I started a Craigslist quest to find a suitably-sized sofa with a pleasing shape and a reasonable price. I found this striped specimen in Cockeysville, MD at a furniture resale shop, and was able to talk them down to $75.
Not bad! The structure was in solid shape, and a hole in the dust cover fabric along the bottom revealed 8-way tied springs (bonus!). This was a more legit method than I would have likely done in a new sofa, such as sinuous springs or webbing. As I finished school, this striped sofa sat in the cave providing periodic support for Nintendo sessions. Months later, it was time to either get to work.
With most reupholstery jobs, the first step is starting to remove fabric from the bottom and back and work your way up. As you start working on it, it becomes clear that there are many, many tacks and/or staples for each layer of fabric.
Although I planned on a different design without cushions, I kept the outermost panels to estimate yardage with more accuracy.
This couch was reupholstered at least once, based on the number of markings from tacks around the existing fasteners. Since the vast majority of fasteners were tacks and all padding was worn out (and crunchy) foam and cotton batting, I’d guess this striped fabric is from the early 1980s. There aren’t any helpful tags or markings that reveal any dates or history, though.
Henley helped me measure for foam.
After much meditation, I was ready to fully commit financially to this operation and get some padding.