How: I Reupholstered an Armchair

Hellooooo, so today's post is one that I meant to write (and I looked at the date on the draft!) nearly two years ago. Oops. Anyway, this one's for anyone who has an old armchair or another piece of furniture which is upholstered and looking for a new leaf of life.

Personally, I had a big, bulky, armchair, with two cushions, and just a generally awkward shape which I was reupholstering for my mum. It also had piping around quite a few edges, a feature my mum wanted to keep.

If you've read any of my other sewing posts, then you'll know that I'm not a massive fan of adding any trimmings like piping and hence, I've managed to avoid any piped sounds like I'm making cupcakes projects up until this one. But more about that later.

The fabric I used was pretty thin, probably too thin, but it made it an easier project than again, it probably should have been. We got the fabric from IKEA.



Now, I was debating how to write this post, as in, should it be a tutorial type of thing? I did absolutely no research on how to reupholster an armchair and completely just winged it! That being said, it turned out pretty well, so I thought I would do a how-to post. If you decide to follow it however, please bear in mind, this might not be a conventional method and also that I've got a decent amount of sewing experience! If you're new to sewing, this probably isn't the project to start on!
Cutting Out
First up, you want to remove the existing cover. Before you go charging at it with a pair of scissors, you're making the pattern out of this existing cover so please, be careful!

See if there's any overly complicated features that you want to change or anything you'd like to do differently. Personally, I took out the pleats around the front of the chair, as I didn't have enough fabric! If you do decide to change anything, figure out how you're going to do that now, you might need to get creative or take measurements of the actual piece of furniture, regardless, you need to work it out early!


Next, you want to number all your seams. This is so that you'll know how to piece everything back together, again, it's important, so don't skip this step!


The next step's probably the most tedious of the lot, and that is to unpick all the seams. Grab some snacks, put on a TV show and dig out your seam ripper! It's worth noting that this doesn't need to be done perfectly, at all. Remember, the fabric you're working with isn't going to be used for anything else, so you don't need to be too careful.


Now you're onto the actual cutting out. Lay your fabric on the floor, place your 'pattern pieces' on top, pin in place if necessary and cut. You know the drill. 

Sewing
Onto the fun bit! If you're using piping, make it now! I followed this tutorial by Tilly from Tilly And The Buttons, which was awesome and I followed it to the tee. Make sure you make enough, you can roughly measure, using the, now bare chair. Add at least 10 cm, because nothing is more annoying than running out of anything, halfway through a project!

To know what to sew, you pretty much just want to look back at all those numbers you wrote down, and piece it all together! Personally, I didn't find this too hard, you've just gotta make sure that you sew everything in the right order. Remember: pinning and seeing if you can complete the next steps is always better than sewing and unpicking!

I overlocked all the seams which, to be honest, was complete overkill, the cover literally just sits there, it's not gonna fray!

The other thing that, looking back I don't think was necessary, was the zip. The original cover had one at the back, and I just blindly added it. The fabric I used had enough give, that it goes over without needing the zip.


Result
If all you came for was the finished photos, here you go!

The pleat-less version!
The only pleats I had to put in :) at the top of the chair by the 'ears'


A close up of the piping which came out WAY better than I thought it would!
The two cushions, both of which have zips at the back


The back
The finished result
 Overall I'm really pleased with how the armchair came out, I don't think it looks too shabby for a first attempt! As for the method I used to make it, I think it was effective, got the job done to a decent standard and is definitely one that I'd recommend.

It took me about 10 hours to complete the project from start to finish and I managed to complete it in one day! This isn't something I'd recommend as if I'd taken a couple more hours, I might've avoided a few mistakes. Regardless, if I can do it in a day, then it's certainly possible to reupholster an armchair with zero experience!

Let me know if you've got any questions about the process and I will do my best to help! I hope you found the post useful and as always, thanks for reading,

Katie XO

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