Meet the Gordon Chair

Awwww, yeah, baby. Luscious wide velvet wingbacks.

Not just any velvet, though. This velvet has watermills. And grapes. And poppies. All in that signature 70’s orange, with a little avocado thrown in for good measure. Who needs to watch The 70’s Show when you have furniture like this?

(Or maybe… maybe watching That 70’s Show while seated in this chair at the same time would be such a culmination of 70’s that I would be swept back in time in a vortex of bellbottoms and disco. I don’t know. I better not try it.)

Normally the Gordon Chair lives like this:

Hidden from sight under a badly draped old jersey sheet rent by cat claws and the ravages of time. Like a badly dressed ghost chair, it has lurked in its shroud of shame in one corner or another of our various living rooms for the past seven years.

Because, folks? Whatever malfeasance its unfortunate coagulation of vomit-colored velvet has wreaked upon designer’s sensibilities, this chair is so comfortable. Seriously, there is no place I’d rather be to knit, or watch TV, or take an afternoon nap. There is a reason this chair has followed us like a half-loved stepdog from the day we were married.

So now that we have a new house, it’s time. Time to love this chair back. Time for a makeover. I’m going to try to craft a slipcover for it, from scratch, zip, zero, with nothing but a paint-spattered old sheet, a sharpie, and a mouthful of pins.

So far, it’s going difficult-ish. I had planned to make a bare simple slipcover with plain, tidy lines. No pleats, tucks, or gathers: probably not even piping at the seams. Just a neat little Plain-Jane dress of light, crisp canvas so that our ugliest chair can sit pretty. Turns out, all those curves are a little more difficult to draft than I had thought, and it might not end up being the prettiest slipcover in the world. But I persevere. The watermills must die.

I really need to get this done soon, though, because both cats also think the Gordon Chair is the most comfortable place in the house. Every day when I go to work on the pattern some more, I have to first remove copious wads of catliness from its crevices. Turns out, velvet is a pretty good cat brush. (Did I mention? The slipcover will be MUCH MORE WASHABLE than upholstered velvet. I’m sure my allergies will thank me.)

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