Bringing my 25 year old glider to today

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I am very fortunate to have been passed down a glider which I have fond memories of as a child.  The story behind this glider is that it was my mom’s best friend’s glider (and footstool).  This said friend, Crystal, would baby sit me when I got home from my half-day kindergarten classes.  Somewhat more recently, about 7 years ago or so, the glider was gifted to my family by Crystal because one of my sisters was in need of furniture for her apartment.  Eventually the glider ended at my mom’s house which was its last stop before moving to my first apartment.  Unfortunately the foot stool was lost during the many rehoming situations.

When I found out I was pregnant the first project I knew I wanted to undertake was the glider.   Of course I wanted to wait to find out which sex the baby was going to be before taking on a task such as this, but I began by taking it apart, cleaning it really well, tightening any loose bolts, and painting it.

There are many, and I mean countless tutorials for glider reupholstry, or how to reupholster a glider, but my glider wasn’t like theirs.  Truth be told, I wish mine was as simple as the ones I saw in the blog tutorials.   Many of the tutorials show that if you remove the fabric over the back cushion that you will find a huge piece of foam, and a little batting sewn to the front fabric.  Here’s what mine looked like:

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I seam ripped for days, and Charlie refused to give up her chair, even if it was in 5 pieces.

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I seam ripped the outside edges to allow access to the center seams, which there were 3 of on each batting/fabric set.  Then, I seam ripped each of those seams.  I knew that my sewing machine would not be able to handle sewing through layers as thick as these so I decided to use upholstered buttons to hold the shape, rather than stitches.

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Halfway done seam ripping the top, and most intricate cushion!

When that was completed, I used the fabric pieces as my pattern and traced out 2 pieces of my chosen fabric leaving about a 1/2 seam allowance, just to be safe.  Hats off to William who chose the fabric, I think he did wonderfully!  Then I simply sewed the two sides and top together, leaving the bottom open to insert the cushion.  Then, I inserted the cushion, folded over each fabric to prevent fraying, and sewed the seam shut numerous times.

Luckily for me none of the other cushions had seams to rip like the top! (Yay!)  They were simply cushions with fabric sewn around them.  Remove fabric by seam ripping, trace old fabric onto new fabric allowing extra space for a seam allowance, cut new fabric, sew together on three sides, insert cushion, and sew the last seam.  The seat cushion I did add ties to the back of it to secure it to the chair.  To do this I just sewed 2 strips of fabric together, for each tie, turned inside out, sewed closed, and attached to the final seam as if you were making a tag blanket!

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At this point I had thought my sewing machine had broken…. ***If you EVER think your machine is broken, seriously, rethread it. RETHREAD IT.***

Running out of patience I decided to skip making pockets on the outside of the upholstered arms, which saved me fabric and sanity.  These pieces were a little more complicated as they required a strip of velcro to be attached at the top to hold them onto the wooden arms of the chair.  I used the original velcro, and again copied the pieces to the originals.   The very last step I had was to do the buttons (you can see above there are no buttons), and to make ties to attach the upper cushion to the back of the chair.  I used a simple upholstered button kit I purchased (any craft store, or WalMart), and the chair was done!

I attached the ties for the back cushion using the same stitches as the buttons on the front.  Two birds, one stone.

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I did lose a little “knob” in the front of the chair in the most recent move; they are very easy to replace in case it ever happens to you.

What is the most exciting, meaningful DIY you have done?

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Author: Katrina

My name is Katrina and I’m married to the love of my life, William, who is a first lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. Together we have the most precious little girls, Elizabeth Lorraine and Alodia Claire. I'm so glad you're here!

2 thoughts on “Bringing my 25 year old glider to today”

  1. This is just what I needed!
    My mother has a wonderful glider that she dislikes, simply because the fabric itches. Dear, Katrina, you have helped me immensely. You’re project and final result helped me explain that we can ‘fix’ the chair! All it needs is some love! Yours turned out so lovely, I’m smitten! Thank you!
    ~A

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