Thursday, March 13, 2014

DIY: How to Reupholster a Couch Part III... Six Tips When Preparing the Fabric for Stapling and Making Patterns for Sewing

So it's been a while. I'm actually almost done with reupholstering. It's been so long since I've posted about the couch I'll bet some of  you were thinking my couch was destroyed and I'd given up. Nope. I'm almost done! I only have to glue on the trim which is on it's way. So, it's a good time to catch up on all the steps in between. If you missed them, here's the last two tutorials on taking the "before" pictures and then taking off the old fabric.

This post will focus on how to prepare your old fabric to make patterns for stapling and sewing. It's pretty basic. There's a whole lot of seam picking/ripping. Then, you hold your breath when you first cut into that fabric hoping you won't make a mistake, and crossing your fingers you have enough fabric. Before you get out your seam ripper, here's some pointers that will save you from making mistakes (hopefully):

First: As you're taking apart your couch, keep the fabric close to or on top of the part of furniture it belongs to. For example:
Here (above) you can see that I had the fabric that went with the arm draped over where it went.

Here's the seat back...

This is the arm/side of the couch

The back...

The front that was under the cushions and exposed at the bottom
The cushion after ripping the top off...
Second: Take pictures of the layout. Try to use a good camera, because once you rip those seams, you may forget how it all goes back together. Taking more pictures gives you a reference to look at when you get confused.

Third: Take more pictures with on cushions (I'll likely do another post on cushions, but for now these pictures helped me see how everything went together).

Fourth: Audrey suggested I use Duct tape to label the peices of faribc since my sharpie blended in too well on the dark fabric. Genius! Who doesn't love duct tape? So, as I was taking things apart I went a bit further and wrote down details to use as my instructions to remind me what went where. This was a life saver and saved me a lot of time!

Fifth,  after you cut and sew finished pieces lay them out again. When you start to rip the seams, I suggest doing one part at a time and one cushion at a time. Keep your other pieces laid out where they are. After you take them apart set the old pieces and place them back where they were until you're done sewing. Then replace the old fabric with the new piece. It will help you remember where it all goes again.

Here you can see examples of how I slowly laid out finished pieces next to older pieces.

Last but not least...tip number six: Ziplock bags! Place pieces like piping in ziplock baggies and label them with a sharpie describing where it goes. I don't have a picture of this, but again it helped when looking for piping that went to the arm, or the side, etc.

There you have it. Once you're done cutting and sewing you're ready to staple it all back on...that is if you've got your cushions done!

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