Cushy On Our Tushies!

After years of preparation, here we are… finally sitting pretty.  Well, sitting *on* something pretty.  And for that I have to thank Frugal Paragon, for being such an awesome inspiration.  And my mom, for sitting me down and teaching me something I wasn’t really nuts about when I was nine years old well enough that I could remember a lot of the basics and online tutorials could mostly fill in the rest 2.5 decades later.

IMG_7524You see, I just spent the last two weekends sewing seat cushions for not only the bench seat in the dining room, but all the chairs as well.  And (IMNSHO) they turned out pretty darned well!  (Especially the last two I made.  I definitely got better as I went along!  =) )

These cushions have been a long time coming.  Specifically since we installed the bench seat roughly  a year ago and I realized that it can get pretty uncomfortable to sit on un-molded plywood for hours at a dinner party.

I didn’t originally plan to sew these myself.  I thought I’d be able to find cushions that I didn’t hate pretty easily.  Sadly, I found that not to be the case, in no small part because of the mish-mash of shapes and sizes of seats that we needed the cushions for.  The bench seat has 3 seats with hinged opening, 2 of which are the same size.  Then we have 2 library chairs, and 2 petite chairs.  Finding cushions to fit all of these, and remotely match was going to be a custom job, and those tend to come with custom prices.

image1 (4)Instead of giving up (or succumbing to insane prices), I remembered that I did know how to sew.  Once.  When my mom helped me sew an outfit (a flowered jumper – wahoo 1992!) for a spring recital in elementary school.

Surely if I could sew when I was 9, I could again at 34.  Right?  I just needed the tools and the time.

For the tools, I picked up a used Husqvarna Daisy off of Craigslist for $40.  It was missing a presser foot and a couple of covers, but overall is still in pretty solid shape despite being used (and probably abused) in the local school district’s home ec classrooms.  And the good thing about the Husqvarna (and part of why I chose this brand) is that our local JoAnn fabric has a Husqvarna station in the store.

IMG_7528So when the time came for me to finally get started on my project, I actually brought my Daisy into the JoAnn Fabric store with me and the Husqvarna lady not only helped me identify exactly which presser feet and needles I needed for my project, but also gave me an impromptu lesson reminding me of some basics I had forgotten like how to wind my bobbin and adjust my stitch types.  I probably could have gotten the parts for a bit cheaper elsewhere, but it was well worth the money for the time that she spent with me to get me started on the right presser foot!

All in all, I spent about $150 on this project, using a lot of the tips in this tutorial, but not adding welt cord or the other fancy parts, and still have another yard or so fabric and a bit of extra foam and batting, but now we have seven very comfortable places to sit and hang out with friends and family (which we already tested out this weekend for the first time!).

Are they perfect?  Nope.  But from the first one to the last, I definitely improved.  In fact, this is the part I’m most proud of out of the whole project and it’s almost never going to be noticed!

IMG_7529It’s the zipper back on the cushions for the library chairs.  While all of them have zippers so the cushion covers can be removed and washed (a necessity in this house!), I didn’t really start to get good with the zippers until the end.  On this last pair of cushions I did, I managed to get the pattern to line up pretty well and have the diamondy-flowery pattern centered vertically and horizontally over the center of the zipper line.  This matched how I had the diamondy-flowery pattern centered on all of the other sides, but getting it done with a zipper in the middle felt like a major accomplishment.

We’ll put our butts on it, and friends and family will do the same… but knowing that pattern is like that on the back brings me an inordinate amount of joy.

And Kitty PoP likes them too!  

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Are you making anything fun lately?  

11 comments to Cushy On Our Tushies!

  • Those are beautiful! Well done, Mrs. PoP! It’s so nice to be able to pick out exactly what you want!

    Zippers are super hard! The first skirt I ever made had an invisible one and it took me 5 tries to put it in. Yep, I unpicked it 4 times.

    For my next project, I have promised my six-year-old a boy apron made with licensed character fabric. Speaking of things you can’t easily buy!
    Jamie Holcomb recently posted..Well, That Got Out of Hand: I Made a Skirt Without a PatternMy Profile

    • Oooh – what character is he getting!?!

      And 5 times! That’s dedication! I will admit to getting through hemming 3/4 of one of Mr PoP’s cutoff pant legs before I realized my thread tension was all messed up and it was looking icky on what needed to be the good side. That was a pain in the rear to rip out!

  • Those look great. Coincidentally, I just finished making an outdoor lounge chair. I had been thinking about making my own cushions for it, and even bought the sewing machine to do it. But it turned out the chair is basically a standard size, so I just said “F*** it” and bought a cushion from Target for $35. The big pieces of foam I would need from Joann’s to make one would cost more than $35 anyway.
    Norm recently posted..Is Vanguard Getting Too Big?My Profile

    • The foam does get pretty pricey, as does some of the nicer fabric.

      I’ll admit it was a little bit more expensive of a project than I thought it would be, but I still have leftovers and feel good about the quality of the materials that I used, so it’s not too bad. 7 custom seat cushions for $150 is a little more than $20/cushion. Could have been much worse.

  • Those look so great! As does your table :)
    Leigh recently posted..February 2017 updateMy Profile

  • Very nice! We just built a farmhouse table and bench to match. Some cushions would be a fantastic addition to the backless bench…
    Done by Forty recently posted..Spending is ArbitraryMy Profile

  • Wow! You made those after spending half your lifetime (or more) free from sewing? With ZIPPERS??? That is, in a word, impressive. They look very nice. The bench is too cool.

    Now, if you get bored and have nothing to do but spend some time in lovely Arizona, I have some chairs that need new cushions… 😀
    Funny about Money recently posted..Death’s Door: Still Locked…My Profile

  • That is beautiful! I sew but have never done zippers. Recently, I made a mai tai for my toddler so she can carry her baby doll while I wear our new little one (we had our little guy in late April). This involved making sandwich layers of fabric so the straps were inside and all pretty and nice. It’s reversible too! Thank goodness for internet tutorials.

    I’ve also been sewing a few baby blankets, but those are really easy once you get everything cut out correctly. This weekend, my friend is bringing one of her baby carriers over so I can sew some pads for it to cover some rough spots.

    Our dining room chairs are pretty hard. We are moving into a new apartment on campus soon. If we end up keeping the chairs (not sure — depends on what we can affordably find), I think new cushions will go on my to-do list. You have inspired me!

  • mrplantingourpennies

    I don’t think we have a name for the NSX yet, but that sewing machine is named “Daisy” from here on out!