25 yards outdoor use cording (optional if you are unable to salvage welting from your cushions)
6 yards outdoor fabric
4 double fold outdoor cushions with old covering removed and cushions cleaned/sanitized (see Part 1)
24 5/8″ matching plain buttons of your choice
24 matching decorative buttons of your choice
4 yds. sew-on 1/2 ” Velcro (optional)
Leather sewing awl with waxed thread (optional)
Clear nail polish or Fray Stop (optional)
I trust you had no difficulty cleaning those cushions up. About that…
Funny story…I went to bring the last cushion in from the back porch, all sparkling white and ready to go. How should I delicately put this…
This is Taco.
Do not allow his sublime expression distract you.
He is a fiend.
And he has no shame.
Said cushion was replaced. End of story. I am NOTcleaning that.
So you’ve measured twice and ordered; and your amazing fabric from BFS has arrived! We’re ready to cut out those new covers.
Step one: Relax.
The first cut is the deepest. Baby, I know, the first cut is the deepest.
As we get started, I want to show you that this project does not require any special equipment or material. In fact, here’s my “studio” or the Asylum as I see it! I’m as real as you are and I struggle with my projects too.
You’ll recall from part one that we discussed that the width of the cushions (doubled for front and back) compared to the width of our fabric are pretty close. Cutting your pieces will be very straightforward, nearly mistake proof, assuming you measured correctly.
Whatever method you choose, I still recommend that you measure again before you cut just to make sure you have enough length. Better to need an extra yard than to short every single piece you cut.
…Oy. I’ve done that.
Quick lesson so you can talk smart. Welting or piping is fabric (often cut on the bias or diagonal grain) with a cord sewn inside to create a lip which is inserted into the seam or around edges to give a finished look. Cording is the undecorated circular cord that gives welting its shape. I realize, though, that some of you are slowly backing away from the project. It’s okay. I’ve got you. Trust me. We’re going to get through this and you’ll feel like an expert in no time. It’s really not as hard as it looks. …I promise.
With some sewing projects, you can fudge. With upholstery, there are rules. Here’s my secret. Shhhh…Follow the rule of three O’s. Order of Operations. That way, your layers are correct and the project will look professional.
Make the welting first. I always make my welting first. In fact, I make any extra pieces first so I don’t have to stop in a project to make little things. Front end work investment.
I salvaged the scraps, but to be honest, some of the cording came apart and had to be replaced. If that’s your situation, when you purchase new cording, do not use the fiber variety. It’s great for indoor projects that won’t be washed. BFS has a great indoor/outdoor cord you can purchase here.
And in this corner…
Before we start, cut your sections in half so you half a top and bottom. You’re going to carefully cut down the side where the fold is. Before you go to the machine, though, take a second to mark where the tie backs are going to be placed by either marking with a pencil or a small snip.
Sewing the Welting with the Seams
Ready to go? Hold your nose, we’re diving in with both feet. This part goes fast, it’s not as hard as it looks. Relax! You’re going to be astonished at what you’ve just made when we’re finished. You’ll be the envy of all your friends!
Making It Fit and Checking It Twice…
Box cushions can be naughty if you don’t check your corners. Now that you’ve sewn all your corners, we need to do a “dry” fit before we put them together. This takes a few minutes, but it’s time well spent saving you from undo ripping and resewing later. Adjustments are easiest when made before you put the pieces together.
Let’s Make Those Cushions…FINALLY!
We’re nearly finished! Can you believe how quickly that went? All that’s left is adding the buttons or sewing the gutters. Before you know it you’ll be sipping Mint Juleps on your front porch waving at the neighbors as they admire your swanky new cushions and wondering where you got them. Feel free to tell them where!
Wer’re ready to stuff the cushions back in. Get yer yoga pants on ’cause we’re in for a workout.
Closing up the bottom seam
What you do with the cushion to make it your own is up to you. Unless you own a wide arm commercial sewing machine, you’re probably not going to be able to recreate the sewn gutters where the cushion folds. You can, however, do this by hand using a hand awl leather tool. It’s A LOT of work, and I don’t care to tackle it! For purposes of demonstration, though I have sewn one gutter for you so you can see the finished product. If you own one, you likely know how to use it. If not, the instructions that come with a set are dummy proof. You could also hand sew it, but you’d be a glutton for punishment!
I chose to use buttons. They are economical and I used the ones I had on hand. Remember, this is a salvage project, and I’m all about using up resources. I have a rather large button collection thanks to my mother that was in need of a good culling, so I used them in place of stitching to create definition and a slight fold to the cushions. I sewed buttons on both sides, using plain janes on the back, and decorative ones I layered on the front. But you do whatever strikes your fancy. Buttons are great embellishments. If you’re really ambitious, use a button cover set to make matching buttons from the scrap materials.
This nation is far too disposable. Take the time to recognize that many items can be reformed and transformed with just a little effort. Unless an item is infested, unhealthy or beyond repair, most can be given new life. Quite a transformation from a sidewalk cast-off, don’t you think! The Earth is gonna thank you!
BONUS! Like and Share this blog with your friends by going to our Facebook page and sharing. You’ll also find a link on Twitter that you can retweet, or click the icon below to Tweet.
Our followers are super important to us. To say thank you, if you share (and share often!), we’ll pick a winner at random and send you these awesome cushions at our expense. How’s that for an incentive! Increase your odds and share as often as you like, but only one winner will be selected…’cause I only made one set folks.
(Quick note…the fine print…because these are a demo project, there are some inconsistencies in the final project that were added for demonstration purposes only. But you really won’t notice!)