Monday, September 1, 2014

French Stripe Love Seat Makeover

Well I was on a blogging roll for a couple weeks but then I fell off the wagon. In my defense, we were out of town 2 weekends ago then last weekend I was busy working on this love-seat project as well as making some "taste-test" cupcakes for a wedding that is coming up in October. But a few nights ago I finally finished the re-upholstery job on the love seat and I'm really happy with how it turned out!

This didn't start out like my usual makeover post with a piece of furniture I picked up from the trash. I actually paid for this one! haha. This little settee came from an estate sale that I visited back in January. I loved the shape and style of it and the caning on the back was in perfect condition. The super fluffy down cushion was another selling point. Lucky for me, it fit perfectly in the back of my old Subaru, so it came home with us and then sat in the basement untouched for the next 6 months. Not my quickest furniture turn around, but definitely not my slowest either! I knew that it needed to be recovered but wasn't sure what type or color of fabric to get. Thankfully, the frame of the settee was in very good shape and did not need any work.

The makeover got kicked into gear when I found some fabric I liked while down in Houston in July. I had originally thought I'd use a solid color cotton velvet fabric since that's what it was already covered with. But when I saw this heavy blue and white stripe, I knew it would be perfect since it had a French country look that would play nicely with the French style of the love-seat. Without knowing how much fabric I really needed, I made a guess and bought 3 1/2 yards. It ended up being just enough! (with a little help from another fabric) The first step in the re-upholstery project was to un-stitch the cushion. There was no zipper and I couldn't just cut it apart since I needed to use the pieces as a pattern for my new fabric. I also wanted to re-use the piping that was around the edges. So I carefully ripped open all the seams to get my pattern pieces and removing the cording from the velvet piping fabric. This part wasn't exactly fun, but it made making the new cushion cover much easier. I don't have any pictures of the cushion making process, but if you have specific questions about that, just let me know!

When it came to re-upholstering the bottom part of the settee I had to start by ripping the fabric off from around the edges and removing all the upholstery nails. Then I had to un-stitch that fabric from the under layer. I tried to remember how this was done since I'd have to try and replicate it with the new fabric.

Even after removing the nails around the edge, the middle was still sewn down. 

You can see here it was sewn from underneath into a gap left between two sections of batting. 

Next it was time to add my new fabric. For the middle section of the seat upholstery, I used a piece of scrap fabric that I had since there wasn't enough of my new fabric to cover it. I sewed the striped fabric around the edges then used a round upholstery needle to sew the piece down. I sewed along the seam between the white and striped fabric, and tried my best to match it up to the gap between batting underneath.

That rectangle gap between the middle and the edge is where I sewed the new fabric down into. 

Upholstery needles are curved to allow you to sew through layers of fabric when you can't reach underneath to push the needle back up. 

All sewn down around the edges of the white fabric. 

Then I pulled the striped fabric down around the edges and used the pneumatic staple gun hold it in place. As usual the corners were the most difficult part to cover. They turned out ok though.

The final step was to add trim around all the stapled edges to give it a finished look. Since I didn't have enough striped fabric to make double chord welting like the love seat had originally, I bought some twill tape that had a little bit of gold thread mixed in to use as trim. My plan at first was to attach the twill tape using large decorative upholstery nails, but after trying to nail a few in, I decided it was not worth my time and probably wouldn't turn out well. So I turned to my trusty friend the hot glue gun! That turned out to be much easier/quicker. Now for some final pictures!

For these pictures the love seat is in front of the built-ins in our front room, but I think it's permanent home will be in the little window bump-out in our master bedroom. Adding this to our bedroom will inevitably make me want to do a complete makeover of our bedroom, but that will have to wait.

In other news, this weekend my parents came to visit us and we kept them pretty busy :) On Saturday we took a little tour around Kansas City including Chez Elle Creperie for breakfast, then the City River Market where there is lots of great local produce and hand made goods. After that we headed to the WWI Memorial and Museum. The museum is HUGE so we only made it through half of it before heading to lunch at a local BBQ place. Then we drove back to the museum to finish seeing the other half. By the time we finished it was almost 5:00 pm so we went home to take a little break before grilling some burgers for dinner. On Sunday, Mom and Dad helped us with a few projects around the house. Mom and I got started on clearing out the guest room that will be turned into the baby's room. Now I'm ready to really get moving in there! I started little craft project for that room tonight that I'll be sure to share on here (as long as it turns out good). I guess that's it for tonight! I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend and I'll talk to you later!


  1. Love. Love. Love. I have a rocker and matching ottoman that need recovered for an eventual nursery. Wanna come teach me?

    1. Thanks! I would love to make a trip down there to help you recover the chair and ottoman. I can even bring my air compressor with me :)

  2. Looks great! I love the plant stand! Where did you get it?

    1. Thanks, Sara! The plant stand is one of matching pair that I got at an estate sale. Mom already called dibs on them this weekend should I ever get tired of them haha. Those are the ones that I wanted the little leather "shoes" for.

  3. This is lovely, Lisa! Way to go. :)


  4. Absolutely gorgeous! you did a fabulous job on the settee