The Sewing Place

Keep something for 25 years...

HenriettaMaria

Keep something for 25 years...
« on: June 18, 2018, 09:51:32 AM »
So, for a couple of years in the early 90's I worked for the UK wing of a Swedish office furniture company (no, not Ikea!).  Their officer chairs were ergonomically brilliant and I coveted them although they were pricey.  Circa 1994, a product range revamp took place, with a lot of fabrics being discontinued and in consequence, the UK showroom had a clear-out.  Several 'swatch' lengths of fabric turned up in the discard pile at the back door, including some biggish (big enough to recover a chair) pieces of 100% wool so I liberated them and they've been in the stash ever since.


Fast forward five or six years and several of the company's office chairs turned up in a north London 2nd hand furniture dealer near where I then worked, so I grabbed a couple and we've been using them ever since for the computer desks at home (I work from home so we have one for me and one family one).  This weekend I decided that they were so threadbare they really needed recovering so I ferreted out the wool from the stash, disassembled the chairs, took a pattern from the old covers, reused the piping filler (which appeared to be made of compressed/rolled paper!) and this is the result.  This is the first sewing I have done in months because of pressure of work and it was soooo nice to be back doing something constructive!  I only wish I could afford to retire....

Seweasy

Re: Keep something for 25 years...
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2018, 09:57:37 AM »
Lovely work, very nicely done.....we also have one of these chairs in my sons bedroom, for computer use (commandeered when the local BT offices closed down and were relocated)....very comfy, but also needs a recover.... 0_0 Was it easy to replace everything and put it back in place on the chair...I've thought of recovering ours but it has a metal base and plastic 'raised' edges on the seat itself, so I'm thinking it may be difficult to do...?
« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 09:59:49 AM by Seweasy »
I'm so much better at buying fabric, than  I am at using it up....

BrendaP

Re: Keep something for 25 years...
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2018, 10:05:21 AM »
I too have a couple of rather more basic office chairs which are threadbare.  They too have metal and plastic in the construction.  I have thought about making some sort of "loose cover" which would slip over the existing seat and backrest.
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

HenriettaMaria

Re: Keep something for 25 years...
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2018, 11:18:19 AM »
It wasn't necessary to remove the backrest entirely, which was a good thing because we couldn't fathom how to do so.  Instead, we unscrewed the plastic sleeve that covered the seat height mechanism, hoiked out dozens of staples along the bottom edge and the snipped carefully around any fabric still covered by the secondary plate beneath the sleeve.  Then it just peeled off.  Putting on the new back was done in reverse, with the fabric stretched and stapled in place along the under edge, turning it under where it abutted the secondary plate of the height adjustment assembly and then extensions to the piping casing were overlaid over those raw edges, with their raw edges turned under and stapled in place also. Once the main plastic sleeve was screwed back in place, any remaining raw bits at the ends of the piping casings were covered up.

For the seat, we removed the arms (in this model they're held on with an adjustable screw so easy to do), turned it upside down on the picnic bench outside and removed about five or six screws holding it to the steel base.  At first we couldn't understand why it didn't just lift off, but in this model there are hooks in the steel base that engage with the underside of the wood of the seat but a firm thump to push it backwards released it.  Then it was a case of hoiking out dozens more staples.

To reassemble we reversed the process, stretching the new cover over and stapling it down, being careful not to lose the screw holes - we stuck old staples in them temporarily.  Once we'd finished stapling it down, I used my sharp needlework scissors to snip gaps in the fabric over the screw holes and assembly was done in reverse of disassembly.

Top tip, though - a power screwdriver with hex and cross bits made this a lot easier than it might otherwise have been - I couldn't get the screws to move using a hand-driver.

The plastic raised edges might make things easier - fewer pattern pieces will be needed, I expect.  But you will need to investigate how the seat cushion is attached to the base.  If you can remove the arm rests, it makes it easier to turn it upside down on a table and you should then be able to see any screws.

I would say that this kind of thing is a two-handed job - the need to stretch fabric while operating a staple gun on narrow areas while preventing the chair from moving means it's a lot easier if two of you are doing it.

Lollipop

Re: Keep something for 25 years...
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2018, 13:45:26 PM »
I worked in a Government office years ago when they had a rebrand. The office furniture was all changed from wood and wood laminate to a cream or grey laminate. Several of us asked to buy desks, cabinets and chairs but were refused and the whole lot went to the tip!

We were so angry but a couple of us secretly liberated some of it!
Was Sewnanny

Nevis5

Re: Keep something for 25 years...
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2018, 14:18:57 PM »
The chair looks amazing @HenriettaMaria  Please don't tell my DH that this is possible, it looks FAR too complicated and tricky for me to do and I really don't want to have to re-cover his grotty old office chair....... :devil:

Seweasy

Re: Keep something for 25 years...
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2018, 17:29:58 PM »
Thanks for the tips HM....now, if I can get my son out of the chair long enough to do something with it....I may have a go.... 0_0
I'm so much better at buying fabric, than  I am at using it up....

Ohsewsimple

Re: Keep something for 25 years...
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2018, 20:16:32 PM »
Wow that looks fantastic!  My sewing room chair and DH's computer chair needs recovering.  Not sure I'd like to take them apart.  Like BrendaP I've considered loose covers. 
@Lollipop I used to work in the civil service and we had some weird rules too.  We weren't allowed to take empty cardboard boxes that our forms came in.  They would have made perfect storage containers for patterns.   No no, better to throw them away!   ><

Surest1tch

Re: Keep something for 25 years...
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2018, 22:47:05 PM »
Very nice job 👍

Catllar

Re: Keep something for 25 years...
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2018, 20:15:09 PM »
Only just seen this post - what a lovely job - god bless the stash!
If life gives you lemons, add to gin and tonic !

Greybird

Re: Keep something for 25 years...
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2018, 12:14:30 PM »
This is my computer chair. I have re-covered it 3 or 4 times (grandson uses it for Playstation - gets filthy!). I have just used a staplegun to fix the fabric over the seat and the same on the back with piping. I hand stitched the back panel in. It comes apart really easily - just a few screws. You have to feel for the screw holes in the back panel and make holes with a "bodger" to screw it back on. Takes about an hour altogether.  [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]    [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]    [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]  

annieg

Re: Keep something for 25 years...
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2018, 12:17:32 PM »
It proves the point - NEVER throw anything away as one day it will come in useful.
 :D
Annie

Greybird

Re: Keep something for 25 years...
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2018, 12:21:15 PM »
I am having such a problem with pictures at the moment - thought I'd done it right this time - try again!  [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]    [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]  

Esme866

Re: Keep something for 25 years...
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2018, 20:54:34 PM »
I have an office chair purchased from  a dealer going out of business 20 years ago for $15 US. It sold originally for $300+ to various corporate entities. This was a display that had never been used. 1980's mauve fabric is in excellent condition - though terribly dated. Cast iron base, fully adjustable arms, height,back, etc.

Nephew has a worn out chair where gas lift has died and vinyl upholstery is shredding.... used it daily for several months and I honestly think it is more comfy and would be a breeze to recover. A replacement gas lift is only $15 via Amazon.

Decisions...decisions.....Hmmmmm......
.

Efemera

Re: Keep something for 25 years...
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2018, 21:05:55 PM »
I recovered mine... fabric was £1 a meter from Immanuel in Burnley