“What’s New?”

About 20+ years ago my parents added a sun room to the back of their house.  They purchased a cute table and some ice cream parlor style chairs along with some other furniture and enjoyed their new space for years.  Once both of my parents passed away, the chairs came to me.  My husband and I have also enjoyed those same chairs, but by now, the thin material on them was discoloring and literally hanging on by a thread in some places.  I decided to look in my fabric stash to see if I had a piece of material that would be the same basic weight (so the seat would fit back into the chair rim) and complimentary to the chair style.  This project, once I gathered the tools and found the fabric I wanted, took about 2 hours.  Not bad for a “free” makeover!

The chair’s “before” picture.  Cute but the fabric, a very thin cotton, was worn and discolored. 

The first step was to remove the 4 screws that hold the seat to the chair’s rim.

At this point you may want to take a picture so you know how everything is supposed to look after your work is finished.

Take a picture before you tear too much apart!

I marked the seat’s front and the back so I would be sure I was putting the seat back on correctly when done. 

Marking the front and back as the seat came off the chair rim.
I carefully removed the old staples with a staple puller.

The fabric on this chair had been glued before it was stapled on, so I carefully removed the fabric, making sure I did not tear the old fabric.

Remember, you want to use the old fabric as your pattern for the new fabric. Be very careful, if working with a circle of fabric, that you don’t pull too hard. This will skew the fabric due to the bias grain.
Once everything was apart I could start the makeover!

The old foam was glued to the wooden seat and I decided not to remove it.  I was careful to measure one of the staples I removed so I could match the size with the new staples I would be using.

Don’t forget to measure one of the old staples so the new staples will be the correct size.

Since I did not choose to replace the foam, I added some polyester batting to the seat.  I used a thicker batting that would be way too stiff to use for a quilt.  I centered the batting over the seat and found I didn’t need to attach it:  the fabric would hold it in place.

I traced the seat and cut out the batting.
The batting was thick enough that I didn’t feel I needed to attach it to the foam. I felt the fabric would hold it in place.

When using the old fabric as a pattern for the new, I made sure to match the grain so my stripes would line up on the finished chair.

Since I had added some thicker batting to the seat, I added a ½” to the diameter of the circle of fabric.

I am a big fan of cutting away excess material rather than stretching material to make it fit.

Before starting to attach the new fabric to the seat, I marked the front and back by sticking a pin into the foam.

These pins came out as soon as I had draped the fabric over the seat and lined up the stripes with the front and back.

Now that I was sure my stripes would line up front to back, I stapled the fabric to the seat. I started by attaching the front, back and two sides first.  I then continued to work my way around the circle by stapling across the seat, turning the seat 90 – 180 degrees each time so the fabric on the front did not get skewed.

Because I was working with a circle of fabric, tucks were inevitable so I made the tucks very small.

I tried to make very small tucks and away from the seat’s edge, where they would show once the seat was re-attached.

I’m happy with the finished product and will tackle the second chair tomorrow!

A much more subtle stripe than the original fabric. Isn’t a stash of fabric great for unexpected uses? Happy Sewing!