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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Porch Chair Renewal

In 1995 I moved to Conway, AR to teach at The University of Central Arkansas. I had no money and was just starting my creative sewing journey. I bought a set of chairs from the local Salvation Army (Goodwill??) and my mom helped me fix them up. After I stripped and stained them, I made the cushions and she upholstered the back. Burgundy floral with a burgundy chintz back. Yes, it was 1995.

I love these chairs but they have seen better days. In 2002, I moved to NY and they became an important addition to my screened porch. But my cat...and now catS used them as scratching posts, the sun has faded them, and my taste in floral prints has subsided. Last year I made some covers for the cushions (zippered so I could remove and wash them). Earlier this year, the jute webbing rotted and made one unsitable. 

It's ten years later and I finally have the time and the courage to tackle them on my own. And today was the day.

The first thing I did was remove the back. It was just screwed in. I headed to the basement and did a rough tracing of sides.

I then wrapped the back in fabric (the remaining drop cloth from my ottoman) and gave it a quick cut.

I wrapped and pinned. I took a water soluble marker and traced over my pins. I used that line as a guide to sew.

I machine basted the sides (with blue thread so I could see it), did a refit, then sewed the sides closed.

The bottom was a bit tricky - but it sits under the chair so it isn't visible - so I folded the fabric over and hammered in some upholstery tacks to hold it in place.

I screwed it back in place and cut some new jute.

All done!! I realized that I've been channeling my mother this week. She died last May and I miss her terribly. She was creative and quietly confident...and she could make anything. She was 71 when she helped me with these chairs back in 1995. I think she would have loved the update!

And just in time for the weekend!

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