The sewing machine is no longer living on the kitchen table. Alas, the dinette is complete!
I decided to tackle the back top pieces first, mainly because they seemed easiest. They were stapled on, which meant all I had to do was sew the shape, pull it taut, and staple it on. Easy, right? WRONG. Before I could put the new pieces on, I had to take the old pieces off. We basically went blind pulling out rusty staples with needle nose pliers.
Then it was to the floor I went. I seam ripped the pieces apart and managed to get two patterned out without any confusion. On the third, I got all confused about what went where and how and why was that part curvy and this part isn't? Needless to say, that corner on the left side where the cushions meet is a little more taut than the rest. When you come on board, do not notice that. Here's a mojito instead.
Part of the delay came from running out of fabric after the back pieces were sewn. I originally thought I'd need 6 yards of fabric, but WRONG. The back cushions had some parts that require the fabric to be cut horizontally and others needed the cut to be vertically. I was glad I chose a randomish pattern that would be forgiving, but accommodating the "read" meant that it ate up the fabric in an unexpected way. Despite my pretty amazing abstraction and use of space, I ended up with only like 1 yard of fabric left for two giant butt cushions. And somewhere along the line I developed a wrist issue and could not use a staple gun to save my life. Call in Capt. Muscles.
While I waited for the fabric to arrive, I had to rethink the bottom cushions. I wasn't sure if I should keep them in sections like the originals or ditch the sections and make it all one piece. The original also had vinyl on the bottom cushion. After seam ripping the bottom cushions to pattern them out, the decision to make it all one cushion made itself. The sections had created a 4" ravine full of coins, crumbs, hair, and general eww.
Deciding to go with a single cushion and no vinyl meant that I could flip them if they got dirty. But it also meant that I had to find new foam in a single piece. I didn't want to spend a million dollars and foam can get pricy. Luckily, East LA has a magical shop called All Size Foam and Fabric that I found through Yelp. So I took the old cushions and took a little road trip.
The place was a giant warehouse of all things upholstery. I got a ticket from the window, picked the quality of foam I wanted, and $85 later, I was loading up my car with new, custom cut cushions. I also got to enjoy the chuckle that came from this Trump piñata that's getting the whippings he deserves.
I may end up going back for cushions for the settee someday. Especially now that the dinette is so shapely, the settee looks even more squishy that it did before.
All in, the reupholstery job cost about $500 in fabric, $85 for cushions, $12 for piping cord (I used clothesline instead of fabric store cord because it's way cheaper), and $225 for the new heavy duty Swinger sewing machine I bought in order to preserve my sanity. My other machine was bought 15 years ago for the same price, so I figured it had done its job and done it well enough for me to justify an upgrade. Plus, I imagine most of the sewing in my future is going to involve heavy fabrics. The $822 investment made a major difference in bringing Kenutu back to beauty.
Two people dumb enough to think anything is possible and smart enough to bumble their way into discoveries.