February 23, 2015

Red Velvet Slipcovered Chairs

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I am having the worst time blogging since my camera tends to be at the shop. It becomes painfully real when I do a project at home and all I have is my cell and that isn't really good at taking photos unless I have the perfect day and amount of light. I think I need to get a camera bag and just lug it back and forth everytime bc I certainly can't afford to get TWO cameras. So this project that I am going to show is sadly short on photos. But it is fun to see how something can be totally transformed with just a change in fabric!

My client with the Chinese red bed also commissioned me to make him slipcovers for a pair of living room chairs. This was a serious learning experience because the quote I gave him was WAY too low for the amount of work I did. But you live and learn and move on. I am thrilled at how these turned out even if the process was extensive. Part of the issue came from the fact that he wanted the chairs covered in velvet.  And the chair comes apart in two pieces so he wanted the back and seat covered separately so it looked upholstered. 

It would have been simpler to upholster I think…

This is the chair. 
My original pattern did not take into account a velvet fabric so it did not drape around all the curves the way the pattern fabric did. So after pinning and tracing I had to come up with a different pattern altogether. I wanted to just sew one piece of velvet straight down at the at the four corners. However, velvet does not drape like that at all. So I stared at the chair for about two days and then realized that I had to make a top pattern piece and a skirt piece. Those corners were an absolute bugger. (I have been watching Downton Abbey again so if I start to sound english, you'll know why!) 

A few things about velvet:
velvet has a nap,  fabric with nap is one what usually has a pile and will look different shades from different angles…..so
all pieces need to be cut going in the same direction 
and all pieces need to be cut singly

You also have to use a walking foot while sewing velvet or the nap will move around too much as you sew. My walking foot broke as soon as I tried to use it. Granted, that foot is probably 20 years old but really? as SOON as I start!!!???!!!
So that was another $20….
And another thing about velvet…
once you put a pin in it, the hole doesn't disappear. So you have to pin the pieces on the chair but make sure you pin them outside the seam line. Then use a sharpie to mark where your seam line will be.

You also can't iron velvet or the nap gets pushed down and gets shiny so all the seams had to be steamed open….. 
get the feeling I am not enamored with velvet?

but with all this babying of the fabric, the chairs turned out absolutely amazing!

They really look rich and feel heavenly. Velvet is a very lux fabric to be sure. 

So next time someone mentions velvet, I'll know how much is involved and quote a proper price.

Ever given a quote that was way too little for the amount of work you wound up doing? 

Did you stick with the quote and chalk it up to your learning curve or did you call and renegotiate? 
I didn't feel like I could negotiate but not sure if it is considered okay to do so after you get going on a project. 

Here are some other chair makeovers that were a bit easier but had the same great transformations!


Have any favorite chair re-dos?

Always being renewed,

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1 comment:

Lay it on me! i love to hear from you!


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