The lift chair has been in our family for over 20 years. During that time it's been passed around to those needing it as they recovered from illness or injury. So when we got it back it was rather hammered. Looking back, attempting a recliner as one's first re-upholstery project was not smart. But hey, we thought, we’re retired. We had time and we could take our time.
I then manually drew out each piece on graph paper so I could determine the amount of fabric I’d need. After looking at three fabric stores and grabbing dozens of swatches, we decided to go with a fabric that matched our existing chairs. I needed eight yards. There was exactly eight yards on the roll when I took it for cutting. A good omen to be sure.
Using the old pieces as patterns, I tore apart, cut, put back together, and re-stuffed all the cushions. The pads needed to be replaced, but I was able to wash and reuse most of the stuffing and all of the lining pieces. I took photos of each piece in the various stages of dis-assembly so I could remember how to put it back together.
The fabric pieces were all completed at the beginning of March, and we began the process of putting the chair back together. Starting at the bottom and working our way back up, we stapled fabric and cushions to the bottom, installed the lift mechanism, the base, and the footrest, stapled the seat cushion, attached the back, and finished the chair assembly. I used the time-honored needle and thread to patch up a couple of small mistakes.
On March 29, 2015, I finally stitched the last piece into place and stuffed the last pillow. Total calendar time elapsed was almost sixteen months. Granted, I took several breaks in the action – two months to make draperies for our daughter’s new condo; four months for summer camp hosting, a month to make appliance covers for my parents’ new house, and a month to make pajama pants for Christmas. And I didn’t work on the chair eight hours a day. But it must be said that this was a very complicated project.
We did it! It looks great! And re-upholstering the dining room set will be a piece of cake!