Resolutions, Schmezolutions: Cheating on Sofa Reupholstery

Well, I say cheating is the gift man gives himself!

– Mr. Burns

You know all those last-minute cleaning tips where they recommend keeping the lights low? They are on to something. When we first turned on the ceiling light we added to our living room, it made such a huge difference that I shouted:

“Wow, how did we live in the dark so long!?”

followed rapidly by

“Our sofa looks terrible!”

We bought said sofa last century, and it has a well-deserved reputation for extreme comfort, if not any particular stylishness. The new light made me realize that it was pretty threadbare and wallowed out. Still comfy though.

Sofa Before

I have only marginal sewing skills, but I resolved that I was going to reupholster or slipcover that puppy during 2013. Did that happen? Hell no! What did happen was I bought a Sure Fit slipcover, an over-confidently named, semi-contoured, drape arrangement. My intentions were two-fold:

  1. Kick the slipcovering can down the road.
  2. See if we were the type of folks who could gracefully manage white slipcovers.

Success? I guess? Insofar as we determined we are not the white-slipcover type. Here’s the initial test fit (pre-ironing, obviously):

Sofa with Slipcover

I did later iron it. I DID!

Some tips for slipcovers of this type.

  • If you have “T” cushions as we do (the front of the seat cushions extend out in front of the arms),  make sure to order a slipcover for a “T” cushion couch. The regular slipcover won’t have an allowance for the cushion’s extra bit in the front, and it won’t work.
  • There are instructions and tags included with the cover. These actually help, so don’t discard them out of hand! Centering the tags sewed into the flip side of the cover is really important for getting this to work.
  • TUCK TUCK TUCK. It takes a LOT of tucking. Eventually, it will look relatively neat. Use cheap pipe insulators down the back of the seat cushions to help keep things in place (less than $2).

As the year wore on and I still hadn’t slipcovered the sofa, I decided that I would dye the Surefit and see if we wanted a dark brown slipcover, should I ever get around to sewing. Two pots of Rit “Dark Brown” and a washer load later, and the answer was “Maybe, but certainly not this dark purply brown.”

Sofa with Brown Slipcover

I’d actually like a coppery brown, something like this one (from Hom Furniture):

Hom Furniture Darby Sofa

That’s already slipcovered, by the way. It’s taking most of my willpower not to just go buy it and have it delivered! This one is not the peak of chic either, but Chez D’oh, sofas are for cozy lounging.

Since my willpower is working (so far), the revised plan is that I’m going to slipcover the sofa over this dark, cold January (this one right now). Actually, we’re first going to flip the sofa over and see if the structure is worth the effort, and if so, I’m going to slipcover it. By the end of January. 2014. Which I’m considering a grace period for 2013 resolutions.

This sort of thing is why we have no resolutions for 2014.

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