Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Infamous Couch

Okay... So the couch that shall live in infamy began as this House of Miniatures kit.  Forgive my pictures please... I used a cell phone this morning so I could write this up quickly.

I think what really threw me about this kit is that its the first ever that I've tried with upholstery.  The little chairs I made really don't count in my opinion. Square glued down cushions can't compare to the madness that is this kit.

The instructions talk about templates.  You're supposed to draw those from tracing the kit parts.  Yeah... That was...interesting. At least I had some butchers paper I could use.   The directions are also very...well vague. At least to me. I'm used to sewing patterns, that sort of thing.  And if you're going to work with fabric you need to understand how everything is going to fit together.

What a freakin' mess.

But I endeavored to persevere.  (Husband is a big fan of Legend of Josey Wales.)  And I got everything glued to the templates, then to each other and here's the result.  I'm distinctly un-thrilled so far.

The edges at the top bother me.  It's a small area for a lot of fabric.

Ditto with this edge at the bottom

How I managed it I don't know but the edges don't meet up. Might have to get wet and reglue.

And if I'm doing one side might as well do the other.

The top edge doesn't look too terrible.
 So I think I'm going to have take it apart, redo the fabric on the back so the little curves on the sides are nicer.  Because the arms don't cover those edges the way you think they would.

I'm unsure about redoing the fabric on the arms themselves.  I think maybe some piping? And see if I like the edges better then.

I'm wracking my brain on regluing the arms to the base though because I can't figure out how to keep them from moving while they dry.  I tried tape so the tension would keep them in place.  But they have to be tight to the base or the whole thing looks sloppy.

I'm also just wondering if I should try to use one of Kris's tutorials and make a couch from scratch. It might be just as hard but her instructions are at least clear.

Suggestions? Comments? Great thoughts?  Advice?

Please advise!


  1. No expert here but some suggestions. I use one of those clear craft glues that stick quickly (quite thick and goopy). After you've upholstered a template, let it dry completely and then if the fabric tucked under is too thick, shave it off with scissors or a blade. Is the fabric natural fibre? I'd use natural over synthetic. Cord or braid over joins is a good idea. You could try that before you pull it all apart.

    1. Well it's broadcloth so it's partially synthetic. The glue is the 'white' glue they suggest but it's water soluble which is handy. The issue with that is that it doesn't stick immediately.

  2. Oh crap! I just wrote a draft tutorial for that couch! I was just sitting on it for a few days before I do a second read through. The HOM instructions suck!

    I do the whole couch a different way. Gimme a day or two (or even tonight if the little one sleeps fast) and I'll post it! It's not step by step but the couch turned out great.

    1. Cool. I'm excited to read it. I've got another of these kits (I think) so if I really have to I'll buy more fabric and try it again. Can't wait to see how your couch turned out.

  3. Okay I have some suggestions. The fabric looks kind of thick. When I did mine for the barn I used light cotton. The tips on Kris' tutorial on how to trim and wrap the fabric are really helpful:
    Helps reduce the bulky spots.
    Also, the thing that has helped me improve the most is waiting for each gluing step to dry before going to the next part. Patience is not my strong point.
    Don't give up! You will succeed and make a beautiful sofa!

    1. I didn't think broadcloth was particularly thick but I definitely can use the tips from Kris's tutorial to reduce the fabric in the corners.

      Waiting for the glue to dry is painful but I've been trying to be patient. (notice how those two words sound the same?) There was a lot of gluing and then walking away, then going back later and gluing more.

  4. Replies
    1. You rock! Now I have to go read. Thank you!

  5. If you hadn't glued it together yet I'd have different advice, but Kat's tutorial covers that.

    Since it is already glued together, I'd suggest reupholstering right over the top of what is already done.

  6. Or...if you're handy with a needle and thread you could make a slipcover.

    1. Honestly, the minute Kat said she's seen them fall apart because of the glue being on fabric and not wood, I started to rip it apart. I made a new back for it since the original was cardboard.

      It might take me another week but I'm going to make this darn thing sturdy.

      I thought about the slip cover option. I might still do that if I don't like how it looks. But right now I'm hoping I can redo the couch well enough that my original problems won't be an issue. It already looks a lot more sturdy with wood glued to wood.