Feeling proud

I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself this evening because I’ve finished my most complicated project to date and I’m really chuffed with the results. I always know when I’m pleased with something because I find excuses to go and look at it – I do it when I redecorate a room or polish the car to within an inch of its life…… I go…… and sit…… and admire, and that’s what I’ve been doing every evening this week as my ‘hare chair’ has edged nearer to completion.

I’ve been working on this for months now, it’s not perfect but that’s all been part of my learning and in no way have the imperfections (that only I know about!) taken away from the finished article. I think that this also represents a step forward in my mind – this chair needed real skills, and tools, and patience and it made me feel a little bit like a specialist, doing something that not everyone can do. So here’s the before and after (and as I type this I’ve not yet seen these photos side by side, so I’m feeling quite excited!)

The fabric from Spoonflower is brilliant, and having the right upholstery grade has given the chair a more substantial feel – and it needed it, unfortunately the frame has suffered badly with woodworm in the past and to say parts were brittle is an understatement. Let’s just say that there are a couple of screws and nails beautifully hidden beneath that upholstery doing a sterling job of keeping it all together.

In terms of my development, I was hoping that if I mastered this type of chair, I could ask my tutor to show me something more complex in August when I attend my course. However, the past few months have given me a stronger appreciation of how hard some of the upholstery basics can be and some tuition to perfect what I’ve already practised might give me the strong foundation I need. This project has taught me that:

  1. Using a sewing machine takes time to master and is actually good fun (it’s on my birthday present list before I wear out the one on loan from my Mum!)
  2. I’m not very good at upholstering curves and corners and I’m looking forward to being taught how to do this
  3. Upholstery weight fabric is easier to work with than normal lightweight fabric
  4. Switch on the glue gun before getting frustrated and forcing in the whole glue stick because nothing is coming out. Trust me, when you switch it on and the whole stick melts at once you’ll glue anything to anything to use up the surplus.
  5. Check your frames for woodworm before you buy them!
  6. I can make my own piping and it really makes a chair look finished

I’m looking forward to starting another project, maybe something that needs deep buttoning (chesterfield style) but until then I’m going to enjoy looking at this one for a little bit longer.

On a final note, I wanted to share another reason for me to feel proud. I’ve been blogging now for 5 months and my objective in doing this was always to chronicle my progress for my benefit and if others found it interesting then that’s a great thing. I’ve had some really kind, supportive comments, encouragement along the way which has been a lovely surprise, but I have to say that being awarded a Liebster Blog Award by fellow blogger, Dee Russell was really special. In Dee’s own words: “This is a way to say I ♥ your blog. Pass it on and share the love.” and I certainly felt the love, proper chuffed. Thanks Dee.

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8 thoughts on “Feeling proud

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE it! The hare chair is a wonderful success. check you jumping ahead before your course even starts, you are so going to be teachers pet when you get there 🙂
    Great before and after pics!

  2. really great Jon, this is a stunning chair. I so wish i had a big enough house to have all of your masterpieces! !

  3. Hi Jon – the chair looks brilliant. I want to upholster a bedroom chair in a Spoonflower fabric. I was wondering how the fabric had worn? I have heard reports of stretch and print rub off on the heavy cotton twill – what are your experiences?? Do you recommend it? You can pm me on emily@fantoush.com THanks!

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