Saturday, October 1, 2011

Gladys Our Couch

A couple of weeks ago it was rainy and cold ... and as I watched Thomas the Train with Nolan ... I couldn't help but notice how very SICK I was of our couch. 
Now, we're very practical MidWestern folks ... and when we got married, even though we were older than the hills mature, we moved in Jeff's hand-me-downs from his house and my antiques (notice the much nicer label for my furniture) from my apartment and we've been living quite happily for 11 years. 
Well, kids are hard on furniture. And so is just plain ol' life. 
Even though we honestly don't have total chaos or trampoline episodes, the kids are truly quite good, there are occasions when I find myself reminding the kids to SIT on the couch, not do a running long jump onto it ... or to not go over the back of the couch, but the front, we are PEOPLE folks! 
Kids.

Compound that with the fact that Grandma Jean (not Grandma Gladys as I originally posted but Jeff's OTHER grandma ... however I still think of our couch in this state as "Gladys") bought this couch in 1981 ... well ... all furniture has a lifetime ... and it passed a few years back I fear. At least for the upholstery.

SO, being the foolishly dangerously creative person, I stalked the fabric store that I love and bought some upholstery fabric when it went on super clearance sale with grand plans to redo Gladys the Couch.
That was in April.

When I told Jeff my plans I thought he'd be glad with my thriftiness. But he really had some BIG concerns that I wouldn't be able to do this and have it come off well. I mean, as he reminded me, I've never reupholstered anything before ... 
So it didn't take much and I suddenly got pretty scared too. But I had all this yardage of upholstery fabric sitting in my dining room!
I thought I'd be okay if I fashioned a giant tailored covering for it, ya know, kinda like the biggest skirt ever made. Well, I let that idea stew all summer ... wondering how that would truly work, again, with 3 boys lounging all over it, there was no way it was going to stay tucked without some major staples and permanency.

Back to a couple of weeks ago as I was watching Thomas with Nolan as I tried to clean the fabric on the arms for the one hundredth time. I flipped up the skirting to look again at how it was assembled knowing that whatever I did I'd probably need to remove the skirting ... and well ... I pulled on the fabric ... really hard and ... pop-pop-pop ... I started ripping it apart. 
And ya know what?
It kinda felt good. 

And throughout the day I continued to rip and tear and pull. It seriously was something between the labor of having a baby and pulling permanent teeth at times bracing my feet against it and pulling out the staples with all of my might! I think they used over a million staples to attach the original fabric!

Nolan stayed busy working on his tool bench next to me.
When I called Jeff at 5pm wondering when he might be home from work (glancing at the mess all over the living room!) I left him a message letting him know that the couch was not usable anymore. (When he called back after getting the message he thought perhaps the boys had launched themselves onto it and broken it as we've warned them over and over might happen if they weren't more human with it. HA!)
When I came clean, that no, it was ME ripping it apart ... I don't know if he was relieved or worried.
The boys then were kind enough to tell him when he walked in the door that night that I'd be done with it in like a month. (they came to that conclusion on their own ... and it was not music to Jeff's ears most likely.)

It's now been two weeks ... the stitching repair on the base is done, Jeff has reinforced the springs with a board on the bottom, the covering across the foundation is finished. I now wait to do the cushions ... not sure if I can come up with some new stuffing/cushioning that would be more firm or just to keep what we have. (suggestions welcome by the way)
And Jeff is pretty impressed with my choice of fabric and how it's coming together ...
I'm tempted to give you a sneak peek ... but ... then I'd lose motivation to finish it. Now I'm accountable to at least a few more people, heh heh!

So, for now we have a two-toned couch with a cool new eggplant floral base upholstery ... and Grandma Jean's cushions. Looking forward to getting it completed!

Oh, and if you have some sewing on order with me, fear not, I'm doing that first during my better hours of the day! honest! I'm currently in a stand-still-stage with the couch for the last week as I consider what to do with the cushions. So really, it's it's only been a week of working on it, right? :-)

1 comment:

Jenn said...

Ohhhhh...can't wait to see the finished project! I bet ripping that upholstery off did feel good!! Years ago we lived in an ollllllllllld house and babies and carpet don't mix too well. Well...just to see what the floors looked like underneath (they were wood) I pulled back the carpet in a little corner area...and I couldn't help myself...I kept pulling and pulling!! It felt sooooo good!!! Karl ended up refinishing those old floors (they turned out beautifully!), but even unfinished, those old floors were so much cleaner than the "new" carpet!! Ahhh...a sweet trip down memory lane! HA!

Again...can't wait to see the NEW Gladys!! :)

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