Creating new fabric backs and seats for director’s chairs changes their character and helps them last longer.
Determine the depth or length of the chair back by measuring the original cover or if that’s not available, 12 inches will be adequate. Add 2 inches for hems top and bottom for a total of 14 inches in length.
Determine the length of the chair seat. It will need to be 14 or l5 inches depending on the size of the chair. Add 2 inches for hems front and back, for a total of 16 or 17 inches.
Add these lengths to determine the amount of fabric needed for one chair. If the fabric is as much as 58 or 60 inches wide, it will be possible to make two backs and two seats from one length of fabric. If the fabric is narrower, one length will be needed for each chair.
Be sure your fabric is cut accurately straight across from selvedge to selvedge (woven edge of fabric).
Measure the length of the first piece (the back of the chair), mark and cut it straight across.
Measure the length of the second piece (the seat of the chair), mark and cut it across.
Measure the width of the chair back by measuring the distance between the vertical posts that support the back. This measurement could vary from 18 to 22 inches. Add 4 inches to that measurement for the slots at either end.
Use this measure to cut the back from the narrower strip.
Measure the width of the seat of the chair by measuring the distance between the horizontal supports at the sides of the chair. Add 4 inches to that measurement to accommodate the dowels.
Cut the seat of the chair from the wider strip.
Finish all the cut edges with a straight machine stitch, a zigzag, or pinking shears to prevent raveling. Create a 1 inch hem on top and bottom of the seat and back.
For the back, create a 2 inch hem on either side. For additional security, sew the hems twice. Then check to see that the back fits snugly after inserting the vertical posts.
For the seat, create a 2 inch hem on either side after finishing the edges. Sew the hems twice.
Cut two dowels the length of the seat and insert them in the slots created by the 2 inch hem. The fabric-covered dowel is the anchor that holds the seat in the horizontal seat support.
Beginning at the front, insert both fabric-covered dowels into the grooves intended for that purpose.
If the dowels, once covered with the fabric, are very difficult to insert in the groove, it may help to lay the dowel over the groove and tap it into the groove with a small hammer or mallet.