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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,914

    Default Roadside wreck recovery

    Driving home on a council cleanup weekend, we came across a delapidated chaise thrown out on the side of the road. It was covered in
    reconstituted leather which had long since perished and delaminated. Anyway, having accomplished a couple of upholstery projects by now I thought I'd take it home and restore it - how hard could it be ?

    This is the result. But I learnt something about upholstery. Most of the endless number of re-upholstery jobs you see on Youtube are done on timber framed furniture - which is really rather easy because you just stretch and staple. This is different - its steel framed, so not much to staple too and nothing to stretch against. Instead its like sewing up a gigantic sock, and stretching it over the frame. The 'sock' has to be very precisely sewn, otherwise you will get wrinkles everywhere.

    Now I am starting to see the value in making steel framed furniture. The problem with timber framed furniture is that it tends to be boxy because timber joinery techniques don't lend themselves well to making organic shapes. It can be done, but its slow and I find myself not very confident in the robustness of the finished joint. I had previously started doing a chaise lounge to my own design but abandoned it after endless hours of trying to interpret a complex shape into timber. With steel its just cut, bend, weld - surely.

    I actually recovered this item 5 times to get it this far. I didnt mind doing 5 because I was learning a lot, but the cost was working out a bit much. It doesnt look it in the photo but its actually covered in a thick royal blue velvet.

    I should really be doing one more version as its still not quite perfect, but I think its time to move on.

    After about version number 2 I realised the only way to do this one is to treat the frame like a tailors dummy, and pin and tack-stitch the cover over it, taking it off from time to time to machine-stitch a fairly large segment, and then refitting it.

    I'm enjoying doing the upholstery. I can spend time alone in the shed producing furniture for our house without something trying to cut my fingers off or filling my lungs up with dust. As we are moving to rental accommodation for 6 months or maybe a year I will need something to do while my tools and machines remain in storage.

    I expect most of you will have worked out I'm mainly just posting this to keep the board alive.

    cheers
    Arron


    chaise.jpg
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Northern Beaches, Sydney
    Age
    63
    Posts
    314

    Default

    That looks very sleek and very modern.
    Very nice.

    Stewie

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    1,712

    Default Sewing machine

    Hi Arron,

    That looks very well done. I have stayed away from upholstery requiring sewing. What kind of a machine do you use - standard domestic or a heavy-duty machine?

    David

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,914

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanthorrhoeas View Post
    Hi Arron,

    That looks very well done. I have stayed away from upholstery requiring sewing. What kind of a machine do you use - standard domestic or a heavy-duty machine?

    David
    The first couple of versions I did with a domestic sewing machine. Then I swapped to an industrial walking foot machine for the subsequent and final attempts. Both have pros and cons. If you have a domestic machine that can handle an 'upholstery thread' and can punch through 4 or 5 layers of your chosen fabric then it's probably a better choice - being more controllable.

    With a thing like this there isn't a lot of pressure on any seam because, basically, you're just sitting on it.
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Osaka
    Posts
    807

    Default

    That's a pretty nice job, but crying out for an outrageous bright lime green/yellow or orange fabric!
    Semtex fixes all

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Gosford nsw
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by q9 View Post
    That's a pretty nice job, but crying out for an outrageous bright lime green/yellow or orange fabric!
    We have a Sailrite machine. Bought when we had a 43 ft yacht. Made heaps of stuff for the,boat and caravan. Have lots of projects going at present, but tempted to look out for upholstery projects.



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,914

    Default

    Not sure I like reading 'Make of it what you will'.

    Anyway, as I've stirred up a bit of interest I thought I would post a shot taken midway through. In this you can see how I did the later versions. The fabric is spread over the body, cut roughly to size but a bit oversize, and then pinned down with a lot of pins (not many visible in this shot) till it sits reasonably naturally. Then the seams are tack-stitched by hand. The thing to get right is the required tension - not too loose or it will be wrinkly and not too tight or it wont go back on. The tack stitching is tied off every 300mm or so, so it doesn't all move and slide about when being machine sewn. After one side is done, its taken off and machine sewn, the tack stitching removed, the excess material on the seams trimmed, and then its refitted and pinned down again ready for the next side. Just like a tailor working on a dummy.

    That's how I do it. If there is a better way, please let me know. I'm just making it up as I go along.

    cheers
    Arron

    chaiseprogress.jpg
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

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