Some people upholster by keeping the old pieces of fabric to use as patterns. Mom wasn't taught that way in her class. This is why you won't see us using patterns on the sofa (we did keep them for the cushions but didn't end up using them).
First thing we did was measure the width and length of the front of the frame cover. You will want to add two inches to all sides. The purpose of this is to make sure you have enough fabric. I suppose you don't have to do this if you trust your measurements but I say better safe than sorry! When you have your measurements go ahead and cut your material.
Next measure from the front of the frame to the back of the couch, called the back rail. You can't actually see this piece when the couch is covered with fabric. Measure the length. Again, be sure to add two inches to all sides.
It is probably a good idea to be writing these measurements down as you go. Cut out this piece. When you have your two pieces cut, sew them together leaving an inch seam allowance.
When you have the two pieces sewn together find the center of the fabric and the center of the couch. Pin in place. Then pin the rest of the way down the couch.
Once you have your fabric pinned down you'll want to take a large curved needle that's been threaded with button twine and run it through your 1 inch seam allowance, through the bottom of the couch, around the spring, and back up. Repeat down the whole length of the couch catching every spring.
Once you are finished sewing the decking to the springs you are ready to start stapling. First you'll want to pull the front frame cover down and staple it to the bottom of the front rail, starting in the middle.
Be sure to cut around the middle couch leg.
Start at the center and staple about half way down both sides then it's time to move to the back. Staple the same sections that you stapled in the front. Once complete move back to the front of the couch. Keep working in small sections like this, moving front to back, until you have almost the entire front and back stapled. In the back the goal is to staple the fabric to the top of the back rail. You can't see much detail from the picture, but that is what we are doing here.
If you'll remember we stopped stapling the front and the back before we got all the way to the edge. The reason for this is you'll have to make cuts in the corners to get the fabric around the frame to staple to the sides of the sofa. To do this we used a large needle and stuck it through where we would be making our cuts. You'll need to make a straight cut towards the needle. The second cut go back about an inch from the needle and then make a small cut at a 45 degree angle to the same depth as the first cut. We added a small black line to the second photo to show you where to place the cut. The purpose of the second cut is to go around the arm post.
Pay extra attention to make sure your fabric doesn't pucker. Once you are satisfied you can start stapling the fabric to the sides. Again, start in the center and work out in small sections, alternating side to side from the center (staying on the same side of the sofa until the side is complete). After you have stapled the fabric to the front rail, the back rail and the sides you'll want to cut off the excess (remember you measured two inches extra for good measure).
You'll notice that our fabric is the same for the deck piece and the front frame cover. It isn't uncommon to have the decking be a less expensive solid piece of fabric from the rest of the sofa. Since we were using canvas we decided to just go ahead and make them the same.
Now it's time to sit back and relax on your new sofa decking!!
Join us next time as we upholster the sofa arms in installment 4.