Friday, August 31, 2012

A Really Long Post about Recovering a Glider!

Before we get started with this post, let me make a few things very clear:
  • This post is going to be very long and have way too many pictures.
  • While this is supposed to be a tutorial, it probably won't make very much sense at all.
  • Really, I have no sewing skills. If I can do it, you can do it.
So lets get started.  Seth and I knew we wanted a glider for the nursery, but didn't want to spend a whole lotta dough.  After minimal searching, we found a solid glider at a great price at Once Upon a Child (I love consignment stores!).  The only issue was that the fabric, while in good condition, wasn't really vibing with what we had going on in the nursery.  See?
You can't really tell in the photo, but the fabric is a nice light blue and white stripe.  Want a close up?
Not bad, just not what we are going for...

So to get started, first I panicked and then I pinned (as in, consulted Pinterest).  I found two great tutorials (this one and this one) and decided to mix those methods for my plan of attack.

Step 1:  Rip some seams
I used my seam ripper to pull apart the top backy piece and the bottom piece.  This left me with the inserts for the back and bottom and pieces that I could use as a pattern.

For the back piece, you'll notice that part of it has some extra cushioning.  I left this part on and planned to use it.

Step 2:  Make a Pattern
For this project, we wanted some nice soft, baby friendly fabric.  Although, it is not upholstery fabric, I picked up some black minky dot fabric from Hobby Lobby (love their sales!).  I got 3 1/4 yards and had a lot left over.  I think 2 1/2 yards would have worked.  So, back to work...  I laid my old pieces out and pinned them to my new fabric and cut (generously) around them.

Step 3:  Keeping the seams
This step can also we called: here's where it starts to get complicated...  but not really.  So, if you look at the original glider, you'll see all these nice seams on the back piece.  Since I planned to use the fluffy back piece (like in this tutorial), I figured I should add the seams.  I found out the hard way (I snapped a needle) that the best way to do this is to use a heavy duty needle and just gently follow the seam lines that are already laid out.

So (sew?), this is the fluffy back piece pinned to my fabric.  I essentially just sewed into these lines to secure the fluffy piece to my new fabric.
I know its hard to see, but the lines are there!  Success!
Step 4: Putting it all together
So now I have one backy piece attached to a fluffy piece and I need to attach the other backy piece, essentially making a giant, oddly shaped pillow case.  I pinned my pieces wrong side in and realized something amazing- since my fluffy piece was part of the original piece, I could see exactly where the original was sewn.  This allowed me to use this old seam as a guide and meant that I was exactly reproducing the original.
See- all I had to was follow the seam...

And once those were put together, I just had to flip the whole thing right side out...
Not bad for someone who can't sew!

Step 5:  The bottom
The bottom piece was very much like the top, except there was no fluffy piece.  Since following the existing seam worked so well, I decided to try that again.  Basically, I flopped my fabric together wrong side in and pinned my patterny piece on top.

All I had to do from there was follow the seam again and flip it right side out.  OH and an important note that I may not have made clear yet- on both the backy piece and the bottom piece, I only sewed 3 sides (making an oddly shaped pillow case essentially).  One of the things that I didn't like about the original chair was that the covers couldn't be removed for washing.  I wanted to make sure that my covers could come off because 1) I'm a spaz and I spill things 2) there is a solid chance that a cat (or maybe even dog) will try and sleep on this thing and 3) babies are messy.  So at this point, both my backy piece and bottom piece have an open, unfinished edge.

Step 6: The Side Pieces
These were possibly the hardest thing to figure out about this whole project.  This is where I started following this tutorial.  I didn't want to take these pieces apart because I wanted to be able to use the snaps that were already in place.  I started by roughly tracing these guys on the wrong side of my fabric.

Then I cut my pieces out, pinned them together, and sewed the following my chalk line.  The result was very little oddly shaped pillow cases (closed on three sides and open on one).

Step 7:  Finishing the Edges and Closing her Up
Since all of my pieces has an unfinished edge, I clearly needed to do something about that.  I carefully folded the edge under and zipped in a quick hem.

Pretty easy and fancy looking!  To close my pieces, I figured I would just use velcro...
Of course, I bought black velco so you can't really see it, but I promise, its there.  But really, it didn't need to be.  The velcro didn't stick very well and when I put everything together I realized that you couldn't even see the bottom of the pieces.  So I ripped the velcro off and my bottoms are hanging open (don't tell).

Step 8:  Those stupid little side pieces...
Okay, so my side pieces are tricky- they are attached to the chair by snaps at the top and the bottom.  Since the bottom was open, it was easy to snap those babies in.  Following my tutorial, I cut slits in the already sewn top part to expose the snaps.
If you look closely, you can see the snap 

Now, friends, here is where I went wrong.  I cut my holes and then tried to install the damn thing, only to find that my holes were way off.  Here is what I recommend...  cut a hole for your middle snap, snap it to the top part of the chair.  From there, figure out where you need to cut for your left snap and then cut that hole.  Repeat for the right snap.  I ended up having to cut some HUGE holes in order to get everything snapped in.  You can't see them, but I know they are there and they bother me.

Step 9:  Secure the back...
Since the back is so tall, it has to be secured or it will flop over.  To do this, I put the back in the chair and marked where I wanted to secure it.
Then all I did was stitch on some long, skinny pieces that could tie around the bars of the chair...
Step 10:  DONE!
I am insanely proud of this project.  It looks surprisingly good, especially when you consider that I can't really sew.  Just for fun, lets look at the start and the end together...

But seriously, kudos to anyone who can follow this convoluted tutorial.  More than anything, I hope this inspires y'all to tackle projects that are way out of your league (because sometimes they turn out okay).  Anyone else insanely proud of a project?

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