Friday, March 14, 2014

DIY: How to Reupholster...7 Tips on Sewing Cushion Covers

If you're new here and are wanting to start reupholstering see here for additional tips. Also see part one, and part two on how to get started if you haven't already.

Sewing cushions is a lot easier then you think it is. Or maybe I was just so terrified about it that I was surprised. What you'll need to do is continue to 1. use duct tape to write notes so you'll remember how it all goes back together again

2. Take pictures. When I started seam ripping, I was surprised to find that there wasn't any real piping. What I mean by that is, they hadn't used piping that had been made with fabric cut on the bias. Instead they just stuck the plastic piping tube in one piece of fabric

Then they sewed the fabric holding the piping with side pieces while pulling an 1/8 of an inch down to make the piping snug. These pictures helped me see how to repeat what they'd done.

3. My third tip is to do one cushion at a time. I discussed all these and other tips in further detail here. The reason I'd hold off on ripping all the seams at once, is because it gives you a finished product to refer to.

4. When you are taking the zipper out be careful when you open or close the zipper, or the tab will come straight off. This happened once or twice to me and it takes a long time to wriggle it back on so your zipper will work. I'd try to reuse the zippers if you can

5. Try everything on as you go along...

In the end, I decided I didn't like the piping. I knew it would look much more polished if I used piping tubes in bias tape. So, I went for it. I put the bias tape (tutorial on how to make your own coming soon) in between the top and side pieces of the cushion. I had enough fabric to get a pattern figured out. My second cushion was a little larger and needs to be adjusted a bit, but by the third cushion I'd figured out how to get it just right. I now only have to adjust the second cushion a little, and possibly redo my first cushion with the tucked in tubing.

6. If you wait to start the cushions until after all your other pieces are cut out and sewn, then you'll know whether or not you'll have enough fabric to experiment. You may even want to staple everything on before you start in case something else doesn't fit. I didn't because I had so much fabric left over. 

7. Also be prepared to use a lot of thread. I went through four spools of upholstery thread. If you don't use upholstery thread, be sure to at least use the next strongest. The strength of the thread is extremely important since people will be sitting on and putting their weight on the couch repeatedly. Use it on every part of the couch that needs to be sewn

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