Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Orange Zebra Chair

Some of my projects make me very happy.  This is one of them.
"Antique Chairs, $25.00" the Facebook yard sale ad read.  Who could resist that, I ask you?  I went to buy just one of them but came home with 2.  I even only took $25.00 with me and my station wagon, which I thought would only hold one chair, to be sure I didn't come home with more than I need.  Well, apparently my car can hold 2 chairs and the seller of the chairs was willing to take a check for the second one :)  Maybe I do need 2 chairs.
These chairs belonged to the seller's grandmother and grandfather.  Can't you just picture your grandparents in these?  They appear a champagne color but when I stripped the one down I saw it once was green.  So, a-shopping I went for fabric.  The plan is for this to go in James' office.  The color palette is grey, orange, brown and white.  I texted him a picture of the fabric and asked, "Is this too wild for you?"  He replied, "Not if you like it.  Looks like a fake animal".

Only in Roanoke, VA can you find a rare orange, grey and cream colored zebra hide.  It was a done deal.  Before ripping it apart I numbered each panel with a marker.
I painted the wood a cream color, then grey on top.  I sanded it a bit so the cream would show through.  I also added more cushioning to the seat.  I took pictures every step of the way, and I mean, EVERY step.  I'll spare you all the pictures but in case you decide to do this yourself you'll understand how very important it is to do this.  Here are just a few.

This last picture shows how they pieced things together above the arm.  I decided to be brave and make that top piece and the one below the arm all one piece.  I now know why they did it in two pieces.  It was much easier that way but I decided I didn't want that many seams.  Luckily, it all worked out and I was able to do it all in one cut.
I can't even begin to tell you how much I learned with this chair but I'll mention just a few things.
If you're going to attempt reupholstering the first thing you need to do is save all the fabric you removed to use as a pattern.  As I said earlier, take pictures.  Watch Youtube videos.  That's how I learned to use the flexible metal tacking strip so I could attach the final back panel, which was originally sewn on.  I had to buy 100 ft. of this tacking strip so I could use 7 feet of it for this chair.

The original chair had decorative upholstery tacks for the trim but I chose to use double welting since I've gotten so much better at this and I like the look.  Also, it tied the dark fabric to the zebra print.
Instead of using cotton piping from the fabric store I used parachute cord which is made from nylon and creates a very tight cording.  Of course, now that I'm getting better at using my sewing machine and zipper foot that makes all the difference in the world.
This whole project cost around $205.00 and I have enough fabric and supplies to cover the second chair too, so 2 chairs for around $230.00.  Not bad.  I plan to build a foot stool or ottoman to match.

I'm in the process of tanning a goat hide.  A real one, not fabric.  I don't know what I'll use it for but I hope it will be used for something I find as much fun as this chair has been for me.