I cut the foam, a while back, so we were living with this for a while:
I was ok with this because making cushions is scary and I avoided it for as long as I could. The pillow is not there for pretty times, these things aren’t daily-marshmallow-soft-sitting-reading-the-paper-comfortable, and I live in this spot because feeding L. consumes like 4 hours of my day. Fun. Not.
But then I finally got around to making one of the T-cushions. It was not a good time. But the two sources I called for making a T-cushion with velvet welting, wanted my first born child in exchange.
Now, just to be straightforward here, I am pretty unsatisfied with my results, because the whole thing needs to be more tightly stitched- then the cushion will fit tighter, and not droop over the front of the chair, and it won’t have that little crinkle wrinkle on the top. BUT, I did not have heavy duty needles, so my needle kept breaking (because sewing is hardcore), and giving me a minor heart attack each time, so I had to down a bottle of wine in the process. Stress.
So see that top wrinkle there? And the way it’s a bit more square than it should be? It’s because I had to sew it loose-like. And once I muster up the courage, I will turn it back inside out and tighten up my stitches, and it will be all happy time and rainbows.
The navy blue velvet welting is really good, although my dad (who was visiting for the weekend) said the chairs looked “Saudi Arabian.” I have no idea what that means, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the feel I was going for but
oh well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion PLEASE TELL ME IT ISN’T SO!
I’ve also made an executive decision that the chairs must remain navy blue. I probably decided on the upholstery fabric, whilst looking at the navy chairs and since I’m a visual person (to a fault), I couldn’t get the navy out of my head. But, I’ll go with a brighter navy blue hue, so they don’t read black like the current blue does.
After I do that, then I can put the navy welting over the staples, and call this Chronicle of Musical Chairs DONE, because I am never ever ever going to make these T-cushions again. Unless someone buys me an upholstery sewing machine, and a bigger house to fit an upholstery sewing machine. No really, I’m never re-doing these chairs. I’ll sell them if I’m sick of them.
P.S I HAVEN’T EVEN MADE THE SECOND CUSHION FOR THE OTHER CHAIR. Tears. Really.
So, I started by cutting up my foam to fit the chair. You should make it 1 inch bigger than you need, and sew the cushion one inch smaller than the foam, because that’s what Chris says to do. Go watch his youtube videos at diyupholsterysupply. Actually, don’t bother reading the rest of my post, because you can probably find his professional advice far more helpful and full of smarts.
Well, I didn’t have an awesome electric knife to just zip zip that crap, so I used an X-acto blade, deployed all the way out- to make it as long of a knife as possible. It was not easy or fun. But, I made my cushion pattern, and just cut the foam as close as I could, to make it as symmetrical as possible (foam one inch bigger than cushion, remember).
Then I used spray adhesive to attach batting to the foam.
I bought this stuff at Jo-Ann’s. Bring a 40% off coupon, because it was like 15 bucks before the discount, which is a lot for glue and diy.
Now, since the foam should be one inch bigger than the cushion/cushion pattern (aka this big piece of drawing paper), I had to cut the fabric out WITH seam allowance- since my cushion pattern was for the final size I wanted the cushion. So I just added tape, that was about 3/4 inch, which was going to be my seam allowance. This is probably a dumb way to do this. P.S. I folded my fabric over, and cut two layers. One for the bottom, the other for the top. I know, this is like Quantum Mechanics.
Then I cut my sides and zipper panels. Fancy sewing all-knowers call this the boxing strips. I call it the sides. But you also have to make zipper strips- which will have a folded edge for the zipper to run up and down. So you cut a wider side strip (or boxing strip) and then cut it in half. I just placed it all down, and ironed the fold over, and made sure it was the same width as the non-zippered side or boxing strips. STILL WITH ME?
Ok, see that fabric piece under my wrist? You have to press 2 inches or so under on the ends of the boxing strips. Because you’re going to lap the boxing strip over TOP of the zipper strip to cover that zipper head and the end of the zipper.
Then you topstitch the zipper to those two panels with a zipper foot. Pin, it’s important! All that stuff will shift down because fabric stretches. If you don’t you’ll have to remake the whole thing 5 times (like when I made my couch cushions- thank the gods for my husband who took a few weeks of Home Ec. because I would never have finished my couch without learning about the basic but necessary step of PINNING).
So, then I pinned the sides to the top and bottom panels. If you measure everything right, then it will all line up and such. I cut little notches in the middle of the top and bottom pieces, and the boxing strips and the zipper strip, to line it up for pinning. You also want to cut little notches into the corners at the boxing strip and zipper strip, so that when you are sewing, you can turn your machine and match the corners.
Then I made the welting. I made it with a zipper foot, and I made a lot of it, so I didn’t have to switch gears 500 times while doing it. If there are too much switching going on, this is when I screw up and sew shit inside out or backwards. That leads to lots of drinking, which may lead to crooked stitches.
Anyway, this was where things got sticky, because velvet is thick, and going through two layers of velvet isn’t crazy, but adding the two layers of upholstery fabric, and you’ve got a mess on your hands.
First, I sewed the welting to the top panel, then more welting to the bottom panel, and then I added the sides to the top panel. The last part is to turn it all inside out, making sure the zipper is partly open, and add the top/side parts to the bottom panel.
I’ll leave the last pic out, because the bad words, tears, and anxiety might reach through the interwebs and ruin your day.
To get sharp angles with welting, you have to clip the seam allowance, so you can turn at 90 degrees as you sew.
Ok that’s it for cushion talk. I still need to make the second, and I need to re-stitch my first cushion closer to the welting with a heavy duty needle, so that it’s a bit tighter fit for the foam, but all in all, we’re off to an ok start. But I’ll come back in the next 3702482 or so weeks and show off the final outcome that will end this particular CraigsList Chair chronicles.
I can’t believe it’s already Friday. Last weekend “we” (J.) did a little of this:
That turned into this:
Look how nice and shiny the finished panel side is! I love it so! J. really takes his time, and finishes things right. If it had been up to me, there would have been finger prints and dog hair all mixed up in a crap-shoot because I’m not patient enough for this kind of stuff. The blackboard painted side looks just as nice, too, but we haven’t used it yet, so I haven’t had a chance to take any pics.
I love all of the little still-life set ups I find after L. is done arranging his toys on the table top.
None of it really makes logical sense (obviously), but there is still a very subtle organization and deliberate order to the little swells of chaos. Probably one of those things only a mother could love.
We also went to this really great park called Clemyjontri, that has an amazing array of jungle gyms, sensory activities, swings and a carousel. It’s primary goal is to provide a place where all children can play, especially those who use wheelchairs, walkers, or braces. There is so much to explore, and I think we’ll be returning a lot over the next few years!
So do you have any big plans for Mother’s Day weekend (obviously the celebration should encompass an entire weekend)? My only goal is to take it easy and enjoy the little goofy gus who made me a Mother!
I thank my lucky stars every day that I get to use every last ounce of energy being L’s Mom. To be fair, some days I’m most thankful after he’s fallen asleep wrapped in my arms, tuckered out from a busy day! But on the many occasions where he randomly runs up to me in the midst of playing to smother me in a hug and poorly aimed wet gummy kiss, I have to say, he makes it pretty easy to feel blessed.
Hearts and Butterflies,