The biggest obstacle for turning our unused sunroom into usable space was a lack of furniture. I had kept an eye out on local consignment pages and Craigslist, but what little did show up was too expensive for us to buy. It was my mom who spotted the listing for a 3 piece rattan set (and an area rug) on Craigslist for $100. The set was originally bought for $2000, but it had been sitting in the owner’s own sunroom and the cushions were in need of repair.
It would be a big project to re-cover the large couch and two oversized armchairs, but the deal was too good to pass up. My mom agreed to help with the project, and that got the entire sunroom makeover ball rolling.
The previous owners had tried to do some damage control, but the fabric was so weak and faded from sun exposure that it wasn’t worth salvaging. After consulting with my cousin, who has done several slipcovering projects herself, I ordered 12 yards of clearance cotton duck from Fabric.com. By choosing a clearance fabric and using a Retail Me Not coupon, I spent less than $60 on fabric for both chairs and the couch!
I would have had a wider selection of fabrics from which to choose if I wasn’t trying to keep costs down, but that’s the same story you run into with any home improvement project. If you are stickler about your fabrics and finishes, you are going to pay more money. You have to weigh the pros and cons for yourself.
My brain knew that 12 yards of 65” width fabric was a lot of fabric, just not in a tangible way. This is a picture of the material, folded in half width-wise, running down the entire length of our upstairs hallway. With TONS piled up at the end.
After all the sewing was done, we had about a yard-ish of fabric leftover. I am okay with eating the cost of the extra material, because the alternative would have been much worse. That’s one risk of ordering low stock fabric. If you end up shorting yourself, you take the chance that you won’t be able to order more.
Mom took apart one of the original cushion covers and used it to make a pattern, which we then could adapt for the varying sizes of seat and back cushions. I did all the fabric cutting since I have steadier hands, but Mom did ALL the pinning and sewing. We had to make some decisions on the fly, especially regarding the curved tops of the chair backs, but I am so impressed with how well my mom’s work turned out. I would have never been able to do this project without her.
The new fabric looks more updated than the old giant floral print, and it is obviously in much better condition. I second-guessed my choice of the paisley print more than once, but I think paisley is a classic enough pattern that it won’t look dated in 5 years. The paisley also made the sewing/patterning process less stressful than if we had chosen a directional print. That would have been a huge headache and would have required quite a bit more fabric.
The sunroom makeover begins and ends with the re-covered furniture, and I am so thankful for my parents for giving me the push to get the room finished. It has added more livable space to our home, increased the house’s value, and given us another part of The Mad House to be thankful for.
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