Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Go Ahead... Raid His Closet. He won't miss it.

William Morris Wing Chair

I have wanted to try to make a chair for a long time. Mostly because I wanted to try to upholster something. Sadly, this city has horrible fabric shops! As many times as I have looked, I have always come home empty handed.

When I was doing a William Morris search and found the acorn wallpaper, I also found a man's William Morris (used) silk tie on Ebay. It was in pristine condition and I loved the colors and the pattern.

When it arrived I was shocked by the exceptional quality of the silk. I took the tie apart and realized the fabric was so flimsy I would have to use iron on interfacing to stabilize it. I made the rope twisted cord trim out of cotton embroidery floss. The chair seemed to need a pillow so I decided to use 1/2 mm no hole glass beads to fill it. I thought the beads would give it weight and allow it to look like someone had just gotten up and left it rumpled in the chair.

I have a whole new respect for the prices people ask for handmade upholstered chairs! It took me all of a 3 day weekend just to upholster it.

PS.... We cannot accept liability or complaints from irate husbands about missing ties.

Updated on September 6, 2012

With everything else being symmetrical... The band on the pillow of the seat was driving me mad. I had to fix it! I am much happier now!


  1. Congralulations, it's wonderful. Kiss

  2. Oh, wow, Catherine, the chair looks great and I love William Morris too. Silk ties, now there is an idea. Susan Bembridge has a wonderful collection of William Morris wallpaper and fabrics and other historic designs.

  3. It's beautiful! I use beads in my pillows, too; it does make a world of difference. I'll be making one of these wing chairs soon myself...send me some of your great vibes! :D

  4. That's the most gorgeous chair I've ever seen! You did an absolutely perfect job of upholstering. That tie...what a find!

  5. You are naughty! Raid his closet? lol but I love it - and the chair turned out beautiful!

  6. Merci beaucoup catherine pour l idée . C est magnifique . J ai vraiment envie d essayer . Le résultat est superbe . J ai essayé de travailler les volumes des coussins en mettant à l interrieur de la pâte qui sèche à l air . La plus légère .
    Je créer le volume quand elle est encore souple . Le tissu adhère bien à la matière . Après la pâte sèche à l air et garde la forme .
    Le seul défaut de cette méthode c est que le coussin est dur quand on le touche avec les doigts . On peut faire un effet très réaliste pour une scène .

  7. Catherine,
    Je ne suis vraiment pas sûr de ce que vous me dites. Google n'a pas traduit le français vers l'anglais très bien à tout ce temps.

    Le président est très doux! Tout est amorti si vous ne pouviez vraiment s'asseoir sur lui et être à l'aise si vous étiez aussi petit.

    Les perles de verre sont si minuscules seulement 1/2 mm de sorte qu'ils sont ce que je Ging à utiliser à partir de maintenant de faire de petits oreillers.

  8. That pattern is stunning, lovely work

  9. Great Job! I love William Morris patterns and you did it justice!

  10. Hi Catherine,

    That's your first try?!? Amazing! Love the piping, I might borrow that idea. As usual, it looks particularly stunning in your charming vignette.

    The 'first one' always takes the longest, as you must know. Can't wait to see what you come up with next time!

  11. El sillón te ha quedado muy bien! Es muy difícil tapizar es verdad y con seda mucho más
    Un abrazo
    GRACIAS por no tener palabra de verificación

  12. What a lovely arrangement and your upholstery skills are exemplary, beautiful fabric.

  13. que buena idea, nunca se me ha ocurrido mirar las corbatas...

  14. Una idea estupenda, pobres maridos....
    Un beso

  15. As you probably know I am also a William Morris fan! The fabric is great find, wonderful pattern and colours. I love the fact that even though it is not 12th scale it just fits in effortlessly with the chair and other miniatures.

    You did a beautiful job on the upholstery!

  16. Hello Catherine!
    Your chair is lovely indeed. It is hard for me to believe that this is the first piece you have attempted. It is exquisitly finished. BTW I must compliment the wonderful composition of this photo and all the ones you stage to show us. It looks so very warm and inviting.
    Warm regard from Ray

  17. Absolutely gorgeous! Love the fabric, love the color, and using a tie was genius! You are so full of talent, and your blog never ceases to amaze and inspire me.

  18. You have made it perfect Catherine, like always:-)!And the combination with the blue glass lamp and everything around is amazing!!! Hugs,Jeannette

  19. Wonderful chair I love the fabric. Fantastic idea using a tie. Beautiful scene.
    Hugs Maria

  20. Hello Catherine,
    It might have taken 3 days but the result is stunning. It looks just wonderful.
    husbands can just go buy a new tie, but works of art are one of a kind!
    big hug,

  21. Such a gorgeous and comfortable scene!

  22. Oh wow now it is absolutely perfect! You know, the scene you photographed was so beautiful that I never noticed the band across the seat, but you're exactly right and now its perfect---

  23. The fabric shops here are pretty poor too. Miniature patterns or prints are near impossible to find. Using a tie is inspired. I'm sure I can convince my hubby that he gave all of his to charity and can't remember...just need to hide the evidence when I use the silk to upholster something. =0)
    Great chair

  24. Glad you fixed the band, it did jump out at me, I have a terrible symmetrical mind, sometimes I drive my family mad, but most often myself ;-)

  25. Thank you everyone. I really appreciate you taking your time to leave me a comment! I wish that REPLY button worked so I could respond to everyone individually.

    John and Ray... Yes, this was my first. I learned a lot. Maybe next time it will go a bit smoother and faster.

    Elga, I think I am just like you with having to have everything be symmetrical. I try to balance everything. LOL

  26. The result is breathtaking! The symmetry of it all gives it that much more "Wauw!" and makes it even more impressive! The silk tie was quite the find because the pattern is so fine and so right to scale!
    Fabric shops here are pretty lame too, good to see there is hope for all of us! Thanks for sharing!

  27. Hi Catherine,

    Your work is beautiful! Did you make the chair frame too? I'd like to upolster my own wingback chair, but the House of Miniatures kits for wingback chairs are kind of chunky. Yours looks leaner and to scale.

  28. Beautiful work, perfect as allways!!
    I love the fabric and the color you have used. Such a lovely scene.

  29. Dear Catherine, I emerge a moment from my chaos of things to do (actually, I look like the White Rabbit in Alice: I'm late!'m late! ...), To send you my warmest regards, and comment this wonderful chair.
    W.M. is a must, refined until the paroxysm, and this piece is perfectly in your style. Unfortunately, I am sure that if I rummage in the closet of my husband, I can not find a vest worthy of being disassembled to upholster a chair (let's face it: for a long time men do not know how to dress with more taste!)
    I've seen all your recent posts with enthusiasm, every little detail that you add is perfect for the context, and you can meet the most Victorian of my soul :-)
    I embrace you, my dear friend, "see you soon"...

  30. great job! i use silk scarves a lot, but i haven't found any ties that have the right size pattern.. now i'll be looking harder. this is lovely. its perfect. :)

  31. Bonjour Catherine,
    What a beautiful piece of work! I really like the pattern of the fabric.
    I have just discovered the world of miniatures and I am learning everyday from other miniaturists like you.
    I also have problems to find the right fabric to make bolts of material for my 1st project. I will have to look for old ties in Bkk now! :)

  32. Very nice and elegant corner.
    Kiss Faby

  33. It totally awesome!! I'm glad you took the time to redo the band in the front, it's made a big improvement to the overall look. It's amazing sometimes how such a tiny detail (given the size of this little band) can have such impact.

    Are we to assume you're now going to start hanging around menswear stores rummaging thru tie racks?

  34. The tie is a great find. I always check the tie basket at our local charity shop, cos you never know...., but never seen a gorgeous one like this. And William Morris too!!! You've done a marvelous job on the silk, it looks superb.

    Filling the pillow with glass beads is a good idea too. I use bird sand to stuff 'm but the effect is the same; it makes them look and sit so much more natural!

    But best thing is fixing the front, which in a way surprises me. You've seem to have taken the effort of lining up every other part, so i take it, it escaped your eye the first time? Good job you got back to it, cos i love it!!! No matter what angle you look at it, it is thought out and looks "GOOD'

    ps, dont tell but i suffer from OCD :))) i line everything up :D

  35. Debora,

    Lining up the band on the seat was the last thing I did to finish the chair. Which says a lot for STOP working when you are tired!!! It was easy enough to fix the next dsy when it jumped out at me.

    Thanks Everyone!!!!

  36. is absolutely stunningly beautiful!

  37. Genial trabajo
    Te felicito. Tomo nota

  38. I wondered where you got the silk for the chair! lol :)

  39. Wonderful to see such outstanding work..... well worth the time you spent on it!

  40. Que coisas lindas, dar vontade até de brincar de boneca.

  41. The chair is spectacular... beautiful work as always!