Friday, September 23, 2011

Home Dec Window Seat Cushions

 One large  cushion completed. I have three more to go so bear with me as I power through THREE MORE!. It was relatively easy to make. Here are some thoughts I had  as I made my way along this home dec journey.

As I have sewn long strips of bias, cord, welting, and seams I have had a chance to figure a few things out that seem to only apply to home dec sewing, not my "regular" sewing.

  • Always start any home dec project utilizing welting with a prayer. This will help prevent the needle from going through your index finger as you butt/push the welting up to the one sided zipper foot. There is no protection here.  Biting your lip helps,too. 
  • Everything about Home Dec is B I G,  big long strips, big long cording, big long seams, big long bias, big long zippers, you get the picture!
  • Sewing multiple yards  of straight stitching can give a body a really stiff neck and shoulders, something that doesn't happen when I do garments with all their various processes.
  • I think I have sewing ADD. Flitting from one process to another is my idea of fun sewing. You know, gather a sleeve cap, stitch it in the armseye, stitch again, trim, maybe add a sleeve head.......all these small processes to produce one sweet sleeve. In Home Dec you need much more focus, IMO, to sew yards and yards of straight seams and that gives you a stiff neck too.
  • It takes a lot of space to sew Home Dec. Right now my family room, which is quite large, has spread out on the floor cushion tops and bottoms, big pieces of foam, little long pieces of foam, additional fabric all layed out so I don't have to iron it again. It takes a lot of freakin' space. 
  • These big simple projects with only straight seams take a lot of time to sew. What part of Einstein's theory doe that pertain to? The less complicated the project, the longer it takes to sew? Hmmm...
 In reality this has been a very satisfying project. I have enjoyed it and I think each cushion will look better and better. Its really not complicated sewing.

A few construction thoughts:
  •  Get that Sunset Book, "Slipcovers and Bedspreads". It is invaluable. 
  • When you get the book, read it and don't skim like you might a pattern. Really read it. I learned the hard way that the zippers needed to go around the back corners and up the sides. I thought just having them go across the back would be fine but you need them to traverse the corners so that the cover opens up enough to easily slip the foam cusion inside.
  • I went and bought zipper coil and made my own zips to get them long enough to reach around the corners. They sell zipper coil and the pulls and stops at Joanns pretty inexpensively. It took a few tries but I finally got the pull on and the zipper works great. Now I know how to make my own zippers, wahoo!
  • You can see in the pic that the zip is double stitched. I also ran a bar of soap up and down the zip to get that metal to move more smoothly. I did my zip pretty much like a slot zipper installation, sewing the seam with a basting stitch first. 
  • As mentioned in a previous post, the stitching was at 9 stitches to the inch except around the corners and at the ends of the zip where I dialed it up to about 14. 
  • The fabric is NOT pretreated in any way by me. DD and I decided, after some research, that it would be best to just get these drycleaned when necessary. My experience with home dec is that unlike garments, you really want that finish the manufacturer puts on the fabric. It adds so much and prevents that  Becky Home Ecky look that would come from washing the fabric. Custom WT are not precleaned in any way and it is always recommended they be professionally cleaned. Trust me, they are not pre shrinking cotton welting in the workroom. 
  • The finished cushion is 52 inches wide, 24 deep  and 3 inches high. There will be two of these side by side on the window seat. The will have bolsters on top against the wall. The fabric is from Richloom and is an indoor outdoor sunbrella type fabric. The cushions are high density (the green) foam from Joanns.
So I have three more cushions to go. I have also been TV smocking away on little Selena's bishop. It is looking sweet. I may do some bullion butterflies, we'll see what happens when all the smocking is complete. Back to the workroom........Bunny


    1. I am really appreciating these posts, Bunny. I promised my hubbin that I would sew seat cushions for the beautiful Adirondack chairs he made (plans from Sunset magazine). I'm scared.


    2. You can do it, Kathy! That's a great idea for the Adk chairs. We have some and they certainly would be more comfortable with deep cushions.

    3. Quoted by Bunny "This will help prevent the needle from going through your index finger as you butt/push the welting up to the one sided zipper foot. There is no protection here. Biting your lip helps,too." --- PLEASE TELL ME YOU DIDN'T SEW YOUR FINGER! I heard that hurts! But you seem to be doing a really good job on the cushions so far! :)

    4. No I didn't but the mortal fear of such a happening certainly added a bit of tension and excitement to the process. No wonder I had a stiff neck! FWIW, no stiff neck now, just a temp thing.

    5. Looks great mom! I can't wait to see them in place. Beautiful attention to detail at the seams and zippers. Do you think there will be much fabric left for the valance or should I order more?

    6. Bunny, what a great job! The cushion looks great. I had to chuckle about the zipper lesson - I learned the hard way also, on a daybed cover.
      Your daughter's mudroom will look so good.

    7. way to go Bunny!! Many thanks for posting this because I will tackle my sofa this weekend and you are giving me much needed encouragement.

    8. You nailed it!!! For me home dec and upholstery is like one straight (and usually long and BIG seam) down and 999,999,999,999, (well you get the idea) more to go!!! Ugh! Love how your cushion turned out.

    9. Fantastic. You're doing an amazing job on all that home dec. Your daughter wil be so proud of her new curtains and cushions, and of course, her talented mom!

    10. That turned out Fantastic, Bunny! Waaay too pretty to let the dog climb up onto. LOL

      Thanks for all the good tips you share..."Always start any home dec project utilizing welting with a prayer"
      I had to laugh, because I always make the sign of the cross & lift up a silent prayer when I start buttonholes on an almost completed project!! LOL


    11. No wonder my buttonholes drive me nuts! Thanks for that tip, Rett.

    12. Good info as I'm about to embark on designing a built-in and sewing up the cush. Using glass block for the footboard and Euro cabinets with a floating base.


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