Upholstering with Norman

Not quite a year ago I started evening classes in upholstery.  I imagined it would become one of those things where, after a term of classes I could spend a few hours at the weekend working on my latest project in the conservatory, no teacher needed, producing beautiful things.  It turns out I didn’t think things through:

  • Other than being able to crochet, I’m not very crafty
  • I don’t remember instructions
  • My house is not big enough to hold any more things – beautiful or not
  • I am cack handed when it comes to hammers and tacks.  Give me a foot long needle (spot it in the video at the end) and you’re inviting disater
  • I have a Norman cat that likes to involve himself in everything

It also turns out it takes AGES to upholster anything.  Possibly because I am not very good at it.

Despite this, my parents were given a rather knackered looking foot stall and thought I could ‘do it up as a little side project’.  It took me and Dad a few hours just to strip it back, but I was determined that in my week off I would get it done.


(stool is on the right, obviously)

I started it at an all day class, alongside a chair (which I still haven’t finished and don’t have room in Pog Towers for when I do).  I got it to this stage:


But realised I still needed help with the stitching, so I went back for an hour to see the most patient teacher in the world to start me off.  I took photos, I wrote post it notes, I made a video, then I was on my own… (or as on my own as is possible with a Norman).

And very proud I am too, that I managed this:


Sewing in holes (with help)…


… to stuff with coconut matting…image

… adding a sheep….image

…then calico…


…adding top fabric… (and bottom fabric, but you can’t see that), stitching in the edges (with supervision)


…adding braid and taking it to its new home:


It’s a long way from perfect, but there was quite an element of chaos in all of this.  I swear I didn’t stage this photograph:


The whole thing is more messy than I thought it would be:


And this, it turns out, is what happens when you try to sew big holes into hessian when a Norman cat is around:

But we got there.  I think in total it took around 15 hours, two blisters, about 10 cuts, a small amount of blood and a lot of swearing.  Unfortunately for my teacher, I have a very, very long way to go before I am capable of doing anything more complicated on my own :o)

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