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July 13, 2010

It’s PINK Upholstery Time!

By Sara In AZ


OK, I have this vintage swivel chair and before y’all get mad at me for re-upholstering this please know the Chartreuse Green was not the original upholstery to this chair. Or, if this was the original fabric, the upholstery job was really poor. Plus, there were stains on the fabric that would not come out. The fabric reminded me of a 70s velour type of material (think jogging suits), not really what you would expect for 50s material – usually those were much more textured. Here is a before picture.

I know it is really hard to see the stains and the poor upholstery job from the pics, but trust me they are there. It was always in the back of my mind that I would get the chair reupholstered if I found the right fabric, and if I could find the right upholsterer. I was really in no rush to have this re-done, I figured it would all work out when it was supposed to. Well, everything finally came together this past month. I was looking on E-Bay for vintage upholstery fabric, not really expecting to find anything at all – or if I did I was sure it would be REALLY expensive. 

*On  a side note, I was not actually looking for fabric to re-cover this chair in. Oh no, I was looking for fabric for another super secret project that I have been working on and will do  a post on in the very near future. 🙂 Keep your eyes peeled!

So, like I said, I was cruising E-Bay when I came across this fabric.

It was 4 yards of 1950s pink textured yummy-ness that had never been used – see the old remnant tag still on there! I felt like it had been waiting for me all this time. And, it was only $30 including shipping! I was thinking this was the perfect amount of fabric for the swivel chair, and I snapped it right up! I loved it even more when I saw it in person!

So, the swivel chair and the fabric were dropped off to my new friend Austen the upholsterer, and viola we have a new pink swivel chair!

I tried to get a picture of the texture of the fabric, but it was kinda hard.

The buttons on the seat back.

The cording around the seat back and sides. This was one of the areas where the old upholstery job was really bad. There was no cording anywhere on the back or sides, so it just really did not look that good. And on the seat bottom, on both sides of the chair, the fabric was left loose and you could stick your hand right in. Austen hand stitched the cording down on both sides for me!

I even made some pillows, which you can see in the background! So pretty much every square inch of that 4 yards of fabric was used up. If anyone in the Phoenix area needs an upholsterer let me know. This guy does GREAT work at awesome prices. I have to say, I really love my new/old pink swivel chair! What do y’all think?

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23 Responses to It’s PINK Upholstery Time!

  1. Miss Marwood Reply

    July 13, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Wow, this is absolutely beautiful! Fantastic job!

  2. sablemable Reply

    July 13, 2010 at 7:30 am

    OMG! It looks like it stepped right out of 1954!

    I think you caught the texture on “film” perfectly, Saraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!

  3. Kelly Reply

    July 13, 2010 at 9:16 am

    It’s gorgeous!! I think that you did the right thing and it really does look like he did an amazing, detailed job. What beautiful fabric too!

    This top secret project – I’m on the edge of my seat!

  4. Annie B. Reply

    July 13, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Oh, Good Lord! That chair is insanely great……those legs! You SO did the right thing with that vintage upholstery: 100% perfect. How lucky to find that pink remnant! AH!

    Your upholsterer is incredible. He’s got you covered, but good!
    I took a vintage Danish Modern chair to a local upholsterer last year just to have two simple foam seat cushions made. It took four months and $125.00 not counting fabric. I nearly died. Won’t go there again!
    Will break down and learn to sew.

    Congrats on that awesome chair!

  5. Alex Reply

    July 13, 2010 at 9:49 am

    I need my smelling salts. This is too much. 🙂

  6. RetroRuth Reply

    July 13, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Oh my good gravy!!!! Sara! That chair is absolutely scrumptious. I seriously could eat it for dessert! Such a pretty pink fabric, you have the most amazing luck. I think a little piece of me just died from jealously. Luckily, it was reanimated by the amazing pinkness of that chair.

    Great choice, great fabric, and way to be daring!

  7. RetroRuth Reply

    July 13, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Also – you made those pillows, and not the Amazing Austen!?!? Why haven’t you done a Vintage Crafty yet?? 🙂

  8. Barbara Reply

    July 13, 2010 at 10:45 am

    How would Austin like a trip to CA? I’ll put him up in my house and he can redo my sofa!!

    Beautiful job, and lovely material!!

  9. Sara in AZ Reply

    July 13, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Oh My Gosh!!! Thank you all so much for your kind words!

    Miss Marwood – Thank you, I really appreciate it!

    Sableeeeee!!!!!! Thanks girl! I am so happy you think it looks like it stepped right out of 1954!!!!!

    Kelly – Thank you! He really did do an amazing job, I was worried at first but everything turned out A-OK! The top secret project – just wait – it is a killer!!!!

    Annie B. – 4 months!!!!! For 2 cushions!!!! EEPS!!!! This guy had the chair done in a week if you can believe that – and the cost was $200. I thought that was pretty fair. Sounds like you need to come to AZ for all your upholstery work from now on!

    Alex – *passing smelling salts* 🙂

    Ruth – I know, I have to keep myself from eating this chair up too! 🙂 Thanks though, I really do appreciate it! OMG! It did not even occur to me to show my pillow making for a vintage crafty! Next time, I promise!!!Get the smelling salts ready now for my super secret project!

    Barbara – He he! He is a pretty nice guy. Maybe he would be up for it! 🙂 I can’t remember, do your cushions come off the sofa and those are the only upholstered parts? If so, you could mail them and have them done. It would probably be worth it, let me know.

  10. Andrea Reply

    July 13, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!! What an awesome find that pink fabric was, it suits the chair perfectly!

    Nothing wrong with re-upholstering, IMO! I am personally waiting for my vinyl to come so that I can reupholster the seat of the 1950s high chair we got a few weeks ago. However, that’s not nearly as exciting of a project, LOL

  11. Ingrid Reply

    July 13, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Your chair is beautiful. As a Hoosier, my family would trek an hour to Indy to shop at Ayres for Easter hats. My Mom bought fabric and patterns in Ayres’ fabric department for our Easter dresses and coats. Their fabric department was fantastic and the sales clerks were amazing to watch in action at the cutting counter.

  12. Barbara Reply

    July 13, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Sara: The whole sofa needs restuffing! And yes, the cushions come off! I’d love to redo the whole thing in a similar color – you can feel the wood thru the fabric!!

  13. crash pad girl Reply

    July 13, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Wow! I’m jealous

  14. Annie B. Reply

    July 13, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    My gosh, Saraaaaaaaaa! You nail this Austen down with his own upholstery tacks and keep him until I can get there with my sofa! $200.00 for all that cording, buttons and one heck of a smooth job? In ONE week? AH! What a deal you scored, my dear!

  15. Sara in AZ Reply

    July 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Andrea – Thanks so much! I do love the pink fabric. When I saw it, I knew it was a match made in heaven! Your high chair sounds awesome. I would love to see pics!

    Ingrid – Thank You! I appreciate you letting me know about the Ayres Store, I was curious about it. Is the store still around in any way? I just had to keep that old remnant tag to put in my scrapbook! 🙂

    Barbara – I went back and looked at your sofa after I posted my comment. I saw where you had fabric on the seat back and arm rests too. Darn! For some reason I was thinking your sofa was all wood everywhere and only the cushions were upholstered. I wish you lived closer, this guy would do a great job for you!

    Crash Pad Girl – 🙂

    Annie B. – I will definitely keep him nailed down until you get here with your sofa! 😉 He really is great. This is the very first major thing I have had re-upholstered and I was really scared of how it would turn out after reading other horror stories. It really is too bad you are not closer, he would do a great job! If you think this is good just wait until you see my super secret project!

    Well I guess it’s decided – everyone needs to move to Phoenix so Austen can do all your upholstery work! 🙂 It’s only going to be about 113 today – that’s no problem for y’all right??? 😉

  16. Miri Reply

    July 14, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Perfect! I think the ugly green velvet probably was original-just bad taste-and now you’ve redone the chair the way it deserved-in good taste.

  17. Annie B. Reply

    July 14, 2010 at 9:52 am

    That crashing sound you’re hearing is me, loading the sofa for our trip to Phoenix (just kidding….don’t want you to lock the house and leave the country!).

    Nope, Sara, 113 degree Arizona heat is no problem. We’ll endure most anything for the Mid Mod Cause. We’re suffering through coastal North Carolina 98 degree days here…..with nearly 100% humidity. it’s like living in a jungle.

  18. Barbara Reply

    July 14, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I can get the sofa to Arizona if he can get it turned around in a week or two!!! I’ll carry it on my back if he’ll give me a good price!!

  19. Sara in AZ Reply

    July 14, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Miri – Thanks for the comment! I definitely think the chair looks waaaay better now too!

    Annie B. – I will call Austen and tell him you are on your way! 🙂 It probably feels about the same here as it does there with your humidity!

    Barbara – I can almost guarantee he would have it done in a week or 2! I can e-mail you his info, just let me know!

  20. Bridgette Reply

    July 17, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    The chair turned our fabulous! I wish I knew a good upholsterer, they’re hard to come by.

  21. Sara in AZ Reply

    July 18, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Bridgette – Thanks so much, I really appreciate it!

  22. Susan from Boston Reply

    July 28, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Oh my God, Sara. I am speechless over here in Bahston!

    That chair went from Meh to Gorgeous!!! Wowza!

    The gods were aligned when you found that fabric, that’s fo sho.

    You never cease to amaze me.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      July 28, 2017 at 10:51 am

      Thanks Susan! I still love how that chair turned out to this day! 🙂

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