Sofa Project

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One of the first really big textiles projects I undertook was making a set of loose covers for a sofa. Looking back now it was a really challenging project to take on as I was only about eighteen and it was a large sofa with lots of curves, including a shaped back and curved arms. I remember creating patterns using wall paper draped over the shaped areas to get the right fit. I also remember piping many of the edges, as well as adding big frill around the bottom edge. Probably what I remember most though is the slightly garish mustard yellow and white bold flower pattern - well, it was the late 70s/early 80s after all! 

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Recently my niece asked me to cover her sofa she had been given; as a single mum with a new baby she couldn’t afford a new one and the frame itself was in good condition but the cover was extremely stained. Fortunately the sofa was more boxy in shape than my first attempt all those years ago, with only the arms being curved, something I was very relieved about! 

My niece wanted a loose cover in several pieces so she could wash individual sections. This was both because of only having a small washing machine, as well needing to be able to wash sections if the baby was sick on it. She also wanted the covers to be made from silver velour to match the colour scheme of the room and the cushions she already had. She already had 2 throws she wanted the covers to be made out of and I bought her 2 more for Christmas which just about gave us enough material. 

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There wasn’t enough fabric to recover each cushion but we both agreed that a loose cover over the top gave a better appearance as the cushions had lost some of their shape. One of the original throws was enough to cover the back cushions and the other covered the seating area down to the floor. Both of these are attached to the sofa simply by tucking them in. The fact that these throws didn’t need to be cut means that if my niece buys a new sofa in the future they can return to their original use as a throw.

To create the curved arms a throw was folded in half with one edge stitched together. Once draped over the arms, and with a bit of tucking the arm shaping was actually quite easy to achieve - helped by the slight stretch in the fabric (although the stretch was only limited as the throw had a woven backing). The fabric along the arms also stretches around the back of the sofa and is joined down the middle of the back with bows made from the ribbons the throws were bound by when they were purchased. 

The cover dramatically improved the look of the sofa giving it a much more luxurious feel. My niece was very pleased with the finished result - I was just relieved it only took me a couple of hours rather than nearly a week like my first sofa project!

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