Sewing Throne

A lick of paint & qulted fabric scraps give new life to a chair

A lick of paint & quilted fabric scraps give new life to a chair

Since my self-imposed banishment to the loft I have experienced a lot of back and hip pain. Remove any thoughts of a beautiful airy loft space full of light, the loft space in my little house with no natural light or ventilation. I am slowly making it my own sewing space. I access it via a steep pull down loft ladder & thought maybe whizzing up and down them like a spider monkey was the culprit. After consulting the Wolf my poor sewing posture and the rattan garden chair I use were cause of my Monty Burnsesque stance.

I joyfully cranked up my iPad to search for a lovely chair that I definitely needed, not so keen on the Pilates prescription though! My choices were disappointing, functional office or expensive ergonomic seating. So I adopted my eternally youthful Mothers advice of ‘go shopping in your own wardrobe’. Her favourite retort when any of her three daughters and the Beauty are moaning about having nothing to wear.

During my promenade around the house I spied an office chair in the Beauty’s room but Her Badgesty (the agoraphobic cat) likes to sit on it so no joy there. I have been saving bits and bobs for my sewing loft but nothing chair like. I also had a nosy in the Wolf’s Lair and spotted an old chair I had forgotten about. He muttered something about needing it to put on his dog walking boots but he is very nimble and will soon adapt.

Cracked vinyl seat with custardy varnish

Cracked vinyl seat with custardy varnish

I checked the dimensions and height of my sewing desk and checked that biomechanics wise it all worked. Well, I sat on the chair and mimed a bit of sewing and checked out the right angles of my joints.

It was perfect so I hunted down my old tins of chalk paint, gave the chair a thorough wash and a coat of paint.

Lovley new coat

Lovely new coat

When I pimped out a dresser table & chairs for the kitchen diner, I applied two coats of paint & two wax. The chair had one in of each as I am lazy and impatient, plus it will only have one user.

I scrutinised my scrap box while it was drying, my last few projects were from patterns and needed a freestyle project. I selected fabric that was in strips at least as long as the chair seat. I stitched them together to make a square that was about 5cms bigger than the seat. Next I cut two pieces of fleece the same size, pressed out the seams of the patchwork & laid it on top.

Fabric strips joined, pressed and quilted tucked under seat

Fabric strips joined, pressed and quilted tucked under seat, the small hole on the pink gingham was later patched with applique

I stitched in the ditch where each strip met and placed it over the seat to check the size, don’t cut too much off as more plumping is required. Now for my favourite bit, pondering the trim possibilities! I had lots of fun trying out rick rack placements until I found the right one.

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The seat now had a similar plumping experience to Matilda my dress form. I cut each layer a bit smaller pyramid style so that it would taper towards the edges.

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I placed wooden seat on the quilted piece and drew a chalk line two cm bigger to allow for seam allowance. (Consider the plumping layers as these make it wider/bigger).

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The seat sits in a very narrow channel  and is fixed underneath with wooden pegs that slide into grooves (just like Madonna).  Rather than overlapping and using a staple gun decided to use elastic to hold it in place so it can be removed  for washing (as if!).

imageI used the same method I would when making PJ’s, I joined the elastic, (first stretching it around the edge to work out how much is required), then marked out four equal points. I marked four points on the seat cover and matched them up then pinned at these points. Using the stretchy zig zag stitch (or a overlocker, I am currently not speaking to my Mr Gray). Stretch the elastic as you sew but not the fabric, making sure that each quarter section matches up.

I did two rows for luck then trimmed the seam allowance right down before putting it on the seat.  The wooden pegs were then twisted into lock position and my sewing throne is complete!

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I introduced it to its little friend the Bubble Quilt mini chair, I’m sure they will be firm friends.

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