Depending on the style of your sofa or your personal preference you may or may not want to put cording on the arms and back of your sofa. I decided I wanted cording on mine so the first thing we did was take our measurements for the cording. We measured up the arms and around and then across the back. It was a lot of cording! I'll explain in a later post how to make the cording but for now just know that you need to leave a 1/2 inch allowance on your cording.
We stapled the cording around the sides and back of the sofa. When you get to the corners make a small cut in your 1/2 inch allowance to get a tighter fit around the corner. You can also use a pair of pliers to squeeze the fabric together if necessary to get an even tighter curve.
Get it as close to the corners and edges as you can, try to keep a straight line (or follow curves if necessary).
After you have your cording stapled on next you will want to staple on your Ply-Grip (also called Curve Ease). Of course if you aren't using cording you'll start with this step. Did you ever wonder how they get fabric on things without the staples showing? Ply-Grip!
In our case we butted the Ply-Grip up against our cording. Be sure to staple each hole in the Ply-Grip. This does take a little precision with the staple gun. You can see the little metal teeth that grab the fabric in the second photo.
You'll want to put any cotton batting on before you put your fabric in the Ply-Grip. For the outside of our sofa arms we had a thin piece of cardboard that reused from the original upholster (found when we took the sofa apart). And for the back of our sofa we ended up stapling a piece of cotton fabric cut from a bed skirt. (You could use any spare piece of fabric for this since it won't be seen.)
After you have your cotton batting in place, measure your fabric for the area you are covering. Remember when you measure and cut your fabric to leave two inches on each side! Put the outside arms on before you put on the back of the sofa. After you do the outside arms of the sofa you'll need to go back and staple more Ply-Grip down the back sides (by the arms) so the fabric on the back will have something to attach to on the side (the place where the back of the sofa joins the back of the arms).
For the Ply-Grip take the little metal teeth and bend them upwards at a 45 degree angle. Take a cake spatula and press your fabric into the valley you've created.
It should catch slightly on the little metal teeth. Once you've pressed in around all the sides take your scissors and angle them into the valley and very carefully cut off the excess fabric.
When you have the excess fabric cut off you'll need to take your hammer and hammer the little teeth flat. You already have them bent upwards so just hammer them flat, like you are hammering them closed. This will pull the fabric taut across the area.
On the sides and the top where the Ply-Grip butts against the cording use the flat spatula to get a nice tight, clean fit.
When you have all your Ply-Grip hammered down you'll need to staple your fabric to the bottom of your sofa frame. In other words, completely finish the outside sofa arms before you move to the back. Now you have finished the outside arms and back of your sofa!