Retro Sofa, Fairy Surprise


The retro sofa made from one of Kris Compas’s excellent kits, and upholstered in silk cut from a gentleperson’s tie, is finished. The legs are painted a medium gold, a tone somewhere between the multiple shades of butter yellow and tan in the fabric.


For the piping I corded three strands each of a blue and gold DMC floss. I liked the variegated result more than a single color.

I love the design of the sofa, but I’m disappointed in my fabric choice. I now see that a simpler, far less patterned fabric is called for, one that does not compete with the rhythm of the sofa’s luscious curves. Oh well.

In other news, I walked out in the garden this afternoon to find that the fairies had vacated their backyard terrace location, leaving their outdoor furnishings and accessories behind.


A short tour found their dwelling relocated to the front southside terrace, an area I have been working on clearing of its irredeemably overgrown lavender, rosemary and other shrubberies.

moved_front_061916This is a street-facing, far more public location, and I’m frankly surprised. What will the neighborhood make of the new inhabitants?

And finally, a wee acknowledgement. Today is 19 June, or 619, which was my house number in a faraway sojourn, an amazing house in a now enchanted place. The *best* water, phenomenal night skies, and the site of epic revelries. To all of you who enjoyed Plain Meeting House Road, salut!


16 thoughts on “Retro Sofa, Fairy Surprise

  1. Sheila says:

    I love how the couch looks! It turned out so well! The cord trim is the perfect touch.

    Fairies are known to be capricious. Maybe they like the idea of sneaking around the front yard so your neighbors can only see them out of the corner of their eyes?

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Oh Sheila, thanks! I respect your opinion, and I’m glad you think it turned out well. Of course I can only see the mistakes, and my taste runs much more to the minimalist, so as soon as Kris has this kit back in stock, you can be sure I’ll be trying again.
      As for the fairies, this *is* a dog-walking and young-kids neighborhood, so maybe they were craving more sideways attention.
      Your NOLA build makes me think of Tara and TrueBlood, in the best possible ways.

  2. Barbara W. says:

    The sofa turned out beautifully! The re-purposed silk really lent itself well to the project.
    Every May our town hosts an international children’s festival and I did notice a number of winged individuals among the attendees this year. Perhaps fairies world-wide are gearing up for an assembly…

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Thanks, BW. I’ve been studying the sofa to determine what does and does not work for me, and it mostly comes down to the direction of fabric grain on the curved shapes. I’ll post on that soon, probably as I make the next one.
      If you get an invitation to the fairy assembly, do let me know. Until then I’ll turn sideways into the light :)

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Thank you, Elizabeth. I held up many strands of color, and took a leap of faith with the two-ply. I might have gone for bias-cut self fabric cording, but there was just not enough tie left :(
      The new fairy house location is still a bit stark, but perhaps this weekend they’ll get to more landscaping :)

  3. Bennie says:

    I love the sofa, you did an amazing job – especially with the cord/piping. It matches perfectly. And the fairies moving to the front, location, location, location. ;)

    A house down the block from me had a tree fall a few weeks ago and they turned the stump into a Gnome home, it looks cute and make me smile every time I see it.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Bennie, thank you! You are so right about location, location, location. Love the idea of stump turned gnome home. There are a lot of dog walkers on my street, and I’m hoping to encourage that smile you speak of.

  4. Alayne says:

    The finishing touch on the pretty and newly upholstered sofa is the variegated cording…love the effect it gives the completed project and makes the sofa look totally elegant! The fairies residing in our garden like to stay put and have resided in the same cottage under the same tree for many years…they do like to rearrange the outdoor furniture and tiny plants in their garden however! What fun to think yours are more adventurous!

    • Nancy Enge says:

      I’m glad you agree the duotone cording completes the sofa, Alayne. And I’m thinking some outdoor-rated glue will help secure my urban fairies’ accessories against the various predators, hooligans and ne’r-do-wells. I think they have some kind of agenda to make magic more mainstream, or something. We shall see!

  5. Mad for Mod says:

    Great idea to use silk ties for upholstery. The yellow does go nicely with the yellow and grey siding. I think you made the right choice for the cording too.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Aw, shucks, Susi. I’m glad you like it! Have you seen the cover of the latest HBS/ catalog? They’re featuring Kris’s kits. I want to make the retro chairs next!

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