Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Re-upholstering a Sofa: What Have I Gotten Myself Into!

We have had this sofa for a while now (before we moved six months ago). My sister-in-law found it for us, knowing that I was looking for an antique sofa to re-upholster. I have been waiting and waiting to finally get to it. Well, last weekend, I decided it was time to get started. I wanted it finished before the holidays. But, I had no idea what I was getting myself into....


I have unsuccessfully been trying to remove the fabric. I cannot even get the fabric off!! What was I thinking?!

I'm going to keep at it...but sometimes, I realize all of my ideas aren't as great as they seem. Like, "let's re-upholster a sofa two weeks before Thanksgiving so that we don't even have a sofa to sit on when guests come over. I mean, it can't be that hard can it - even though I've never done it before...I'll just learn as I go. Experience is the best teacher, right?"

Right....

Wish me luck!

27 comments:

CourtneyKeb said...

I DO wish you luck!
That's one job that intimidates me too much to even attempt.

That is a gorgeous sofa though! All else fails throw a quick coat of black paint on the legs, and put full face lift on hold until after the Holidays.

Lynzie said...

Good luck!

I am no where near as ambitious- I'm just hoping to someday slip cover ours. LOL

Bromeliad said...

Brave.

Can't wait to see the results.

Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek said...

oh dear. Blame it on your crazy hormones.

I decided to recover the chair in Adam's room the day before vacation. Needless to say, we came home from vacation with a partially covered chair. It is WAY more work than I thought it would be!

Kim @ EF eDesigns said...

Ooooo, good luck! I'll be watching your progress - I have a wingback staring me down at the moment! http://efedesigns.com/blog/?p=1581

coolkids said...

wow! good luck with that!
I have a cute giveaway today from Laken&Lila. (they have boy stuff too!)Stop by.
fun2bkids.blogspot.com

Mandi Miller said...

Whoa! Good luck!! I hope you get it finished!!

the cape on the corner said...

yikes! good luck, i wouldn't even know where to start ripping things!

paisley penguin said...

Oh good luck. I'm sure the internets will help you! This is something i have thought about tackling but have not yet.

Kay Lynne said...

Great sofa! I have re-upholstered a sofa before and it's a lot of work. My suggestion is to get a book on how to re-upholstering from the library. From looking at the picture there are probably some of those nasty tacks down underneath holding the fabric in place. I hope that they didn't glue the fabric down. A book will give you a good idea of how much fabric to buy because you may have to order the fabric. Best wishes on your new adventure!

Sarah Ann said...

You're doing exactly what I would LOVE to do to our sofa. But, I don't think I could pull it off and I'm afraid to ruin it since we'd then be without a sofa. Lol. Good luck!

Leah said...

Good luck!!! That baby is going to be gorgeous!!!


Luvs!

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

Best of luck! This is a big project, but it will be well worth it in the end.

Why do we always take on projects like this at the most inopportune times? You can DO it. ;)

alexandra said...

oh man! Good luck to you! I have similar "crazy" ideas... most of the time I don't have the time to act on them though.

Curly-T said...

My parents re-upholstered a rocking chair they found. The fabric was stuck on with those fancy old tacks everywhere - probably the same with this.
My parents did two things - where they could just cover the old fabric and add new tacks, they removed every single tack to get the fabric off. Areas they could just cover over - they covered over and added some new tacks (bought at hobby lobby).
good luck!

Sharstin said...

what a task chick! i have no doubt that it will look amazing! can't wait to see the finished product!

Sheena said...

Hey doll!

I love to reupholster and finish furiniture and so I am really looking forward to your final pics!

I must ask though... is there a reason you are taking the old fabric off? If you have taken out any or all of the tacks that your sofa may have and you are having a tough time taking the fabric off... Why don't you just recover it and leave the old fabric on? Even if you have some of the old fabric hanging off, just cut what you have off and reupholster the sofa with the new fabric with the old underneath. Does that sound insane? I guess if you are using a fabric that is upholstery fabric or something similair that is good quality and not see through, you should be able to just cover the old stuff right up. Of course I don't know all that you are going through, but it's just a suggestion. :) I always love to read your blog and see what you are going to do next! I love it!

Sheena
sheenersb at hotmail dot com

Rene said...

This is probably no comfort what.so.ever to you, but I am the same way. Good luck with this project. So many ideas, so little time.

Happy Friday.

-Rene

marissa said...

it's going to be So cool when it's done though!

Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

Oh good luck!! It will be amazing when you're done...

Kelly @ Much To Do With Nothing said...

Hi Caroline,
Thanks for stopping by! I had a thrift store sofa like that once. I tried so hard to go around the slight curve of the inside back. I COULD NOT make it work. I had slipped curved backs before, and knew I had to do the curve in sections, but this one was such a pain for some reason. I donated it back to the store with it half upholstered! So I guess I don't have any tips to give on it. LOL.
I hope your's isn't as curved as mine.
Good Luck!
Kelly

Adriana said...

good luck! The lines of the sofa are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Definitely get a book. As recommended before, remove the dustcover on the bottom, and any tacks that hold fabric coming down from the sides or back, if that is how the couch is covered. Usually the back comes off, revealing lots of tacks that can be removed and also the internal structure of the piece. You will also need to remove the piping around the wooden areas. If all the padding is in good shape, you don't need to rebuild it, maybe just lay some fresh batting over it before recovering it. There's a structural piece at the angle where the back meets the bottom of the couch where you will probably have to remove more tacks to get a good fit for the back. Save the fabric pieces that you remove to use as a pattern pieces to cut the new fabric. I would try to leave the tufting intact if you can, to avoid having to rebuild it. You can use a curved needle to stitch fabric together on the couch itself. That's sometimes easier than getting it perfect on a sewing machine before applying it. It's never a bad idea to do it most of the way in muslin before using your real fabric, which can go right over the top of the muslin. Good luck! It's a really pretty couch.

Amanda @ Little House on the Corner said...

lol... that IS quite a project to tackle! I wouldn't have the slightest clue how to reupholster a couch, but I admire your determination! Nothing like a looming deadline to force you to get a project done. ;) Good luck!!

Kara said...

I'm so excited to see what this turns into!! I don't know how you had time to comment on my baby garland :-), but thanks! You've got your hands QUITE full between a toddler, growin' another one, hosting Thanksgiving, and this couch!! I'm sure you don't need reminding though...best of luck with it all!

SHERRY HART said...

Girrrrlllll....good luck! I bet you can find some tutorials online for a little guidance!

German said...

I'm so unrestrained to see what this turns into!! I don't live how you had indication to account on my person chaplet , but thanks! You've got your hands quite good between a yearling, growin' other one, hosting Thanksgiving, and this lounge!! I'm careful you don't necessity reminding though...someone of fortune with it all!

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