So, a few years ago we rescued a Barcalounger abandoned by lazy college students by the side of the road. I never liked the thing, but it was in decent condition, free and the bf liked it. Fine. Then we moved across the country, had a hell of a time moving it and it got all nicked up with paint marks and further uglified. And it sat in our living room near a window, with the ugly bumpy-striped fabric fading for 3 years. Eventually, the springs in the seat completely gave out (I didn't know this for months and the bf just suffered in silence because 'he's a dude' - I was told). It needed to go.
This was right around the time of the seating re-craft challenge. So I decided instead that I would make this chair happy again. That was several months ago. Reupholstering a recliner (granted this is a wood-sided one) is a bit of a process. But I finally finished after a mega blitz this week.
This is my first attempt at reupholstering. And there is a lot going on in a recliner...
The entire seat back is sewed in one piece with something like 26 pieces. I would never design construction like this - the Barcalounger people must be a little crazy.
The 'wrinkles' on the back and headrest are darts that are part of the design (and the lines on the seat are from my vacuum). There's also a surprising number of fiddly bits and extra nonsense on the 'inside' of the recliner - I don't know who is expected to see these, my cat?
I was only willing to purchase new fabric (medium blue brushed cotton) and one small piece of foam to stuff behind the headrest (which had apparently fallen through the frame and was not offering any support). Everything else was recycled including zipper, nail strips, and cardboard backing.
I did not want to deal with the springs giving out again, so I instead covered the seat with 1/4 inch plywood cut to size at home depot - and it is quite comfortable.
Also, as it turned out, not only was this my first attempt at upholstery, and making a cushion, but somehow I had never inserted a zipper before - I suppose I have used every other type of closure...Well I didn't realize that the zipper shouldn't be the last thing you sew, but I came up with a backwards solution.
I also sanded the paint chips off the wood, took the patina down on the rest of the wood to match, and oiled all the wood.
detail of part of crazy seat back construction
(please excuse the crafting blitz clutter)
I have to say, it was a scary moment when it was all lying in pieces in my kitchen, when it didn't look like I would be able to screw it all back together again. But I am very pleased with the final product. The chair is comfortable now, and the fabric does not bother me - and all my work on it has made me rather protective of what I once hated. Its like a new chair. The bf keeps looking at it in shock. And I now know how exactly recliners work...hooray!
Thanks for reading my novel of a post!