Monday, December 27, 2010

I am at War with Sweden...

Or at least part of Sweden...most specifically Ikea...and particularly the woman on the helpline who actually laughed when I asked if they could replace a seat cover that had literally disintegrated in the wash the first time I cleaned it.

This looks like a cat had a panic attack inside the pillow case - no cats were harmed - it's just an expression.

"You aren't supposed to actually wash them," she'd chortled over the phone. I could just imagine her re-telling my story over lingonberries and meatballs in the lunch room.

"Okay, never mind replacing it - can I purchase another one?" I'd asked.

Another round of laughter...

After the hilarity died down, she was able to gasp over her giggles that I could purchase a new cover for $50. Now I'm not saying that $50 is a bad price but for a $99 chair it seems a bit out of proportion. Plus I just need a cushion cover...

After hanging up the phone (I may have forgotten to say goodbye) I re-checked their website. Yup - right under care instructions...the first line is "Do Not Wash". Dang. If my Swedish was better, I probably would have have known that "TULLSTA" actually means "Disintegrating". Why did I take French in school?

I was in a bit of a hurry because this is the chair the Chihuahuas use to get into bed. Their dirty footprints were the reason I'd washed the dang thing in the first place. So I was stuck with whatever upholstery fabric I had left-over...

So gold it was...and it kind of goes with the cream chair...

The first step was to salvage the old zipper.
Notice how the zipper is still SECURELY attached...figures.
It, of course, was ironically sewn in with industrial thread suitable for parachute seams. I was cutting each individual stitch to break the thing free.

Then I made a rough pattern from the pillow foam - I'd tried to use the old cover at first but gave up quickly. It was like trying to trace a hairball.

Ready to add the zipper.
I added in the old zipper and sewed everything together inside out.
Should have opened that dang zipper while I was sewing.
I'd forgotten to sew the zipper in the open position so there was some gnashing of teeth (mine and the zipper's) but I was finally able to get it open, turned right side out and on the cushion.

The finished cushion cover passed muster by the inspection committee.
Inspectors Golly and Huckleberry give their stamp of approval!


  1. Hehe I totally understand your frustration with Ikea. We just bought a new Expedit half sized unit (I have a full one in my office and know it can be a pain in the butt to put together) for our front hall. We put it together on thursday. Luckily my mum came over halfway through the construction to work on some curtains therefore distracting me from helping out with the ikea construction which always ends up working but also usually ends up in an argument too. Their crazy instructions for putting things together and stupid alan keys make things so frustrating. The gold actually looks not to bad with that chair.

  2. I used to wonder if there was actually a box that you could check on your divorce form in Sweden. You know - in California you check, "Irreconcilable Differences"...I bet in Sweden it's "IKEA Assembly - 3 or more bookcases or 1 set of kitchen cabinets". ;)