Friday, June 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Rescuing a 70s Plaid Couch in the 80s

I have been sewing and crafting for as long as I can remember—as long as you count the stuff I made in kindergarten that involved a lot of delicious paste.  I thought it would be fun to start using “Throwback Thursday” to share some of the groovy projects I created a long time ago. 

A few of the clothes I made along the way are probably documented in photos here and there.  But remember those olden days when film, flipflashes and developing were expensive? Oh and cheap cameras had fixed lenses.  You never really knew what would come out ok until you picked up the developed pictures.  And usually (as you can see from the images here) it wasn’t pretty.  I am combing through the few pictures I managed to take in the olden days to share here.

See this couch?  The hideous greenish plaid? Grateful as I was to have hand-me-down furniture, I had to do something about the plaid, the back cushions and the yucky skirt on this thing. 
Hideous olive and gold couch. Unknown knee.
I had never taken on a project like this before, but I determinedly removed nearly every bit of that plaid.  It was a sofa bed, so I really had to reupholster rather than slipcover it.  I got a staple gun and went to work.  First, I replaced the pair of back cushions with 3 pillows.  (I machine quilted around the flowers on them to give some dimension.) I had a very limited amount of fabric and didn’t mess around with matching the florals on the seat cushions with the lower front of the couch.  But I did make lovely bolsters for it.  Oh, and did I mention this was 1987?
Check out those bolsters. That floral is a huge improvement on the plaid, right?
Happy as I was with my floral extravaganza, I quickly realized that a couch with giant chintz flowers can really limit one’s decorating options.  These are important lessons to learn when you are in your early 20s so you don’t make expensive mistakes later.    So, just a year after I banished the plaid, I bought a lot of hunter green fabric with a tiny cream floral stripe in it and banished the giant  pastel flowers.  I re-covered the couch, made curtains and still, 25+ years later have some of it left. 
Hunter Green couch, mauve and wedgewood country cushions.
Hunter Green will come back in fashion, won’t it?   I loved it.  It was so traditional in an English Laura Ashley sort of way. And it looked awesome at Christmas time- enhancing decorations rather than fighting them.  The floral on the right was fabric I chose to cover side tables with.  I made those throw pillows too.  You can tell it was the 80s because they are mauve and Wedgewood blue.  (I managed to dodge the peach and mint scheme, not to mention the excessive use of geese in decorating which my friends Bill & Renee referred to as “duckage”)

Feel free to share your decorating lessons from the past!  As far as I am concerned, mauve and Wedgewood blue are still far preferable to the torture of olive, burnt orange, harvest gold and poop brown that were in vogue in the 70s when I was developing my sense of taste…)

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