A few weeks ago I was looking for something for my mum in the cupboard above her wardrobe, in amongst two bobbin lace pillows (which was what she wanted) I found eight (yes, EIGHT!) old pillows, bearing in mind she lives in a one bed bungalow and hasn’t had anyone to stay for several years, this did seem somewhat excessive! Luckily she agreed, I left her with two spare and took the others with an idea formulating in my head about a dog bed!
Our dogs sleep by the front door, which no one ever uses, they share a big dog bed, it was getting decidedly wiffy so I decided to make them a new one from the pillows. I worked out that three pillows in a row would cover the area and that furnishing fabric was just the right width.
The fabric is some I’ve had since about 1988 when I bought my first house, a two up two down cottage in Silsden. This was left over when I made my lounge curtains. It’s actually Skopos fabric, they make furnishing fabric for commercial customers, so it’s tough! They used to have a factory shop down near Shipley where they sold seconds and thirds! This is actually a third, it’s got a little white blob every so often! I still love the colours, but it’s very 80’s!!
I’ve never made pillow cases, so I made it up as I went along, I turned under the long edge, folded it over to make a decent sized flap, stitching the ends. I decided 80cm would comfortably fit a pillow in, so I folded right sides together to give me 80cm and stitched the sides together. Once turned the right way I divided it into three and stitched two dividing seams straight down the bed. It was then an easy job to slot the three pillows into their connecting cases.
Zac tried it out straight away, as you can see Rosie couldn’t be bothered to move to test it out!!
My new project to share with you is turning out bigger than I anticipated! When I bought my cottage in Silsden all those years ago, I was given a little cottage style three piece suite. Those were the days when you could buy a cottage for £20K and you were happy furnishing it with everyone’s cast offs whilst you found your feet!! The settee went years ago but the armchairs are really useful, they’re small so they tuck in a corner, but with their high backs and wings they’re really comfortable. They were also getting very grubby. They were recovered professionally about 20 years ago, I made some temporary loose covers a few years ago, but they now desperately need recovering.
About 12 years ago I went to an upholstery class, over the two years I went I progressed to recovering a wing back chair using traditional techniques. I don’t think you can even buy horse hair now! However it does mean it’s not a completely new field for me, even if I am decidedly rusty!! This is my Damson chair which I recovered, I still love it!
I bought some John Lewis furnishing fabric a few months ago in the Shuttle in Shipley, it was £5 a metre in their sale, which was lucky as I knew I needed to get about 15 or 16m, it takes a surprising amount to cover an armchair! It’s a plain fabric in a sort of duck egg blue colour, so I haven’t any pattern matching to worry about.
Yesterday I started stripping down the first chair. I foolishly hoped there would be a calico base underneath it so I wouldn’t have to worry about repadding it. No such luck! There’s just layers of padding laid over the base wood. My main problem at the moment is staples! There are hundreds of them and they are so and so’s to pull out!! I’m trying to take photos as I take it apart and I’m keeping the fabric labelled to use as a rough pattern.
Once I’ve stripped it back I’ll get my friend Trish to come and have a look, she did the course with me and has done a lot since! She can see if it’s a viable option for me to recover it. I think I need to find some suppliers in upholstery padding too!
I think it’s a case of watch this space!