Monday, September 5, 2011

Last Step---Cushions and The Finished Couch!

Thanks for hanging in there with me, I know this has been a long process and I truly appreciate you giving me your time.

Now let's make some cushions for this couch so it can move back into the house!

My couch has loose square pillows that go all across the back, very easy to make. Simply measure the existing cushions and cut out 8 squares, one front and one back, for each pillow. This is where I used my fabulous new contrasting fabric.

At the last minute I decided to add piping around the edge of my pillows in the contrasting rust colored fabric. Because, really, what's another step in the process at this point?

Cut 3-3 1/2" wide bias strips of the rust fabric and sew in the large cording to make the piping. Then pin along the outside edge of the pillows all the way around and stitch in place.You'll want to clip around the corners so the piping will lay flat.

Next, place the other square of pillow fabric, right sides together, on top and stitch around the piping edge again. Try to get your stitching as close to the piping as possible.  Leave an opening on one of the sides, then turn the pillow right side out and stuff using this opening. I really wanted to be able to sew this closed on my machine, but the pillow was just too large, so I stitched the opening closed by hand using heavy duty thread and a small slip stitch.

For the bottom cushions, which are shaped to fit the couch, I took apart one of the existing cushions to make a pattern. Lay out the pattern pieces on the fabric and trace around them adding seam allowance as needed. Make sure that you get a top and a bottom as these cushions have a direction. Also make sure that the stripes in the fabric are going in the same direction. Do the same with all the pieces of the cushions, again making sure that you have the right pieces to make 2 mirror image cushions. You'll need to make more piping in this fabric for the front of the cushions if you don't have enough left over from the front of the couch.

When cutting the back strip of fabric, you'll need to leave an extra 1-1 1/2" seam allowance for putting in the zipper. I promise, this is very easy and will end up so much nicer looking than hand sewing the edges together.
Here's how to add the zipper.  Machine baste (stitch length on the longest setting) the two pieces of fabric right sides together and press the seam open. Open up your zipper and pin down along one side of the seam allowance, you could also hand baste this in if you're not comfortable with the pins. Using a zipper foot or piping foot on the machine, sew down the zipper tape through all the fabric stitching close to the teeth, then sew another line near the outer edge of the zipper tape. Close the zipper and pin down the opposite side, then stitch the same way as the other side.  Stitch across the top of the tape to close the zipper and reinforce. Then use a seam ripper or small scissors to cut out the basting stitch, and pull open the zipper, easy and done!

Begin assembling the cushions by sewing piping onto the front edge of one cushion.  Lay the other cushion piece on top, right sides together, and stitch in place leaving about 1/2" of seam allowance on either end of the cushion. Next, sew all your side strips together creating one long strip. Pin all the way around the cushion right sides together. On the front corners, near the piping you may need to put in some tucks or gathers to fit around the curves, you can either machine baste those in place before pinning the sides in, or you can just hold them down with pins. Sew all the way around the cushions, double stitching and back stitching around the corners.  The corners always seem to be where the cushions come apart, so extra sewing will help.  Then trim the fabric from the corners and turn the cushion right side out through the zipper section, which you left open a little bit, of course. Then, through a series of very inventive wrestling moves, stuff the foam into the cushions.  Trust me on this one, the acrobatics can be crazy when trying to get foam back into a cushion! Then, close up the zipper and do your happy dance!

At this point my husband and I brought the couch frame back into the living room, put it back in it's spot and he put the bed back in. I only helped lift the bed into place and then I left him to it, with very stern instructions not to rip, get dirt on, sweat on, or otherwise harm my new couch in any way. So, I don't know what he did or how he did it, but he put the bed back in and then the couch looked like this---

I stood back and Oh, crap!! I forgot to make buttons for the arms! So here's a quick way to make covered "buttons".  Using that same heavy cardboard from the tack strips, cut 2 circles slightly smaller than the spot you want the buttons in.  I happened to have a spool of thread that was the right side, so I traced around it and cut out my circles.

Then put some batting on the front, lay a larger piece of fabric on top and hot glue the fabric to the back of the cardboard.

And you have a quick and easy covered "button".

Then, take a small nail and nail the "button" into place covering the staples.

The nail head needs to be small so it will pop through the fabric without leaving a hole. You don't need to hammer the nail in very far, just far enough that the button stays on.

I stood back again aaaaannnddd----


Let's take a moment to admire our work. This is a long way from where we started and I think we deserve a huge pat on the back and a glass of wine, or a giant chocolate milkshake, whichever is your preferred drink.

Of course, you can't drink them on the couch, wouldn't want to get it dirty now, would we??

1 comment:

  1. It's wonderful!!! I wish I'd found your blog and great info before I started my "project" but I think I can still use a lot of your suggestions since just today I begin to put the (actually its a loveseat with a bed like your couch) back together. Since I have two more to do just like it, I'll be really experienced by the time I finish! Great job!


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