Tuesday, October 18, 2016

My Mother Would Be Proud.....or How to Upholster a Built in Banquette

I've been gearing up to upholster the built-in banquette for weeks.  At over 10 feet long, it's big, so it was a challenging project. And I bought the last of the fabric at the store....so if I screw it up, I'm back to the drawing board!  A bit intimidating, to say the least.

Subaru - the ultimate New England delivery vehicle!!
Kyle built the to-be-upholstered section for me a few weeks ago and brought it to my house to work on it.  I had planned to do it indoors, but it's so big the driveway made a lot more sense.

My husband thinks we provide a constant source of entertainment to the neighbors. We don't have a garage, so I frequently tackle DIY projects in the driveway. And when I'm working on a long narrow wooden box just before Halloween, well, you can see it might draw a few comments!  

So I dragged out my upholstery tools and got to work.  

First step was to apply the foam to the structure.  The 3M contact cement I used has all kinds of warnings (flammable, health, etc), I was glad I was outside!

PS - have you ever tried to cut foam rubber?  It's tricky!  But to make it easy, just pull out your old electric carving knife. (or you can get one at The Christmas Tree Shop for $7.99!)  It slices right though!

Next was to wrap it in polyester batting, to smooth the harsh edges of the foam.

And then finally, I started to add the fabric.  It's a bit tricky.  We built the banquette in sections and I needed to line up the pattern across the top and the base.  You see, my mother was an amazing seamstress.  She made lots of my clothes when I was growing up (very helpful, because I was so tall, we couldn't find anything to fit!).  And she taught me to sew as well.

One thing that she always emphasized was the need to match patterns.  She always worked hard to make sure that everything matches (and to this day, I'm sometimes shocked to see nice quality clothing, with plaids or stripes, that don't line up).  With that focus, I spent a lot of time making sure the pattern matches up.

Next steps will be to upholster the top and add the brass brads for a little extra style.  I'll do that just before installation.

And when the base was done?  Richard's first comment was 'your mother would be proud'.  Ha ha.  She would indeed.....
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  1. haha - if you were my neighbor I'd probably come over and ask for tips!

  2. Your mother and mine had a lot in common! I could have written that paragraph myself.

    1. Really? I wonder if that's something no one notices anymore?

  3. Excellent job! By the way, I have this chair.....


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