Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tutorial: re-covering an Ikea footstool

We've recently reorganised our living room - we've made room in the study upstairs for some of John's trains and moved two of the bookcases downstairs. We moved the cabinet that was holding the boardgames upstairs, gave away several meters of unused books, and ended up with an extremely cosy nook in the living room (which John now refers to as The Library). It's not exactly Downton, but it'll do! 

So, in said Library, I found I was sitting in the armchair, but either dragging the one footstool over from the couch (which then mean that the boys don't have one for the couch), or not putting my feet up at all. (It's genetic, this feet-up business - my grandmother ALWAYS put her feet up. She also kept folded plastic bags on the top of her ottomans to protect them from her shoes. We wash the ottomans (and wear slippers in the house).

Anyway, a quest for a footstool for the Library had been ongoing for a while, and kicked into high gear once the rest of the furniture was settled. I had looked on the Ikea website and was looking at trying to recover the Poang footstool, but when we saw it in person on Sunday (yes, we braved Ikea between Christmas and New Year), it really wasn't doing anything for me.

I did, however, find the Solsta Pallbo. The cream one was out of stock (and I knew I was planning to re-cover it), so we bought the grey one. £14! Bargain!

Here it is, pre-hacking, all assembled.

This is the fabric I picked up at CallyCo in Cambridge over the summer - it's upholstery weight and looks like it's still available, here.

I draped it over the footstool to make sure I liked the idea, and then got started!

The (naked) footstool seemed a little sharp for my clumsy self, so I wrapped it in quilt batting scraps, using my handy-dandy staple gun.

All wrapped!

Then, I sketched the box, and marked the measurements on my diagram. Because the fabric really wouldn't have looked good upside-down, I decided to make a tube for the sides with a lid on the top. I added 1/2 inch for all the seams on all sides, and managed to use the width of my fabric to go 3/4 of the way around the box.

So, I cut two pieces that were width-of-fabric x 16" (height plus 1").

This is the "back", where the two seams are. I thought about having two equal-sized pieces, but decided that I'd give this footstool a definite "front" and "back."

Once I was sure the tube fit, I hemmed the bottom edge. I should have used a ruler and an iron - I just folded the edge over twice, and topstitched.

Here's the detail of the hem, inside-out:

Then, I put the tube on the footstool, wrong side out. I centered the "lid" on the top, wrong side facing out, but with the "front" the right way round (i.e. the top of the design at the same side as the seams).

I pinned and pinned and pinned some more. I made sure the top was reasonably tight (but that I hadn't pulled up the fabric from the floor, either) I really wasn't sure what to do with the corners, but guessed that I'd be able to ease around them. I was, with lots of extra pinning and slow sewing at the corners.

Ta-da! The fabric was fairly wide, so I only used two 16" strips for the whole thing (and have a few pieces left over).

No comments: