Hug me, squeeze me, tug at my fur!
– Waylon Smithers
Some decades ago, my mother scored a couple of chairs cast out of some bigwig’s office. Now they live with us, including this rattily slipcovered one in our living room.
Although I’m slipcover-mad, it didn’t work here. Wrong fabric, wrong kind of chair.
When considering redoing it, I thought, “How about faux pony/cow hide? Juxtaposed against the more traditional motif? That could be fun and different!” Then I saw this tour on Apartment Therapy:
Whatever, AT. The tour was published on October 12, and I ordered my fabric October 10, which makes my idea totally unique and not at all informed by Le Corbusier or every Western film ever made.
I ordered two yards of faux fur from the Online Fabric Store for $7.20/yard. Why faux? Because this is a lark — it’s not worth spending real money. Besides, if I want to sit on a pony or a cow, I’ll sit on one.
First thing was to remove the slipcover. I found the seat screws were missing, so diassembly was easier than expected.
I cleaned everything, then used pinking shears to cut a piece for the seat to run back to front, overlapping the underside by a couple of inches. I left a seam allowance on the sides. After inverting the fabric and pinning it to the cushion, I cut side pieces and pinned those to the top.
I sewed it all together using a heavy-duty needle and thread. This bit of sewing avoids bulky folds for a smoother top. After sewing, I flipped it outside-right and pulled it over the cushion firmly (fitted but not straining).
STAPLE GUN TIME! I cut strips of uncorrogated cardboard about a half-inch wide (cereal boxes are good). With the cushion face-down, I pulled the fabric evenly around the base. Putting a cardboard strip over the fabric, I stapled through the cardboard and fabric into the wood. The cardboard spreads the pressure, reducing wear on the fabric that can cause rips.
I trimmed off the extra fabric. Seat DONE.
Next, the back. This chair originally had an open back; I previously added strapping to support a back cushion.
I sewed double D-loops onto the straps for cushion anchors.
To do the back cover, I cut a long piece to wrap around the entire back. I folded the edges under to make the piece the right width, and tacked it with a few hand stitches. Starting at the inside bottom frame, I stapled the fabric to the frame (with cardboard; see bottom of photo above). At the top, I flopped the piece over and stapled that down inside the back above the initial staples. The piece is flat but not super-taut because it will need to move with the cushion slightly. A few side stitches helped keep it neat.
I made a simple cover for the back cushion. To attach it, I sewed a piece of grosgrain into each back side seam (about 3/4 of the way “up”) so there was at least a foot dangling outside the cushion. I reinforced the seams and hemmed the ends, then whip-stitched the cushion inside.
I ran the ribbons through the D-clips belt-style to hold the cushion in place.
Here’s the seam on the side of the cushion.
Before I close, thanks to my lovely mother, who gave me the name for this post, and a memorably funny moment on the phone earlier this week:
Me: I’m recovering that occasional chair in the living room.
Mom: Oh, yeah? I love those chairs. With what?
Me: Fake pony fur.
Mom: You’re kidding, right?
I could never shake Mom’s cool when I was trying! How could I know that fake fur upholstery was her line in the sand?!