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Dreaming of Blue Velvet

I don't remember not wanting a velvet sofa. Ideally green or blue or mustard or purple. I know I wanted a rich colour and I wanted it to be luxurious. I've always loved the colours in films like Nanny Mcphee. But I didn't have the cash for a luxury like that. Sigh......

Now back in the really world fashions changed and all of a sudden velvet is fashionable and its EVERY WHERE. (I mean I wish this was my home....... But it's a picture I found on Pinterest) And in the mean time I've also learnt to do upholstery.

An important part of this story is two of our favorite people The Urbs. They come and see us every year in our beautiful little corner of the world. The Urbs have taught me a lot about not being wasteful. They remind me of 'The Good Life' (70's TV show). When I first met these two they both had their own craft businesses using only reclaimed materials. Mrs Urb made bags and accessories from any reclaimed fabric and Mr Urb is still woodworking with reclaimed materials. Mr Urb built the frame for us from pallets, teaching the Frenchman as he went.

The Frenchman (my other half) had been collecting pallets for exactly this job. Apparently the ones with wider boards are better. It took 6 to make the frame and probably another 3 or 4 for the cladding. There were two key design points. No arms and it needed to fit in a certain space. The Frenchman doesn't like arms on sofas and our living room is a bit of a corridor so we're limited on how we can arrange our furniture, and therefore space. Mr Urb did very well with the tools at hand and did say to me 'how has he built a house with just these tools?!' The Frenchman does not like to spend money! But is very talented and you'd be surprised what you can do with the bare minimum.

By the time the Urbs left the boys had built the frame, the fabric had been brought and we'd decided to use the foam mattress from an old sofa bed. The toddler 'helped' us clad it. And it sat like that for a very long time. I couldn't decide how I wanted to upholster it.....

I faffed, I thought, I scrolled and I drank wine and finally I knew what I wanted to do. It took me 18 months....... Sometimes I have to let an Idea sit in my head for a while. I decided that I wanted a loose cushion relaxed look and I wanted to pipe the cushions for two reasons, it helps to protect the edges and it looks nice.

Now, as time went on I became determined to finish the sofa with what we had in the house. That included zips, base layers and the reverse side of the cushions. Everything. In the end the only thing I brought new was the blue velvet. The foam mattress we were using had a zip on cover. I used that cover to cover the slats on the palettes and then used the anti slip base from the mattress cover for the underneath of my seat cushions and as the top layer on the pallet base to stop the seat cushions from slipping around, especially since we have no arms on the sofa. The front of the sofa back was covered in the same old mattress cover and then blue velvet to give a nice finish behind my loose cushions. Tools wise I've used a staple gun for the upholstery and an old electric bread knife to cut and shape the foam (very useful and simple solution!) and obviously my sewing machine for the cushion covers. Little tip, when doing piping use a zipper foot.

Several years on it's wearing well! The velvet I've used washes well and has survived more than a few yogurt episodes. At some point I either want to get a higher density foam or replace the slats with springs or webbing, it can be a bit hard on a boney arse after a while.But I tell you what for a sofa that cost about 60 quid (well euros) it's bloody amazing and high lights what can be achieved with a few tools and a bit of thought about what can be used around you to decorate you're home.

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