Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I Put the "O" in Ottoman. As in, "O Crap - What Have I Gotten Myself Into?!" - Part 1

So this is a continuation of my Manic Monday post.

I was specifically looking for an ottoman to go with the cane back chair in Evie's big girl room a few weeks ago.  I decided on a whim to hit up my favorite antique mall, Belle's Plantation House Antique Mall in Lowell, and in the next to last booth - I find it!  It's the perfect shape and with a $15 price tag - I literally grabbed it and ran to the register lest anyone else steal my fabulous find.  Here it is:

Hideous, isn't it?  But the shape!  And I can totally play up that tufted button and add contrast cording and make it beautiful. 

So I go into this endeavor Monday with all the confidence in the world.  After the rough start to do the day, I took the recommended bath (thank you Baby Joe) and decided to get some stuff done!

My game plan is to strip the fabric off.  Then cut it up and use it as a pattern for the new fabric.  Make and add some custom cording and viola I'm done within 2 hours.  So I go upstairs and get all my little tools and flip the ottoman over and start pulling out staples with my flat head screwdriver and see a foreign substance has collected at the bottom of the ottoman.

 Yes - that's what I think is hay. 

Now I'm thinking "Hmmm that's really odd.  Maybe it was in a barn at some point.  So I keep pulling staples and get the entire fabric loose from the bottom.  I find the side seam and run my seam ripper down the side, pull it open and find...

What the what?!  More hay!

Yep.  My awesome Monday continues.  So the hay at this point is getting all over the carpet (which lead to my discovery that our central vac system has stopped working as mentioned in yesterday's post).  I did a little test to see how deep the hay goes.  I was hoping it is a layer of an inch or two and I'll just replace it with batting.  No go.  The entire piece is just hay.  But then I take a closer look - not hay.  Wood shavings.  Are ya kidding me? 

And it gets better - look what I found when I completely stripped it down.

I do love me some old, moldy foam.

I decide I have 2 options:  A)  I can toss it in the trash can.  The trash gets picked up Tuesday morning and I'm only out $15 and 30 mins of my time.  Or B)  Why must I be so stubborn?  So I decide I will not let this ottoman defeat me.  It's time to regroup.

First thing I do is grab a trash bag and get that moldy foam out of there.  Next, in order to stop the "bleeding" of the wood shavings all over my floor I wrap the sides with batting.  That's when a good thing happened.  The batting just stuck to the wood without needing anything to attach it.  Score for Beth!

Then, I remove the fabric from the top of the ottoman.  Now, here is the tricky part.  The tufted button is connected to strings that pull all the way through the entire ottoman.  So if you look at the bottom of the ottoman you see this:

I need to untie that knot and let some slack in the strings to make this workable.  After breaking my seam ripper and an ink pen, I found that using two sets of tweezers simultaneously worked easiest to untie the knot.  I then tied a knot at the very end of the strings and moved on.

I had plenty of foam scraps laying around from various projects so I just cut some to fit the top of the ottoman and placed it there. 

Alrighty - time to move on to fabric now that the mess making hay is compromised. 

As I originally planned I cut up the old fabric and used it as a template for the fabric pieces.  The sides were super easy.  I did, however, need 58 inches to do the circumference and unfortunately the fabric I'm using is only 54.  Bummer.  So I will end up with two side seams.  I'm not happy, but I'll deal. 

The top part was definitely 8 times harder than the sides.  I cut 4 triangles, but when I laid them out they didn't equal a circle.  They equalled less than that.  So I placed them on the corner of my cutting mat to make each a perfect 90 degrees before I sewed them together.  I put it on the ottoman to make sure it fit and it did!  Whew.  Dodged a bullet.  Note that I did not sew one of seams up completely so that I can feed the button through.  When I have my finished product, I will feed it through and then sew the remainder of that seam from the inside. So here's what I had at the end of Day 1.


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