Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tearing Apart Your Couch; Or, A Photo Essay of Madness

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The before.  Goodbye, yellow velvet.

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So you can see just how threadbare the velvet has gotten.

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Strip the cushion overs off and tear them apart (we salvaged both the zippers, and used the old covers as a pattern for the new).  Gaze on your naked couch and despair.

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Sew like mad; curse while stuffing cushions back into new cushion cover; tape off all the thread and tiny pieces of foam which got onto your new cushion cover; put cushion back on couch and appreciate.  Watch cat appreciate new couch cushion.

The couch cushion process alone took several hours; two hours to make a ton of bias strip per Colette patterns' continuous strip method; another two to sew the cording into the bias strip to make the piping.  Then a half hour to cut everything out and an hour to sew in the zippers.  Forty five minutes per side to pin the cushion surface, side fabric, and piping together, and a half hour to sew each side.  Fifteen minutes of cursing and stuffing, and voila!  Not even half way done.  But the cushion was all accomplished in a single evening.

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And in case you're wondering what the upholstery fabric is made out of (I am), here's what the burn test looks like.  It's got a slubby, slightly shiny finish like linen, but it burns and melts like a synthetic.  No smoking on this couch!  When it lit fast than I was expecting and I dropped it into the sink, I was scared for a second when it looked like it had melted itself securely to the bottom of the sink.  (But it came off).  But cat hair doesn't stick to it, and it's already (!) been spilled on, and the liquid just beaded off, which I take as a good sign.  


  1. beautiful work! and hooray for fabric that eschews cat hair. and liquid. i just bought a velvet-y couch for the lake house. it is threadbare. all of this might be a sign that i need to reacquaint myself with (and re-acquire?) a sewing machine...

  2. Thanks rooster. There will be more tearing apart; right now the living room is full of foam and chaos, so it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    If the lake house couch isn't too threadbare, we found that our velvety couch was actually pretty good at repelling cat hair (but it attracted stains and cat claws like nobody's business, so it had to go). I actually got my sewing machine the first week in Overcast for the express purpose of reupholstering a chair. :D

  3. Let me know if you need help tearing apart. I have lots of productive destructive energy in me right now.
    Also, that line about cat hair not sticking sounds like a challenge. Don't worry, I won't tell Kitteh.

  4. Thanks EL, but my productive destructive energy beat you to it. But you can come over and rub the cat all over the couch when it's done.