Reupholstering an Arm Chair Tutorial Part 4: Recovering the Seat Cushion and Finishing Touches

I'm not going to lie, I'm having difficulty finding focus these days. I'm checking some things off my list, but not with the same creative enthusiasm that I'm used to having. Regardless, there is much to be grateful for and as long as I keep my hands and mind busy, I seem to function better. What helps you to think more positively??


In an effort to busy myself, I finally finished the free chair that I picked up a while back from Habitat for Humanity. If you missed it, here is what it looked like before.



And here it is today minus the green velvet and tufting. I used this Waverly fabric in the gray as it will be for sale in my antique booth once The Vintage Mercantile reopens. This chair took 2&1/2 yards of 54" wide fabric.



Before I sewed the top and bottom of the cushion together, I had to make the cording that goes in between. Some people also refer to this as piping in regards to pillows. While it is an extra step, it gives any piece (including a pillow) a more custom and finished look.

I cut my fabric strips 3 inches wide and sewed them right sides together end to end to make one long piece to encase the cording. If you don't know how to make cording or piping, you can see a more detailed tutorial here.


With the seams pressed open, I placed the cording in the middle of the fabric and sewed wrong sides together stitching along the line of the cording. My stitch length is 2.5.




I then pinned and sewed the piping to the top cushion piece with the cord facing inward and the raw edge facing outward. Notice I cut notches at the corners to ease the tension in the piping so that it curves easily.



With right sides together , I sewed the bottom of the cushion to the top, leaving the back edges open where the cushion can slip in.


Before I put the cushion in the chair, I trimmed all the extra fabric from around the edges of the back cushion. I used fabric cutting shears so that I could get as close to the edge as possible. The ones I use are by Fiskars and can be purchased at JoAnn's.



I purchased this trim in a gray that matches the fabric. It is a braid that is often used in upholstery in place of double welt cording. This actually came from JoAnn's but Hobby Lobby carries it as well. I used 3&1/2 yards for this chair.



I applied the trim to all the raw edges along the front and back of the cushion with FabriTac.

Often trim is attached with a hot glue gun, but I prefer fabric glue.


I suppose I didn't have to, but I also added trim across the front and wrapped around the edge of the chair. Again, a custom look is in the details.



While this project was not difficult, it did take me a bit longer than what I anticipated because I did not have blocks of time to work on it.


I enjoy upholstery projects much like sewing projects, when I have uninterrupted time to work on them. For me, they require a bit more concentration than painting a piece of furniture and as I stated earlier, concentration doesn't seem to be my strong suit right now.


How are you staying busy these days?? Are you as distracted as I am or are you finding it easy to maintain focus?? For now I'm going to keep my mind and hands busy and hopefully create some beauty in the process.






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