If you’re lucky enough to have a vintage Lloyd Loom chair in your home, then all you need to bring it bang up to date is a coating of paint and a stylish new cushion. This issue we demonstrate how to create a fitted seat pad from scratch. complete with a concealed zip. Inserting any kind of zipper just takes practice but is well worth the effort.
Our chair was missing two brass leg stoppers, so faux versions were made by masking the areas at the base of the legs, spraying the colour onto the chair and then applying gold gilding wax
First prepare the chair. If it has never been painted before or is a very bright colour, use a primer first. Wash the surface of the chair thoroughly, leave to dry and apply the base coat. Allow to dry over night and then apply the top colour. Again leave for twenty four hours and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for a perfect result.
Make a paper template to fit the seat of your chair and use it to cut a piece of foam; the depth of the foam is your choice. Position and pin the template onto a piece of folded fabric with the straight edge facing towards you and 3cm away from the fold; this measurement is half the depth of the foam pad, (which in this case was 6cm in total). Draw a 1.5cm seam allowance onto the fabric around the curve of the template and cut out. Make a strip of fabric the depth of the foam pad plus 3cm, and the measurement of the curved edge of the template plus 3cm. The 3cm added to both these measurements allows for two 1.5cm seam allowances.
Mark a clip into the seam allowance at the centre of the curved edges and in the middle of the strip on both sides of the long edges. Make 1.5cm cuts into the seam allowances at the point of each corner on the straight edge of the template. Remove the template, open out the fabric and with the right sides of the material facing, pin and stitch the two strip edges to the ends of the centre front section of the larger piece; sewing in between the 1.5cm cuts.
Stitch one of the curved edges to one side of the strip. Make cuts into the seam allowance of the strip, this will enable it to stretch around the curve. Match the centre notches together, pin and sew from the corner points on the front edges and around the curve.
Measure the length of the zip and deduct 2.5cm from the total; halve this calculation. Make a cut mark from the centre notch of both the strip and the curved edge. Match these new notches and pin together the strip and the larger piece. Stitch from the corners of the front sections as far as the notches on both sides; this leaves the opening for the zip.
Sew the concealed zip into the opening using a zipper foot. With the right sides of the fabric strip facing, place the opened zip face down, matching the top of the zip to one end of the side seams and position the teeth to the 1.5cm seam allowance. Pin in place. If you are stitching with a normal zipper foot you will need to uncurl the teeth with your fingertips as you are stitching. It is impossible to stitch to the end of a concealed zip so leave 2.5cm of the zip base un-stitched. Stitch the other side of the zip in place.
Pin the zip around the curved edge of the cover again positioning it onto the 1.5cm seam allowance and pin, ensuring the centre notches are still in line, then stitch in place. Carefully thread the zip pull through to the right side, and turn the cover to the right side and press. Place the foam in place and close the zip.