Oh yeah, "Measure twice, cut once" is the proverb we're looking for, and if there is a rule #1 in upholstery, (No. Really. I don't know if there is a rule #1) this might be it. "Don't talk about upholstery rule #1" is probably a close second. We left off last time with new straps, burlap, foam, and dacron on our seat platform, and now it's time to start laying on fabric.
Choosing fabric for furniture that we're going to sell is kinda a crapshoot. No matter what fabric we
choose, there will be someone who doesn't like it, or maybe the color just doesn't work in their space.
We usually try to stay somewhere within the range of "neutral", which for this project is a nice heavy
duty, earth-toned, wool blend fabric.
So if you remember, the total length of the sofa is over 10', but the seat/back section only measures
75" in length. To get our measurement for the length of fabric we need to cover the seat, we are going
to take that 75" plus another 5" per side (the 4" foam plus the thickness of the frame), which gives us
85". We are going to cut our fabric 90" so we have plenty to pull around and staple to the bottom.
The depth of the seat is 24" with a 4-5" drop on the front and back, so we're going to cut the fabric
40" front to back. Next we "base tack" our 90" x 40" cut of fabric to the seat platform, making sure it
is centered. To "tack" it on, we just hold the tip of the staple gun at an angle so the staple goes only
partially in, making it easier to remove.
We could just go ahead and staple the fabric on, making folds on the four corners, but we're going to
cut and sew the corners to give the piece a more finished, "tailored" look.
With the fabric temporarily tacked in place, we mark our seam line with chalk on all four corners,
then remove the staples so we can get the fabric off to cut and sew.
This is how our seam line looks laid out on the table with those very serious scissors ready to cut…
…and after we cut about 1/2" inside the line (using a bit of artistic license) to give us our seam
allowance. When we have all the corners cut, we'll just lay it back on the seat to double check the
…then sew them up. I'm going to skip the sewing details on this project, but get to that another time.
With the four corners sewn in, we go back and lay the fabric over the seat the same way we did to get
our pattern, "tacking" it in place starting at the center, and corners.
Now we're ready to go back around pulling the fabric a little tighter, shooting staples, and pulling the
tacked on staples. The most important and challenging aspect of this step, is getting a uniform "pull"
on the fabric all the way around. Although our seat foam is firm enough to hold it's shape, it's still
possible to pull it down an inch or more. So any edges, front, side or back, could have noticeable dips
and waves if we're not consistent.
So we've got our seat ready for action, next we'll get the sofa back good 'n 'polstered, and reassemble
this sweet baby.