Thursday, June 30, 2011

Seeing Red No More

For a while now I've been planning on re-covering my couch. The red suede just isn't doing it for me anymore. I want a crisp, clean, looking front room and red has proven to be my adversary in finding harmony in that design.

I initially wanted to cover it in something very textural. Like a large weave linen or tweed in a grey or very pale blue. However, I need about 20-25 yds of fabric and finding something that was sturdy enough, cheap enough, and that I liked proved to be much harder than I'd hoped.

After dozens of swatches later (as well as falling in love with a select few then having to heart-wrenchingly break up with them after realizing there was no way I could justify spending $250+ on fabric alone, ew) I was pretty frustrated.

The thought of keeping red so central in the room really bugged me and I could not come to terms with keeping it as is. Finally, I was struck with inspiration as I remembered a current "trend" right now of using canvas drop cloths as rugs, dropclothcurtains, slipcovers, etc. Though it wasn't an original idea of my own, I still felt pretty clever (and re-motivated) heading down this avenue.

I went to Lowes to see what they had and to determine if they would, indeed, be sturdy enough (and un-ugly enough) to work as my material. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was just about the best option all around I was likely to find.

They have a slew of different options as far as size goes and I found one that is 9 feet wide by 12 feet long. I ended up buying 3 of them to start off with, figuring I can always buy another if I end up needing it. Total cost for these suckers? 55 dollahs. Done.
The color is pretty light. Lighter than I had wanted, practically blending into the color of my walls, but with the way I'll decorate around it it should work just fine. At least it will be a significant improvement from the red.

2 3 6

(Notice: Charlie has his socks close, just in case he gets bored destroying things.)

Last night I started cutting out the pieces. Since I want it to look as if its been upholstered (without having to actually rip off the existing fabric and re-upholster it) and I don't want it to look sloppy as if an, ahem, drop cloth had just been thrown over it, I decided to make a pattern of sorts. I used newspaper pages and pinned and cut them to fit the couch and then laid them out on the fabric and cut around them (adding an inch or so to allow for the seams).


Charlie, always having to be involved in whatever I'm doing, even if it means occasionally being stepped on (oops) because he is always underfoot, decided he was going to help. A few half-eaten patterns, flinging fabric scraps around the room, and dumping out all my pins from their container later though, I decided it was time for bed. For the both of us.


The rest of the couch will have to wait for another day.


(Next time I may also find a bunny babysitter... any takers?).

*I used a lot of ( )s this post (also commas). That's probably somehow bad grammar. April? Can you look into that for me? You're a pal.


Caitlin said...

A-I wish I was crafty like you. B-I'll bunny-sit that Sir Charles any time you like!

April said...

I'm a pal.

Courtney Rae said...

Such a clever idea indeed. You are so crafty, dear Jules. Question, though: could you dye the drop cloth to perhaps change it's hue even ever-so-slightly to more accurately fit your taste? Or is the fabric not so much in the right department for dying?

Julie said...

Courtney, I did considered dying it. However, given the volume of fabric I would be working with, I would have to have a pretty big sink, etc. to dye it in. All I really have at my disposal is my tub and I'm afraid of staining (not so sure my landlords would be too keen on that). PLUS since I'm wanting to do this as frugally as possible, I didn't want to risk it not turning out right and then having to buy more material. I do definitely want to try dying fabric though. I have an old Louis chair I am recovering, too, which is a much smaller project that wouldn't be as risky to try on. As far as cost goes. So I may try it out on that.

Heather said...

ooooo! what a good idea! I can't wait to see how it turns out!!!


Alison said...

I'm looking forward to seeing the final product. But I do like the red!

And it cracks me up about your bunny - it's almost like you have a toddler around! Next time, try doing it after the bunny's been put to bed. ;) hehe. That's what I do with the toddler!

p.s. I love you, therefore I comment. I want to steal your chinese proverb excellence for my blog.

Bonnie said...

how's the project going?

Jess said...

Whaddyaknow? I came here to look for your crafty projects to gather inspiration for my new apartment, and here you are, reupholstering a couch. You are amazing. Want to come help me decorate my place? ;)

(And p.s. my word verification is "houte", which I think is rather appropriate for a post like this!)