach the fabric to back of the sofa, but none leftover for the underside of the arm. The blizzard was making a trip to the fabric store seem like a treacherous voyage, so instead I made my own tack strip…
There were more difficulties, again brought on by the arm, when attaching the last piece of fabric to the back of the sofa. I used tack strip to attach the entire back, even for the jog around the arm. It wasn’t easy, but I got it to work — phew!
- I had practiced on the first sofa and was getting the hang of sewing and upholstering in general
- The sofa was not as beat up as the first one, so the original horsehair padding is not quite as lumpy looking
Now I have a lovely matched set of vintage orange sofas with brand new upholstery, making them feel clean and new. Even my Mother-In-Law — who was utterly revolted by the couches when I first acquired them — said she would be glad to have a seat on either one of the sofas now. I think that’s a pretty good compliment, don’t you?
When all is said and done, reupholstering these two vintage couches cost me about $400 for fabric and supplies, however I have quite a lot of orange fabric left over from my purchase of 23 yards — so the actual cost is less when you factor in that I have extra material to use for another project. I’m not sure exactly how much is left (I’ll have to unroll it and measure). I initially ordered much more fabric that I ever thought I would need — just in case I made a big mistake — since it was my first time sewing and trying to upholster furniture like this. Being careful with my measurements before cutting, laying out the fabric smartly and luckily not making any big mistakes saved me enough fabric for another project. My adorable husband Jim suggested that I make a matching ottoman…
Personally — after spending the entire month of January reupholstering these sofas — I’m thinking about taking a break from the sewing machine for a little R&R — reading and relaxing on my new, old sofas. Thanks for tagging along on my first foray into reupholstering vintage furniture.