Chair number one

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Or, What I’ve been doing for the last year.

A bit of a different post today. Things have been very, very slow on this blog lately, but not for want of trying. I’ve managed to buy a camera remote, photograph several garments, but I’ve since had no time to write and subsequently started to dislike the photos. I’m in the middle of several major life upheavals, and I don’t want to end up half-assing the documentation of my making, as shit’s about to get serious, yo.

So until I can sort some things out I’m going to talk upholstery. I’ve been studying it for the last year, and this week I went back to college for the advanced level of the course.

This little chair is the the first chair I have ever upholstered.

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After a few months of completing various upholstery exercises, we were given free reign (within reason) to upholster a chair, and I picked this little guy.
It is by no means my preferred style of furniture, but given its age, it proved very useful for practicing traditional upholstery methods.

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I also got to flex some woodwork skills and repair and revarnish the frame.

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The fabric is by Robert Allen, as is the braid. Pure coincidence. Most of these captain-style chairs are upholstered in leather or velvet, but I wanted something a little different. Sometimes I look at it and love it, other times I wonder about my taste and about my sanity.

In case you’re wondering what it looked like before I got my grubby little mitts on it…

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Gross, huh? It was a local auction find, and I won it for a meagre £20. The frame had a very bad paint job. It was unclear whether it had been intentionally or unintentionally painted. There were spatter marks of paint, almost as if someone had used it as a stool for decorating on. The pink velvet fabric was very dirty, with suspicious ‘tea’ stains. We wont talk about the beige braid. The springs were too high, and had started to push through at the bottom.

A big difference, right?

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All in all, I’m very proud of this chair, and excited to develop more skills this year.
How would more upholstery posts go down with you? This is predominantly a sewing blog, but some of you might find this stuff interesting. If you follow me on Instagram it’s what you’re going to be getting for the foreseeable future.

In other upholstery news, Vicky Grubb of Something Fine has made a brilliant time lapse video of the process of stripping down and reupholstering a nursery chair. It makes for a very interesting watch.

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