The perfect seat cushion

9 Jul

I know there are tons of “how to recover a seat” posts out there, so I will keep this short and sweet.  I have already talked about my dining room chairs here and here, but I want to tell everyone the best way to get the fabric centered and symmetrical.   Here is my step by step (ohhhhh baby…get it NKOTB?) guide:

1.  Remove existing fabric from seat to use as your pattern (or in my case, to get it off those chairs because it has cat hair on it and your husband is highly allergic).

"reupholstering seat cushions"

Remove all fabric and staples

2.  Find the exact center of the cushion fabric (I simply folded the fabric in half and in half again-basically into 1/4 of it’s original size).  I also could have used a yard stick and drew lines (a plus sign or “X” to determine the center).  Cut a small hole in the middle.  This will enable you to see what is going to be right in the middle of your seat.

Snip out the center

See? Like a little window!

3.  Don’t get too excited yet and start cutting (like I almost did).  You want to make sure the fabric is facing the right way.  My particular fabric actually has an up and a down:

Swirly side up

So, lay your fabric on a table in the correct direction each and every time!

4.  Now make sure the pattern is not only centered, but even from side to side.  This would make a huge difference if you were using a striped fabric.  Sewing patterns have a line that you use to center fabrics with patterns or textures/nap. You measure from this line to the bound side of the fabric in two or three places-making sure the measurement is equal.  In this case I drew an imaginary line down the center of the pattern (I could have just drawn a line, but at the time I didn’t feel like looking for a sharpie, lol)

Measure from top center to side...

Top measurement should equal the measurement from middle to side...

And also bottom middle to side.

5.  Once the pattern is perfectly aligned, pin and cut.

I cut the pattern exactly the same as the original...

Even the funny corners!

Repeat each step for each seat you are recovering.  I would not double up the fabric or try to do more than one at a time (unless you you have more than one pattern).

6.  Cut a rectangle out for piping if needed.  I just eyeballed this based on the original piping.

Cut out a rectangle if you need to make piping...

7.  Next I ironed the pieces…

Crease free seat!

I ironed the fabric for the piping in half to make the assembly easier...

8.  Assemble the piping/How to make piping (at least this is how I made it!)

Here is what you will put in the folded fabric rectangles...

Cut the cord, knot the ends (so they do not fray), and place inside the rectangle...

Fold 'er up, pin it...

Sew down the length of the rectangle-as close to the cord as possible...

Sew across the edges (to keep in place and prevent fraying)...

Clip the knot!

Long story endless, you now have some piping for your fabulous chairs!  Obviously you need to repeat for each chair.  I suppose you can make one huge line of piping and cut it up, but that is not what I did.

9.  Put the new fabric on your existing cushion!

We are so close!

Flip upside down and start stapling...

Make sure your perfectly even fabric is perfectly placed.  You can mark both the center of the fabric and the chair if that helps.

10.  Once the seat is completely covered and stapled in place it is time to add piping (if you want).

Here is the piping on the old seat.

Center the piping on the seat and staple...

Turn the corner and staple some more!

Once you have stapled your last staple, go back with a hammer and make sure all the staples are pushed in far.  Now put the seat on the chair and test it out =)

What a cute lil' chair!

Better look at the finished piping.

This post may have taken a little longer than I thought, but I hope it helps someone out there!

The End =)

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