I've begun the process of removing the upholstery from the chair. I wanted to give you a view of what I found and of the kinds of notes I make as I go.
One thing that I realized after I did the last video is that it might have been helpful to you if I had mentioned where to begin. Typically, it's easiest to begin by loosening the pieces from the bottom of the chair. Often this is the last place that each piece is attached. They're not all tacked at the same time, but as the front is put in place, the bottom will be the last place where it is attached to the chair. This is a good place to start removing tacks. For this chair, the bottom was already loose because the chair had a skirt around the bottom. I started by removing what is usually the last piece to be attached to the chair: the outside of the back.
The outside of the back was hand sewn to the other upholstery pieces along the sides, following the frame of the chair. I'm not looking forward to that step of reconstruction, but I know that's going to be the way it will be fastened in place. The upper edge was tacked through a thin strip of cardboard. The cardboard gave the upper edge of the back a sharp, straight fold that didn't gap between the tacks.
I knew there were buttons through the front of the back. I could see them before I began the tearing apart. What I didn't know was how the buttons were attached. I have taken a picture so you can see what I discovered. I will use this photo and my notes as I reconstruct the chair.
I also discovered that the wing piece is attached before the outside of the arm. The piece of fabric that will cover the outside of the wing also wraps around to the back. The bottom edge of that piece will be covered by the top edge of the outer arm piece. You can see in this photo the fold at the top of the outer arm piece. You can also see that the outer arm piece is shorter than the piece that covers the wing. The sewing line follows the wood frame from bottom to top, but there is a bit of padding under the back of the wing that required the fabric to be longer and to be pulled in farther on the frame.
I've attached a photo of the notes that I've made so that I can reconstruct the chair. I'm a bit old fashioned, maybe, but I find that while photos are helpful, my notes do even more. Taking notes requires me to be more thoughtful about how things are put together. I can add small details that are sometimes difficult to see in photos, as you can see from the second photo here. Notes make me stop and think, to consider how the pieces fit together and the order of construction. You can see that I don't worry too much about neatness or sentence structure, and my drawings aren't very good. This is a reminder, and it will include some extra details that won't show in a photo. I'm not suggesting that taking photos isn't important . . . just that photos might not be enough. This is especially true if, for some reason, this project gets put on the back burner and doesn't get finished quickly. The longer you need to remember the information, the more valuable the note as well as the photos will be.
Please continue to watch. There will be another video in this series soon!
Our Ragtime Staff