Slowly, slowly – ever so slowly
Much needed furniture
to go with the antimacassars
It’s amazing how bad I am at following written instructions, even from a heavily illustrated book. Mind you, my determination to use as many of the materials to hand rather than buying in fresh per ‘list of ingredients’ provided does add to my problems. Plus I wanted to make a couple of small amendments to the shaping – more of that below.
An attempt at a three-piece suite
This is where the lovely book called Making Upholstered Furniture by Janet Storey comes in (photo above). I’ve spent lots of time reading and re-reading the instructions (with diagrams) for a leather suite and am constantly referring back. Getting old and not taking things in properly and/or not trusting what I think I’ve understood.
Club well-padded suite to Deco firm suite
The design and patterns are great for the three-piece, but I wanted to adapt them a little to give less of the soft, padded look and go for the harder edged, firmer look that I remember. I did chicken out of changing the shape of the arms from soft and round to square and box-like as I felt there were too many changes already. I did however make the heads of the arms more of an oval shape.
I think the body of the sofa and chairs will be just about firm enough to try a little of the brown waxed string as trim across the top edges to represent piping; also I’m thinking of inserting some around the curve of the arm scroll. It depends on how straight I can keep it. Other needed adjustments due to changes in materials I did as it went along.
The basic shapes were started at the very beginning of March (frameworks only and first attempt at arm shapes) and after much huffing and puffing, pulling apart, adapting to the materials, re-reading and beginning again, the skeletons were completed over the following ten days or so. I tried using fabric I had on one of the arms instead of leather but found it wouldn’t clean well when blobs of glue got away (even with the leatherette) so I gave in and ordered glove leather from Little Trimmings.
Since then, I’ve been ploughing on, a little at a time between other jobs, whenever there was work space and the drying glue would allow.
Coded each piece as went along
There are three pairs of arms to be made for the suite. As long as I could get each one of a pair to be more or less a match to each other I was satisfied, as there was no way I would manage to get all six arms to be identical. Therefore each pair of arms had to be associated with a particular chair body.
A little over-cautious but I needed all the help I could get. The ‘in stock’ materials managed to stay more or less under control, though the wispiness of the wadding was annoying. And of course, keeping my hands clear of glue was a nightmare! Don’t see me doing this again in the near future, I can tell you.
April – results so far
There’s the outer back and side panels still to go on as well as the feet, along with the seat cushions and trim and, of course, one more chair to put the arms on. Well, at least, if all else fails there’s the two in the photo which might do for the sitting room if the second chair comes out too wonky. On the subject of feet: the design calls for bun feet at the front and slightly curved legs at the back. All the deco chairs we’ve owned over the years (and we’ve had a few) along with the sofa we still have are incredibly heavy, hard edged and firm items. Every one of them has been (and is) on castors. Reckon I should search out the wee ones stored away somewhere and see if they are too small for the job before I stick on the bun feet etc.