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Old 10-29-2021, 02:42 PM   #1
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1994 25' Excella
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Sofa Reupholstery Begins

My next project will be to reupholster the sofa. Since we're going with a southwest theme, it was finally decided that denim would be the way to go with the addition of some themed trim & pillows.

I got the fabric for a great price - 25 yards of upholstery weight denim for only $125. The only downside turns out that it is not pre-washed denim, so the first step is going to be breaking it into manageable pieces and heading down to the jumbo machines at the local laundromat.

Then it's time to start stitching...
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Old 10-29-2021, 03:22 PM   #2
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Big job but a great winter project. It will be a great facelift for your rig.
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Old 10-29-2021, 03:29 PM   #3
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Here's the fabric I'll be using for the skirting across the bottom of the drawer and for the throw pillows.

Should tie in nicely with the southwest themed wallpaper in the kitchen and bath.
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Old 10-30-2021, 01:43 PM   #4
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Complicated construction, for sure!

They sure used a complicated process to get the sofa cushions put together. The bottom isn't as bad, but it still has multiple pieces of foam making up each of the three 'seats', with pockets in the upholstery to hold things in place.

The back has even more complications, as there is a huge pocket on the rear of everything where it goes over the setback steel frame and zips in place. Interesting to see the various fabric remnants they used to make the hidden panels.

Might take me a day or two to get things pulled apart and figured out. Then I can start cutting fabric and putting it all back together.
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Old 11-11-2021, 07:10 PM   #5
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Upholstery is not easy!

Been at this for a while now, and finally have some progress to report.

First, the delay...

There are so many fabrics out there and I decided to go with denim. Found the great deal I posted about earlier, and when it got here I proceeded to wash it in 4-yard pieces to get the extra dye out. After half a dozen cycles my test piece would still rub blue dye off on anything that rubbed against it. Something was wrong with the dye lot, for sure.

The outlet made good on the fabric and I upgraded to a better one for $2 more a yard. I get to keep the other stuff which will become drop cloths. The replacement fabric is Wrangler broken twill denim. After 5 cycles in the machine it looks great and the rinse water was clear. Finally ready to go after about a week of back & forth.

So far I've got the face of the pull-out drawer done as well as the end caps and arm rests. This was my warm up so by the time I get to the main cushions I have a handle on how the fabric behaves while stretching/sewing.

Tomorrow I start the cushions.

Final step will be to use the same trim as the bottom of the drawer to recover the valances over the living room drapes.

Overall, I'm going to say that the upholstery is much more tedious and difficult than the draperies. I can see why they charge so much to do this.
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Old 11-14-2021, 07:54 PM   #6
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Lots of pieces

It's getting cold and the barn has no heat besides a small space heater, so it's been slow going. Finally got the back cushion totally disassembled and marked up for use as a pattern.

There sure are lots of pieces to this thing. Hopefully the heavier denim fabric will work for this, as there are lots of tight corners and little pieces. Guess we'll see.

I'm actually quite impressed with the quality of the construction - even the thread is still holding strong with no sign of deterioration after more than two decades.

Here are a couple of photos showing all the bits and pieces. Keep in mind that all this is just for the back cushions. Haven't even started the bottom cushions yet. The pieces on the table are the part that you see from the front. The ones on the floor are the internal pieces and the back.
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Old 11-14-2021, 09:01 PM   #7
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Nice work Richard. That is the one area that I have no idea how to do it. The one thing I may have to sub out.
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Old 11-14-2021, 10:01 PM   #8
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Your work is very impressive looking. Nice job.
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Old 11-15-2021, 06:10 AM   #9
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Richard,

Denim. That strikes a nice cord for a fabric choice for an outside adventure rig like an AS. It'll take a nice patina like favorite old jeans.

Gary
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Old 11-15-2021, 03:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
Richard,

Denim. That strikes a nice cord for a fabric choice for an outside adventure rig like an AS. It'll take a nice patina like favorite old jeans.

Gary
Years ago I reupholstered a sofa in my family room with denim. It did just like you said - looked and felt just like an old pair of jeans. Wore well, even with the dog jumping up and down over the years.

Hoping for the same in the Airstream, if I can ever get this back together.
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Old 11-17-2021, 08:14 PM   #11
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Didn't get much more done on the sofa yet - too cold to work out in the barn and I can't move the project inside the house till after this weekend.

But, I did manage to get the valances recovered to match the trim that's going on the sofa. Really ties things together.
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Old 11-25-2021, 09:56 AM   #12
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Slow progress...

The main panels for the back cushions are nearly complete. All that's left is to finish assembling them to the interior pieces that hold the foam in place and then attaching the back panel. Lots of really futzy sewing here, including some hand work to tuck in the loose ends where the machine couldn't reach.

The first photo is doing some gathering before sewing the bottom casing on, and the second photo is where things stand right now with the upper panels.
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Old 11-25-2021, 06:14 PM   #13
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Huge progress - finally!

A long day of wrestling with way too many layers of fabric for my old Pfaff, and I finally have some substantial progress to show.

All that's left is the bottom cushion and a few throw pillows.
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Old 11-25-2021, 09:01 PM   #14
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Looking good

Very nice work Righard!
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Old 11-28-2021, 07:18 PM   #15
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Three seat cushion covers ready to be sewn together. Click image for larger version

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Old 11-29-2021, 08:49 PM   #16
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Nearly completed!

Really close to complete...all that's lacking is the matching throw pillows and they're on the itinerary for tomorrow.

The bottom cushions went together much more easily than the back cushions. The bottom has far fewer pieces and a much more simple construction. Where the back has fabric all around to hold the foam in place and a pocket for the steel frame, the bottom cushions are held onto the steel frame with hog rings and don't have fabric on both sides of the foam.
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Old 11-30-2021, 06:32 AM   #17
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Looking good. Just needs a Wrangler beltline label that says Richard
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Old 11-30-2021, 05:22 PM   #18
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Richard your work is excellent. If you said you'd been a upholster in the past I would believe it.
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Old 11-30-2021, 05:29 PM   #19
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Thanks for the kind words everyone.

The project is now done, which means that my initial rehab on the trailer's interior is complete.

I am not an upholsterer, but I've done a few pieces over the years. Usually it starts by me saying to my other half, "How hard can it be?"

The drapes were hard, but not overly so. This sofa? It was downright difficult. So many pieces going together to make the covers I wasn't sure I had made enough markings as I took it apart to ever get the new cover back together.

I think that the object for the original maker was to have each cushion feel like an independent cushion, while at the same time keeping everything in place and eliminating any opportunity for the cushions to walk around the sofa as people sat and moved around.
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Old 12-16-2021, 04:14 PM   #20
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I thought this project was complete, until I sat for a while on the new upholstery and decided I needed a nice place to put my feet up.

We need an ottoman.

Since I've got lots of fabric left, I decided to make an 18" x 24" ottoman and upholster it to match the sofa. I've never made upholstered furniture from scratch, so this is somewhat of a work in progress and guessing game.

Right now I've got a carcass made up and have started to cover the box and the 3" foam with the white poly batting. Over the coming days I hope to get a start on wrapping it all with denim, and then once another yard of my sofa trim fabric shows up I'll add a skirt to match the sofa.
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