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Front Porch Sewing

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Late last night I finished the covers for the front porch seating and applied UV and fabric protective sprays to the pads and some Hancock Fabric’s home dec pillows I bought just because I couldn’t resist their Bright Colored Threads. I was going to do a furniture delivery of 1000 miles with my husband but I begged off to finish up projects here today and he left at 3am by himself.

Front Porch Seating

Settee and Pillows

In 2007, just out of chemo and radiation, I had to make the soft furnishings for our newly remodeled preschool that was due to open that Fall. I posted about making those cushion covers here: How to Make Upholstered Coverings [….] Please take a look at that post if you’d like to see more of the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing 1978 edition furniture sewing section. I also published a Flikr set entitled “Making a Piped Cushion”

Back then I didn’t follow the instructions for sewing the cushions, I added zippers down the center of the coverings

Zippered Covers

or made an extra deep overlap so I could use velcro.

Velcro Closing

I did not want an opening on the side where spilled liquids might run into the batting covered foam pad so I did the extra planning to make the center opening inaccessible

Centered and Protected Opening

Those cushions are still going strong now almost 4 years later.

This go-round, I followed the directions for making zippered foam pad covers and inserted the zips into the side seam as per the instructions. This way I can turn the pads over and use the bottom side if need be.

Again I covered the foam with batting to round the edges of the foam pad and fill out the corners. It is glued into place using a spray adhesive.

The results were not as well sewn as I’d like, due in large part to my using two way jacket zippers with the big heavy hardware and a single zipper that is just a bit too long. See?

Settee Cushion Bottom with 2 Heavy Duty Zippers

I fixed one line of stitching by ripping and resewing but flaked out on the other side. Maybe I’ll take that repair job on later

Really Wonky Stitching

The corners came out not perfectly but just fine for my own use (but not for a client!)


They say practice makes perfect….

On the chair cushion I learned another lesson: make sure the zipper is exactly the right length or suffer the consequences. In this one I didn’t take into my planning the extra height of the zipper pull

Chair Zipper

and didn’t have quite enough fabric at the end of the seam. I really should fix this one, but after I take a little break, I think

Chair Zipper runs along the side

So, this sewing woman is Humbled by Home Dec. And Martini Kitty is unsure if she like the changes to her little dark hide-y hole with it’s aged cushions and huge bushes

Martini Surveys Her Changed Domain

I am making a couple of smaller pillows today and haven’t quite picked the fabrics I’ll use yet. I’m working from the stash and some long-stashed cross-dyed dupionis would be beautiful. I’m trying to resist but if they aren’t used here, they may not be used at all. I will treat them with UV and fabric protectants. And then there’s a mystery fabric that’s bright and shiny and orangey too.

Possible Fabrics for Smaller Pillows

It is tough to decide! I have old pillow forms and could use all 3 🙂

2 Cross-Dyed Dupionis and a Mystery Orange

Anyone have any feedback (besides “you’re an idiot to use silk in the sun!”)????


About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

8 responses »

  1. very nice!

  2. What a cute place to sit and enjoy a summer afternoon.

  3. The colors of the silk dupione fabric matches the beautiful made cushions. So go ahead and use all the three colors to make some smaller pillows. Better use them and let them fade over time than not using them and let them age in your stash pile.
    Your front porch looks very lovely after all the yard and decoration remodeling.
    Till next week.

  4. I love the look of your new cushions and pillows. If I were there in person I’d be looking up at the trees and singing “la-la-la-la-la-la-la-” to block out your explanations about the zippers and stitches. They look great; don’t apologize. And yes, I’d use the silk – I agree with Els. The colors are great!

  5. summersetbanks

    Use the silks! Enjoy the silks! If you don’t now, when will you? Besides, you deserve a few little luxurious silk pillows, right?!? LOL.

  6. Heartily agree with Summerset ! Beautiful !

  7. Go for the silk! Enjoy the silk! I think too often we relegate the “nice stuff” for something special,and then never end up using it. Like when I was a kid – saving that fancy dress “for nice”, except by the time “nice” cam around it no longer fit!

    I’m sure Martini will come ’round to lounging on the new cushions in next to no time. They look soooo inviting!

  8. Oh go for it! I think silk needs to be used and enjoyed, amiright? After all – that’s why we have stashes! 🙂


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