My third week at Tresithick – Day 2

It shouldn’t have come as any surprise that there is still a great deal to think about even when you’re working with staples and foams rather than loose fillings and tacks. Today’s main challenge was setting the fabric on the back of my chair, making sure that the lines sat correctly and that the whole thing remains easy on the eye.

Having covered the chair to calico, I’d (wrongly) assumed that the top fabric would just slot into place as the calico stage had already created the final shape, but this was not to be. The triangular back, the concave curve and a little stretch in the fabric meant that it took some time to ensure the pattern and the weave of the fabric looked just right. Some ‘slewing’ of the pattern is unavoidable when there’s a complex shape involved, but it takes time to keep this to an absolute minimum. So here’s today’s progress and the big reveal for my chosen fabric!


You’ll see in the final photo that I’ve decided to add some buttons. This was a decision made today as it enables me to have a go at shallow buttoning under supervision, and it also means that there’s something helping to anchor the fabric to the inside of that lovely curve. These are just pinned in place for now, meaning that I could play around with where they’ll go and I can change my mind up until the last moment. Richard and I discussed a few other creative options which would allow me to try much more than just a straight forward chair build, so I’ll keep you posted.

Before the end of the day I’d started to build the seat using layers of foam – ‘chipped foam’ for structure and depth, higher density foam for comfort and needle felt in the centre for a lovely domed shape. I’ve certainly got to grips with the electric carving knife today!


Tomorrow I’ll be sewing a calico cover for the base and hopefully moving on to my final fabric for the seat and borders. I’m hoping to squeeze in enough time this week for a box cushion cover, so I need to pick up the pace!

We’re hosting tonight in our holiday cottage for friends which should be great fun and makes this week feel even more like a holiday! Still, early night, I need to alert for sewing tomorrow. Safety first!


5 thoughts on “My third week at Tresithick – Day 2

  1. You’re going to make such a great upholsterer Jon, because you are so fascinated by the process, and your work so far has been meticulous. I’m enjoying following your progress. I’m a late starter to upholstery too, although now been doing it for 13 years, but I too learnt on a residential course such as this. Looking forward to seeing the finished chair 🙂

    1. Heather, what a lovely thing to say! I really do enjoy the process of learning about upholstery and the tips of the trade that give such a great end result. It’s inspiring to hear that you’ve made such progress in this field, even as a late starter like me!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s