First, we are adding some new tools to our lineup today. You will need some kind of stapler. You can use an electric one, manual, or I use an air stapler. I bought a 2 gallon air tank from Target (of all places!) a few years ago and it works great for projects like this one. And staples, you'll need whatever brand/style that is compatible with your stapler. I generally use 2 different sizes, 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch. I use the 1/4" on almost everything, I find them easier to pull out if you make mistakes or if you need to undo something. The 1/2" staples I use when stapling through many layers of fabric, foam, batting etc.... I find it holds better. You'll also want your scissors and a small hammer. I couldn't find my tack hammer, so I'm stuck with the big, man hammer, but it will work just fine.
Also, if you took photos of the couch when you were removing the fabric, keep them handy.
Starting with the lower front piece of the couch (last piece off, first piece on), put on the long strip without the piping. This is the piece that you sewed the square piece with the mitered corner into.
This should fit fairly snugly going around the corners, it's okay if you have to pull it to get it to fit, just make sure you're not distorting the fabric or ripping out the seams. Beginning in the center front, staple the bottom, then the top. Go back and forth like this switching sides every few staples, so that the fabric stays even, you'll be able to tell if you're distorting the fabric if the nap starts to look uneven. Don't go all the way to the ends. Stop about 6-8" from either end and work on the corners. The corners should look something like this.
Begin by tucking the fabric into and around the frame, pulling it evenly around the arm. You will need to trim off extra fabric, but you should leave enough to fold under in order to help finish the edges.
Also on the corners, you'll need to clip into the fabric on an angle so that it lays flat as it goes around the corners of the frame. Clip into the fabric just a small amount and wrap it around the frame, if it doesn't lay flat, clip a bit more. Always trim and clip less at first, you can always go back and adjust if you need to. Once your fabric is tucked and positioned how you want it, staple around the corners, again going from top to bottom, then staple the sides down. And you will have this---
If your fabric on the corners is pulled tighter than the middle section, simply pull out some of the staples and adjust your fabric as needed.
The next piece is the lower front strip, the one with the piping.
Lay this piece on top of your frame, with the right side of the fabric facing the frame and the edge with the piping facing the bottom of the frame. We're going to staple this piece all along the top, next to the piping. When we flip it over, it will be right side out and all the unfinished edges will be enclosed. So, begin in the center front again and working from side to side, staple all the way across, again stopping just short of the corners. At the ends of the piping, trim off the excess and pull the cording out about an inch or so and trim it out, this will help the side piece lay flat over the trim, and it's easier to staple down. Then pulling the fabric firmly, staple the sides down. Then finish the front and staple around the corners.
Now put back those 2 pieces of cardboard we took out earlier. If you didn't save them, cut new ones that measure the full length of the couch by 6" wide.. Don't worry if your cardboard is a little ripped like mine, we are covering it with batting.
The top edge is going to lay along the stitching line of the piping where you just stapled and give a clean edge underneath the piping. Staple the cardboard down along the top edge, and tack down in the center of the cardboard all the way across. Next, add some batting to help soften the front edge. Place it along the front over the cardboard and tack it down. Then pull the fabric down and you'll have a finished edge with piping. Staple the fabric to the bottom edge all the way across and around the corners and sides. Once that's done, your lower front is finished.
Next, we need to do the inner part of the arms. Begin with either arm and fit your piece over the frame. These are the pieces with the alien head shapes sewn into the back. You'll need to do some clipping at the top of the frame and where the back meets the arm so your fabric can lay flat on either side.
Once everything is laying smooth, start on the curved side of the arm and staple underneath along the frame, again beginning in the center. Staple along the edge stopping about 2 inches from the front and 1 inch from the back.
Then, pulling your fabric taut and smooth, staple along the inside edge, leaving the front loose for the pleats.
Next, staple the fabric around the back, pulling firmly and clipping if necessary.
Now, we'll move on to the front pleats. I wasn't able to photograph this as I was doing it (only one set of hands) so I can show you a before and after with some pointers. This is what we have right now.
And you can see that the fabric does have some natural draping already. So, there are several choices here, one of the most important is where do all the unfinished edges of the fabric end up? In it's original form, the pleats all wrapped around the side arm. But I decided to have mine end in the center with a button as an embellishment. I made 7 pleats in a pinwheel around the arm ending in the center. I did have to wrap around the side in order to finish the edge. End result---
I will finish the center with a button covered in the contrasting fabric.
Wow! That was a LOT of information!
There are a few more steps to finish the frame, but I am going to let you absorb all of this first. I will have Part Two up soon! In the meantime, the couch should look like this---
So far, so good, we're getting there!