The Curse of a Good Sofa & Owl Inspiration

The Curse of a Good Sofa & Owl Inspiration

When my husband graduated from college, he inherited this behemoth of a sofa sleeper. It was a massive, queen sized pull out sofa sleeper that was uncomfortable as a couch and unbearable as a bed. It was covered in a stained, once beige and pink, rough, nubby, polyester (can they make fabric out of sandpaper) and must have weighed at least 2 tons. It never fit through a door way and yet somehow we managed to carry it up and down multiple stories in apartment living. We hated that sofa!

For my graduation present… and really more of a wedding present to ourselves… we decided that we needed to replace the beast with a nice sofa. So off we went. We moseyed through some of the discount furniture places but couldn’t find anything we liked. Everything seemed so flimsy and well, cheap. On a whim ended up in Ethan Allen. Was it out of our price range? Probably, but my to-be hubby had already been working for a year as an engineer and had racked up tons of over time. We had more cash at that point then we have ever seen since (ya know, 2 houses, 3 kids, and 2 dogs later we have no cash). We fell in love with a sofa. A super comfy, classic looking sofa that was solid and clearly built to last.

We theorized that it would last a really long time. It was worth the extra money to not have to replace it again in a few years. Ok, not a bad plan but what followed was a classic error made by a couple who clearly didn’t have kids or dogs yet. We picked out the most impractical fabric in the world. A nice denim or heavy weight canvas would have been smart. A microfiber suede or leather, even better. But no, we picked out a light yellow, blue, and white cotton stripe. It was beautiful… for the first couple years. We ended buying a house soon after the sofa purchase… actually before the sofa was ready for delivery (yes, it was custom made… oh, SO impractical) and the house had two sitting rooms. We ended up having to keep the monster sofa just to fill the second space, but that did mean that our new, beautiful sofa was quarantined to the living room for light use.

Then we moved. I think the movers used the cushions from our beautiful sofa as padding between items. They were filthy after the move. We cleaned them… but like many stains they seemed to come back again over time. The living room in our new house became more of a play room so the kids were on the sofa daily. Then our dog decided that in our new house he could sit on the good sofa as soon as we left the house since it gave him a better view of the yard. We would be pulling out of the driveway and sure enough there he was sitting on the sofa. You could see him clear as day through the front window.

So here we are 14 years later. Our sofa is as comfy as ever. Build to last forever. The cushions haven’t lost any bounce. The frame is rock solid. But the fabric is torn and faded. The piping is worn through. The cushions are stained on both sides. So now the curse of the good sofa is we CAN’T get rid of it but it is an eye sore. What do you do with an ugly, dirty, worn out sofa that at the core is still as good as ever?

Fortunately the classic styling (thank goodness we were at least smart on that front) is easy to cover with slipcovers. We’ve tested a few over the last few months and found that the stretchy slipcovers work fairly well. Our sofa is looking pretty good again dressed in a new brown microfiber faux leather slipcover. The kids actually thought we had a new couch… at least at first glance. Although it is darker than I would have liked, the brown covers the striped fabric better than a few previous slipcovers that we had tried. Nothing worse than seeing the old fabric through the cover. Maybe one day I will try tackling recovering it myself… but I’m not ready to take on a project of that magnitude at this time.

And how is any of this relevant to Wee Folk Art, you might ask. The new slipcover did not come with matching throw pillow covers. I have two 16 inch pillows that looked positively dreadful on the new sofa. Not to worry… I can easily fix that.

I was inspired by a screen printed linen pillow that I found on amazon. It featured colorful owl and trees. Unfortunately it only came in 18” pillow cases. I prefer embroidered pillows anyway and decided of course to just make my own.

photo from Amazon

Here is a sneak peak at my owl pillow cover. I am planning on stitching 5 cute little owls and then arrange them in a patchwork to create the front of my pillow. I’m working on the owls at the moment and just placed a fabric order which should be here by the end of the week. I hope to have the pillows all done this weekend and should have the pattern all ready to share sometime in the next couple of weeks.


LOL – please forgive the photo quality of all of my “pre-blogging” images. I think the first may have even been taken with a disposable film camera 🙂


Michelle ~ Wee Folk Art


  1. Hello, I love the owl embroidery design – will that be available for us to download at all?

    1. Yep. I’m working on the pattern right now… with a few variations. They will be available in the next week or two. Keep checking back.

      1. Thank you Michelle, will do.

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