Best Seat on the Patio

Sometimes, the only thing standing between you and your dream DIY is a few supplies, some research and a little encouragement. Sailrite® customer and crafty creator Anita Jackson learned that with the right tools and the right attitude, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. As a retired nurse, Air Force and Navy Reserve veteran and mother of five, Anita is no stranger to hard work and perseverance.

It all began with six old patio chairs. What had once been white sling fabric was now torn, dirty and covered in what appeared to be mold. Everyone told her to throw them out, but Anita had a better idea. Why not just clean them up and replace the sling fabric? It seemed like an easy enough project. Besides, it wasn’t as if Anita was without sewing experience. Both her parents were skilled at sewing and she’d had many lessons starting from the age of 10. As one of her favorite hobbies, Anita often sewed small cellphone bags, purses and quilts in her spare time. However, the closest thing she had done to patio chairs was re-covering dining room chairs.

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The chairs were in need of a major upgrade.

Armed with her previous sewing knowledge, Phifertex® sling fabric and a Sailrite how-to video, Anita set to work completely revamping all six chairs. It wasn’t long before the entire thing turned into a family affair. Her husband and two of her sons offered much-needed help by taking the chairs apart, cleaning, spray painting, fitting the sling fabric and putting them back together.

Although the Sailrite video was straightforward and easy to follow, the project was not without its hiccups. Originally, Anita had cut out all the pieces of sling fabric to replace her chairs. “Next time, I would cut and sew one to check the fit before cutting the rest. I sewed the seams as instructed in the video for all six chairs. I enlisted the help of my son and my husband to install the fabric into the frames. No matter how hard I tried, the fabric was sewn too small to install!”

Just like with any project, it’s natural for mistakes to happen. Her husband, Tim, was very supportive and further encouraged her to continue. He said, “The only way to not make mistakes is to not get up when the alarm clock rings.” Thankfully, the sling fabric was very forgiving and it was easy to rip out the old seams and adjust them so they would fit correctly on the chairs. There’s no doubt that it was hard work, but the entire DIY process gave Anita a new outlook on the creative possibilities that come from having the right tools and the right attitude. There’s a special feeling that comes from turning something old and worn into something completely one of a kind.

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Before and after Anita’s hard work.

“I was so proud of the job that I sent photos to friends and relatives. I got a lot of compliments and some people said they didn’t realize the slingback chairs could be re-covered. I told them about the Sailrite videos and wonderful products all on one website.”

Through her adventurous DIY efforts, Anita was able to finish all six chairs just in time for her grandchildren’s spring break visit. “This project definitely boosted my confidence in trying new projects with Sailrite. Maybe they’re not perfect, but we enjoy using the chairs again. I’m ready for another project!”

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Anita’s chairs were finished just in time for a visit from her grandchildren.

For our full selection of sling chair fabric shop Sailrite and to see the full how-to video on replacing sling chair fabric, click here!

8 thoughts on “Best Seat on the Patio”

  1. I like the choice of fabric. It looks festive! I have the same set of outdoor furniture and when the time comes I know I can make new slings for the chairs.
    Thank you.

  2. Your chairs are beautiful. I admire your handiwork and your ability to see that project through. You have definitely inspired me to get our patio set looking good again! Thanks for the pictures and enjoy your amazing “new” patio set!

  3. They look “beautiful” love the choice of color for the chair and also the fabric.
    Can’t wait to see what my son is going to do with his first walking foot machine.
    (Thompson-pw-400). I’m sure he will be doing some “sewing” come spring. Right now he doesn’t have the time to get into it. He said ” Mom you have to teach me how to sew” ( when he was little I taught him how to knit, but we don’t tell everyone that. )

  4. Aloha, do you have the “How-to-video”. I have the same chairs and have the same problem as you: Everybody’s telling me to throw them away, also. They look great!

    1. Hi Alapaki,

      We have added a link to both the sling chair fabric and the how-to video at the end of the blog. Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Pam,

      We have added a link to both the sling chair fabric and the how-to video at the end of this blog, below the last photo. Best of luck on your next project!

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