Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dining Room Chair Transformation

You know how one project always seems to lead to another and so on? Well, I am definitely a victim of that common syndrome. So let me tell you what led to this latest frenzy of sprucing up.

It started with a plan for new floors, a painted door, holidays coming, plans for a new canine addition to the family.  You get the picture and more on all that later.

Well, the new hardwoods had me thinking that the dining room might then have lots of wood going on.  Plus, I was loving some of the linen-look slipcovers that I was seening in mags and catalogs.  So, here's my hi/low of dining room chair slipcovers.

Here are the chairs.  Dark wood, modern design, odd-shaped back.

Because of the shape, I knew I could not buy slipcovers retail.  Nor did I want to pay the cost.  So, once again I went to my bookcase and found a book that I had purchased years ago about basic upholstery.  There were directions for a wood chair slipcover with a pleated back.  Perfect!  The pleat would allow me enough leeway to be able to slip the cover over the wide back top, but still have a tailored look. 

Next, I needed to make a pattern.  I took all the measurements recommended in the book and transferred those to some basic muslin.  The idea was to make a sample cover with the muslin, fine-tuning the dimensions as I pinned it onto the chair.  I then did a loose baste on the muslin sample and marked where I sewed the seams.  Once I was comfortable with the result, I took the sample apart and used it as the pattern for the actual slipcovers.

I calculated that I would need 2.5 yards of fabric per chair.  Then I was off to the fabric store.  I had an idea of what I wanted.  Something neutral with maybe some texture or tone on tone design.  I found several that I liked, but the costs ranged from $10-$28 per yard.  WAY more than I wanted to spend - even for the low end. 

I then saw another blog (how did DIYers live without the internet??) where someone used a painting dropcloth for curtain panels.  I went straight to Lowe's to see what sizes they had.  I noticed that the dropcloth actually had a really nice raw texture to it.  Much like the imperfections found in raw silk or linen.  Then I saw this collection from Restoration Hardware and I knew I was hooked!

The best part...the dropcloth cost me $30 for all the yardage needed for all 4 chairs!!  I WILL be using this material again when I re-do the curtains in the playroom.  I am giddy with excitement over this find!

Now...I will not claim that this was an easy project.  I am not a master, or even experienced seamstress.  I would consider myself "decent", and the result shows as "pretty good".  It was a challenge and I had to re-do several of the seams.  It was a bit painful.  However, I love the pleat detail and I jazzed it up a little and finessed the fit with the addition of grommets and some leather lacing. 

Cute, huh?  My corners, etc are not perfect, but I am very happy and can't wait to see the effect once the floors are done!

Until next time!  Redskins cake in the works!

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