Thursday, 28 January 2010

Sofa solutions.

Edit; Just found this picture here, while trying to search Nostaligia at the Stone House (after a tip off from Caroline that there might be inspiration there) Sorry it's not at the bottom of this post but my Blogger won't cooperate with things like that.
Hello, come in.
Thanks for coming round. I really appreciate it.
Now then, did you remember to bring your interior design/soft furnishings hat with you today?
Where are my manners!
Tea, coffee? Cake? Let's get down to the business of the day. This is my new (new to me.) sofa. Isn't she a beautiful shape, just what I wanted... and I've been wanting a sofa for my kitchen for soooo long, over two and a half years. In fact, I've wanted a sofa for this kitchen since before we even moved in. Oh yes. It was always planned to have a snuggly, cosy, comfy sofa in here. I've been very patient, don't you think?

Notice Sneaky Dog looking very shifty, hmmm... we'll come to her in a minute.

It's quite big, 6'6", that's 2m long for you youngsters.
As you can see, it fits beautifully at the end of my kitchen.
I might even be able to move it where the dresser is with all the blue and white tureens. Putting the table at the end of the kitchen.

Now here's where I need your help dear friends. Notice how Mrs Sofa is now wearing a very unflattering stripey throw, accessorised with 3 plastic bottles filled with glass marbles?

Well here is the reason. Sneaky Dog!
Yes SD seems to think this sofa is hers. More specifically her new bed! (you can see her real bed on the floor at the side of the sofa.) Now as lovely as SD is, she is rather dirty, hairy and... aromatic, to put it politely.
See, I thought the bottles with marbles would roll as she jumped onto the sofa, making a loud rattle and frighten her off. Excellent idea but...Wrong!
Plan B, pile up laundry basket, shopping basket and anything else I can lay my hands on, on top of the sofa so there is no room for SD. Wrong again! SD just pushes them out of the way and settles down.
We are now on plan C, which is SD being shut out of the kitchen and sleeping on the landing, but none of us are happy with this. SD thinks that, as she has now moved closer to our bedroom, she might as well just sleep in our bedroom, so, much pawing of the door and whining ensues. Not good.
It's also a bit of a shock for the children when they get up in the middle of the night and open their bedroom door to be faced with a large black dog sat, looking excitedly at them, no doubt thinking 'is it time for breakfast?'!
This new sofa is actually far to good to be in a kitchen where it will be abused by teenagers, said dog, cooking smells, dumped school bags, balancing laundry baskets, etc. It really should be a sitting room/lounge sofa, but we don't all end up where we rightly belong, do we?
Sooo, short of chopping off SD's legs (so she can't jump up) or having her laminated (so she doesn't shed copious amounts of hair) I need to make some sort of covering for my sofa.

A throw is definitely out of the question. Anything that needs delicate, artistic draping, isn't going to look good for long in my house. Noooo, it would look like the laundry basket had tippled over spilling its abundant contents within minutes.
No, I need some sort of slipcover or fitted covers. This is where the heap of chintzy thrifted fabric comes in.
What do you think to this...

Yes. I know it's a bit of a shock,(don't choke on your tea) but you'll get use to it in a minute.
Do you think I could somehow patchwork a cover for the sofa?
To be honest I've never made any thing as big as this would be. I'm not even sure I could do it. There is an alarming lack of homemade, sofa covering inspiration out there in Google land. Here I've just draped what fabric I have, to give you an idea of what it might look like. I'd obviously patchwork it up more than this. I'd try and use different fabric on the seat cushion tops and the side edges and different fabric on the side and front end of the arms.

I'll have to make new cushion covers of my throw cushions too. I'm thinking something plainer, maybe like my vintage embroidered cushions. (like the ones on my sidebar)

What do you think?
Will it all be too much?
I suppose if it all goes horribly wrong I'm only wasting my time, (all of the fabric came from charity shops) and even then I can use it as a pattern for nice fabric when I can afford some.

Gosh! I'm pooped after all that folding, draping and tucking!
Come on then, get your thinking caps on. I want your advice on this one. All your thoughts, good and bad, pro's and con's, amazed laughs and guffaws at how awful it looks. Come on I can take it. Have I really lost the plot this time?

Sneaky Dog just wants us to hurry and make up our minds.
We're wasting precious napping time!
Itching to start stitching

Fi x

Thank you for all of your encouraging comments on my last post. A few of you asked for a tutorial. Now I'm no expert on machine applique but I'm happy to show you what I did, be it right or wrong. All I know is it worked for me! So I'll try and cobble something together for you, hoping it encourages you to have a go.
Edit: Just found this post on Vintage Home blog, thank you Caroline.


KC'sCourt! said...

Please, please, my hand is up for an about getting double sheets as the base and make large shapes and stitch together as if it is a Crazy Quilt on a large scale that would separates the chintzs a bit and make an extra large throw that can be tucked in..........? Oh.... I only drink tea and I'd love a piece of cake. I hope you get some idea of what I am trying to say

crafty cat corner said...

I shall be watching carefully now, I have lots of bits just like the one's in your picture lounging in the big cupboard and can never think what to do with them.
How about wide stripes, a bit classy looking and quick and easy.
As for Naughty Dog, I have 6 naughty cats, much harder to discipline. I am at present thinking of getting grey bedding, the only colour that may? not show paw prints straight from the garden and hairs.
But because we all love animals (babies) they are forgiven, what would our lives be without them now that there is just Mr.T and myself.

Simo said...

La forma del divano mi piace molto e poi secondo me l'hai posizionato proprio al posto giusto.
Io lo rivestirei con la stoffa a rose più chiara, o meglio ancora con una stoffa bianca e blu a piccoli disegni che richiami le zuppiere che hai sul mobile a lato.
Questo è il mio consiglio, complimenti per la tua bella cucina e per la tua bravura!

Tracey said...

Sorry, I absolutely LOVE your kitchen but I am not sure about all the different fabrics coming together.
Maybe like KC'sCOURT says large double sheets to break the colours up.
Then again, what do I know, I've only been sewing for 3

Is the cake....chocolate?

Unknown said...

OH sweet little sneaky dog is such a cutie! And he sure knows a good napping place when he sees it! LOL!!! You could look for a pretty chenille bed cover to throw over and tuck in. Some of those have pink designs that would match with your kitchen. I just found this on e on e-bay.

mitmot said...

i love it - i have the same idea in mind for a wing back chair, with each panel in a different floral fabric - PLEASE go for it and take loads of pictures so i can see how you do it!! - good luck xx

Carol said...

I love it, go for it.
It is a fabulous sofa, we have the same "hairy" problems, only ours belong to two resident cats!
He looks a wonderful dog, I can just imagine those soulful eyes when you were trying to persuade him the new sofa was not his new bed.

Anonymous said...

Hi Marmalade Rose........what a lovely name.Go for it I say....pure eye candy and delicious.If you need more confidence to take the plunge,look away,way back in Nikki from Nostalgia's blog,golly maybe as far BACK AS LATE 2008,she recovered an old arm chair in vintage florals and it was fantastic.The more hotch potch the patchwork effect(obviously with a big sofa though,we are talking in panels really or it will be a v long project!)the more appealing the look from a vintage perspective and with the added practical plus that its easily mended should dog/children cause damage!!I hope to indulge in this sort of project one day when time and suitable object become available.Hope this is of some help.Looking forward to your reveal moment.In the meantime enjoy. Caroline

MarmaladeRose said...

Hi, thanks for all the thoughts and ideas. This is great I don't know why I haven't done it before.

Kc's Court - Hadn't thought of that, I like that idea a lot. Might be too big and heavy to go in the washing machine though.

Crafty Cat Corner - Tell me about it. How do cats paws manage to stay wet for soooo long! They can walk over every carpet in the house and still have wet paws by the time they get to the bedroom.

Mxpuc - Had a look at the chenille, very pretty. I tried my beautiful quilted bed cover which I love, and thought would be ideal,(beige background, small pink flowers) but it just looked so wrong.

Sharon said...

WOW! Yes go for it, Those fabrics look great together, very vintage and cosy cottage looking. I would definately got for those patterns, you would get away with it easily as you have an unbusy wall and floor :o)

GardenOfDaisies said...

A pieced cover would look really cute! And I'm sure Sneaky dog would appreciate it. He has claimed that couch.

Anonymous said...

just reembered that on Vintage Home blog,theres a couple of pics of patchwork covered chairs on RHS of text.Can't think of easiest way to locate Nikki's chair.I'm trying to think but maybe she made it for someone under commission.I might try later tonight and search it out or failing that,she seems so lovely(not to mention extraordinarily talented too)that she would probably point you in the right direction if you got in touch with her.Bye for now.Caroline Partridge

Sally said...

Hi i love the look of the sofa with all your different fabrics on it. Be brave - go for it! Sally x.

Tourmaline said...

Très jolie ambiance dans cette petite cuisine !!! ;o))

MarmaladeRose said...

Thank you Caroline. I've just found the picture on Vintage Home blog. It's on her side bar about the fifth one down in 'corners of my home'
I'm getting quite excited now!

Marigold Jam said...

I'd say go for it - I think it will look fine but don't make the patches too small or it will take forever and not look as good in my humble opinion. I saw a chair covered in patchwork of woolen tweeds in a book recently and it looked great so why not do it in various florals - you can link with your pink too like that.

Good luck and can't wait to see the finished effect.


VintageVicki said...

We have a sofa in our kitchen - is my favourite place to sit & knit.

Its getting tatty and needs new covers / repairs - be interested to see what you do with yours - might give me an idea or 2.

Sue said...

I think it's a great idea.


Devon said...

I really like it,,you have been tagged for award over at my blog,,,have a wonderful day..

Pipany said...

No idea Fi, but desperate to see what you do with it. It's a gorgeous sofa x

Anne said...

I'm going to be the one who says the opposite to everyone else. I'm afraid I don't like the look of it with all those different fabrics on it. I don't know why, I just don't!

BUT - I absolutely LOVE the photo of the couch with the green crochet blanket on the back of it. How about making another for the bit where you sit? (I was going to write "the bum part" but I didn't think that was very polite! LOL)

Of course, what I really like is your kitchen. I would adore a kitchen big enough to get a table in never mind a couch and dresser to! I am so jealous! :o)

Pink Feather Paradise said...

I like the chintzy feel and the patchwork idea... however I would not include the 60's retro type fabric that the first picture has ... perhaps plainer contrasting colours to break up the differing chintzes... but all in all i think its an ace idea... and perhaps you should make 2 sets... coz the likely hood of keeping the dog off is slim... we had a doberman that thought we wouldn't notice if he crawled up on our laps... daft dog!

x Alex

Sandy said...

I think with kids and animals and the double duty that sofa will take in the kitchen putting a lot of work into slip covers may be more than you should do. I would get some washable heavy duty fabric and make a thick throw that would hold its shape by draping over the back and seat of the sofa but be easy to take off and wash as frequently as needed. I would try that first before doing slip covers. I have made slip covers but they are a lot of work to do. That's my thoughts. By the way your kitchen is lovely and I like the sofa there maybe not as much as SD does - hee, hee! Cute post!

Teacup Lane (Sandy)

Anonymous said...

Hello there! A patchwork sofa cover - hmmmmm, to gel it altogether why not pipe the edges of the cushions and around the edge of the arms in a plain colour that is in all the pieces. This would also help to keep the sofa's beautiful shape. A bit like an outline pen!! The key to loose covers is to make deep pockets to push down the sides and the back and to use tapes through a casing under the sofa, pulling it tight to keep it in place. It depends on how fitted you want it to be. But I say go for it! Play around with the fabrics first to get them in the right balance. Can't wait to see!

wonderwoman said...

what a lovely shaped sofa - i think your patchwork idea is really good and would look great in those fabrics.


Ester Kiely said...

I like the inspiration photo and I like your fabrics. I think it could turn out very cool! Looking at your lovely union jack cushions I wonder if you could add in a little pretty gingham or spotty fabric? Something non-floral but up-to date and funky that can be repeated in each section to pull the look together?

Martha in Kansas said...

I like the idea of combining fabrics, but having them here and there looks a bit random to me. How about an organization of them? For example, the tops of the seat cushions are the same, the sides are the same, the arms are matching fabric or pieced in the same way. Like that. (does tha make sense?) It would make it seem more on purpose, but still surprising and clever.

The Weaver of Grass said...

If any body can do it, Fiona, you can. All the best magazines are sporting pictures of patchwork sofas at the moment - have a go - I have seen your kitchen and I think a patchwork sofa would go marvellously well.
As for DOG - well that's luckily not my problem - I have a DOG too and one milky eyed look from her and I am putty in her paws.

Anonymous said...

Well,here again,found a few minutes and went searching and yes found it!I'm hopeless with links but I will direct you to it.Go to Nostalgia at the stonehouse blog,scroll down LHS and locate Niki's (Apologies,N I have misspelt your name earlier)secondary blog(a sort of picture reference of all her lovely makes,2 pages into this(but its all gorgeous)and THE CHAIR is featured in her blog post of 2/7/09 under the title of "pot luck".Another chair I found in Mary J Baxter's"Make your way around Britain"blog 7/10/09 post.Another chair on "Fred's world"blog posting of 17/08/08 (just got to that by searching patchwork chair.As you can gather I'm rather partial to this sort of I better stop for now.Enjoy!Caroline

Unknown said...

I covered two sofas in the way you are describing - with vintage fabric. I thought it worked well, and I had lots of admiring comments from friends and family.
I made pattern sections from newspaper so that it fitted quite well, and made all parts easily removable for washing. It took a bit of thinking about but it you can sew, so it wont be too difficult to do. I think it will look fab!
I saw an article in the Times I think, an 'Artist' is doing something similar with vintage furniture - cahirs, sofas, lampshades and the like, and I think its Liberty that have her in-house now, using some of their vintage fabric - you should just see what they were charging for a sofa cover!!!

Vicky x

Helsie said...

Well what an idea. It is a bit of a shock at first but I really like it. I think reading through the ideas from everyone that I would definitely go with some sort of patchwork idea.

Personally I like the idea of first sewing the material into Strips to combine them all then going ahead and covering everything from there rather than the large areas of different materials (as Crafy Corners suggested). I think it would give a more balanced look.

Can't wait to see what you decide.

Shabby Chick said...

I have to be honest and say when I first quickly read your post this morning I wasn't too keen... but now I come back to it later I actually really like it! And things always look a lot better finished than when you're just laying them out like that. You're so talented if anyone can make covers it's you!

mel xxx

Shabby Chick said...

Oh and PS there is something I just LOVE about Sneaky Dog!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I only recently discovered your lovely blog and now I'm going to be checking back frequently to watch the sofa renovations take shape as I have a yucky old sofa to tart up a bit!
Sneaky dog looks like she could get away with almost anything because she's so adorable looking!!
Em x

lynn said...

hi fi ..check out squint furniture i just googled it ..they have the most amazing patchwork furniture..also i think i saw a nice patchworky thing on vintage-home blog..hey i'm all for as many fabrics as possible..the more the merrier for me ...i think loose covers..though ..

jewelrygirl said...

I love all the effort.....and most of the fabric combos. The first couch is awesome! I love all the mirrors hanging over it.


Aunt Bee said...

I LOL when reading your post, I think loose covers are the way to go, but I do love the patchwork look.

Country Bliss said...

Hi, I think you should patchwork it it'll look fab! I just found you through indigo blue's blog and if I'm not too late I would love to join in with the 20 minutes a day crafting.
Yvonne x

Bertie Meadows said...

Fab, fab fab, go for it. I've just bought a plain cheap arm chair from Ikea, with an idea to do exactly the same thing. Kids, dogs,and husbands don't go well with cream upholstery! You lead and I will follow.
Bertie x

p.s. I think Posy Jane has covered a chair on her blog, for more inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Hello again! If you google patchwork chairs on the images category you will see loads to give you more food for thought!

Autumn Mist said...

Ok, I may have done a sharp intake of breath at first sight, but after a while it really grew on me, and IS better than the sofa as it is. I definitely wouldn't do a throw, they just slide off no matter how hard to try to secure them, especially is SD is going to take up residence there. Our sofa is brown leather for that very reason. What I'd really like to know is... is your pink dotty tablecloth oilskin, and if so, where did you get it from? I am hunting high and low!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

I like the patchwork theme, but think you need more contrasts among your chintzes...lights versus darks, looks all too much the same to my eye (except for that

lovely green piece below the cushions. I notice your inspiration photo used more contrast too. But it's a wonderful idea and a nice change from plainness whenever you are in the mood for something different.

Serenata said...

Oh I want your kitchen! Lovely sofa, I can't wait to see what you end up doing - I know it will look great whatever you decide.

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of patchwork so I say YES. I love how your dog is in almost all of the sofa photos, lol!

*Ulrike* said...

It doesn't look half bad, but you may tire of it. Who knows? I do love the good "bones" (haha) of the sofa. I always love the rolled arms, great to put your head on for a little nap. They do make this spray you can use to keep pets off. Of course, your cute doggie may be offended that you did that!

Annie said...

I really love your dog. I'm certain he is well worth the effort with the sofa. I love the idea of the patchwork and like several others suggest large patchwork pieces for the best effect. I'm certain you will make a lovely job and cant wait to see the finished result.
A x

a-m said...

I'm half way through covering a sofa (I've been half way through for six months!), I found this
which was really helpful. It is a big job...
Good luck! I'll pop in to offer encouragement!

harmony and rosie said...

Go for it, what have you got to lose, apart from your time. If you keep the pieces large and you don't like the effect you can always unpick it and at least you'll have found out whether it worked or not! I'm sure it'll be fab though.

Susan McShannon-Monteith said...

The couch has beautiful form but living with a dog and its location right by the back door presents a challenge.
Judging by the little cupboard to its right you like the cottage look and what is more cottage-like than a quilt.
So take the lovely floral fabrics you have making smaller say 5 inch blocks, alternate with plain natural coloured muslin, piece it all together add some cottonquilt batting, plain muslin for the back and sew it together. It can be hand-tied once completed.
This way you've used the fabric you have added something plain to tone it down and the density of the quilting shall offer the protection you need. Besides all you have to do is pop it in the wash line dry and good as new.
If you have enough fabric you could make two so you can cycle them.
Besides with a face like hers how can you say off the couch...
Have a great week. Susan

Kristi~The Slipcover Girl said...

Go for it! Let me know when you get it done...and yes I have a tutorial over on my blog. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Can't you just wash the dog and buy one of those pet hair lint roller things that Scotch Guard (or 3M.. whoever they are) makes? Then you can still have that awesome mustard colored couch... Orrrrrrr, pet stores sell these little pads that you put on the couch when no person is sitting there that are slightly (I SAID SLIGHTLY) electrified, so when your cat/dog/critter hops up on the couch, they get a little zap, and they get off. They're more of a training tool. Once SD gets the clue, she won't go up there anymore and the lovely mustard colored couch will be all yours and pet-hair free :)

Lund said...

If any body can do it, Fiona, you can. All the best magazines are sporting pictures of patchwork sofas at the moment - have a go - I have seen your kitchen and I think a patchwork sofa would go marvellously well. As for DOG - well that's luckily not my problem - I have a DOG too and one milky eyed look from her and I am putty in her paws.