Saturday, August 9, 2014

Vintage Sofa Revival

This reveal has been a year in the making, but it was oh so worth it.
I first acquired this beauty while we were stationed in North Dakota, from a very generous friend. For the first few years, the sofa maintained her original upholstery and cushions. But after some wear and tear from our move to Washington and some incidents with a naughty dog, it was time to give her a makeover.

While my husband was deployed last year, I stayed with family in California, and brought her along. I'd never recovered something quite so huge before (Ok, more like I'd never recovered more than a dining room chair!) and knew I would need some backup in the form my insanely talented mother. Together, we tackled removing all the fabric, cushioning, and the millions of staples that held it all together.

The photo above was at what was the scariest part of all. The staples were taking forever and the reality of what I had undertook was finally sinking in. At this point I semi-seriously considered listing the sofa on Craigslist under "free."

Thankfully, I persevered and when we finally got down to the stuffing, we stopped. I left the original stuffing on the back and sides since it was still in good shape and would cut my work time down. I'm so glad I did.

 After filling, sanding, and re-staining the frame, the fun part finally came! And by fun I mean crazy stressful and frustrating. My first hurdle was trying to get the color of the fabric right. I used two drop cloths from Lowe's as my upholstery fabric. I'd wanted a dark grey, so I used RIT dye to change the color of the drop cloths. But after trying to adjust the color a few times I gave in and said good enough. I ended up with a grey-blue color instead, but I'm still pretty happy with it.

My next hurdle was the tufting. It took three tries to get the back right, but you'd better believe I'm a whiz at tufting now!

I did not take progress photos, I had meant to at one time, but to be honest, this took all my attention. I found some really great tutorials though that I will post at the end.
After this sat. And looked like this for about six months before I found out we would be moving again and knew I needed to finish it once and for all!

 The back and sides were incredibly easy after the tufting of the front, still challenging in it's own way, but the process took much less time.

 For the cushions I used the high density foam that Joann Fabric's carries. It is incredibly expensive, but if you use a half off coupon it really helps cut down on the price. This is obviously not the best photo of it, but it is the green rectangle in the back of the photo. It's super comfortable!

The trim is also a Joann's find, and I was very lucky with how closely it matched my fabric, which I'll talk about more at the end of the post. Gluing it on took forever, but it really finished it off and is preventing the fabric from fraying!

Remember how I was saying my mom is insanely talented? She made the beautiful cushions for me. She made the piping to match, and then sewed them up nice and straight. I could never have done such a great job!

Since I didn't take photos of my own to share, I thought I would share the tutorials I used to help me with the dying and tufting processes. I have a Pinterest board full of inspiration here, but the ones below are my favorites.

For dyeing the drop cloth, this tutorial from Sunnyside Up-stairs using RIT dye was a favorite.

For the tufting, I found the tutorial from Blue Roof Cabin and the links she provides to be the best. There is a video called Kim's Upholstery that was excellent in helping me figure out how tufting works.

And while I ended up not sewing the cushions myself, this tutorial from Smart Girl Style for professional looking cushion covers was a great read and I will definitely be using it for future projects!

I hope you all enjoyed seeing my not-so-little project. 
This sofa was really a labor of love, but I am so glad I finished it and am now able to enjoy it in my living room! Well, until we move that is!
 My next project will be making a cover and pillowcases for the loveseat! I found that lovely piece at The Farm Chick's show in Spokane, WA! I can't wait to share it in more detail once it's all spruced up!
 Until next time!