Thursday, January 30, 2014

A New Porch Swing

Our new house has this great front porch with a swing. It faces south and gets amazing morning light, the perfect spot to sit for coffee and a crossword. It's not very comfortable without any cushions, so I set out to make my own piped bench cushion (I slightly followed this tutorial).

I bought a cheap thick linen shower curtain from Ikea - lots of fabric for not a bunch of money, and it's durable. I had originally planned to use a cushion foam for the inside, but finding they were $25 a yard, I headed to the thrift store. For about $5, I bought 6 ugly throw pillows, ripped them open, and used their filling form my cushion. I also bought some cheap towels (also from the thrift store) and wrapped them around the filling to give the pillow more shape.

  • shower curtain (fabric, not plastic)
  • old sheet (to use as a pillow "case", filled with the pillow fill)
  • foam cushion (or pillow fill and towels from the thrift store)
  • velcro strips (a yard will do)
  • piping trim (I made my own using an old pillow case and thin rope)
I started by making the piping - it's so much cheaper to make myself than try to buy a ton of it, especially if I want a certain fabric. So with some rope and 2" strips of fabric, I made the piping.

Next, I cut the old sheet into the sizes I needed:
  • 2 pieces at 19" x 61" (which includes 1/2" seam allowance) for the top and bottom
  • 2 pieces at 19" x 4" for the sides
  • 2 pieces at 61" x 4" for the front and back
I stitched all four sides together, then attached the top. Since I was going to close the whole thing, I stuffed it, and sewed it shut (which was really hard with a 5' long filled pillow!!).

Then I cut the main pillow case out of the shower curtain. This was hard - without a really long table, it's hard to cut a 5' long strip of fabric. But I was patient, and got it all to work (since I was using a striped pattern, I had to be away of matching up the stripes for the finished product). Just like the inside pillow (except for the back), I cut:
  • 2 pieces at 19" x 61" (which includes 1/2" seam allowance) for the top and bottom
  • 2 pieces at 19" x 4" for the sides
  • 1 piece at 61" x 4" for the front
  • 2 pieces at 61" x 3" for the back (which has a flap with velcro, so they will overlap)
I sewed all the sides together, using a 1/2" seam allowance. I actually forgot about the back flap, so you can see the stripes don't match up, but no one will see that.

Next, I pinned the piping to the top piece of the cushion 1/2" in from the edge, making sure to start at the back corner - this mattered again because of the stripes, and I had to make sure I matched the left and right too.

When I got to a corner with the piping, I snipped the raw edge of the piping up to the stitch. It helped to actually snip it a little beyond the immediate corner so the rope turns easier. I did a quick baste stitch to keep the piping in place.

I matched up the stripes in the pattern from the sides with the top piece (that had the piping attached), and, using my zipper foot, sewed the top and sides together, as close as I could to the piping (the piping is in between the top and side pieces).

I attached the bottom (no photo!) and I had my pillowcase! I sewed some velcro pieces to the back flap, and inserted the long pillow. VoilĂ ! How does it look, comfy or what?

1 comment:

  1. Any chance you know the maker of your porch swing?