Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hickory Co. Camel Back Sofa

Gorgeous sofa was brought in by a repeat customer who has a knack for
finding vintage furniture with great lines and strong structure.

As you can see from tag, a reputable manufacturer. Feather down cushion, handtied coil springs in seat and inside back all soundly tied and secure, so no need to redo.

Interesting how some makers tie to Inside the rails, instead of on top of the rails. I wonder if it makes repair more accessible or if this is just one factory's method.

A combination of materials used by Hickory - curled hair covered with muslin on arms, thin softback foam sheet with cotton on inside back -

Foam completely deteriorated and the particles everywhere requiring a thorough vacuuming.

After laying new burlap, felt pad and cotton, I get to work with this gorgeous pink stried cotton velvet.

Sewing the seam edge down to burlap then pull the velvet front (the "nose") over a new edgeroll (the previous one factory made with a wedge-shaped foam - that's where all the foam dust came from).

Working the arms. This is seen from the top of arm looking down. Tricky wrapping this extreme curve while keeping grains straight.

Those are lovely curves and the velvet from Lee Furniture behaves beautifully.

I've sewn two different linen cushion covers, both requiring a pattern match...

I used the vintage Singer 301 that I have for sale in shop to seam and topstitch the lightweight linen. It's a joy to use and I've taken full advantage that it's in the shop set up and ready to tempt anyone looking for an excellent machine.

Back to the industrial to sew welt cording for trim that'll finish the sofa

Applying these arm faces always take me a few times - invariably nail holes show unless the fabric is a looser or more textured weave. Sometimes they have to be handsewn which adds to time and cost - all depends on fabric selection and how drastic the curves.

And done. What a beauty!


  1. Gorgeous! as usual.

    Glad to see you posting more lately. Love your work.

    Don't know if you read my blog...but still have NOT done my couch/settee and chair. The hubby had a heart attack in May...still chugging along with all that.
    But love all your inspiration on your blog!
    ~ make it a good one,Pat

  2. Hope husband is having a speedy recovery...I will go and read your blog as a way to catch up. I'll try to keep posting semi-regularly, much easier with a smart phone, altho pics+text is a bit out of whack. Nice to hear from you - do take care (of all + you!) Helen

  3. Why are you using your welt foot wrong?

  4. Great blog, beautifully presented. Can you add a bit about how to keep the upholstered furniture clean and in good shape?

  5. Oh. I forgot that I owned a double welt foot attachment. See, I spend money all the time and forget,... No, I did have the proper foot, just forgot to put it on. Okay? So, for all those out there that don't have one, you CAN make double welt successfully with a walking foot attachment. But a doublewelt foot makes it all so much faster and easier!!!

  6. And to the comment of keeping upholstery clean. If you even google that, you get the answer of frequent vacuuming. Vac'ing your furniture every week is such a good thing, especially if you have pets or tend to take dinner while seated in your upholstered furniture!! Hahahah, this seems funny to me, who sits in a hard wood danish chair for dining, but think about it. think of all the ickiness of eating in an upholstered chair; food droppings, liquid spills, etc.
    Today's day and age is all about "Nano-tex"ing fabrics (an after-market treatment) and I'm not completely convinced, given all the skin and respiratory ailments prevalent today. As an industrial sewer/upholsterer, I have a reaction everytime I touch more than 2 yds of Sunbrella, so I'm not about to endorse the latest in biochemical treatments. I'm agin Monsanto and I believe it trickles down my friend. So it's pure wool, linen, cotton and silk that I prefer without heavy metal dyes. That's all I know, keep it simple.

  7. Sorry -mor to say here - you'd also want to rotate your cushions. think about placement of the furniture item in the room. Wear everything evenly as possible by sitting or changing places routinely. Take a bachelor by example. He'll sit in the same place on the same sofa ad infinitum or whatever, until there's a god-awful stain where he sits every day after work. That can't be gotten out! So you see, we need to sit around various places in our interiors or have cushions that we can flip (attached cushions I have observed are no good)so seats are worn evenly. Change is good, tell yourself.

  8. helen!
    I just came across this post via google image search!
    I just came upon an amazing hickory couch as well, and was going to strip it and USE the fabric for a set of chairs but stopped myself and decided to do a bit of research.
    gorgeous work, as always : )


From Start To Finish

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