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Ikea Glamour

I've done 3 of these chairs now. Its a Solstra Olarp. You can still buy them for the bargain price of 64€95. It'll cost more than that to reupholster one. But to be honest you can pick them up for next to nothing second hand. Like most Ikea products they're well designed. They're comfortable to sit in, compact and lightweight perfect for a sunny little corner. And you can easily make removable covers for them. I've now got a pattern for these making it even easier.

I try to avoid Ikea if I can, it's too tempting to come out with stuff I just don't need! It's got it's uses though. I've had 2 Ikea kitchens and a million of those white cube thing and some Ikea second hand stuff. The problem is it's too tempting to buy a new one when it looks tatty rather than repairing. And often cheaper. My way around that this is to buy dirt cheap secondhand junk that other people wouldn't look twice at and make it look good. Solid wood will always last better than chipboard or MDF, so that's what I look for, solid wood that isn't rotten. The rest can be changed, bit of paint, bit of glue, bit of fabric and a bit of imagination and anything is possible!

So on to the project at hand. Ikea is great but walking into some elses home and seeing the exact same piece of furniture isn't always great. This is a relatively simple one to do. Because it's Ikea it's easy to take apart and they're made to be easy to put together for mass production. Which means the pattern is nice and easy! I stripped the calico cover off took it apart carefully and used it for a pattern. Don't forget to mark each piece so you know how it all goes back together! Even arrows of which way up pieces go. Sometimes labeling the edges that go together with letters or numbers can be useful as well.

When you're cutting out the fabric you need to consider pattern placement, if it's directional and if it has a nap (if the fabric is hairy like velvet). This can affect how much fabric you need. If you're trying to save money choose a fabric that doesn't have a nap and the pattern that isn't directional or is plain. Plan it out before you cut anything. Think about the fabric width and the size of the pieces. Don't forget the old saying measure twice cut once. I'm always aware of this because it's often not my fabric that I'm cutting! The yellow fabric had a nap and because of that needed more fabric. The red one however had fabric left over because I could squidge in pieces as the pattern on the fabric wasn't directional it meant I could fit in small pieces on their edge down the side.

Personally I think the finished product looks a lot better than the original, and they're original. I wasn't sure about the yellow when it was on the roll but once in was on the chair it had a great retro feel. If you make removable covers they're easy to wash for either gites or mucky little hands or those accidental red wine spills, useful when you live in a red wine region.

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