I recently dusted off my sewing machine again for a little project courtesy of the Tod's preschool. I gave a facelift on the ugly-stripped floor cushion using a salvaged denim nursery curtain.
The cushion may look ugly and dated, but it still has a lot of life in it. With a little TLC, I ripped the stripped cover, washed it thoroughly, patched the many holes in it and put it back on permanently to protect the foam cushion. The foam was thoroughly spot-cleaned and sunned for several days to get rid of germs and wanna-be fungal infestation. The curtain was washed, cut, and sewn. It was upholstery-weight denim, so it presented a challenge both for my machine and my sewing skill.
Sewing denim requires a bit of preparation. First, the right needle is a must -- consult your machine's manual for the right type of needle. Second, the right thread is also a must -- apparently my machine will accept #60 or #50 weight all-purpose thread so long as the right needle is used. Finally, fiddling with stitch tension is another crucial point. I found the automatic adjustment in my machine was not enough to compensate so I had to fiddle a bit. I also experimented with the stitch length, turned out around 4-5 was perfect. If I were to do this project all over again, I would also serged the raw edges as denim is notorious for unraveling.
I didn't have any pattern for this particular cushion cover, all they wanted was a removable cover with velcro (not zipper) so I improvised the best that I could. I'm sure there are many improvements I could have thought of, but I was in quite a bit of a hurry, not to mention measuring and cutting fabric on the floor gave me a backache.
In the end, I'm very pleased with the result, so was the Tod who, as you can see, couldn't wait to nap on the cushion. I was very glad leaving it in his classroom on his last day of class, thinking it will get a lot of use and abuse from the many children who need a soft spot to rest.
My sewing adventure shall continue. I found this "Sew Chic Kids" book with its lovely illustration and simple design that I had to buy for my own inspiration. And serendipitously, I found this happy homemade sew-along with a hoodie project perfect for the Tod to wear in the Fall. When the stars are aligned, I will post my sewing project here as well.
Do you sew or have other summer hobbies to share?