Wednesday, August 3, 2011

From Faded to Fabulous

I have these hand-me-down outdoor chairs that came with very faded cushions. They were so bad I had taken all of them off the chairs, and people had to sit around the campfire on the bare metal.

Faded cushion

Rather than buy four new cushions, I knew that I could make new ones just as easily. I had this fun animal-print fabric in a heavy weight that I thought would hold up well for outdoor furniture. I started by taking the foam out of the faded cushions and using the foam to trace eight patterns onto the wrong side of the fabric. At first I tried to trace the pieces horizontally to make the most of the fabric, but I quickly realized that I would have had sideways lions on my cushions, so I had to retrace. Make sure you always pay attention to the direction of the print on your fabric when tracing pieces.

Tracing foam

Then I cut out the pieces, leaving about half an inch for a seam allowance.

Cutting the fabric

From my copy of One-Yard Wonders, I know that you should always pin your pieces together when you sew, taking each pin out before the needle gets to it.

My copy of One-Yard Wonders

I pinned the right sides of two pieces together,

Pinning the pieces of fabric

and threaded the bobbin with a little help from The Sewing Answer Book.

Threading the bobbin

Then I sewed the pieces together, leaving an opening at the top to put the foam in.

Sewing the pieces together

After I turned it right side out and stuffed the foam in, I had to figure out how to close this opening.

The opening

I could have added a zipper or Velcro closure, but I didn’t have any of either. I also could have hand-sewn the opening shut so I could make the stitches less visible, but I wanted this to be a one-evening project, and I still had three cushions left to do, so I decided to go the quick route and use a zigzag stitch on the machine.

Setting the sewing machine for the zigzag stitch

I trimmed the raw edges, being careful not to cut any of the stitching, and I think it turned out pretty well.

Trimming the raw edge

Here are my four finished cushions!

All four cushions are complete.

And here they are, ready to be sat upon!

Have a seat!

What do you think I could have done differently to make my cushions look more professional?

For more ideas on how to revamp some of your dรฉcor with fabric, check out our upcoming release Sew Up A Home Makeover, by Lexie Barnes, available in September.

— Alee Marsh, Publicist

1 comment: