First things first – because the chair was so destroyed, I couldn’t use the original foam and cushions, though the springs attached to the chair frame were still good. So I took some measurements of the size that I wanted the chair seat and back to be (I made the back a bit longer), then took those down to my local foam place. They cut the foam I chose to size, which was a lot easier than trying to buy one big piece of foam and hack away (have you ever tried to cut foam? Not fun. Apparently a bread knife works best).
I went for a really thick, high density foam, which was slightly pricier, but worth it.
Next, it was time to cut the fabric. I picked a beautiful purple velvet from Warwick fabrics. I had just enough of the fabric, which was lucky – just before Christmas I heard about an upholsterer that was closing down his business. I made a few trips, and was lucky enough to score a couple of end bolts of fabric for some really good prices – they were fabrics left over from upholstery jobs, but with enough over for the chairs, etc that I wanted to cover with.
So to cut the fabric, I measured the foam cushions about 10,000 times, as I didn’t want to be making any mistakes with the fabric. I cut all of the panels for the cushions out, and marked them. I’ve had problems in the past with tailor’s chalk, etc, and found this nifty fabric marking pen – it actually shows up on fabric, doesn’t rub off too easily, but washes out. Genius!
I matched all of my fabric panels, right way together, wrong way facing out. And pinned it together before I started sewing – as I’m not yet very good at the sewing part, you can see here by the yellow marks on the fabric that I had actually measured out and drawn the hem lines as well – made it much easier to be sure that I was sewing in an appropriately straight line.
It was essentially a matter of making box cushions. Hadn’t done this before, and I definitely recommend looking at some You-Tube videos first, as I only did that about half way through the job, and found some short cuts that would have saved me a lot of time. For example, cut out every side panel for the cushion, rather than one long strip! This meant I had to sew each side panel on to the cushion top and bottom, and trying to match up the corners so it was neat and not skewed was a bitch!
Rather than simply sewing covers for the cushions, I wanted them to be zippered, so that I could easily pull off the covers to either change them around down the track, or throw them in the wash: