UpdatING instead of ReplacING

Anyone have that leftover piece of furniture, a chair, or an ottoman, that you really can’t stand? A cushion that is out of date? For me it was a few items in my home. Some stains that wouldn’t come out or tears that couldn’t be mended. Sometimes its a bargain find that has a pattern that isn’t your fave – but selling or donating something that you still have a very clear need for is sort of silly when you will just need to buy something new to replace it once its gone.

So I found some fabric from IKEA that I loved –

and held onto it for 3 years.

Not what you expected right?? Well, starting a project is still pretty tough – there are always so many reasons to put things off – work, life, kids, etc. Not knowing how to DO a project creates some anxiety too but something about being in our NEW HOME gave me the motivation to start this! Specifically, we had a set of 2 chairs and matching ottomans that have served us extremely well for years – very dark maroon color that doesn’t really match our current aesthetic but VERY sturdy and well, we own them and have small children, so using them is in our best interest vs buying new.

Back to the fabric – it was a heavy cotton and I bought about 10 yards of it at IKEA for about $3 a yard. They have so many fun and contemporary patterns – you should check their offerings out!! This fabric didn’t break the bank and I literally had it for years before I started this project but have purchased many other pieces of cotton or muslin for additional projects. Ultimately, choosing a heavy duty or upholstery like fabric is probably best – and to be determined how this fun print holds up to the daily joy of children under 10! (Fingers Crossed!)

Now, do I sew professionally? No – I dabble in sewing things together and have tried some very simple patterns I found online or bought from fabric stores with moderate success. Last year I tried to sew a tulle skirt from scratch – completely winging it – and it was a disaster! (Cue to a post about some Halloween costume where I finally use this tulle monstrosity).

Since I am not a professional or any sort of seamstress, you are probably wondering if I am familiar with the inner workings of upholstery? NOPE – Not one bit and the first example of this knowledge gap is starting this project with a plain ole needle. For the sides of the piece, I sewed the fabric together and on the bottom, I sewed right to the ottoman itself. It was really difficult to get the needle in and out sewing AGAINST something to this was a labor of love!

A regular needle is NOT the right type of needle you need for upholstering a chair. In fact, there is a specific type of needle MADE for upholstery – it is curved and so much easier to sew in and out of the fabric that is on something else. I found mine at Joann Fabrics – see below numbers 6 and 7. NOW – when I started to tack on the fabric for the chair – it made it SO MUCH EASIER!!! The cat is extremely interested in this process as you can see – and she was engaged constantly.

there is a specific type of needle MADE for upholstery

I slowly made my way through each part of the chair and cutting pieces of fabric loosely to fit each part of the chair then tacking it together where it made sense. I am not going to lie – it isn’t rocket science but it is tedious – and I don’t believe that I completed this in any normal way – but it worked! I tried to look up different steps on Pinterest but I didn’t find a specific answer to my inquiry – so this is how it worked for me and I would wing it again in a second! (In fact, I DO have an additional chair below and another one in need of refreshing!)


So there you have it! This chair is now comfy AND will fit our home for years to come!


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