After yesterday, we had the back and seat base of our chair done. Today we are going to tackle the arms. Honestly, as far as the actual chair (not the cushion) this is the hardest part. So, hopefully I can clear up some confusion on how to tackle these!
Today it is going to be super important to refer back to the photos you took as you were taking the fabric off your chair. I make sure that I mark directly on my old fabric where the cording is sewn to your fabric (around the front of your arm from the inside bottom of your chair around the top of the arm ending under the curve of the arm) and where the fabric is sewn together (from the point where your inside arm meets the seat base around the top ending under the curve of the arm).
Let’s start by taking your piece of fabric that you cut for the front of your arm and placing it on the front (I usually use long straight pins to hold it in place). Using your piece of chalk, mark the shape of the arm directly on your piece of fabric. This is going to be the line that you will follow when you sew your welting on. Make sure that you mark on your fabric where you need to start and stop sewing your welting. You are going to have a long tail of welting that is not attached on the outside edge
Next you are going to attach your fabric to the front panel by sewing the piece of fabric you have cut to cover over the top hump of your arm with the welting sandwiched between the arm front panel and the arm top panel. Again, this is not going to attach the entire way around.
Make sure you mark where you need to start and stop (starting under the arm - - - with about 3 inches of overlap hanging free and finishing on the inside of the arm right where the arm meets the seat support - - again leaving about 8 inches of overlap hanging free) This is all going to be sewn together.
Once you have the top of the arm sewn together, it’s time to put it on your chair. Place the fabric over the arm making sure it is a perfect snug fit. If you need to make adjustments, now is the time! Where the top of the arm meets the back of your chair, this is going to tuck in to a small gap in the frame where you will eventually staple it. After this is perfect, you are going to begin stapling. You are going to staple the front of your arm first. Lift up the front fabric and squeeze your staple gun to the inside edge of your fabric (where your welting is attached) staple along this line.
Next we are going to staple the fabric under the curve of the arm. Make sure you smooth your fabric over the arm as you go. There is a wooden support that runs right under the arm - -this is where you will staple the fabric.
Next you want to take care of the inside of the arm. This fabric will tuck in a gap between the inside arm and the seat base. You will staple this to the outside arm frame - - right on top of where you stapled your seat base fabric. You can see the cushion sticking out in the picture above, your fabric is going to tuck in right behind that and staple on the frame below it!
The last part of this that we need to attach is the back of the arm. Again, refer back to your pictures to see if this has been smoothly attached or if pleats have been folded and stapled. On my chair, there were lots of pleating to make it a smooth fit around the curve of the chair. Once you have made your pleats, go ahead and staple it down.
Whew! Now all you have to do is the other arm!!!
Next, it’s time to move on to the panel under the arm. This is a fairly easy piece to do, so let’s get started!!
Take your new piece of fabric and place it over the under arm panel. Keeping a 3”-4” clearance of fabric at the top. Once you are sure of the placement, you are going to fold this piece up, but making sure that you keep the top portion exactly in place.
I don’t know what the technical name for this cardboard ribbon is, but it’s a life saver! You can find it in the re-upholstery section of any fabric store. It comes in a fairly large roll - - I’ve had mine for almost 2 years and I have done a lot of furniture!!
You are going to lay this right under the arm on top of the wrong side of your lower panel fabric. Staple right along this line with plenty of staples! This is going to give a clean crisp edge under your arm and give it some stability.
Next, we need to attach the front of the panel. You should have a piece of welting that is not attached along the outside of your arm. Now is the time to attach it. You are going to lay it smoothly along the edge and staple it down.
Attach curve-ease with staples right in tight next to your welting.
Then fold the curve-ease down so that there is just a 1/4” gap
And now, if you have stuck with me through all of this, you deserve a very big prize!! I exhausted just from writing this and I really hope that it makes sense!! Join me tomorrow as we finish up the rest of the chair. All we have left is the back and the cushion!!