I realized my issue with the chair last night after I wrote the post. It was the back part. Since I spent all that time and work on the seat cushion, making it look super fancy and realistic it made the simple backing look... well, simple. It needed something to jazz it up, also since it was just a bit of fabric wrapped around the support posts, it looked a tad uncomfortable. I know they're just dolls, and don't actually feel pain, but I still wanted the chair to be realistic looking. I want people to want to sit in the chair if it was real sized. I don't want, "it looks nice for a doll chair", I want "it looks nice for a chair". But I didn't want to change what I already had. I could have gone and done something like how it was originally made, but I didn't want to. I like what I already had, I just needed to build onto it.
I decided to make another cushion, more like a pillow. It would support the back, and I could keep what I already had. So I took some more fabric and made a small fabric "bag". I stuffed it with more stuffing and sewed it shut. I put it into place to see how I liked it. I did like it, but when I made it, I didn't take into consideration the pattern, so it didn't match up with the back panel. I did not do all that work to have mismatched patterns! So I had to make it again. So I did, making sure the patterns matched up. I liked this one, so I went so far as to finish it. I sewed two bead "buttons" on it like I did the seat cushion, and to make it attach to the original backing fabric I added two hooks from hook and eyes. After I finished it I put it all together and looked at my hard work, and didn't like it. The back cushion was just too small, and not very full. I thought about tearing out all my hard work and fixing it, but it would be easier to just remake it bigger. Luckily I still had enough fabric to do so.
And so I did, making sure the fabric matched up again. This time I made the pillow bigger, and stuffed the heck out of it. It was even so much bigger that when adding the buttons, I was able to use four and mimic the pattern from the seat cushion. I did have a problem with this new cushion though, it ended up being too short in the back. I could hem it, or have it long enough to reach the area that I needed to hook it on, but not both. I fixed that by using a bit of green bias tape to hem it. I also had to take the hooks off the original pillow to use on the replacement one. I did this because, it was the only pair of hooks I had, and they are vintage. in fact the fabric, the bias tape, the stuffing, and the hooks are all vintage. The only things not vintage are the snaps, the thread, and the felt. (I lie, the black thread I used for some of the sewing is vintage too!) I added this new pillow and I liked it much better. I used safety pins on the back of the pillow to help anchor it to the back panel. And I was done!
Sort of, the chair needed some work. I ended up giving it a good rubdown with some walnuts to give it some natural shine and ease out some of the scratches it's gotten. It really made it look a lot better, I love the rich color the varnish is now. I did have to do some repairs to the chair as well. I noticed earlier in the day that the chair was cracking in spots. Where the armrests meet the back the wood had started to split, not the glue, but the wood itself. I do wonder if I caused that by all the work I've been doing to it. I just took some wood glue on toothpicks (and my fingers) and worked it into the cracks. I held it together with rubber bands while it cured. You can't even tell it was splitting anymore. I also took a nail file to the underside of it. The seller, in their infinite wisdom, marked the chair on one of the bottom rails with their seller tag and the price in black permanent marker. I had hoped the walnut oil would fade it, and it did help, but it took a nail file to get rid of it, well most of it. It at least looks better than before.
And speaking of looking better than before, here's the chair all finished!
Pretty, right? I really like it. It's funny, I finally put away the white rocking chair that Charlotte's been using since Christmas a week ago taking out another chair for her to use (that she's never used before), then this one shows up and I put the new chair away so she can use this one. And she never used the one in the middle! She's been hanging out at my work table, and never made it to the bookshelf when that other chair was there! Ha!
But that wasn't all I did today. I also managed to get a couple things posted over on the Dollpage. I've been storing everything that I was going to post over on my dresser, the other day I realized how incredibly full it's getting. I was even starting to block Charlotte's garment rack! It was definitely time to suck it up and post things. So today I photographed that 80's Skipper, as well as Sun Lovin' Barbie. I got Skipper's ad posted and I also got that Happy Birthday Barbie posted as well (I took her pictures a while ago, but didn't do anything with them). I only got those two posted becasue since it was Saturday lots of people were adding listings and were quickly pushing my listings off the main page. So I'm going to wait until another day to post more. But I am pleased that I got those two listed. At least now they're out there for people to see. They weren't doing my any good just sitting on my dresser! And hey, my dresser is slightly less crowded!