When “easy” projects go bad ~ re-covering a chair

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My daughter has been suffering thru the entire school year with a semi-broken desk chair; until fairly recently I had the brilliant idea of pulling one of our old chairs out of storage for her to use. Yeah, okay, that’s not like a flash of brilliance, is it, to use something you already own but forgot about? Our stuff has been in storage for far too long! Two trips across county and five years in storage… urrrrrr. Anyhoo…

What a great plan! So I took her to the fabric store to pick out some material she’d like the seat covered in because that’s easy to do. I mean, I’d done it before and it was easy.

I don’t know what went wrong. Well, first of all, the seat frame was broken (the thing is over a hundred years old, I don’t blame it) so I asked my dad if he could fix it. Well, would fix it… of course he could. And as expected, he did a better-than-necessary job. But. Whereas before I would have just tacked the new fabric over the old (which I had done once, and apparently, as dad discovered while pulling it apart, had been done 4 times previously!) well, he stripped it down to the hundred year old cotton stuffing, so I had to start from scratch.
Here you can see all the holes in the frame from the multiple tacks used over time to hold all that fabric –IMG_1578

Mom helped me sew some muslin around the inner wire frame, then dad put all the parts back together… I just needed to recover it. Just.

I got it started so nicely, all smooth front and back. When I turned it over to check it out, I realized the pad had slipped back so you could feel the wood frame in front – because that’d be comfy. Plus, there was a weird lump. I didn’t remember there being any lumps. So I had to pull out the tacks and start over! I hate that. Turns out it was a blessing in disguise though because that weird lump turned out to be an old rusty upholstery tack that somehow had gotten stuck up in the pad – someday some poor sitter would’ve gotten stuck in the bum! I decided, since I was back at step 1, that a hundred years of sitting had made it kinda wimpy, anyway, so I asked mom for some batting and put another layer of soft on the seat. Much better.

At one point my husband came out and tried to help me. Why? WHY?? He’d love to think of himself as “handy”, but he’s just not. I mean, he does a lot of good stuff, but he is no craftsman. So, after he messed things up, and lost a couple tacks on the shop floor (a shop I quite often go barefoot in) I kindly (sort of) told him I was done with his help…

By then I was cranky, and quite possibly having a hot flash, so I got in a big hurry and managed to pinch my finger with the hammer. I don’t think I’ve done that in… decades.

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Of course for the life of me I couldn’t get the stupid corner to tuck correctly. I re-did it three times then used the old family cry of “good enuf fur who it’s fur”.

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The back corners worked beautifully, of course.

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I have this curse of perfectionism that causes me to quite often not do things at all, because I know I can’t do them perfectly. It’s why it took me weeks to get around to doing this chair once I had the idea. I hate little imperfections in what I make. I am working on overcoming that… which is why I will call this chair fine, even if the corners annoy me, and I wish the seat were firmer, or more stuffed. It’s fine. Dad will screw the seat back down for me tomorrow, and it will be just fine.

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And Kiki will have a desk chair to sit at her school computer. Now that she has 3 whole days of school left in this year.

…sigh…

That’s okay. She’ll still have a desk in her room, and she can still use a chair to sit in.  If not I’ll recover it and put it in my room! Ha.

 

3 responses »

  1. I have the same perfectionism problem of not doing things. I think it looks great and this is such a mature print for such a young lady!

    Just think of all the people who came before who put those tack marks in that wood!

  2. Oh, yeah, if only the chair could talk! It would have some stories, I imagine.
    Oh, Kiki is in a “I love all things French” phase, lol. And her style, for clothes and décor, is rather mature, actually. She’s sweet!

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