Ever since Ellen scored this
wicker couch frame
for her Rivah sunroom at a yard sale for $10, our posse has taken to the thrill of the hunt at yard sales, thrift stores and consignment shops. Earlier this year, we stopped at this little consignment store
just south of the White Stone bridge. On previous stops, we have managed some little finds, but this time we couldn’t believe our eyes. Just inside the door were these two beauties
for $25 dollars total! Trying to act cool tho’ our hearts were racing, we made a quick tour of the rest of the shop and quickly bought them up.
They have the look of the fabulous and uber-chic (aka expensive) Frances Elkins’s 1930’s loop chairs that have been popping up in the tony decor magazines and on Pinterest.
The chairs that we found are heavy iron painted a pretty aqua. Unlike the traditional Elkins design, their style just seemed to call for a round box seat cushion.
After our purchase, we spotted these same chairs at DéCOR in Carytown.
These seats were only 13″ wide and seem a bit skimpy. The price, though, was anything but.
The color on our chairs was perfect for the all blue and white apartment that I am creating for my daughter, and after Ellen’s reupholstery success, these chairs seemed like they would be a cinch to fix up. Maybe cinch was a bit optimistic, but I have great faith in my sewing mentor, Ellen.
The most difficult part of the operation was figuring out how to get a 15″ round base cut from sturdy enough wood. Once we overcame that hurdle, the fun began. With so much detail in the chairs’ backs, simple fabric and cording was all that seemed necessary. White canvas leftover from one of Ellen’s recent Rivah projects and this light turquoise Sunbrella close-out fabric from u-fab were easy choices.
Ellen started the process by creating the piping. She quickly learned that Sunbrella fabric is not the easiest to work with. Ellen’s advice: cut extra-wide bias strips.
While Ellen was sewing, I cut out the foam cushion with another of Ellen’s brilliant ideas: an electric knife.
The foam was attached to the base with adhesive spray, then I adhered a layer of batting over the whole thing.
Using a 16″ round template cut from poster board, we cut the top fabric and 4 3½” inch strips a bit longer than the circumference of our base (Π x diameter).
Then Ellen painstakingly attached the piping to the top of the seat.
She followed that with the box side and then another layer of piping. To the bottom layer she attached another strip that had a fold for pull-cording.
We held our breath and voilà,
it fit! We tightened our secret ingredient, the pull cord,
What do you think? Wouldn’t these fabulous chairs be perfected on a covered porch or, better yet, my master bath? If only I can persuade my daughter to give them up.