Have you ever upholstered anything?

couch sides

We are slowly inching towards completion of recovering my couch.

couch sides

This weekend we were able to get the sides and the seat back finished. When we tore down everything, we discovered that there was only foam under the fabric. The problem with that is that when you sit on a piece without a layer of something between the foam and the outer fabric, the foam and the fabric rub against each other. The foam breaks down, and the fabric wears out. That’s one reason why old couches start to get ugly ridges in the fabric.

couch sides

To minimize this wearing, you can wrap the foam in dacron which is a lofty bonded polyester batting-like material.  The dacron then makes for a nice smooth hand on the outside of the finished piece.

Upholstering over foam without something to wrap the foam is kind of like expecting to make a nice crisp collar without interfacing.  You can do it, but it’s not going to look the way you probably want it to.

The trick with the dacron is that it will eat up more fabric when you go to cut out your pieces. I wasn’t able to cut pieces from the original since I needed more fabric to accommodate the dacron and because the original pieces had been distorted from being stretched over the couch’s curves.

So I draped the fabric over each arm and the back and cut out what I needed and trimmed away what I didn’t. I was a little freaked out about having to drape these pieces, but the process was very forgiving. Since I spend so much time cutting out fabric with precision in my sewing, it was pretty freeing to just kind of go nuts with a vast quantity of yardage.

couch sides

Our next step is the couch back which currently looks like this:

couch sides

Hopefully by the end of the week I’ll have a fully covered couch and a clean floor again in the sewing room.  I’m so looking forward to that!

Elizabeth Made This

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4 Comments

    • elizabethmadethis Reply

      It’s been a relatively smooth process, I think because now we have the right tools that we’ve built up over several smaller upholstery jobs we’ve done around the house. The pneumatic stapler is amazing.

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