My Latest Challenge

>> Friday, January 21, 2011

For months now I have been trying to get into an upholstery class at the Eliot School here in Boston. Why is every school, including pre-school, hard to get into in Boston? A couple of weeks ago I had Mr. Sabbe drive me to some town in Rhode Island to purchase two wing back chairs off of Craig's List. $70 for both, pretty good deal. I had intentions of re-upholstering them.

When people come over they never want to sit in the little wooden chairs I currently have around the table, they are not cozy and squeak like they might break. So I would like our little tiny dining area to have a table, two wing chairs, and eventually an awesome high chair that I also scored for an amazingly good deal on the ole' CL. It's hard to explain, so here is a progress shot from December, don't judge.

So I bought the chairs and could not get into the class. Luckily the BCAE will always have me, so I signed up for an advanced sewing class. You can bring your own project. I decided I am going to give tailored, white slipcovers my best attempt. I've only been to two classes, and being very obviously pregnant, the instructor thinks I'm crazy for making white slipcovers. But I'm pretty pumped about it. So far, I'm just a few steps away from finishing the seat cushions.

I have covered cushions before, but never with on hand, expert guidance. I'm really enjoying the process. Do you see the little blocks I added to the bottom of the legs. Creative? I could probably think of another word. I needed to raise the chairs a bit to make them comfortable dining height. I plan for the cover to go all the way to the ground.

So step one is almost complete. Step two is the actual body, which terrifies me. I like tight, fitted slipcovers. But I have no idea, other than a stack of books and the Internet, on how to do so. And I unfortunately cannot drag my chair to class.

Have you seen this one?
Amazing right? It looks upholstered.
And this lady seems to be the queen. I plan on spending a lot of time on her blog over the next couple of weeks.
Have you seen any helpful tips or tutorials floating around? Hold me to it, this project will be finished before this baby comes.


Saara January 21, 2011 at 1:31 PM  

I'm already impressed! the seat looks so good and I'm sure you'll do a great job on the rest...I could use your talents!

Cat January 21, 2011 at 1:37 PM  

Well, so far it looks AMAZING! Very well fitted. I would love to know how to do this better. My mother-in-law is pretty good at it...and I have a chair/ottoman I want to recover (myself) before the big move. I am so glad you posted about this. I wish I could just pay you to do it. :) Boston is a little too far, I think....

LindsB January 21, 2011 at 1:47 PM  

I cant wait to drag a chair to your house and have you slipcover it for me. I promise it will be a good time and I will provide a free babysitter while you work for me :)

emitate January 21, 2011 at 1:53 PM  

Oh my gosh. Thank you for the link to Much To Do With Nothing. She has answered at least 5 questions I have about upholstering.

Also, I am excited to see how it turns out!

Stephanie January 21, 2011 at 3:00 PM  

Um, this is your room on a messy day? It's pretty fantastic. I think more dramatic chairs will look awesome in that dining corner! And that highchair is so cool. I love products that are designed to grow with you!

Rebecca January 21, 2011 at 3:06 PM  

I loved this post :) Your chairs are going to be so cosy! Can't wait to see how they look when you've covered them.

Britt January 21, 2011 at 5:13 PM  

It looks amazing so far! I love the look of tailored white slipcovers, and you can always pull them off and wash them if they get dirty, right?

I wanted to let you know that I passed on a Stylish Blogger award to you. Please don't feel obligated to post about it or pass it on if that's not your thing, I just wanted to give you a little recognition for your fabulous blog!

Tonia of Chic Modern Vintage January 21, 2011 at 7:43 PM  

You are doing an amazing job! I wish I had the nerve to do such. I hope your weekend is off to a great start.

Coasting Anon January 22, 2011 at 7:14 AM  

Who knew the Eliot School upholstry class was so hardto get into! I've wanted to take it for about a year it never have the time. Good to know that when I do, I shouldn't expect an opening!

I love the blocks to make the chairs taller. I have a upholstered Parsons chair with a slip cover that I need to be taller for my desk...sadly, it's on casters, so I think I'll have to figure something else out.

Kelly @ Much To Do With Nothing January 22, 2011 at 8:01 AM  

Hi there,
I love the idea of the wingbacks! Thanks for the mention:) I know of an amazing blogger who's been making slipcovers as a business for YEARS. Her name is Shelley. She made a DVD tutorial and I've heard it's really good. Here's a link to her blog and to order it.
They say she's so relaxed and makes it look so easy. I plan to order it to pick up some time saving tips. I think she covers 2 chairs per day! I wish!

nycgirlygirl January 22, 2011 at 10:51 AM  

Hi. Love the green color of your walls. What paint did you use?

Stephanie Sabbe January 22, 2011 at 11:20 AM  

The paint color was an impulsive thing and I cannot remember exactly what color it was. It is Behr and we color matched the green carboard boxes from Ikea. Hope that helps!

Design Esquire January 22, 2011 at 2:17 PM  

So far so good! I wish I had tips about the rest of the chair, but I don't!

When are you due? We should try to get together sometime soon. You can come out to the burbs!

Kate {domestikatedlife} January 22, 2011 at 3:59 PM  

I'm impressed! Maybe we can trade skills, I've got the upholstery down, but my cushion recovering skills are weak!

Can't wait to see the finished project

Chris,  January 23, 2011 at 11:05 AM  

Hi Stephanie,

The chair is looking great. I didn't sign up in time for the upholstery class either... Man they fill up fast!

I love this site for everything slipcover related:

Chris (from sewing class)

PS Still loving my purse and apron :)

paula January 23, 2011 at 1:16 PM  

wow, it looks gorgeous. That looks like one professional seat cushion. I have a slipcover project to do on my barstools. Still havent done it though, so nervous.

Stephanie Sabbe January 23, 2011 at 1:19 PM  

thanks everyone for the links! Chris- we will have to try to get into the same class...eventually!

Sarah Kate January 24, 2011 at 4:34 AM  

Gah I would love to be able to do that!

Also just browsing through your blog and saw your striped entry, I have stripes in my entry too! When we moved into our new house a year ago it was the one of the first things to be painted, so effective!
Yours look lovely in grey, mine are a bit darker.

Awesome blog :)

Emily January 24, 2011 at 11:31 AM  

this is amazing! I am so impressed. i had high hopes of taking that class at the elliot school until I left. Bummer! can't wait to see how it turns out. if you get bored, you should come visit me in DC!! :)

Full House January 24, 2011 at 2:14 PM  

love the color of your room. So I was thinking your roman shades already look good. What are they right now?

Mary January 25, 2011 at 7:06 PM  

To prevent shrinkage after it's sewn, did you wash your fabric before you cut into it?

Stephanie Sabbe January 25, 2011 at 9:38 PM  

Mary- I did! I was very proud of myself for thinking ahead...usually not my thing:)

Kristi~The Slipcover Girl February 4, 2011 at 8:20 AM  

ohhh! i heart white slipcovers! i have an ebook on how to slipcover...if interested. Can't wait to see how your wing chair turns out! and you're NOT crazy for wanting white slips!

Brenda,  October 15, 2012 at 6:17 AM  

Awesome looking high chair. It looks good in black. I want one as a decorative element to go with my office modern furniture.

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