Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hands On Designer

I guess summer is officially over, although it seems like it still should be around August 17 to me... Looking back at last summer's projects, this was my absolute favorite. Designer Jacqueline Fortier took a decided hands-on approach to this fully upholstered vintage Danish teak frame which was actually a modified wing-back that I had sourced at a local estate sale. She set about patterning and then piecing exquisite fabrics in just the right colorways for a one-of-a-kind living room chair.

She made templates from the chair and expertly sewed fabrics with a variety of weight and texture. Take down process on the chair itself was easy enough, thanks to smart upholstering by the factory from whence it came - not too much hardware to remove! always a happy thing, then I just made sure we had proper allowance in the quilted pieces to allow for the special patterning of the wings and curves of seam. Jacqueline designs frequently without welt cording, so I wouldn't have that as a stable area in which to hide excess fabric or fold and handsew down. In fact, she didn't want even the single welt trim that was to hide the staple line all around, so I'd have to be particularly crafty with closing.

A colorful mid-century linen print served as stretcher for the inside arm. Stretchers are those parts sewn on to extend the fabric drawn under in an unseen area, to save on expensive yardage of the outer upholstery. They're always little time capsules of workrooms past - whatever was lying around was apt to get picked up and sewn inseam for future upholsterer's to see and marvel at (well, I do anyway. One day I'll do a post on my collection of stretchers!)


Easing the sewn corner of wing to arm.

Look at that chair! Have you ever seen anything so fabulous? There are a lot of piece-worked chairs out there - I like Squint in London really well...but this! It's not only the perfect frame to lend itself to this, but it's Jacqueline's scale and selection of color and pattern. This to me, is as good as a shot of wheatgrass, Daily Multi or whatever.

I took a million pictures of it because I just couldn't get enough. I can see a great Liberty Furnishings fabric that replicates a traditional quilt pattern, Raoul printed linen, Clarence House linen velvet and stripe, Beacon Hill's London House and Lee Jofa's incredible crewels, Groundworks and some Jim Thompson stripes. Here's a picture from when I delivered it, but I should get over there get a new picture - I hear the whole room's been rearranged around that chair!


  1. Did I miss this chair? I don't recall seeing it-- yet there are no comments?

    I love it. Glad you showed the shot of you tracing the profile with chalk! I often wondered if that would be the way to go...ha!
    I love the fabric you chose to recover with...very fun! I hope to have my little italian 'practice' chair done tonite.
    i hope... i hope... i hope...

    I see you haven't posted in a while. Hope all is well. Love your blog so helpful.
    Merry Christmas.

  2. Time has gotten away from me with lots of custom orders since this one and opening the shop. Will get to posting more before the year ends, and then a New Year's Resolution of some kind of regular posting schedule! Don't forget about facebook - I post their most regularly, both a public profile page and business fanpage - come see!H.


From Start To Finish

Here's a post from a while back that had lost it's image links.  Someone was asking about Cogswell chairs just yesterday, so...