The Petaluma Sofa and Free Digital Downloads

Living in Petaluma, California is so wonderful, especially if you’re into vintage and thrifting. Selena, Apron Thrift Girl, shares how much fun it is to shop second-hand here, and in her post she shows the recent Country Living Magazine write-up about this sweet little rivertown. I love the thrift stores here, especially Sacks which benefits our local Hospice organization. I was in there the other day with my friend, Kate, Centsational Girl, who also wrote about the fun of thrifting in Petaluma and other areas of the county. Kate and I went into Sacks after catching up over breakfast at Hallies Diner so that I could show her the couch I purchased the day before and would be picking up to haul home. I normally would have walked right by a couch like this, but the upholstery was so fabulous and the price was only $45. There wasn’t any staining, wear, grime, odor or cat scratchings. But there was an area along the top back that was coming loose and the woodwork was pretty nicked up, and just plain ugly. I convinced myself that if I bought it and it didn’t work in my living or family rooms, (I already have 3 couches, so seriously…) that it would look great in my 12 year old daughter’s room for the Bohemian-style thing we’ve been wanting to do. But once home, it looked way too granny among my other furniture and decor and as far as Plan B, it could not make the necessary turns through the doorway into my daughter’s room. So, on to Plan C. The plan I’d shamelessly had all along, to harvest the beautiful vintage upholstery from the sofa for sewing and crafting as I imagined making gorgeous and functional things like magnificent weekender carpet bags, throw pillows for one of my couches, the back panel to a denim jacket, or a hundred other cool things. I mean, just look at the yardage! I do realize the risk of many of you wishing I had saved the sofa, but I’m sorry, it wasn’t meant to be.And so I began, pulling, cutting, tearing, unstuffing and ripping. That piping- major bonus! I will save it for reuse as well.My handy Xacto knife was very useful so that I didn’t hurt myself too much pulling out all those tacks, after all, I won’t be saving the couch frame, so leaving some fabric attached was ok.What a treasure to discover another fabric beneath the upholstery and stuffing. It’s not the original upholstery, but likely scrap fabric used when reuphostering.I’m so fascinated by the different pieces of fabric used by upholsterers, pieces that are never seen in the finished piece. Here are a few more.The cushions were stripped and the filling piled up to discard.I thought the muslin covered spring sections hiding within the fluff of the seat cushions were pretty cool. I’d hang them on my wall as some funky art pieces, but that would never fly with Mr. Wonderful. I gotta pick my battles. And now with the skeletal remains of the (did I mention terribly uncomfortable) sofa on my back patio, (a gift for my husband -to take to the recycle area of the landfill) I now have several yards of spectacular upholstery fabric to rupurpose. I will lightly launder and air dry the pieces and be sure to share what I make down the road.Oh, and look how lovely it goes with some of my furniture! Here’s a couple scans of the fabric for you in high enough resolution to use as computer monitor wallpaper or background images for your crafty or design projects. UPDATE: The sofa frame has been saved. A local artist was thrilled to receive it and hoping to create something fabulous. I will be sure to post photos when it’s complete.

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49 Responses to The Petaluma Sofa and Free Digital Downloads

  1. #1 - Crafty Dawn says:

    How clever are you? what a bargin for origional vintage material I can't wait to see what you come up with what an adventure

    Love dawn xx

  2. #2 - The Lone Dollier says:

    The fabric is absolutely gorgeous. Way to go girl, tons of vintage material, plus a little extra you didn't expect, and all for under $50. Can't beat that.


  3. #3 - Apron Thrift Girl says:

    The fabric is just lovely, even better than I imagined. I've never even considered salvaging material from a piece of furniture before. That takes ReUsing to a completely different level. Looking forward to seeing what you craft from all that yardage.

  4. #4 - Julie @ Joy's Hope says:

    I sort of can't breathe that you found it for $45.
    I have been stalking craigslist for months looking for something similar as a photo prop. But I totally agree, the fabric is scrumptious. Adore.

  5. #5 - Hippie Family... says:

    oh, I am so sad for that couch going to landfill. It was beautiful wood. The fabric of course is beautiful, can't wait to see what you do with it.

  6. #6 - Brenda says:

    Wow..what a great find and how smart of you to come up with a plan c?? or D…:-) Now I will be looking at furniture in a whole new light…Nice job!!

  7. #7 - lanne says:

    I sit in australia SO sad to think of that piece going to landfill!!! I am sure a photographer somewhere would love it…

  8. #8 - sweetjeanette says:

    yep. It just confirms what I keep sayin' about you… you're a genius! I love all your (great) ideas and crafts and make-do's!!!!
    I bow before thee!!!


  9. #9 - Carol B says:

    I was expecting a chain saw to be involved. If you cut out the middle 1/3, you can make funky one-armed chairs for your daughter.

  10. #10 - Createology says:

    You really have VISION with this project. How brave you were to buy a huge sofa just to get the fabulous fabric! LOL Great job salvaging the fabric which is gorgeous. Keep creating…

  11. #11 - uglygirl says:

    Wow. Very cool. Looks like it was fun, too.

  12. #12 - Kelsey Kim says:

    I NEVER would have thought to do something like that…your very clever!! And your right, the fabrics are beautiful, and go great with the other fabrics you have used.

  13. #13 - Kathy says:

    You have an amazing mind…thank you for the backgrounds…great idea. I've already covered that beautiful sofa in my mind…what a beauty!
    xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings…

  14. #14 - Skitzo Leezra Studio says:

    Hey, if your husband can drag that to the landfill, why not call an upholsterer nearby and ask if they would like a donation? After I realized a vintage sofa didn't fit my decor, I offered it to an upholsterer. They were so surprised it was free and I was thrilled that it wasn't landfill.

  15. #15 - Rose says:

    What a crazy idea and one that worked out so darn well! The fabric is gorgeous and really matches your decor.

  16. #16 - Cassie says:

    i love it! what a great idea!

  17. #17 - ArtSnark says:

    what fun

  18. #18 - FILIGREE MOON says:

    Thank you so much for the scans of the upholstery fabrics. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could have paid for the sofa, removed the fabric from it at the store, and just left the frame there? Petaluma sounds like such a wonderful place! ~ Angela

  19. #19 - Charlotte says:

    Luv your comments and your creativity and I can't wait to see the finished product.

    Have a great week,

  20. #20 - My name is PJ. says:

    Wow, it's my color palette for my bedroom! Lovely!!

    You are a visionary, Cathe! No way would I look at that piece of furniture with the thought of harvesting the fabric.

    I can't wait to see what you make from it!! You go, Rock Star!!

  21. #21 - Christie Cottage says:

    Love the fabric! Awesome you could salvage as much as you did and for the price of 1 yard of upholstery fabric!!

    Hve a wonderful day!

  22. #22 - Loddelina says:

    What an amazing find!
    This upholstery sycourasfabric looks so yummy I can't wait to see what you make of it!

  23. #23 - TidyMom says:

    ok, the whole time I was reading I thought…"only Cathe would buy a sofa for the fabric!" LOL…..I know that wasn't your original intention….but you know deep down, you feel in love with it for the fabric!!

    now I can't wait to see what you do with it!!

  24. #24 - GeorgiaPeachez says:

    Great idea to cannibilize the fabric from the sofa! Be ever so careful when you wash it. I had a piece of this old chenille from a pillow that I washed and it bled like crazy. Now my piece had a much darker red in it, and it was the red that was the bleeder. Just wanted to pass my experience along. xo, suzy

  25. #25 - CraftCrave says:

    Thank you! This blog post will be advertised on CraftCrave in the Printables category today (look for timestamp: [28 Feb 01:00pm GMT]).

  26. #26 - Carole says:

    I could never have done that to such a gorgeous vintage sofa, but good for you. You got the fabric you wanted.

  27. #27 - Carole says:

    Btw, in lieu of a landfill, you might consider a reclamation center for the wood, and for old furniture in good condition, there are numerable charities. Just an idea.

  28. #28 - Rebekah says:

    How very industrious! I did a loveseat re-upholstery project with my mom a month or so ago and I was amazed, too, at all the inner workings of a sofa. I'd been sitting on couches all my life and never given a second thought to what was holding me up!

  29. #29 - Halo Hill says:

    Ooooo, LOVE that fabric! Great job! And I understand, but my Mr.Wonderful? That would probably send him over the edge! I already have him teetering on the very tip as it is now!

  30. #30 - Pink Rufflez says:

    Wow! FANTASTIC idea…you're my idol! BTW, take a look at one of
    those springs – I have seen some that make very cool bases for an ornament or something.

  31. #31 - Three Owls says:

    That is some fabulous fabric…and it would be a sweet sofa with new upholstery. I love that you saw the fabric, often old sofas are very uncomfortable and probably should be redone.

  32. #32 - Erica@ZunkyChic says:

    I would have bought it just for the fabric, too! What beautiful fabric you now have for many wonderful projects.

  33. #33 - Peggy says:

    Thanks for the great photos of the fabric. They'll be perfect for the texture assignment that I'm working on tonight for my Photoshop class homework that's due tomorrow. I'm so grateful for all your great posts and ideas.

  34. #34 - Marcy says:

    I want to say WOW!!! cause that fabrics too beautiful to NOT repurposed but…Im still breathing deeply into a brown paper bag after looking at the surgical process photos… being an old furniture junkie! I am feeling a bit better since you said it was horribly uncomfortable!LOL I cannot wait to see your fabric rebirthed in some amazing way!You have my admiration…You're a brave woman:)

  35. #35 - annie says:

    If we lived closer, you'd have the fabric and I'd have taken the frame!!
    p.s. great re-use on your part!

  36. #36 - Lizbethem says:

    You are so resourceful! Fantastic fabric! Thanks for sharing.

  37. #37 - Pfeiffer Photos says:

    Will make great new upcyled things–go girl!

  38. #38 - Cheryl Carey Bass says:

    Wow, Cathe. You're so SMART! What a steal…all that for $45. It never would've occurred to me to do this. Amazing fabric! (and thanks for doing the hi res images for us to save. I totally dig that.) I'm so excited to see what you end up making with it. So, question. I know nothing about upholstery, other than I like it. What's with the random scrap patches/pieces underneath. Why do they do that?

  39. #39 - Cathe Holden says:

    Hi Cheryl, Here's my best guess explanation about the random fabric hiding in the couch:
    The nice fabric on the back needs to be pulled down and into the crack behind the seat cushions. The random fabric pieces were sewn in sections along the bottom of the nice fabric, each separated from one another side to side. (Think of a row of mud flaps.)By being separate from one another they were able to avoid the wooden vertical frame pieces when pulled taught and tacked down with hardware onto the wooden horizontal base of the couch. The back fabric would have had to have been cut in sections at the bottom to avoid those vertical wood pieces where they met the horizontal piece and therefor could possibly rip at the cuts when weight was put on the couch. By sewing random fabric and saving on valuable upholstery, those pieces were tacked down instead. Sure hope this makes sense.

  40. #40 - Apryl says:

    fabulous fabric hoard from an unloved sofa. I miss Petaluma, I grew up In Santa Rosa and the last tiem I visted was two years ago (I live smack bang in the middle of England), but we are visiting again at the end of the month, so I hope to have an hour or so to wander around Petaluma with a coffee in hand. :o)

  41. #41 - Amy says:

    I was so excited to see our little town in COUNTRY LIVING! I hope this will bring lots of visitors for Butter and Egg Days!
    Crafting by Candlelight

  42. #42 - Courtney Dirks says:

    Incredible, I love it! This reminds me of a time when I was looking for houses & I came across a place with a lot of potential, but with the worst carpet you could possibly imagine. Imagine my surprise when I lifted up a corner of the carpet to find the most gorgeous hardwood floor a person could dream of, I didn't buy the home, but I'll never forget that floor!! I'm so jealous that you live in Petaluma, just a stones throw from the Alameda Flea market – my mouth is watering just thinking of it. . . must go back for wine and vintage shopping!

  43. #43 - andrea of ffft says:

    Oh I hope that sofa frame found a new home other than one at the dump. If wood doesn't work for people, it can always be laquered out. I love the fabric, but that was a lot of waste that didn't really need to happen. Sad.

  44. #44 - Jeannette says:

    Hope you donate next time rather then fill our already over flowing land fills with more stuff.Perhaps as others suggested to an upholster.

  45. #45 - Cathe Holden says:

    Ok, enough. Please read the entire post. It did not go into the landfill. It was headed for the recycle area where people shop. This couch was ultimately given to a local artist who will be creating something wonderful.

  46. #46 - Anonymous says:

    cool. adrienne

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  48. #47 - Hellen Edwards says:

    What a resourceful woman you are!! I can`t help but admire your creative vision .

  49. #48 - Nataliya says:

    So cool. Thank you.
    Hugs Nataliya