View Full Version : Upholstery project

09-11-2008, 10:52 PM
I will be starting to upholster my dining room chairs. The only other time I have done this was on my mom's dining room chairs, but her's only have upholstery on the seat. Mine are on the seat and backrest, both front and back. I wanted to include a photo of the chairs, but it keeps crashing. So I will put the photos in the next post.

The chairs have an indentation on the back, and the current upholstery has a seam there. Plus the chairs have welting all the way around. I will probably not redo the welting because it gives the chairs a more formal look, and we use the set in a more casual setting. But I will have to see what they look like without the welting before I decide not to do it.

I was going to wait until we moved to TV before doing this project, but the fabric that I had picked out for the chairs was being discontinued. I am including a picture of the fabrics that I had picked out for our new dining room. The gold fabric is for the chairs. It's a little bit sturdier fabric than the others, though it doesn't show up in the photo very well.

I would appreciate any input from anyone who has done upholstery projects like this one. Any hints would be great.

09-11-2008, 10:55 PM
ok, here are the photos:




Just Susan
09-11-2008, 11:51 PM
ss, I love your fabrics. They are beautiful!!. Which is for what?
I have upholstered several pieces...dining room chairs, built a sofa from the frame up. Several other projects. As a designer I felt I should know how to build what I was designing.
So what do you want to know?

09-12-2008, 12:23 AM
Omigosh. Omigosh. Omigosh!! (Hear that Boomer?) I am so intimidated and impressed I am typing from under the desk.

Sigh. I just passed bobbin 101.

09-12-2008, 12:41 AM
I covered the seats of a volkswagon bus once! LOL I actually used a paper template, traced the shape of the seats and cut the pattern a bit larger for seams. Was thinking of covering my couch here, I decided NOT. SUSAN this one is all yours!

09-12-2008, 01:25 AM
Susan- I wasn't sure about how they kept the indent in the back of the chair. When you take the cushioned back off, the fabric is stapled along the sides. The fabric is seamed at the middle of the indent, but how are they keeping the middle of it from bowing out? I plan on putting the fabric on top of the old fabric, so I didn't really want to take it off to find out how. Do they glue it in the middle? I don't see any additional stitching to indicate they sewed it to the padding.

The fabrics are for drapery and a table runner. The plaid fabric is silk, which will be the main fabric for the drapes. I was going to put a wide gold border on the bottom of the drapes using the gold silk. The table runner will be out of the burgundy, which is a soft textured almost micro-suede feeling fabric with a nice sheen to it. I was going to border that with the plaid silk. The fabric for the chairs is just like the burgundy fabric, only in gold. The catalog page photo is of the rug I would like under the table.

My husband thinks I'm insane, of course! Men just don't understand. The color will work ok with our current kitchen set-up (which is where the chairs reside currently), so I need to do this while I can still get the fabric. Any ideas are appreciated. Will let you know how I'm doing.....

09-12-2008, 01:42 AM

I can be of no practical help at all, but your fabric selections are absolutely beautiful. And so is your floor.


Just Susan
09-12-2008, 03:22 AM
Okay, 1st let me say your use of the fabrics, colors, patterns and textures leads me to believe that you shoulda, coulda been a designer.

2nd, the chair issue is hard to determine from afar. But here are some possiblities for you to try.

a.) apply the fabric to the chair back with good side to the chair. Pin together at the indent. Remove and sew across your pinned seam line. (You could also use a ruler to draw that line to be sure it is straight.) Turn right side out, and slide onto the chair back from left to right or right to left. Then staple up and down each side being sure to pull tightly at the seam .

b.) Follow instruction a.) but tack stitch witchery to the edges, across the seam. (wrong side) Then after the cover has been slid onto the chair, iron the indent seam to the chair. Then finish with staples as in a.

Is there a wood base across the indent part of the back?

If there is you could staple the indent...no sew method.

Attach fabric, good side hanging down, facing chair back. Staple across...nice smooth line.
Flip fabric up over top.
Wrap around chair back top to bottom.
Staple just under first staple line.
Leave just enough slack to pull down enough fabric from above the new staple line to cover the new staples. Might want to use the ruler again (yardstick, straight edge, whatever) for a straight line. Fabric glue or stitch witchery or use upholstery nail heads or a welt to cover any hint of the mechanics of this construction, if need be.

If I was there we could whip these out in no time, but I am not and am not sure enough of what I have recommended to be sure it will work.

So my advise is to try these possible methods by doing it with pins to see which is best for you...or it may inspire you to come up with something even better.

Happy upholstering.

We will have to do some projects in TV.

09-12-2008, 03:29 PM
Thanks Susan! I didn't even think about fusible interfacing. Good idea! No, there is no board running across the indent section. That would have been too easy! The interfacing should work great. I'll send pics when I finish.

Just Susan
09-13-2008, 02:27 AM
You are very welcome. I am looking forward to the pictures.

09-13-2008, 04:50 AM
Holy Moly.
I can't begin to tell you all how impressed I am!
And GG, you passed Bobbin 101 the FIRST time through?
Holy Moly.

Hyacinth Bucket
09-13-2008, 02:56 PM
I am sooooooooooo impressed with all of you. I do not sew.

To do a hem I buy the stuff that you iron on. For buttons - when I buy an item I immediately put on clear nail polish over the thread. Used to use the clear nail polish to stop runs in stockings.

Hubby does reupholster certain items for me. He will do a chair cover and the foot stool I bought to get into our new bed.


09-14-2008, 05:19 PM
I had to bump this thread so that it would show up in my list. I hate having to search for all the topics that I have already posted in so I can keep track of them.

I bought the fusible interfacing yesterday so that I can start this project. Should be able to get to it this week.

Just Susan
09-14-2008, 05:42 PM
Bet it will be great!:)

09-14-2008, 07:25 PM
Your fabrics are beautiful. I have done the seats of chairs and, one time, a whole chair where I had to tack the upholstery neatly around the outside bottom of the chair seat. Turned out pretty good, and I was quite proud.

Can't wait to see your pictures. I'll know they'll be great.


09-14-2008, 08:33 PM
I did our DR chairs for TV to match the curtains. They were fairly easy, but I did not have a back to do. I would take one apart and see how they did it and replicate that. An electric staple gun is a must have to do this project. Get a decent one.

09-16-2008, 06:55 PM
I got the first chair done! It turned out ok. I was able to do the back without a seam using the fusible interfacing. I bought the ultra hold iron on interfacing, and it works great! I'm still unsure if I like it without the welting, but it's probably because I'm so used to seeing the chairs with it. My husband thinks they look good without. Once they are all done I probably won't miss it. Well, one down - five to go! Here's the pic:



09-16-2008, 07:06 PM
Just lovely! Great work and now, can I sit on it? :laugh:

Just Susan
09-16-2008, 08:51 PM
Good job ss. It looks wonderful. I bet each one gets better than the last.

09-16-2008, 10:00 PM
Thanks! Got the second one done tonight, so just four more to go. Peachie, they are ready to sit on! Hopefully we will be down there yet this year if we can get the house sold. Then everyone can come on by and sit on my chairs!

Just Susan
09-16-2008, 10:30 PM
I hope you will invite me, cause I really want to sit on your chairs, the sooner the better for us both.
Sell houses, sell...and for a good price please!

09-19-2008, 05:28 PM
Ok, so I'm done. Here is a pic with the chairs around the table. I can't wait until I can come down and buy a home in TV. I will be able to put the two leaves in the table and put all six chairs around it.



09-19-2008, 05:34 PM
My gosh, you are fast and your workmanship is excellent. The dining set looks beautiful and I also can't wait for you to be able to enjoy living in TV!

09-19-2008, 05:36 PM
They look GREAT!!!!! :thumbup:

09-19-2008, 10:30 PM
WOW! Great job!! :clap2: I bet you could find a lot of business in The Villages when you get there!

Still got those fingers crossed for a buyer for your house.........