Recover a Loveseat

One of the latest projects has been recovering a loveseat to match my granddaughter’s room. We found the perfect loveseat for story time with a parent and two children. Luckily though it was on a third floor the lady helped carry it to our truck. I also purchased a red vinyl side chair which is now in the basement playroom and a mirror which is in the front hall. We hauled the loveseat up to the room and it’s beige color totally clashed with the baby’s white and teal (extra baskets from the mudroom).
I was thinking I would sew a slipcover for it but the more I read about slipcovers and how much adjusting they need after each use, the more I thought reupholster was a better idea.
Years ago I recovered a very stout second hand sleeper couch for our living room. I knew it was just a matter of removing the old material and cutting out, sewing, and stapling on the new. That new upholstery lasted for years. But between that project and this one I had no experience.
We went to Jo-Anne’s to look at fabric and came home with 1/8th yard to check the color and weight. Other than its tendency to unravel, it was perfect. So armed with coupons we returned to the store and purchased $70 worth of notions and fabric. As excessive as I can be I bought the rest of the bolt and got an extra discount on the last 7/8th yard.
I also bought Dritz fray check so I would not have to zigzag each cut piece. I have a feeling I will be able to refill the empty bottles with thinned water based polyurethane as that is what the liquid resembled.
I started out not knowing what held the loveseat together and disassembled a whole arm before realizing the pieces slid together. The furniture is purchased unassembled but all the new owner has to do is slide the pieces together.

Assembly pieces slide together
Assembly pieces slide together

It turned out the back slide was caught on the material which we had to tear to remove the back. We also used a crowbar because the pieces were so tight. But eventually the pieces were disassembled.

Original beige upholstery
Original beige upholstery

There was some double stitching at the edges which I decided to replace with piping. I read that piping gives a more professional look to a reupholster job. Many young sewers cut piping along the grain but I knew it should be cut on the bias or across the grain. A complete cross grain cut wastes a lot of material. I found this compromise solution online and used it.

Fabric layout for piping
Fabric layout for piping

The directions mark lines on the fabric the width needed to cover the piping cord-I only marked the edges. Then I sewed the fabric in half one section over. The result is a partial cross grain loop of fabric. I cut plenty of piping material with just a half yard of fabric.

Loveseat construction
Loveseat construction

I took several photos of how the piece was put together which came in very handy. First task was removing the legs and bottom black cover. All the material was held on with tons of staples which are tedious to remove. I bought staple removers that helped enormously. I also had new sharp seam rippers to take apart the covering.

Ripping the seams
Ripping the seams

Disassembling the arm, I took off the foam and thin plywood before I saw the connectors. So I had to put that arm back together.

Replacing the arm fabric
Replacing the arm fabric

I took photos of the gathers so I could sew these correctly but my first attempt was bunched along the arm. I left it though maybe someday I’ll take it off and redo it.

Studying the fabric layout and seams
Studying the fabric layout and seams

Then I removed the fabric from the seat. It was connected to the piece using seams and staples. The long ties held the tufts. It was a bit complicated to reassemble with the new fabric. Although using each piece as a pattern was easy.

Reproducing the construction
Reproducing the construction

Some corner material was sewn and some was stapled. For a job like this one needs a good sewing machine and a great staple gun. I have a nice multi-stitch Singer Machine and I bought a Milwaukee battery powered staple gun for all the stapling.

Arm covered
Arm covered

I finished the arms first and then I covered the bottom. Since the couch was rather firm I added more padding I had saved from some outdoor cushions that deteriorated.

Arms reattached to base
Arms reattached to base

The extra bunched material on the arm is obvious here but I forged ahead. The simple x’s in the seat tufts were replaced with a Dritz covered button kit. I had to buy an extra for the back buttons and bought a different kind that did not work at all. The ones that worked had serrated edges.

Backrest tufts that were replaced
Backrest tufts that were replaced

Thank goodness Jo-Anne’s sends so many coupons. Of course I followed the photos for sewing and stapling the pieces I had removed. There was another globe trotting trip in between so the photos saved the project.
Finally the loveseat was ready. It barely fit through the doors so we waited to slide the back on and of course it would not fit. I had to loosen the slides to give them some wiggle room and we had to push the arms firmly together to slide the back into place. Once it was done though it was as sturdy as the original. In all we spent a little over $120 for a custom loveseat, $40 for the loveseat and about $80 for materials. I don’t count the new tools because I love tools and they are reusable. A similar Wayfair item costs about $300 and of course is not available in teal. I have enough material left for draperies, and/or a cornice for the bedroom with extra for a cushion, backrest and curtain for the mudroom.

Finished loveseat in room
Finished loveseat in room

The loveseat has kid approval and with a few comfy pillows will be perfect for family bedtime stories.

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