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So, the time I covered the couch...

So years ago I bought a second hand couch. It was quite new but I think the woman that owned it had dyed her hair and leaned back and it left a bleached spot on the back. I covered it with a throw but I really hated the colour and the spot. East Coast Fabrics had a half price sale for upholstery fabric in March and I decided I would cover the couch.

Now the couch is an Ikea one that you can buy covers from a company that is in Hong Kong (Comfort something or other) and I looked them up years ago to buy new covers but it was about $1000 and as an stay at home single parent I couldn't afford them even if I wanted to spend that much money. Anyway, the couch has a frame on the base which has he legs attached and has velcro around the base where the cover attaches, then the frame holds it in place. So it was quite easy to get off and then I unpicked it all to get the pattern pieces.  

I had a plan. I would take off one cover and have the other one for reference. The other rule I had was to put the pieces on the roll of fabric right side facing up. I also had to keep it to the same grain as the original pieces were too. I had taken a week off for school holidays with my son and I took an extra week off to finish my couch. Unpicking took so long and I  did it watching tv at night time before I was ready to cut and sew. That's the ugly cover above. So faded and worn out.  The roll of fabric is unfurled over the other couch and the cover is off that one.

As it has been fabulous weather here (2/3rds of Autumn is over and it's still 26 degrees c) and as I thought when the whole piece is put together it would be huge, I decided I would set up outside on my outdoor table which is a huge octagonal and it was very pleasant. I set up my iPad with a speaker and Nick Cave Live in Copenhagen playing (it was a free stream for a few days over the Easter Holiday- a gift!) Such great light out here! Alas, after the first day I had to set up at the kitchen table as it started raining and so hard the mist from the rain would wet my machine.

This is a piece that covers the back and fortuitously it fit across the fabric. In fact I did want it the direction of the marle to go the other way as that was the grain, but I went to a local upholstery shop to get some thread (last reel left at a very reasonable price) and she advised that it was perfectly fine to put it on the other way.  Great advice. The colour looks very washed out here.. it's actually a lovely light blue. I did a burn test and think it is a high cotton content with synthetic mix. It has a lovely feel.

I had some scotch-guard spray from spraying some shoes and did a little test on the fabric. I mean it is light blue and I have a teenage boy.  In the video above you see how the fabric reacts before and after treatment. Test proved it was worth spraying it.

I marked things on the old cover for reference and took photos... ha, no going back now!

There's that ugly spot. I did get it very cheap and it has proved to be pretty sturdy.

I lay out the pieces to get the most out of the fabric. I bought 14 metres based on ... nothing more than I knew I'd need more than 10 metres and that's what was on the roll. So considered!

The fabric was half price and I got this at $4 per metre and got 14 metres = $56. I ended up using 3 1/2 spools of 100 metres Guterman Upholstery thread at a cost of about $35 and 2 80/12 Mettler needles. I took my time... I mean I was on holiday so I went to aqua aerobics but basically stayed home and did my sewing. I have to say, overall I really, really enjoyed sewing this which surprised me. I thought I'd find it a chore, but I didn't. Maybe the fact I had the time set out, my son was at his Dad's so no stopping to cook or making sure to tidy things up. I probably worked on it about 5 hours a day for 5 days. Physically I had to pace myself.. I have neck and shoulder injuries and if I'd overdone it, it may not have been finished.

Finished product. It's not perfect but it is good. I love the colour and the way it's made the room fresh and bright. The trickiest bits were some little boomerang godets at where the arm meets the back and the attached cushion ottoman. I watched some tutorials from The Funky Little Chair which I found really useful and fun, plus I found them really clear and well done. I am so pleased and now don't feel any urgency to get a new couch. I did look... I tried to spend money, but they are so expensive and I haven't found anything I really liked so as a friend said, better to have something you don't like that doesn't cost you $2000!

That's probably my biggest challenge and I'm really chuffed how well it turned out. Anybody else make something similar? Would you ever give it a go?


WOW! That is such an impressive undertaking!! I have two desk chairs that I keep thinking about painting (legs) and recovering. Maybe I'll take the plunge eventually :)

Bravo! The couch looks really great.
JustGail said…
And chuffed about this project you should be! Well done - I've considered smaller reupholstery projects and only got to buying the fabric. It's been so long, I no longer like the fabric. In fact, I no longer have the chairs!
Vanessa said…
What a wonderful result at a much more pleasant price!
Audrey said…
Great looking couch. You should be very proud. I have a few slipcover projects waiting for me. I think your approach was the best. Dedicating a large, relatively uninterrupted, chunk of time to the task.
McVal said…
My daughter and her husband have that exact same couch! Good job!!!! It's beautiful!

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