Operation Save Our Sofa – Mission completed

I finally did it. I finished repairing the sofa. And it ‘only’ took me about 2 years.

Previously, on Operation Save Our Sofa

When we had only just started renovating our house, I accidentally got two sofas, free of charge. We used them for a couple of years, but then the fabric started to wear out. At that point, I decided to make a new cover for both of them, instead of buying a new one.

I started with the pillows, and I added piping, using Oontje’s tutorial. After that, it was time for the cushions. First the ones from the smaller sofa, then those of the larger sofa. And then it got quiet.

Where did it end?

I finished the cover for the smaller sofa first. When hubby, who had had his doubts about the whole project, saw the results, he realised upcycling has quite some benefits, and that we could use these sofas for a whole lot longer before we would have to buy a new one. He got so convinced, that he decided to cut one of the arm rests off, so that we could turn two sofas into one corner sofa.


To be honest, when I saw him arrive with hammer and saw and started ripping the fabric of the arm rest, I may have thought we might end up having to run to Ikea after all.

But hey, it worked, and we now have a corner sofa, with a new cover. Who would have thought we’d ever see the end of this?


In theory, I should make one extra cushion, to cover the part where the armrest has disappeared. But it’s a perfect match for one of the Ikea pillows we had lying around. And our boy loves to nest himself in that tiny spot. So for now, I’ll just leave it as it is.

And what have we learned?

This is one of those projects you do once, and never again. Please remind me of this should I ever have an idea like this again.


How about you? Do you ever start a project and afterwards wonder what you were thinking? Or do you know yourself a lot better than I know myself?


Operation Save Sofa

As mentioned before, our sofas are recycled. Hand-me-downs. Worn hand-me-downs, in fact. Literally. So bad, I’m ashamed to post a picture of how it was exactly.

I had already repaired the cushions from the smaller sofa. The big sofa, that one I covered with a blanket, to hide the facts. See no evil, repair no evil. But I did know what was underneath that blanket, of course. And there was this little nagging voice in my head (although it could also have been my hubby) repeating the same sentence over again. Repair that sofa – repair that sofa – repair that sofa.

Operatie Red Sofa

The pattern was lying around somewhere, I had drawn that a while ago using newspapers and scotch tape. Not much after that, procrastination hit me in the face again. Right up until Easter, when I got my act together. That’s the downside of using newspaper: the date kind of rubs it all in your face (September 2014. There, I said it).

Operatie Red Sofa

And would you look at that, the cushions have returned to their former glory! Up to the next level: the big cover for both sofas. I wonder when I’ll find the courage to start on those. Any bets?

Sofa update

Slowly but surely, our sofa is starting to look like a sofa again.


I have finished the seat cushions of the 2-person sofa. For some reason, one of the covers fits more nicely than the other, while I used the same pattern.


In my last sofa post, I mentioned that I didn’t quite know what to do with the bottom of these cushions. In the end, I just reused the original ones. It was the top of the cushions that had worn down, after all, not the bottom.


I’ve had second thoughts about the idea to add piping. Especially the idea to make that piping myself. It just keeps on going, I’ve made so many metres already…

bIMG_4963I must say I’m already pretty pleased with this result. I’m not sure yet how to tackle the rest of the sofa, though, since it is one very large part.


But before I start thinking about that, I’ll make the cover for the seat cushions of the other sofa first. I just need to find my drive back. Can you help me look?

Sofa cover

Our house is what you call a work in progress. And that’s one of the reasons why the furniture in it only has our second priority. And why it’s a bit of a melting pot of everything. You should know, I’m a bit of a horder. Whenever somebody asks me whether I can do something with their old table, couches, beds or whatever, I always say yes. My motto? I can always bring the stuff to the recycling park myself.

And that’s how we got our sofa. Some years ago, when we still thought we would be able to renovate the whole house in just a couple of months, I enrolled for a course of drywall-placing aimed at women. That’s how, one night, I found myself in some stranger’s house, helping to get the drywall up.

That stranger had two sofa’s that she wanted to get rid of. And guess what, they looked pretty decent. So the horder in me screamed yes, and one day later I had mobilized my father-in-law to help me pick them up. Yes, free discarded stuff always gets me to act very fast.

Sofa overtrekken

Look how cosy, with that building site lamp and unfinished walls! (This picture was taken 3 years ago, the house looks a bit better already).

Now, 3 years later, we still use these sofas. But they are getting pretty worn out in some places. So worn, that  I don’t really want to share any pictures on that. So I came up with the great idea to make new covers myself. At the time, I had read Nele‘s post, and asked her how she did it. I got out the newspapers, and started pinning and drawing.

Sofa overtrekken

I bought yards and yards of fabric from Tissage de Kalken, during one of their sales. Since the cushions are just plain square pillows, I used Oon’s tutorial for pillows with bias, and started going.

Sofa overtrek

The idea: One sofa in blue with red pillows, the other one in red with blue pillows. And loads of bias in between.

This is a very slow project (partly due to fear). I haven’t gotten any further yet than just these pillows. And yards and yards of bias. Not my best decision, to make my own bias, since this fabric is thicker than your average cotton fabric.

My goal: get those pillows finished first. And then think hard and long about how to tackle the sofa:

  • Do I sew a complete cover, bottom included, with zippers to easily attach/remove it?
  • Do I leave the bottom for what it is, and do I just attach the cover around its legs with elastics?
  • What fabric should I use for the bottom of the cushions? Now it consists of some synthetic black material, but where can I find that? Or would it be better to choose for antislip fabric with small buttons? And where can I find that?

Should you have an answer to any of these questions, please let me know. Because if I continue at this speed, my first pillow covers will be completely worn again by the time I finish the whole thing.