With basics like painting and installing a new ceiling fan knocked out in the master bedroom, it was time for me to start planning what our upholstered headboard would look like. Since we first started planning the master bedroom project, I knew I wanted an upholstered headboard. The plethora of tutorials out there in the blogosphere made it seem like an easy, low-cost way to add some serious style to our room.
I’d always planned to use Robert Allen’s Khanjali Glacier ikat fabric for the headboard, but then my plan ran into a snag. A king headboard needed to be 72 inches wide, but the fabric had to be used vertically because of the pattern, and it was only 54 inches wide. I was seriously afraid of how the seams would look if I tried to join multiple panels to get the width I needed, so I picked a neutral khaki linen and added some nailhead trim. I liked the look, but couldn’t stop obsessing about the fact that the headboard was made from plywood that contained formaldehyde. Plus, our bedroom was so full of khaki and tan, it was starting to look like a room sponsored by Dockers. Soooo, back to the drawing board.
After discovering PureBond, a formaldehyde-free plywood (you can find it at your local Home Depot), I decided to try my hand at the headboard project again. Except this time, I decided I was brave enough to try and seam the ikat fabric together. Instead of joining the fabric in the middle, I went with what I hoped would be a less-obvious approach that used two seams – like the diagram below.
The middle portion would be 52 inches wide (the extra 2 inches of the fabric width were used as seam allowance), and I left the sides a little longer than necessary to give me plenty of overage in the total width.
To get started, I cut my middle panel first. Then I took a second piece of fabric and cut it in half, right up the middle. I aligned the half-pieces along the sides of the middle panel, matching up the patterns. I pinned the two edges together, and sewed them together on the wrong side of the fabric, so the stitching would be invisible from the front side of the fabric.
Then it was time to iron the seam and take a look at my handiwork. Miraculously, the seam is almost impossible to discern. Can you spot the seam in the fabric below? (Sorry for the yellow photos. It looks like they’re from 1890… no, they’re just the work of an inexperienced photographer with a halfway broken camera)
Here’s a closer look… It’s definitely not perfect, but for my first attempt at matching a pattern, I was happy! So, thanks to a little elbow grease, I was ready to tackle the next steps in building our headboard… come back tomorrow to see our progress!