Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sofa Cushion Rebuilt

sofa cushion
For the first time in almost six months, I can sit on my sofa again.

See, a lot of the furniture in my living room is this matched wicker set. Sofa, chair, rocking chair, coffee table, planter. Late 1930s vintage. When my grandmother moved into town from the farmhouse a number of years ago, she didn't have any room for this wicker furniture in her apartment, so she gave it to me. Very sturdy, very nice condition, especially seeing as all the cushions had had an extra layer of white plant-print fabric over them all these years. When I stripped that away, underneath was the mint condition velour or chenille (or whatever) upholstery.

And sturdy. Only, after a number of years, my weight on that sofa caused the middle cushion to wear through underneath— sort of a dull forest green cotton fabric on the underside of the cushion— and the springs inside the cushion became entangled with the springs in the framework underneath. Just how badly entangled, I didn't realize, until last September when I tried to disentangle them, and was able to do so only by pretty much gutting that cushion. Big metal springs, kapok, innards of the cushion all over the place.

And that has been where things have stayed, for almost six months. Since early or mid September. Cushion, springs, lying there on my living room floor. Sofa unsittable, with a big gap right in the middle of it. I was just too busy, I didn't have the time. And on the rare occasion when I might have had the time, I didn't have the energy.

Oh, by some time in October I'd gotten some dull forest green cotton fabric, a tolerable match for the 1930s original. And some cotton batting to take the place of the kapok. But like I say, I just never found the time. I mean, to fix this cushion, I needed to (1) cut and sew several cloth sleeves; (2) sew six large metal springs inside each cloth sleeve; (3) stuff completed sleeves, and cotton batting, inside the cushion; (4) sew a new forest green bottom onto the cushion; and (5) restring the springs in the framework of the sofa with heavy twine, in a patented 1930s loop-de-underneath-and-up-de-loop twine-tying pattern.

Coming up on Christmas, I did finish one cloth sleeve with half a dozen springs inside of it. Then more procrastination. Didn't get moving on this project, really, until these past few days, when the snow storm gave me some unexpected free time, and I had nowhere else to go and nothing else to do.

So. Sunday and yesterday, I finished the last two out of the three cloth sleeves. Sewed half a dozen springs into each. Fit them inside the cushion, packed with cotton batting. Sewed a double layer of dull forest green cotton fabric onto the bottom of the cushion. (Note, all sewing done by hand.) Restrung the springs in the framework. And voilà! For the first time in almost six months, I can sit on my sofa again.


Anonymous Lucy said...

You have got some SERIOUS skills!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

Yeah, I wonder what's up. I seem to be on a real "doing things I didn't know I was capable of" kick lately.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 2:08:00 PM  
Blogger Richmond said...

That's wonderful! Excellent job! Now if I can jsut channel a little of your "anti procrastination" vibe around here. ;-)

Friday, March 02, 2007 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger Lillian said...

How did you learn to restring the sofa. Ours is sagging and I have found out that the gauge wires they used is to small and I want to change it out and do the hand tied.


Monday, August 24, 2009 8:58:00 AM  

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