One of the major tasks we took on was to change out the huge recliner that was not functional to our life style but also took up valuable real estate in the salon.
Originally, there was a short J-lounge in that space and that’s what we were hoping to find.
There were other items we needed so we justified our trip to Elkhart, Indiana, the RV capital of the US. Every RV’er we know has been to Elkhart and probably stayed at Elkhart Campground and most likely ran into someone they knew.
We found this which was really close to what we wanted but did I mention that we didn’t want to spend $1,000?
I Love to tell this story: When we found this ugly, blue fabric, used bench at RV Surplus The Cowboy wasn’t exactly pleased until Trina & I talked him into by pointing out that it was in great shape and could be reupholstered.
I said: We can have it recovered.
He heard: Oh, The Princess can recover it!
50 bucks – SOLD!
While I have done some minor upholstery jobs in my lifetime it had been quite a while (probably 30 some years ago) and it was my intention to hire a professional for this major undertaking. After all it was quite a large piece of furniture that would be placed, very prominently, in our home.
Armed with a swatch of fabric from our sofa we hit another surplus store where we found some very nice bone leather that would match perfectly. The price was right at $9 at yard.
I also picked up this fabric – just because it was all the right colours and I knew I would use it somewhere – either for covering cushions or some other accessory.
Also because it had leaves in the pattern and it was only 50 cents a yard:
It was only 22” wide but I bought 10 yards so I would have enough to do something with.
(I would be thankful later that I made this purchase.)
Starting with the removal of all of the original coverings that was secured with at least a million (plus or minus a few) large staples it looked like this:
I quickly became good friends with these tools. That little blue crow bar is definitely my favourite.
Still not convinced that I was going to tackle this job I soldiered on.
I laid out the pieces on the leather as a template and then I pondered.
I checked my phone for missed calls.
I checked my email for messages.
Took a break.
Checked phone again.
Changed the ring tone.
Made sure my contacts were still in alphabetical order.
Cleaned up my work area.
Why doesn’t anyone call me?
I did everything I could think of to avoid putting those scissors to that fabric.
It was about this time that Lyle, my father-in-law, stopped by and suggested that I call a family friend that does upholstery work. While she’s not a professional she does very nice work. She had recovered the motor cover and boat seats in the boat and did a wonderful job. I practically ran to my phone. Sorry if you were trying to call me then . . . I was on a mission!
Long story short – she politely turned me down with her own personal reasons but she did convince me that I had the ability and she boosted my confidence enough that I relented. She did give me a couple of good pointers and I decided I would tackle the seat cushion which was a separate piece and a small part of the project.
I don’t have any photos of the progress I was or wasn’t making, after all, I was busy.
Trust me, it wasn’t a pretty picture. There was sewing, ripping out, cursing, re-sewing, stapling, cursing, re-stapling and more cursing. We had decided to incorporate piping around the edges which gives a nice finished look. I made the piping with the same fabric which meant that, at times, I was sewing through 4 layers of leather. More cursing.
Thank Goodness, I don’t have much pride and took The Cowboy up on one of his many offers to help and he stepped in. Who am I kidding? He did most of the pulling and stapling once the pieces were cut and sewn where needed. It takes a lot of strength to pull the fabric taut and I couldn’t have done this without him.
I did misjudge one of the pieces and cut it too small so I was thankful I had picked up the other matching fabric. It’s the piece that covers the arm and runs along the back of the bench but it blended nicely.
It did come together quite nicely eventually but the story doesn’t end here.
Unsuspectingly, friends of ours here in the park, Jay & Vicki stopped over for coffee and a visit. Little did they know.
Conversation lead around to . . . It was time to remove that big recliner out of the motorhome to make room for our new love seat.
Removing the heavy recliner was a cinch for these 2 strong men.
The fun really started when it was time to put the new piece in.
It wouldn’t fit through the door. Well! Who would have thought to measure that?
It really only needed a couple more inches.
This is The Cowboy removing the inside door . . .
and hand rails. . .
and Neighbour Nancy relaxing after all that work!
Today I’m grateful for blue skies, blue tools and blue streaks.