Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Vintage Sofa Project: Upholstering the Outside Back of a Sofa

Next up on the Vintage Sofa Re-upholstery Project I'm going to talk about how to upholster the outside back of a curved sofa.  Remember when I said in the beginning that I wasn't in a hurry to get this project done?  Well now I am, I'm tired of it being on top of our desk in the craft room so I am determined to get this thing finished. 

If you missed the previous posts in this series here are the links:

Vintage Sofa Project
Tear Down to the Frame 
Covering the Bottom 
Diamond Button Tufting

For this project I needed just shy of four feet of curve ease, two tack strips, double cord welting and hot glue to go around the base. 

Here's the back after tufting.  Because my sofa has a curved back I could not just staple the fabric to the top and flip it over.  I would never get it to lay smoothly along the curve.  That's where the curve ease (also called plygrip) comes in.  It can be bent anyway you like it.  This makes it a little more complicated than a straight back.

First thing was to attach some piping to the back edge of the sofa with my staple gun. 

Then stapled curve ease right up against the piping. Put a staple in every hole.  I purchased mine at a local upholstery shop that sells it by the foot.  You can also order it on line or find it at some fabric stores. 

Once installed I bent the teeth in a little bit to make it easier to grab the fabric.

I then laid my fabric across the back pulling it tight and used pins to hold it to the sides and top.  I stapled along the bottom a few times to secure it.  Next I cut the fabric along the curve at the top leaving 1/2 inch seam allowance.  

To tuck the fabric into the teeth you will need a flat tool, I used a butter knife.  There is a tool for this you can buy of course if you want.  I worked from the center out and hammered the teeth closed with a rubber mallet as I went.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy to work with the curve ease is. No need to be afraid of it. 


To finish the sides I used tack strips.  This part was a little intimidating to me because you have to poke holes in the fabric.  I started by laying the tack strip directly on top of piping. I pulled the fabric tight and pushed the tacks through the fabric.  I made sure the top of the tack strip was at the very top to get a nice crisp corner.

Then I turned the tack strip around wrapping it with the fabric and push it up close to the piping.  I used my mallet to hammer the points in.  Working top to bottom.  

It worked people.  Amazing. 

The back was probably my favorite part of this whole sofa because I have never used curve ease or tack strips before and it went very smoothly. 

Next up I taped off the legs and painted them white.  The reason I didn't paint them before I did all this was because I knew I would be moving this thing around a lot and they would probably get all scratched up.  Also I wasn't sure of what color to paint them yet. 

Then I hot glued double cord welting along the trim to finish things off.  

To make double cord welting cut a two inch strip of fabric lay your cording on top of it and wrap it with your fabric.  Then sew right down the middle with your sewing machine.  I have a double cord welting presser foot that I use but you can also use a regular foot.  You will get a tighter welt with the special foot but I have done it without and it turns out pretty good.  

Last thing to do is sew up the cushion and this baby will be complete.  I can't wait to stage it and take some beauty shots.  


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Full Circle Creations said...

Oh did an amazing job on this. I love it! Thanks for the tutorial too. I can't wait to see it finished and staged. I love how you made it seem so easy...and I'm thinking I might be able to do this on that chair I've been putting off...Thanks for the inspiration.


Rachelle Falcon said...

Wow it's looks great!!

Katie @ Creatively Living said...

So, so glad you're teaching me how to do this! My couch is needing a recover (last recover was 5 years ago) and this will be sooo helpful! It looks awesome! When does it hit the store?

anangloinquebec said...

Okay you are one brave girl!! What a project. Looks fabulous.

Jean @ said...

It looks amazing! Thanks for the tutorial. I have a very curvey pair of chairs and ottoman that I am planning to refinish. This takes a little of the "scarey" out of it!


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