Here’s another of my (belated) #Refashioners2020 projects for the #usewhatyouhave theme. I posted a little while ago about a wine bag that I made into slippers, well, you can’t have thought that’s all I had planned! This time it’s sofa covers out of curtains. Let me tell you the story…
Once, a long, long time ago, MrA & I moved (briefly) from our Covent Garden flat to an apartment far-far-away… (Well, the Barbican, so not actually geographically very far away, but it might as well have been the other side of the world!). The apartment had huge windows, totally overlooked by everyone so we hastily bought some giant curtains from Dunelm Mill (for a bargain price).
As it turned out, it wasn’t meant to be and within a month we were (happily) back in our bijou Covent Garden flat. With it’s small Victorian windows, we had no need for the giant curtains so they got folded away and slowly sank to the furthest depths of under-bed storage… Until now!
We’ve had this sofa for a very long time, in fact, it was already exhausted in 2014 when (as a new sewist) I undertook the task of re-covering it for the first time. We could just get a new one, no one would blame us for that, but other than being ugly, there’s nothing really wrong with it. Rather, it’s the perfect shape/ size etc for our needs: It’s a corner unit which helps to maximise seating space in our compact living room, it is also a sofa bed and the short section lifts up providing storage (spare bedding and tools!). We’ve thought many times about replacing it, but it would only be like-for-like, so it never seemed worth it.
In the photo below you can see some of the original blue cover, quite faded and worn. Also on the left, a panel of the first cover, hanging off it’s velcro. Then, you can see the issues I have when trying to cut out large pattern pieces!
I made the pattern up as I went along, working out the best way to cover each section. The base and arms are fixed, stapled where possible and the seats and cushions are removable. For the lift-up section, I made the cover like a fitted sheet, I threaded some elastic through a casing underneath to keep it in place.
As the arms were stapled into position, I made pretty light work of those. The main cushion covers went well too – I salvaged the piping and zips from the last set and it was all coming together very well…
… And, friends, that is how it sat for about five months! I’d love to say that I finished it during this second lockdown, but I actually finished it just before: I had one day off before the ‘Three-days-of-back-to-back-clients’ prior to the lockdown and rather than rest and gather my strength for the task, MrA kept on saying ‘You should finish that sofa before the lockdown’… so finally, I did!
The last piece was already cut out and ready to go, I only had to sew some corners and a little velcro to finish it up. It was done in no time and I wondered why I had put it off for so long. With it finally finished I felt a weight lift off me, a nagging-something had definitely been released!
To celebrate, I made a final cushion out of the leftovers, added the last of the piping and a little fringing I had knocking about (from goodness knows where!).
Now the sofa is finished, we’re ready to kick back on it and watch some movies… Although there’s still plenty of sewing to do!
Notes to self:
- Break the big tasks into small tasks and approach them individually… just don’t forget to finish!
- Never underestimate the great relief of finishing a big project.
- There’s a chair and a stool that need re covering too….
This looks so good and you managed that big pattern so well! Bravo!
Thank you! … cutting out in the floor was a yoga lesson I wasn’t expecting 😅 but I’m so glad it’s finished now ✅🙏👍
Ooooh! This sofa set is FABULOUS! Looks so fancy in this beautiful fabric. Great refashion!
Thanks Abbey! Now I’ve just got to tidy up the rest of the room! 😅
Really good job Andrew! Even a small upholstery job is a big undertaking, with not much in common with other sewing jobs, not the tools, not the materials, not the skills.. But I completely understand having a sofa that’s functional, it’s not that easy to find a good one, and ugliness alone is not a good reason to get rid of something that works. Congratulations!
Thank you! I’m so glad I’ve done it… now I need to try to resist the temptation to lounge on it all day 😅
Andrew, this is so glamorous! Especially with the gold mirror. Kudos for finishing. What is there about home dec projects that makes them so easy to fall to the back of the queue. (says the man with a roll of fabric that’s been propped into a corner for years!).
Thank you Duane, we’ve moved the furniture around again and re hung some pictures (like Tetris in our lounge!) so it’s just my sewing ‘corner’ to sort out now 😅 – satisfying but not as much fun as making something to wear!
Looks fantastic 😉 I don’t even want to admit to the number of chairs have on my list to reupholster….. at least two are staring at me as I type lmao ;D
It’s the painting jobs that really haunt me! … my bathroom is still waiting 😅
I don’t mind painting at all… I love the cutting in bit best. Guess its the precision of it i’m attracted too 🙂
I actually quite like the painting – it’s the prep and clean up after that really kills me 😅
Super job Andrew! I love that you’re wearing your wine bag slippers in the photos.
Haha thanks Liz, they’re my ‘crafting slippers’ 😂
It looks great. We have a similar shaped sofa where the leather base is in good condition but the fabric seat cushions really need replacing. My husband started covering them in leather but he only got halfway and lost interest. One problem is – where to find that non-slip stuff they put on the seat cushion bases. Some of the existing ones need totally new bases I don’t even know what it’s called and I tried all sorts of searches online. If that’s what you used on your cushions – do you know?
I brought a non slip fabric sheet from Dunelm’s designed to go under rugs and stop them sliding around the floor. I’ve used it for non-slip mats under sewing machines and to make the inside of a jigsaw mat to take on cruise for the young’uns to play on without the pieces going overboard…. that would work well for your sofa needs too I think 🙂
I’ve got this from Tiger- thanks! I’ll tuck it into the sofa now 👍👏
Thanks. Did you see Lainey s comment? The mat taped to the floor for Freddy is from Tiger, I’ve got one for under the machine too… I’ll use the spare under the back of the seat cover now 👍👏 good luck 🙏